John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Why 3-D IS and ISN'T Dead

Posted on November 1, 2013 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

There was a time not that long ago when you couldn’t walk 10 paces at an electronics’ trade show without being bombarded by some TV huckster wanting you to see their latest 3-D demonstration.


There would be people lined up like cattle at a feeding trough, crowding around for their turn to grab a pair of glasses and then stand ogling a screen playing an endless demo loop of some carefully selected, overly-bright eye-popping 3-...

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Singling Out Trader Joes Beer Singles

Posted on October 30, 2013 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

While not specifically mentioned by name, White People do love them some Trader Joe's. (Which is kind of just lumped under Whole Foods and Grocery Co-Ops as stuff white people like.)


White People also like Microbreweries. To whit:


"White people don’t like stuf...

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The Best Speaker Tech You Never Think Of

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The other evening, as I was tip-toeing on top of a chair from our dining room, using a paper clip and the smallest screwdriver I could find trying to pry loose the grille of an older in-ceiling speaker I wanted to replace without totally destroying the grille or falling off the chair, I realized just how far architectural audio speaker technology had come. And I’m not talking about new Rohacell driver technology, and infinitely dense cabinetry bracing or super rare-earth ...

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Raid Flying Dog's Secret Stash

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM Comments comments (0)

"Good people drink good beer." - Hunter S. Thompson


A wonderful little package arrived on my porch the other day. Carefully wrapped inside was a new release from the good folks at Flying Dog Brewery, with the note starting, "To those who spread the gospel of craft beer..."


As one of the true believers in the many wonders of craft beer, I drank Flying Dog's latest offering, and share my findin...

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Turn Your Clients into Snobs

Posted on October 23, 2013 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

When I go to other people’s houses, I don’t like watching TV on their smaller screens and listening through their wimpy stereo sound systems. It feels like you’re watching TV while slightly blind and deaf.” – Allen Wong, “25 Things Rich People Won’t Tell You,” Reader’s Digest, October 2013


I’m not going to call myself “rich” by any means, but I wi...

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The Case Against the Integrated Thermostat

Posted on October 15, 2013 at 2:15 PM Comments comments (0)

One of the big announcements at the CEDIA Expo this year was Nest finally opening up its API for 3rd party integration, starting with Control4. Before the show, there was a lot of resentment and anger towards Nest for creating a product that was so cool, so cutting edge, so popular and Apple-like and yet one that wouldn’t interface with all of the systems that we install. (I might have been guilty of piling some of this on as well...)


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Tracking the Mega Job: Part 3 - The Pitch

Posted on October 14, 2013 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Bringing you up to speed...


Earlier this year, my custom installation company – Custom Theater and Audio – landed the biggest job in our 18 year history, both in the physical size of the home (21,500 square feet under roof on one floor sitting on 4 acres of property) and in financial scope of the job. I decided to chronicle the project over the course of our de...

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Gravity: Sandra Bullock's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Posted on October 13, 2013 at 6:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Oh, gravity is working against me

And gravity wants to bring me down.

 Oh twice as much ain't twice as good

And can't sustain like one half could.

It's wanting more

That's gonna send me to my knees.

Oh gravity, stay the hell away from me

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Stone Brewing Co - Suede: Smooth is as smooth does

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 6:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I get a lot of things in the mail – mainly packages with electronics to review – but nothing gets me more excited than seeing a small box with the “Stone Brewing Co.” return address. I mean, free frickin’ beer! It is literally the height of civilized awesome!


So, when I saw a package by the front door, I gingerly carried it to the kitchen, pulled out my “has a taste for blood” Leatherman and care...

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CEDIA 2013: Looking Back on Expo - Trends and Tech

Posted on October 9, 2013 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

It takes about a full week to decompress from the CEDIA show. After spending three solid days wandering aisles under the uncompromising glare of arc sodium overhead lighting, and having your body bombarded with enough WiFi waves to make David Banner squirm, you come home so overloaded with the sights and sounds of Expo, it takes a bit to just…(deep breath)…sit back and process it all. Well, I’m done processing, and here is my wrap on some of the trends ...

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Watch out, Cali Lewis! Sciacca video interviewer!

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (1)

So, @TreyTweeting reached out to me on Twitter prior to the CEDIA Expo and asked if I would be willing to stop by some booths while he shot some video of me. I said, sure, why not. (Actually I procrastinated for several days while I tried to put my show schedule together.)


So I showed up to our meeting fully thinking that I was going to be filmed while he asked me what I thought about various products when Trey explained that, no, I woul...

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CEDIA 2013: Looking back on Expo - The Best Demos

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 10:05 AM Comments comments (0)

It seems that just days ago, all we could talk about was the upcoming CEDIA Expo in Denver, Colorado. Planning for Expo, getting to Expo, how to party at Expo… Then, with the speed of Gigabit data rushing through a Cat6 cable, Expo was upon us, and if you made it to Denver then you doubtless have some memories or made Expo memorable to you. And I certainly welcome you to share your thoughts in the comments section; honestly, one of my favorite things about attending the s...

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