John Sciacca

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John Sciacca  |  Oct 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Movie server giant, Kaleidescape, looks to definitively answer the question, “How do I get content for my new 4K TV?!?” with the launch of the company’s third-generation movie store which will feature the largest selection of full-resolution, 4K Ultra HD titles for download and viewing on the company’s new line of Encore players and servers.

John Sciacca  |  Oct 15, 2015  |  0 comments
DISH continues to expand the Hopper ecosystem with its new 4K Joey, expected to arrive by November. The new player features an ultra-slim form-factor that can slip behind a wall-mounted flat panel TV and will cost DISH subscribers only $50 to upgrade and carry the same monthly fee as current Joeys, so there is no reason for DISH subscribers not to grab one!

John Sciacca  |  Oct 14, 2015  |  0 comments
Russound expands its XStream whole-house wireless audio systems with the introduction of the XZone4 four-stream/four-zone audio system, XSource streaming audio player, and XTS color in-wall touchscreen controller. All of these new components are designed to expand the capabilities of Russound’s XStream wireless audio systems.

John Sciacca  |  Oct 14, 2015  |  0 comments
TiO stands for Turn it On, and the company is looking for ways to breathe new life into existing, outdated audio systems with a system that is incredible retrofit friendly. Imagine turning your old, lame analog only volume control system into a state-of-the art streaming music system with multiple zones and app based control over all of your favorite music services including high-res audio up to 192/24-bit and you have an idea what TiO is bringing to the table.

John Sciacca  |  Oct 14, 2015  |  0 comments
Part of the expense of many distributed audio systems is the proprietary hardware required to make them work. Simpfony is looking to turn this model upside down by leveraging standard hardware for other companies to deliver flexibility, affordability and ease of use while still delivering a terrific user experience.

John Sciacca  |  Oct 14, 2015  |  1 comments
In a recent blog I dealt with some of the big-picture infrastructure items when planning a video installation. Beyond the brand and size of TV you’ll be getting, the big four preinstallation items requiring attention are power, sources, audio, and control.
John Sciacca  |  Sep 30, 2015  |  10 comments
As a custom installer, meeting with clients building new homes, remodeling, or just looking to upgrade their entertainment systems is a big part of my job. And after 17 years of walking through job sites and looking at blueprints, I pretty quickly hone in on the few key areas that determine the project’s difficulty and cost.
John Sciacca  |  Sep 02, 2015  |  10 comments
OK, full disclosure: I didn’t really spend $500 of my own, personal, John money; I had a reviewer’s account. But I did watch Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation and Terminator: Genisys and Southpaw in my home theater over a month ago using the coolest piece of technology you’ve probably never even heard of. The company behind it is PRIMA Cinema and their movie player allows an elite group of owners the ability to watch first-run Hollywood films in the privacy of their homes, usually on the same day they are released to the cinemas. Not only that, but PRIMA delivers the best picture quality of anything you’ve ever seen outside the Arclight or El Capitan.

John Sciacca  |  Aug 19, 2015  |  0 comments
ABC’s Nightline recently ran a segment called “Smart Homes, the Future of High-Tech Living” where they discussed different aspects of living in a smart home. Part of the segment demonstrated a smart home’s potential vulnerability to being hacked, giving outsiders access to your home and data. Nightline drove the point home by having a hacker sit outside a home with a high-powered directional antenna while he logged into the Wi-Fi network and started wreaking all manner of havoc, including unlocking her front door.
John Sciacca  |  Jul 21, 2015  |  2 comments
Custom Theater and Audio's Atmos-equipped demo room.

A lot has been written over the past few months about Dolby’s new home theater surround format, Atmos. Virtually every receiver manufacturer and many speaker companies have embraced Atmos-capable systems, both with in-ceiling and Atmos-enabled module speakers.

One of the perks of working at a custom installation firm with a showroom is having a playground to install and experience the latest technologies firsthand before installing them into someone’s home...