John Sciacca

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John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Without a doubt, one of the benefits of attending CES is getting to listen to audio systems that reside way outside the realm of what is considered normal. Walking the hallways of the Venetian, it isn’t uncommon to pass suits demonstrating six-figure electronics and speaker systems. But when you enter the realm of mid-five-figure, cost-no-object, premium electrostatic headphone designs, then even the most jaded among us will stop to take a listen. Launching into this rarefied air and going after the title of “world’s ultimate headphone” is HIFIMAN’s new Shangri-La, a headphone system featuring virtual zero distortion and lightning fast response.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2017  |  0 comments
New in-wall speaker announcements at CES are about as dry and parched as the city’s desert air, so I was pleasantly surprised when I stepped into Paradigm’s Venetian suite and saw the company was introducing six new models across its CI Pro and CI Elite lineups. Designed for residential home theater installations, these new models are all LCR designs featuring integrated backboxes made from ¾-inch MDF to provide an optimal acoustic environment as well as keeping sound from bleeding into adjacent rooms.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Add Arcam to the growing list of companies that have joined the DTS PlayFi wireless streaming camp with the introduction of the company’s new rPlay Wireless Music Receiver. For performance minded listeners that have been looking for a way to dip their ears into the wireless listening waters, rPlay will enable adding PlayFi to any system and has a ton of features to get excited about.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2017  |  0 comments
Nothing completes a pool party or day at the beach like some good tunes, but many companies shy away from offering truly portable, weatherproof speaker options. Most solutions involve small, Bluetooth speakers that have thin sound and are splash-proof at best. Soundcast displayed its upcoming VG10 which will be the world’s first wireless, truly portable, weatherproof speaker to be part of the DTS PlayFi family.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
A common talking point amongst IoT providers at CES is how they are designing products to protect against malicious Internet DDOS attacks like the Mirai botnet that recently took down the Net for millions back in September. The reality is that network security is a complex, difficult to understand concept for many people, and creating a truly secure network is simply beyond the ability of most users and their networking components. That’s where Dojo comes in, becoming your own full-time network protecting ninja!

John Sciacca  |  Jan 06, 2017  |  0 comments
While you’ve probably heard that all HDMI cables are created equal, and that you either get perfect picture and sound or you don’t, that’s only true to a point as we enter the ultra-high-bandwidth world of Ultra HD signal transmission.

In the real world, I’ve found many cables struggle to deliver the full 18 Gbps signal between source and display when you start pushing the 6 meter cable length. This is especially true when using a source capable of delivering 4K/60 such as the Kaleidescape cover art GUI on the Strato movie player. Sure, this isn’t an issue when you’re talking about a connection to your wall-mounted flat panel display, but if you have your electronics remotely located in another area (say an equipment rack in the back of the room) or you are wiring to a video projector, then a short 3-4 meter cable probably ain’t gonna cut. So, what do you do if you have a cable run inside your walls and you connect that fancy new 4K source to your TV and you get the dreaded “No Signal”? You might just turn to Metra Home Theater’s Gigabit Accelerator.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 05, 2017  |  0 comments
First Alert expanded the potential of its air-monitoring solutions by demonstrating two new Onelink products which both feature Amazon Alexa voice integration. The new devices include the Smoke + CO Alarm and the Environment Monitor.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 05, 2017  |  0 comments
Lest you think that CES is a mindless slog of endless hallways filled with IoT devices, over-the-top speaker systems, and massive new TVs, take a gander at PicoBrew, the ultimate way to get ultra-fresh craft brew into your mouth!

If you are like me, then you love craft beer, but don’t really want to get mired in the complex and messy process of shopping for ingredients or figuring out brew times and hop cycles and bottle sanitizing procedures. You just want to cut straight to the part where you enjoy pint after pint of the sticky-ickiest fresh-hopped beer around. For those of us, the new Pico brings simplified homebrewing to an entirely new level and price point at only $799.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 05, 2017  |  0 comments
When you think “intercom” you probably think of that large, clunky, multi-buttoned contraption that took up like three-free of real estate in your parent’s kitchen that no one really knew how to use. In fact, if there is one “technology” that has been sorely overlooked by progress, it is the lowly intercom. Nucleus looks to help keep families in touch no matter if they are on the other side of the home or the world with its Anywhere Intercom which adds and HD video camera and IP communication to the mix. It also happens to be the world’s first touchscreen device with Amazon Alexa built-in.

John Sciacca  |  Jan 05, 2017  |  0 comments
You know that commercial where the dad uses Alexa to turn on the front yard sprinklers to soak his daughter’s boyfriend? The hardware behind that voice-activated dousing is Rachio, and they are at CES showing their new Gen 2 sprinkler controller.

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