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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Pros and Cons of Owning a CI Showroom

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

When I started in this industry – back in 1998 for those keeping score at home – there were basically two types of CI firms: those with a showroom and those without whom we less-than-lovingly referred to as “trunk slammers.”


At the time, our company, Custom Theater and Audio, had a showroom we were renting; a space next to an interior decorator that we thought create a wonderful synergy as they would undoubtedly s...

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Client Billing: WWJD?

Posted on July 15, 2014 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Service calls are a large and important revenue generator for any custom installation business. In fact, those quick, “Can you come fix this?” or “I need a programming change” calls keep the trucks rolling and help many of us to stay in business in between the large projects. And there is an important cycle to the service call that must be maintained for us to continue to be successful in business: We do the work, we send a bill, the customer pays the bi...

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5 Lessons Installers Can Learn from a Craft Beer Giant

Posted on July 8, 2014 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Nearly every custom installer I’ve met also loves a good craft beer. (Shamless plug: Check out my blog dedicated to craft beer reviews!) Beer is almost always part of the tradeshows we attend; either as a booth enticement or afterhours party conversation lubricant. Beer is often a crew pit stop at the end of the work day, either to celebrate or commiserate over a hard install.


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AV Phone Call Nightmares

Posted on July 2, 2014 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (2)

Customer: Hi, this is Mr. X. Do you remember me?


Me: Umm, I think so… We did a job for you quite a few years ago, right?


Customer: Yeah. You put in a system for me in my new house about 5 years ago. And now my remote isn’t working. I need a service call.


Me: OK. Well, can you tell me a little about your system?


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What Integrators Need to Know About Dolby Atmos

Posted on July 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

With many customers migrating away from traditional multi-channel – 5.1, 7.1, 9.1 and even the full-magilla 11.1 – speaker offerings in favor of an all-in-one integrated soundbar, you might think that home theater surround formats peaked with DTS’ Neo:X which supports 11 simultaneous channels (the traditional 5-channel mix augmented with surround back, front height and front width). However, as with any technology that gets its start in the commercial cinema &...

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