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John Sciacca Posted: May 07, 2014 0 comments
Good listening is safe listening. Here are three sets of headphones that add to your (and your kids) enjoyment of music without blowing out your eardrums.
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John Sciacca Posted: Apr 16, 2014 2 comments
A few weeks ago I got an email notification from my Kaleidescape movie server saying temperatures has exceeded safe operating range and the server would be shutting itself down if temps didn’t soon return to normal. “What the hell?!” I wondered. Nothing had changed in my rack, I hadn’t added any new gear or changed anything with the ventilation and the server was exactly where it had always been sitting and working fine for the past few years. Of course, I immediately blamed my 7 year old daughter, accusing her of all manner of destructive behavior, but when she assured me she was (in this case) innocent, I searched further.
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John Sciacca Posted: Apr 01, 2014 19 comments
Ask virtually any music listener if they own any high-resolution audio files, and they’ll likely give you a blank stare, wait a beat, and then maybe come back with a question like, “You mean like CDs I put on my computer or something?”

For the record, high-resolution refers to music recorded at better than CD’s 44.1-kHz/16-bit quality, usually 96-kHz/24-bit, typically written as “96/24.” (See my high-rez audio audio primer here).

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John Sciacca Posted: Mar 18, 2014 0 comments
Once Cutting-Edge Systems Are Starting to Look like Dinosuars

Having been a custom installer since 1998, I’ve installed more than my share of housewide audio systems. And, as you can imagine, these systems have changed and evolved quite a bit over the years.

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John Sciacca Posted: Feb 18, 2014 1 comments
As a custom installer, I’m routinely asked, “What should I do with my old stuff?” It’s a great question, because with all the recent advancements and price drops in technology, lots of people are upgrading and ending up with older gear still in working order but with no idea what to do with it. If you find yourself in this predicament, here are some suggestions that I give to my clients.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 12, 2014 2 comments
While 3D demonstrations at CES were almost non-existent – other than some glasses-free technology demonstrations put on from some companies or the massive 140-panel mega-3D display outside of LG’s booth – there are still millions of 3D capable TVs already in the marketplace and people’s homes. Sensio looks to tap into this reservoir of displays by delivering tons of streaming 3D content directly to these displays with its 3DGO! rental service.

The company said that 3DGO! had to be “good 3D” which means good content, good quality and a good user experience. The UI was definitely slick, allowing you to easily navigate films and make a selection. The service currently offers about 100 titles and has deals inked with some of Hollywood’s heaviest hitters in the form of Disney, Pixar, Paramount, Dreamworks Animation, Universal, Starz and National Geographic.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 12, 2014 0 comments
I stumbled across Bluesound at a suite in the Venetian on my last day of the show and I’m certainly glad that I did. This new company is comprised of many of the same people from NAD with a true passion for delivering uncompromised audio, and Bluesound looks to have an array of products that might be the first true high-end challenger to Sonos’ wireless music dominance.

The Bluesound system is comprised of four primary components: Node, PowerNode, Vault, and Pulse. With a combination of these units, you can build a wireless housewide music system that suits your needs and is capable of streaming FLAC, AAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, WMA, WMA-L, OGG and MP3 files up to full resolution 24-bit/192kHz quality!

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 10, 2014 Published: Jan 11, 2014 0 comments
If you thought that 4K images were the height of pristine image quality without any room for improvement, then you needed to stop by DarbeeVision’s suite in the LVH and experience what 4K images look like when processed with Darbee Visual Presence DVP processing!

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 10, 2014 Published: Jan 11, 2014 1 comments
DarbeeVision, manufacturer of the Darblet and the company behind Darbee Visual Presence DVP video enhancement processing, demonstrated the DVP-5100CIE (Custom Installer Edition) which was manufactured with direct input from custom installers. The product features the same terrific depth and clarity processing found in the Oppo BDP-103D and Lumagen Radiance video processor.

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John Sciacca Posted: Jan 10, 2014 Published: Jan 11, 2014 0 comments
Traditional window treatments – blinds, drapes, curtains – may give you some privacy and block the sun, but they really aren’t that cool. Motorized options from the likes of Lutron and Hunter Douglas certainly raise the high-tech bar and add some remote control capabilities, but even they look like old news when you watch SONTE Film in action.

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