John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Top 12 Blogs of 2012

Posted on December 31, 2012 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (2)

It seems to be the end-of-the-year blog thing to recap your top stories of the year, and who am I to buck the trend? Surely at least one of you out there has wondered, “Just what was the most popular story John wrote over the past 12 months?” Or, perhaps you’re a casual Sciacca Writes reader (to which, I ask the must-be-asked question, “Why?!? You should be coming every day, hungry, nay starving for new content!") and you hav...

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How Best Buy Will Kill the Cineplex

Posted on December 27, 2012 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

In my last post, I told you six reasons why watching movies was better at home. When it comes to pricing, quality, schedule, snacks, crowds and tech, the commercial cinema just can’t compete with the luxury of watching movies in your own private theater. (And I didn’t even mention the comfort of the seating! If you...

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Six Reasons Why Home Theater is Killing the Multiplex

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Let’s be honest—the movie-theater experience isn’t as rosy as it used to be. For lots—and lots—of reasons, seeing movies at home just makes more sense for a lot of people.


In fact, since I invested in my home theater system a few years ago—extravagant by some standards, merely modest by others, but always awesome to me—I rarely go out to the movies anymore.


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Gettin Hoppy With It - 5 Big IPAs

Posted on December 21, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

If you know anything about me, it’s that I love IPAs. Big, giant, crazy IBU, hop-filled beers that just light your mouth ablaze with flavor. Nay. Flava.


So whenever I spot a new Double/Imperial that I haven’t tried, I feel compelled to pick it up. You never know when you’re going to stumble on that next Hoppy Grail that is going to put a smile ...

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Five Non-Million-Dollar Ways to Improve Your Theater

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (2)

HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms recently featured home-theater-design Jedi Theo Kalomirakis showing off one of his classic designs, The Ziegfeld. The entire 3,000-square-foot theater space was, of course, gorgeous, with a nearly six-figure custom-made neon and fiber-optic marquee, custom carpeting costing more than most people’s cars, and custom woodworking costing more than most people...

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Fun With Manuals - Sony ST-DR5800ES

Posted on December 18, 2012 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (1)

When I get a new piece of gear – either personally or for review – one of the first things that I like to do is read the owner’s manual.


Yes, I know that this might very well be the geekiest form of entertainment on the planet, but I actually enjoy browsing through, checking out what the key new features are, looking at the specs, seeing what different se...

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Step 1: Amazon Cuts a Hole in the Box...

Posted on December 14, 2012 at 4:30 PM Comments comments (0)

There’s no question that Amazon is moving a lot of TVs. I mean, they frequently sell them at prices that are at or under wholesale, you can browse through dozens of reviews and find the set with the most “THIS IS THE SET THAT I OWN! SO IT’S THE MOST AWESOME! ANY OTHER SET IS FOR LOSERS AND NEWBS! ANY OTHER COMMENTS ARE FROM SPAMMERS AND HATERS! THIS SET IS THE BEST!!!!” comments by it and then click-to-order. All of this while sipping a beer at 2 in the ...

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12.12.12 - A Day for an Epic Ale

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (1)

All day on Twitter yesterday I was bombarded with messages and reminders that it was 12/12/12. And until that most unlucky of unlucky days – 13/13/13 – this would be the last time such a date happened in this century. So, what better beer to drink on such a day as an Epic Ale?


And what beer could possibly be more epic than a beer that ha

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It's Still Frickin' Illegal!

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

In a blog post by Gene Newman titled "Just play the damn movie!" he mentions his distaste for all the propaganda that’s forced upon viewers before the movie starts, including the threats of being “thrown in jail for sharing this movie because piracy is a major crime.”


While I agree with Gene th...

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Kaleidescape Opens Industry Leading Download Store

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (2)

If you could purchase movies over the Internet with precisely the same video and audio quality of a physical Blu-ray Disc or DVD, would you ever purchase a shiny, round disc again? Well guess what? This is now a reality.” – Kaleidescape


My first brush with Kaleidescape’s innovative disc-based movie server was back in 2002. I was one of the first reviewers to be sent the product for review, and I can recall ...

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Theo Kalomirakis: Interviewing a Home Theater Legend pt 1

Posted on December 9, 2012 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Several years ago – 2008 to be exact – I had the privilege of doing a feature story for Sound & Vision on Theo Kalomirakis, a man that can rightfully be called the Godfather of home theater. (You can read the original story here.)

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Theo Kalomirakis: Interviewing a Home Theater Legend pt 2

Posted on December 8, 2012 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

In 2008 I had the privilege of doing a feature story for Sound & Vision on Theo Kalomirakis, a man that can rightfully be called the Godfather of home theater. (You can read the original story here.)


I was able to speak with Theo for several hours discussing many topics while Theo reminisced a...

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A leopard can't change its spots...

Posted on December 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (5)

...and a Jerk can’t change his true nature.


Many years ago, when young(er) John was just starting out in this home theater industry, he crossed paths with someone we’ll call Mr. Menace.


Menace was building a fairly large new home and expressed extreme interest in having all of the latest and coolest technology of the day: A dedicated media room with front pro...

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What I'm Up To

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Taking a cue from the "Random Thoughts..." banner on my home page, where I said that this blog will “contain all the latest things I'm watching, doing or listening to…” I figure that I would give the current rundown on these very things…


So, here’s the December batch of What I’m…


Watching:

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