Shopping Cart
Your Cart is Empty
There was an error with PayPalClick here to try again
CelebrateThank you for your business!You should be receiving an order confirmation from Paypal shortly.Exit Shopping Cart

John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

CEDIA 2011: The Video Stuff (pt 1)

Posted on September 20, 2011 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (238)

As a home theater nut, the video portion of CEDIA is what really puts the peanut butter in my chocolate. Sadly, the show has definitely devolved over time; in the past, glorious ,financial windfall heydays of yesteryear – you know, before the pin was thrust into the economic balloon – there would be giant, mega booths competing for best demo of the show, blasting out SPLs that would make your cochlea both tingle and whither. There would be these sick dedicated scree...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2011: The Audio Stuff

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (4)

It occurs to me that I’ve already put up several CEDIA blogs and have pretty much avoided talking about ANY of the tech at the show. (Well, except for the Lutron shading thing. That was just too cool to pass up.) Lest anyone should forget, the one of the principal points of the CEDIA Expo is to show off all the latest and...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2011: Lutron's Industry Game Changer

Posted on September 16, 2011 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (3)

I’ll admit that it’s pretty easy to get jaded about cool toys as a technology journalist. I mean, we routinely see and experience systems that would make grown men openly weep like babies and make women utter contemptuous phrases such as, “Are you serious? There is NO WAY I will ever let you have that in this house. Ever.” I’ve sat through multiple home theater demos where the systems cost more than a million bucks, and where ...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2011: The Social Media Panel

Posted on September 15, 2011 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (4)

Perhaps you’ll recall that prior to CEDIA, I mentioned that this year I was going to do something that would be new for me in the history of CEDIAs I have attended so far. (Twelve I think.) While I have taken my share of classes over the years, this would be the first time I would be pulling up a chair on the other side of the table and actually helping to...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2011: The Giveaways

Posted on September 13, 2011 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (2)

I’m sad to report that this CEDIA was one of the worst for gifts and handouts ever. In the past I’ve managed  to score suitcases full of various swaggery. So many T-shirts in fact that Dana implemented a one-for-one policy; for each new shirt added, one old one had to be discarded. Lots of toys and tchotchkes and DVDs and CDs and journalistic-ey things like notebooks or fancy pens or random things like blankets and alarm clocks and binoculars. For the record, b...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2011: The Press Stuff

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 3:40 PM Comments comments (0)

As a “journalist” (I have to quote that because, well, Jeremy G hasn’t actually blessed me officially with the title yet. I think there is a ring-kissing involved and maybe a sword tap on each shoulder. Something.) part of the CEDIA life is covering different events. Stop one at the show is the press room to get your press credentials. This year, mine looked like this:

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2011: The Dinner Scene

Posted on September 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (4)

There are many cool things about being in the press corps. And, I’ll be honest, it's a real ego stroke to walk through the showfloor and have people come up to you. (It is even cooler when they aren’t asking your for directions or money.) At events like the CEDIA Expo, being a member of the press from a major pub is a bit like being a minor celebrity. Granted, it is like one of those TV reality show stars who is about 14:50 into their 15 minutes of fame, but a celeb...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2011: It has begun!

Posted on September 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (2)

For the next few days, I'm going to be in Indianapolis, Indiana site of this year's CEDIA (Custom Electronics Design & Installation Association) Expo. I'm excited because this is really one of my most favorite-est trade shows to attend; it is bigger than the regional-esque feeling EHX (or EH Expo; I can't remember how they phrase it) which you can walk easily in a few hours. A few hours that includes stopping to have several lengthy chats with whomever strikes your fancy or...

Read Full Post »

Miss-CES-ing Vegas

Posted on January 5, 2011 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

When I woke up yesterday morning, I looked at my watch and then said to Dana, “You know, this is the day that I would normally be flying to Vegas for CES.” That’s all. No weeping, no histrionics, just, you know, acknowledging the fact that this was the particular Tuesday that I would normally be flying into the great, big, neon-lighted, Vegas-ey west. But instead of boarding a plane, all full of Gold status swagger and my-kinda-town Flogging Molly, yesterday I...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2010 Tsotchkes

Posted on October 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Back in the glorious, pre-economic meltdown days of the swinging Early-Double-Oughts, you could count on returning from CEDIA with a backpack, NAY! A suitcase filled with swagoliciousness. And being a card carrying (more specifically a card-handing-outing) member of the most power A/V publication going, walking into a booth was much like the local Don coming to pay a visit.

