John Sciacca

John Sciacca  |  Jan 10, 2018  |  0 comments
First off, don’t call this beautiful objet d’art an “umbrella.” God, no! ShadeCraft founder and CEO Armen Gharabegian stated, “We are to umbrellas as self-driving cars are to the horse and wagon.” This, dear readers, is an intelligent shading system robot designed to call to mind the elegant beauty of a sunflower as it gracefully traces and tracks the sun’s movement across the sky, keeping you shaded while enjoying the great outdoors and an adult beverage. But the Sunflower is also oh so much more!
John Sciacca  |  Jan 10, 2018  |  0 comments
If you’re like most of the world, that means starting the day off with a steaming cup of Joe. You brew a pot or K-cup or whatever and then pour it into your travel mug and head off to work, hoping that your insulated vessel will keep the precious liquid hot enough for you to get your day started. Or you start with a cold drink in a thermos, likewise hoping it will keep cold throughout the day. But what if your bottle could do more than just contain liquid? What if it could heat it to maintain your desired temperature throughout the day? Or likewise cool it? Or even boil water to purify it for drinking or for use with freeze-dried food packs while camping? Or if it could actually be used to blend up your smoothie or to brew your coffee? I give you…the Cauldryn Fyre!
John Sciacca  |  Jan 10, 2018  |  7 comments
At the Digital Entertainment Group’s (DEG) CES party last evening, redbox announced it would begin a rollout of UltraHD Blu-ray disc rentals starting in some test markets. There was no mention of which markets would be selected – or how many of them would be included – just that the UltraHD trial would begin in markets that already show a strong interest in Blu-ray disc rental.
John Sciacca  |  Dec 15, 2017  |  2 comments
Last month’s blog, Mount a TV Like a Pro: Part 1 detailed the first part of mounting a flat-panel TV onto a wall. To recap, it covered determining the size and location of where the new TV will go, figuring out the needed wiring for the install, making a plan for powering the TV, making sure there’s a clear path in the wall for routing the cabling to the TV, and then cutting wall boxes into the sheetrock and running the wiring.
John Sciacca  |  Nov 17, 2017  |  2 comments
In my last blog I listed some essential tools for tackling various DIY custom install projects around the house. This time, we’ll put that toolkit to work mounting a flat-panel TV! I’ll cover running the wiring to your new TV, and in my next blog we’ll tackle the physical mounting of the set.
John Sciacca  |  Oct 20, 2017  |  0 comments
Having the right tool makes any job easier — or even possible — and when my company’s vans show up for an installation, they are loaded down with a huge array of gear to help us overcome virtually any hurdle. Between specialized drill bits, to hand tools for terminating an assortment of fittings, to fiber-optic cameras for peering into walls, having the right tool on hand can make the difference between a job well done and an impossible one.
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!