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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

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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Movie Servers: Not just for movie collectors

Posted on March 12, 2013 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

By this point, I feel I am a qualified subject matter expert when it comes to video servers. I have reviewed virtually every model that has graced the market, including quite a few that no longer exist and even a couple that were literally killed by the manufacturer while in my possession for review. (Oh, Escient Vision. The high hopes we all had for you! We waited so long, but, alas! You were just not meant to be!)


It’s also no sec...

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Best/Worst Pitch Ever!

Posted on January 29, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (3)

A friend forwarded an e-mail to me earlier today that was just too full of awesome not to share.


An email which caused audio/video journalist extraordinaire, Brent Butterworth, to say, “I've seen a lot of really bad unsolicited articles in my time, but this rises to a new level of bad.”


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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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Sierra Nevada: Rediscovering an old lover

Posted on September 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM Comments comments (0)

True story: there was NEVER any beer in our house growing up. My dad *hates* beer. In fact, I'm not even sure that "hate" is a word that accurately reflects his dislike of beer. The highest praise that he’s ever given to a glass of cold, malty-hoppy suds after taking the most tentative of sips was, “Well, this one doesn’t make me want to vomit.”


So, it probably points to something in our DNA that my brother and I ...

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Keely Pwns the Internet: Vol 1

Posted on August 27, 2012 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

My sister-in-law, Keely, is the master of all things pop culture and Internets related. There is never anything that I’ve seen/shared in which she hasn’t already seen it, seen the parody of it, and then seen other things even better than it.


I previously wrote this about Keely: "One of the real benefits of living in a home with no cable TV -- like my sister-in-law, Keely -- is that you have a lot of extra time for other thing...

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Almost Famous: The Celebrity Install

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

For most of us, celebrities travel about in a rarefied air that we barely have the opportunity to breathe. They are something to be viewed on screens big and small and on pages real and digital. But only so rarely to be glimpsed in the flesh.


When I worked at the country club in my former life, we had our occasional brushes with celebrity. Joe Montana visited – quite tall – as well as Clint Eastwood – quite thin and oh-s...

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Installation Nightmares - 9 Professional Horror Stories

Posted on July 8, 2012 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (1)

A couple of weeks ago, I was called out to look at a job. The house had already been pre-wired and now that the customer had moved in, he was ready to have some audio installed to – to borrow an over-used phrase – “make the house a home.” (A nice housewide audio system has a way of doing that though, don’t ya think?)


So I’m going through the home with him and he is explaining what he’d like me to...

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HiPhi at Bonnaroo: All the Fun, None of the Funk

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Walk the floor at a tradeshow like the CEDIA EXPO – held this September in Indianapolis and if you click here to register and use code CT07 at check-out you can attend the show for FREE! – and you will quickly notice that the A/V world is filled with what many outsiders would consider “unique&#...

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Music - The Soundtrack to Life

Posted on June 26, 2012 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

aka: A woman's journey to becoming the Tech Chick


Call it chauvinist or sexist or extremist or whatever other “ist” you care to use (well, maybe not "botanist" or "hairstylist") but for the most part, the audio/video industry is a man’s game.


(I’m adding this nice little paragraph space to allow tempers to cool, riled bloods to unrile and thoughts to tem...

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They ARE Giants in Providence

Posted on March 12, 2012 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

To know me is to know that I love – and HAVE loved – the band They Might Be Giants, or just TMBG. From the first moment that I discovered them – a cassette of Flood blasting on endless repeat over a giant, portable boombox back in the early 90s – I have been smitten. What other band can weave in deep, obscure literary references along with quirky riffs and hooks? Or have a song where “Minimum wage!” and a whipcrack are the entire thing? And d...

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"Never Tweet While Drinking at a Brewpub...

Posted on February 28, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

...because you may end up having to write a guest blog for John Sciacca.”


Verily, these words are true! So, I have a guest blog for you today, this one from one of my oldest and only remaining high school friends. (Come back to us, Pierre… Return from the Dark Side!)


So, I&#...

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Blue Bottle Coffee: Searching for the Tears of God

Posted on November 7, 2011 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (1)

Several years ago, I stumbled across a post -- it might been on Gizmodo -- about the world's most expensive coffee maker. I was fascinated by it and went out hunting down videos and information on just how this magical fusion of precision, splittling-the-atom level machinerey and old-world artisan craftsmanship of that blind guy from Kung-Fu worked. It was called a Siphon Bar. As you can imagine with a coffee maker that costs upwards of $20,000, there are gonna be a ton of thes...

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One woman's journey from Mac to PC and back again

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (6)

A couple of months ago I went through a bit of a tech upgrade dilemma; it had become time for me to buy a new laptop. My old HP had served me well for about 3 years, but after a running faceplant, sliding down the street tumble in Atlanta and a scalding coffee bath had taken their toll, I decided that with CEDIA mere days away it was time to splurge and get a new computador.


Computers are not something I really know, however, so before b...

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Meridian Audio in Film - The Art of the Placement

Posted on October 12, 2011 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (3)

I am fascinated with product placements in movies. Seriously. I *live* for those subtle things that so many other people just gloss over. Like the brand of watch that a character is wearing, or the bottle of wine on the table or perhaps the pen they use to sign a contract. Someone went to the trouble of hand-selecting each and every one of those items and likely put some thought into why the character would have or use the particular prop. And when done correctly, it totally fl...

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Wilkinson: Back into the breach!

Posted on August 3, 2011 at 6:16 PM Comments comments (0)

There is a special relationship that exists between hero and nemesis; between archetype and foil; between Holmes and Moriarty. Or, rather in this case, between Sciacca and Wilkinson.


If you’ve read any of my blog over the past 500 entries, chances are you’ve at some point stumbled across mentions of Herr Wilkinson, or perhaps just use of his Christian name, Darryl, or even the informal-est of all, “DW.” In fact, s...

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Attending Oprah's Final Favorite Things

Posted on June 6, 2011 at 1:43 PM Comments comments (3)

Checks in the mail with lots of commas and zeroes,

Watching good TV, like Season 1 of Heroes.

The joy that free scotch and airline upgrades can bring,

These are a few of MY favorite things…


I was out in San Jose last week having dinner with

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Real Life Kitchen Nightmare

Posted on May 31, 2011 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (1)

With little shame or guilt, I am able to freely admit that we watch a lot of TV. (OK, I don't exactly prance around wearing a "Fan of Teen Mom 2!" shirt. That's more Dana's guilt to bear.) And one of the shows that we got hooked on was Kitchen Nightmares. A spin off from the BBC show, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, this follows chef Gordon Ramsay around while he tr...

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Lauryn Presents the Kaleidescape Kid's Remote Experience

Posted on February 10, 2011 at 10:58 AM Comments comments (1)

I’ve talked at length about my love for the Kaleidescape Movie Server system, and really, what’s NOT to love. It has taken ALL of my movies – Blu-ray and DVD – and transformed them into digital space and then presents them in a beautiful GUI for easily selection and instant playback. Every time I turn it on, I discover some new cool aspect of the system or just reconnect with a movie in my collection that I had forgotten about. (“Oh, The Italian...

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