John Sciacca

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John Sciacca  |  Sep 22, 2017  |  1 comments
Beyond designing and installing new AV systems, one of the things my installation company does is perform service calls on existing systems. Whether it has been installed by the homeowner themselves, a trusted friend/family member, or some other “professional,” we routinely run across the same kinds of installation issues when we pull open the rack or cabinet and start digging into the guts of the gear.
John Sciacca  |  Sep 10, 2017  |  0 comments
Every tradeshow has that one standout product that seems to be able to do just about everything. At this year’s CES, I gave that award to Kef’s LS50 Wireless ( read about them here) for outstanding achievement in a streaming loudspeaker. The award for most do-it-all product at CEDIA this year has to go to Meridian for its new 251 Powered Zone Controller, a product capable of satisfying the audio demands of numerous situations, and doing it all while keeping a British stiff upper lip and delivering Meridian’s world class performance.

The 251 is the latest product in Meridian’s new 200-series, and it does so much, it’s almost easier to say what it doesn’t do...

John Sciacca  |  Sep 10, 2017  |  0 comments
Founded in Denmark in 1977, Dynaudio is celebrating 40 years crafting audio products, now with a focus on the custom install market with its Studio Series. What makes the series so cool is not how great it sounds — which I’ll have to just take at their word, as the display at CEDIA was static — but the intelligent thought that went into the installation problem-solving design.

Most in-wall speaker designs give no thought to the installation process, namely that there very well could be a stud located right where you want to position the speaker. While it is usually possible to position the left and right speakers equidistant from the screen, the center channel is often a different story, with a stud usually located right where a speaker would need to be cut in.

John Sciacca  |  Sep 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Typical whole-house audio systems require “home-running” all of the speaker and control wiring to a central location which then connects to a stack of electronics – sources, distribution switches, amplifiers, control system – that normally resides in a large rack. While there is nothing wrong with systems designed in this manner, they are typically best installed during construction when extensive prewiring can be done, and can be difficult to add onto. Many also feature pre-configured source and zone amounts, such as 6 source to 6 zone, meaning it can be difficult (ie: expensive) to add a single additional zone to a system. Russound showed some real out-of-box thinking at CEDIA by introducing the company’s new MBX-AMP, a completely scalable Wifi streaming audio amplifier that can be placed anywhere in the home yet link-up to become part of a system supporting as many as 32 audio zones!

John Sciacca  |  Sep 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Due to room layout, many homeowners opt to mount their flat panel TV over the mantle above a fireplace. And while this might work with symmetrical design sensibility and produce the right feng shui flow for the space, it almost always puts the display too high, frequently producing odd screen reflections, causing neck strain, and making viewing uncomfortable. The simple – and obvious – solution is to use a mount that can lower the TV down to a more comfortable height while viewing, but then retreat to its position above the mantle when finished. That solution is what MantleMount is all about.

John Sciacca  |  Sep 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Control4 is reaffirming its commitment to high-performance audio distribution by launching the new Triad Multi-Room Audio line-up at CEDIA. This new line-up features two audio matrix switches, a high-resolution multi-channel amplifier, and the new single zone Triad One, all designed from the ground up to deliver high-performance, high-resolution audio throughout the home.

According to the company, over 65 percent of system owners enjoy multi-room audio, and Control4 demonstrated its seriousness about delivering a high performance solution when the company introduced its EA series of controllers which made 192/24 high-resolution audio available to every Control4 owner and added native support for Tidal music streaming. In a further move to provide a high-performance, end-to-end audio solution from “source to speaker,” the company acquired Triad in February of this year, a company with a 30 year heritage in performance audio.

John Sciacca  |  Sep 09, 2017  |  0 comments
With more and more connected devices being added every single day, and people increasingly turning to streaming for the TV and movie content, the network has become the most important infrastructure in the system. At the center of the network lies the router; a device most people don’t think about until something like Netflix or Amazon streaming stops working or their WiFi cuts out. The router is mission critical for network performance of all systems of a connected home: automation, A/V streaming, security, even lighting. And Pakedge feels everyone deserves great performance.

John Sciacca  |  Sep 09, 2017  |  0 comments
Automation and control leader, Control4, released the latest version of its operating system this week, OS 2.10. This release expands performance and delivers a host of new features and upgrades that will be immediately available for free to dealers and customers. Much of the new update focuses on interoperability, peace of mind, personalization and audio improvements for both existing and new systems, all designed to improve customer happiness and satisfaction.
John Sciacca  |  Sep 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Kaleidescape launched a new product at CEDIA called the Co-Star Switch which combines film library collections between the companies Strato and Premiere movie servers. Up until Co-Star, the two systems were completely separate, with movies stored on the Strato’s hard drive only viewable using the Strato’s on-screen interface, and movies stored on a Premiere server only visible using it’s interface. The Co-Star solves this issue in a simple yet ingenious way.

John Sciacca  |  Sep 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Kaleidescape, the leader in the movie server category, “teased” an advanced, pre-beta look at a new version of its kOs software which will allow users to navigate the company’s movie store and purchase movies directly from the on-screen user interface. Previously users needed to log in to the store using a Web browser, and then select and purchase a title and initiate a download. Now owners will be able to jump right from the onscreen interface into the store to browse and make purchases without getting off the couch or lifting a finger off the remote.

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