John Sciacca

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John Sciacca  |  Jan 20, 2015  |  10 comments
A customer called my installation company recently looking to upgrade his system. We did the original in stall at his vacation home back in 2001, and he wanted to replace the aging DLP with a new flat panel, upgrade to a Netflix-streaming Blu-ray player, and get a new universal remote. When I looked through his file, I saw his AV receiver was approaching 13 years old, so I recommended he replace that as well to take advantage of a generation’s worth of technology improvements.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 10, 2015  |  0 comments
Pella Corporation has been making innovative door and window products for nearly 90 years and now the company is branching into technology with its new Insynctive line of sensors and control devices enabling homeowners to have simplified control over their home’s security, comfort and convenience features.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 10, 2015  |  1 comments
In November 1969, West Germany launched the Azur, the country’s first scientific satellite, into space. At CES Cambridge Audio launched the Azur 851N, the company’s flagship upsampling network music player that takes any incoming audio signals up into the high-resolution stratosphere.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 10, 2015  |  0 comments
The Internet of Things has expanded to include a new high performance rifle from TrackingPoint nicknamed the “Mile Maker” for its “tag and shoot” technology that virtually guarantees anyone can hit a plate-sized target at up to one mile even on targets moving up to 30 mph! This technology puts the level of shooting skills the likes of Navy SEAL and Delta Force snipers that have spent years honing their craft into virtually anyone’s trigger finger.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  Published: Jan 10, 2015  |  0 comments
CES isn’t the place many speaker manufacturers choose to launch new in-wall or in-ceiling speaker models, but Paradigm is bucking this trend by launching two new speaker lines. The company has streamlined its AMS, SA and SIG offerings into two new lines, CI Pro and CI Elite. Paradigm listened to dealer and installer feedback to improve both the aesthetics and installation ergonomics of the new lines which have been redesigned to deliver better sound and a cleaner finished look to the end-user and an easier, faster install.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  Published: Jan 10, 2015  |  0 comments
Bluesound launched at last year’s CES, causing me to write a post titled, “Is Bluesound an Audiophile Sonos Killer?” Since then the company has gone on to prove its worth with high-res, 24/192 file playback and a terrific control app that lets users easily stream and enjoy music all around their homes. This year the company is broadening the reach of beautiful music listening to outside of the house by adding BluOS software to an outdoor speaker by sister-company PSB.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 09, 2015  |  Published: Jan 10, 2015  |  0 comments
Astell&Kern has made a name for itself with ultra-high-resolution portable music players like the AK240 and AK120, allowing users to listen to their high-res FLAC and DSD audio files while on the road. At CES the company unveiled its new AK500N Ultimate Network Audio Player, bringing audiophile listening into the living room.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2015  |  0 comments
First, when you can intersect technology and beer, you are likely never going to go wrong. I have met very few people in this industry that don’t also love a good ale, lager, IPA, Belgian, stout, lambic, or other.

Now, I love craft beer. Like, I love craft beer. In fact I have a separate blog devoted to reviewing the stuff, and I’ve drank/reviewed almost 400 to date. But, I have no real interest in making beer. To me it is too much hassle, too much mess, too much chance for bacteriological contamination ruining the batch, too much chance of crafting gallons of stuff I wouldn’t want to drink. In a way, craft beer is like sausage for me; love to drink it, don’t really want to know how it is made. However the good folks at PicoBrew also love beer, and their new Zymatic fully automatic brewer is just high-tech and awesome enough to make me reconsider my non-brewing ways.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2015  |  0 comments
The Philips Pronto touchscreen remote control revolutionized what a non-professional programmer could do when it came to customizing their personal controller. User groups traded graphics files, created games, and spent hours tweaking and refining their beloved Prontos. But this venerable remote was discontinued by the manufacturer several years ago, and the Pronto name was all but lost, only to be spoken of in hushed and revered tones.

But, good news, Pronto and iOS lovers! The new Pronto Peel is going to bring some of the love and control back in a new form factor and simple to use way!

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2015  |  1 comments
Chances are you have a touchscreen phone that uses some form of swipe or button press combo to unlock the phone for use. As you know, the oils on your fingers can leave smudges behind, and over time can leave a tell-tale treasure map of greasy DNA to tell people which buttons are used to unlock your phone.

Since the touchscreens on smart door locks are used far less frequently – and primarily for entering the home’s unlock code – this can be a real problem, and can leave smart lock owners vulnerable to something far more than someone checking out your emails and selfies. Fortunately Kwikset has added a new technology to foil any would-be fingerprint grabbers with a simple and foolproof method called SecureScreen.