John Sciacca

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John Sciacca Posted: Feb 08, 2005 0 comments

Like most people planning on "popping the question," I wanted everything to be perfect the night I asked my wife to marry me. We started the evening with coffee at the café in San Francisco where we met, followed by dinner where we had our first date, then Phantom of the Opera, and finally dessert at a restaurant overlooking the city.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 11, 2005 0 comments

For years, "whole-house" music meant either a pair of speakers in the living room blaring loud enough to be heard everywhere or bad-sounding radio playing through intercom panels. Most people confined their listening to a single room and used table radios and portable music systems in other rooms.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 08, 2005 0 comments

Sadly, many people have a love-hate relationship with their remote controls. On the one hand, the thought of actually getting up to change channels or adjust the volume is unthinkable.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 06, 2005 0 comments

By far one of the biggest challenges for most people installing a home theater system is wiring the speakers - especially the surrounds because they're typically placed quite a ways from the rest. Wireless connections are an obvious solution, and at this year's CES, several manufacturers offered systems taking advantage of 2.4-GHz wireless technology to feed the surrounds.

John Sciacca Posted: Jan 03, 2005 0 comments

Inventor, musician, scientist, politician, and philosopher, Ben Franklin was a brilliant man. His Poor Richard's Almanac is full of timeless proverbs, such as, "For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 02, 2005 0 comments

Whether it's because of newspaper ads, TV shows saying they're being broadcast in HDTV, or the buzz from co-workers, relatives, and friends, you've probably been thinking about testing the HDTV waters. And now is a great time to buy a high-definition set.

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John Sciacca Posted: Dec 13, 2004 0 comments

To the uninitiated, TiVo owners can seem a bit cultlike. And if you're still living in the Dark Ages of analog tape recording, having yet to experience the divine Renaissance afforded by the video hard-disk recorder, or HDR, then the devotion might seem a bit absurd.

John Sciacca Posted: Dec 09, 2004 0 comments

People often ask me, "How do you keep up with all the new technologies? The market changes so fast." One of the best ways to stay current is to attend trade shows where the latest gear is on display and you can actually talk with the folks who designed it.

John Sciacca Posted: Nov 03, 2004 0 comments

One highlight of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association's annual Expo is the Garden of High Definition Delights. Flagship HDTVs from nearly every manufacturer are lined up in this large, darkened space, all displaying pristine high-def images. You can call up programming on any set to compare performance with identical source material.

John Sciacca Posted: Oct 08, 2004 0 comments

After returning from our honeymoon, my parents took my wife and me to dinner at one of San Francisco's swanky restaurants. To commemorate the event, I brought a prized bottle of wine - a 1982 Sterling Private Reserve cabernet. Instead of being offended that I had my own bottle, the sommelier asked if he might have a taste. But the restaurant still added a $20 corkage fee to our bill.

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