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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Preemptive Problem Solving - Sharing the Tribal Knowledge

Posted on June 20, 2013 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

My favorite blogs to read are those where other installers share their personal experiences in the field and their interactions with clients. It helps us to see that big company, small company, young company or industry vet, luxury high-rise condo in Manhattan, or 1,000 square foot cookie-cutter development in BFE, things are pretty much alike all over.


Last week I read a blog by Heather Sidorowicz titled, “

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Steve and Edie 2.0

Posted on May 29, 2013 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Dana and I had the pleasure of seeing Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers play with very special guest Edie Brickell this past Monday night (May 27) at the North Charleston Coliseum.


Don’t feel bad if you weren’t aware that Steve Martin is an accomplished  banjo player (banjoist?), as that would just make you like 99% of the rest of the free world. (Apparently he is huge in North Korea. Kim Jung Un is a freak for s...

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Why Living-Room Theaters Don't Suck, Pt. 1

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

A month ago, I wrote a post called “The Death of the Dedicated Theater Room” that listed all the reasons why a theater in a multi-use space such as a living room or family room makes so much more sense than going with a dedicated room. Multi-use spaces are generally more welcoming and comfortable, don’t require an exodus from one location...

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Management Lessons Learned from Reality TV

Posted on May 28, 2013 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I’ll admit that watching reality TV is one of my vices. (Though, after coming clean about listening to Taylor Swift, I feel like I’ve pretty much thrown the medicine cabinet door wide open and invited you all to have a good long look.)


My particular brand of reality fetish has nothing to do with singing or dancing...

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Tracking the Mega Job - Part 2: The Setup

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Bringing you up to speed…


So, my custom installation company – Custom Theater and Audio – landed the biggest job in our 18 year history, both in physical size of the home (21,500 square feet under roof on one floor sitting on 4 acres of property just back from the ocean) and in financial scope of the job. I decided to chronicle the project over the next several months, the decisions I made in system design, the pr...

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Go Big AND Go Home! How to install a front projector

Posted on May 24, 2013 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

You’ve finally sacked-up and decided to take that next step into the home theater Big Boy club; you’ve made the decision to abandon that weak-sauce, girly-man flat panel display and go with a strong-like-bull front projector! First things first...bring it in. We gotta hug this bitch out. Congratulations! For today, you are a man!


So, now that you’ve made this momentous decision you’re probably...

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Install Like It's For You - A Song Parody

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

I had the unique, two-hours-only-a-parent-could-love, pleasure of attending my daughter’s ballet recital this past weekend. And if you’ve never had the opportunity, I can assure you that watching dozens of 4-12 year old girls dancing ballet and tap to covers of Michael Jackson hits is every bit as fun as it sounds. (Did I mention that there was no intermission? Or bar? And that it was two hours?)


Here's a picture of Lauryn-don...

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Terrapin Beer Co - Three Tripping Turtles

Posted on May 20, 2013 at 6:50 PM Comments comments (0)

See the TURTLE of enormous girth!

On his shell he holds the earth.

His thought is slow but always kind;

He holds us all within his mind.

On his back all vows are made;

He sees the truth but may’nt aid.

He loves the land and love the sea,

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Always Do the Right Thing

Posted on May 13, 2013 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Da Mayor: Doctor...


Mookie: C'mon, what. What?


Da Mayor: Always do the right thing.


Mookie: That's it?


Da Mayor: That's it.


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Top 10 Gnarliest Movies Ever - Woody Edition

Posted on May 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

I’ve mentioned my Definitive Technology rep, Woody, before. He is the one where we shared a Gay Chamsake at our local sushi bar, and then I think he *may* have proposed to me with a delicate selection of pastel colored sakes on another occasion…...

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Ingram Micro Expo: Plugged in to CE

Posted on May 9, 2013 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

The world’s largest technology distributor, Ingram Micro Inc., owners of CE distribution powerhouses AVAD and DBL Distributing, hosted a vendor expo for resellers this past week in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the absolutely beautiful Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort, a AAA 5-Diamond rated property. (You can read all about this ...

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The 5-Diamond Other Half and Desert Death Marching

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (2)

Last week, I attended a vendor expo in Scottsdale, Arizona hosted by Ingram Micro. Our awesome rep, Brian Whittington, solidly hooks this brother up with an invite to the event each year, and I dutifully repay the favor by attending and sending as much business his way as I can.


In the past, the expo has been held at The Talking ...

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4K: The Next Big Thing?

Posted on May 6, 2013 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Last week, I attended a vendor expo in Scottsdale, Arizona hosted by the world’s largest technology distributor, Ingram Micro, Inc. The theme of the expo was “Plugged In to CE,” and along with the manufacturers and venders on hand, Ingram invited representatives from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), including CEO Gary Shapiro, and senior research analyst Chris Ely.


Both guest speakers shared some interesting i...

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Your Home is Dumb; Making it Smart is Cheaper Than You Think

Posted on May 4, 2013 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (1)

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C Clarke


Home automation. Smart house. Advanced home control. If those words conjure images of lights mysteriously flashing on and off at random times or of fat piles of cash and sweaty technicians huddled over their laptops programming for weeks at a time, then you need to read on. The truth about home automation today is that techno...

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Top 10 Theater Design Mistakes - Part Two

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

As I wrote in Part One of this piece, I've been a custom installer for the past 15 years, and in that time I see people making the same home theater design mistakes over and over. And over.


And these are real-world systems costing between $10,000 to $50,000 where you can get an amazing home theater experience, but th...

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