John Sciacca

John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2020  |  3 comments
There are those marquee brands in the high-end world that carry instant name cachet and immediately call to mind cost-no-object designs that most mortals can only aspire to owning. Dropping names like Krell, McIntosh, Trinnov, and Wilson Audio lets fellow AV aficionados know you’re familiar with truly high-end. Mark Levinson is a company that definitely belongs on that list of names, and with the company’s 5000 Series of products, they are trying to make membership in the audiophile owners’ club a bit less daunting, and also attract the next generation of music loving audiophiles.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2020  |  0 comments
Soundbars are perfect problem solvers for many as they provide a greatly improved listening experience over the anemic audio offered by nearly every modern flat-panel display. Many opt for a soundbar because they require no additional hardware like an AVR, usually require just a single-wire connection to the display, need no extra controls, and are affordable. But what if there was a way to get all of these soundbar benefits while still enjoying far better sound, with actual front channel separation and true surround sound? That’s the promise Enclave Audio is delivering with its new CineHome wireless audio systems.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2020  |  0 comments
Control4 is the preferred automation system by many custom installers (myself included), and while the company offers some Z-Wave integration, it is meager at best, interfacing with only a very small handful (less than 15) of devices. For users that want to tap into the hundreds of widely available and unique Z-Wave components, Flex Automation debuted two new devices to bridge the control gap.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 08, 2020  |  0 comments
There have been lots of developments over the years in the category of smart lighting control, but most of these smart controls don’t really look much different or nicer than a classic paddle switch you can pick up for a couple of bucks at your local Home Depot. Hogar Controls feels that the modern smart home deserves something that looks better than just an ordinary light switch, and the company’s new Prima Touch Switch line offers a sleek designer finish that makes your modern home actually look modern!
John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2020  |  0 comments
When a company looks to refresh its most popular, best-selling subwoofer series ever, you can imagine they would do so with a bit of care to ensure that the legacy and goodwill built over the years isn’t lost on some rev. 2 cash grab. Rest assured, SVS put a ton of thought and design into the new 2000 Pro Series subwoofers to ensure that the performance legacy of past subs is not only respected, but kicked up to the next level.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2020  |  0 comments
If there is one thing you can count on at CES, it is to expand the world of smart, connected, Internet of Things devices. From smart salt shakers, to smart toothbrushes, to connected sex toys, to every kind of fitness/health tracker imaginable, CES has it all. To that list you can now add Robbox Tools’ world’s first Digital Smart Drill.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2020  |  0 comments
I stopped into the Elite Screens suite in the Venetian to check out whether the company was offering any new video projection screens at CES (spoiler: there were! Two, in fact!). But the coolest thing in the suite turned out to not be one of the two new video screens on display, but rather the complete MosicGo outdoor theater entertainment system under the new Elite Projector brand!
John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2020  |  0 comments
For years, the THX logo on a product meant you were buying something that was a cut above the rest, with the company’s demanding certification process guaranteeing that a component met a certain performance level criterion that ensured buyers they were getting the goods, especially when it came to home theater electronics or speakers. However, the certification became diluted over the years as THX seemed to start certifying products and systems well outside of their key areas, and the THX badge seemed to nearly become extinct. But the company is back at CES and has several new technologies, including the launch of Drop + THX Panda, the first audiophile wireless headphone to receive the THX badge.
John Sciacca  |  Jan 07, 2020  |  0 comments
TiVo is going to take on low-priced streamers like Roku and Fire TV with the introduction of its new streamer, the TiVo Stream 4K. Unlike all previous TiVo products, the Stream 4K will not have any traditional TiVo DVR functionality, but rather will be entirely dedicated to streaming.
John Sciacca  |  Oct 30, 2019  |  0 comments
After 20-plus years in the custom installation business, I’ve learned the value of making a project as future-proof as possible. In System Building Advice, Part 1, I discussed the importance of prewiring, installing conduits for future access, covering large areas with multiple speakers, and buying the best subwoofer possible. I have some more bits of advice to share.

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