“Oh, Don Sciacca. We thank you...

Read Full Post »

Guess who's back? Back again? Runco's back! Tell a friend

Posted on September 29, 2010 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (2)

3D’s created a monster, ‘cos nobody wants to see 2D no more they want 3D. 2D’s chopped liver. Well if you want 3D, then this is what I’ll give ya, a little bit of Runco mixed with some big picture. Some eyewear that will calm down your eyes quicker...


OK, enough with the Real Slim Shady. If there was anything I learned at the CEDIA Expo this year it was this: Do NOT attempt to walk to ...

Read Full Post »

Leaving Atlanta - The Hard Way

Posted on September 26, 2010 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (2)

Wake up this morning at the ungodly hour of 6:15 AM (honestly, I never really sleep well when I’m out of town; after 15 years I am conditioned to having Dana’s soft body next to me, ready for her sleeping hand to rise of its own self-aware accord and bat away any attempted gropes throughout the night, and sleeping alone in a strange hotel bed, in a strange hotel city with a strange, urgent assignment hanging over my head for the next morning doesn’t add up to a peaceful nigh...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA - Story #1 - This whole thing is antennas!

Posted on September 26, 2010 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I realize that I've cited my antenna disdain quite a bit recently in the blogs recanting my CEDIA exploits and then mentioned the amazing story that I managed to pluck from the possible rubble which is trying to cobble something interesting about antennas. Much like how an incredibly expensive and delicious truffle grows in mounds of pig poop. So, I figured I would share the story with you so you too can enjoy the brilliance which is Sciacca on antennas. (Take this with a ...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA Day 3 - The long, slow Nooooo!

Posted on September 26, 2010 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The day started off innocently enough. I hadn’t stayed out too late, I hadn’t got too much of a drunk on, I didn’t have any crazy early appointments, and I didn’t have any looming antenna events hanging all Sword of Damocles like over my every step. So I head down the elevator and as I’m walking out the door I see that the CEDIA shuttle bus is there. So I break into this slow, loping trot to make sure I get the bus. But due to the incline the bus i...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA Day 2 - Feet, no mercy for you!

Posted on September 25, 2010 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

As I write this, it is 11:40 PM on Thursday, which means that I’ve been up and quasi on-the-go for about 17 hours now. I’ve got some Michael Franti (Say de rude boys are back een town. Rude boys!) going on the Renaissance’s iPod integration radio and the blood in my feet has momentarily stopped screaming as I’ve elevated them somewhat at or near heart level so that I can finally concentrate on something other than their muffled shrieks of pain and discon...

Read Full Post »

CEDIA 2010 Expo Update

Posted on September 24, 2010 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I’m hoping that at least one of you faithful readers out there has been like, “Where’s John?! My God, I hope he’s OK! I’m starting to get the no new blog twitches!”


Wow! It has been a BUSY, action-packed couple of days here in Atlanta! After getting to bed after midnight last night, I’m actually up at 6 AM to shower, dress and write for a bit before resetting the clock and ...

Read Full Post »

On the road to CE-CE-CEDIA

Posted on September 22, 2010 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Left today for the 360 mile trip to Atlanta for the CEDIA Expo, and despite the fact that my Magellan GPS has repeatedly proven itself to be a spiteful and vindictive guide in the past – much like an evil Sacajawea that really is only curious in seeing how big of pile of white-man heads she can pile up – I “agreed” to follow its turn suggestions. Look, I suck at directions. Like suck-diddily-uck. Normally I rely on Dana who has been called – by her...

Read Full Post »

Peter Hoagland: PR Negotiator!

Posted on August 5, 2010 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (5)

That time of year is coming up again. The time when thoughts turn to long days indoors, strolling crowded halls filled with men in suits, man-boys in grubby jeans covered with tattoos and with bizarre hair and piercings, and oddly under-dressed, semi-attractive women asking if you'd like a demonstration. That time, of course, is the CEDIA Expo and it is -- sadly -- once again in Atlana this September. (Because nothing says, "Welcome!" like Atlanta at the height of summer humidi...

Read Full Post »