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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Five Non-Million-Dollar Ways to Improve Your Theater

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (2)

HGTV’s Million Dollar Rooms recently featured home-theater-design Jedi Theo Kalomirakis showing off one of his classic designs, The Ziegfeld. The entire 3,000-square-foot theater space was, of course, gorgeous, with a nearly six-figure custom-made neon and fiber-optic marquee, custom carpeting costing more than most people’s cars, and custom woodworking costing more than most people...

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It's Still Frickin' Illegal!

Posted on December 13, 2012 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

In a blog post by Gene Newman titled "Just play the damn movie!" he mentions his distaste for all the propaganda that’s forced upon viewers before the movie starts, including the threats of being “thrown in jail for sharing this movie because piracy is a major crime.”

While I agree with Gene th...

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Kaleidescape Opens Industry Leading Download Store

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM Comments comments (2)

If you could purchase movies over the Internet with precisely the same video and audio quality of a physical Blu-ray Disc or DVD, would you ever purchase a shiny, round disc again? Well guess what? This is now a reality.” – Kaleidescape

My first brush with Kaleidescape’s innovative disc-based movie server was back in 2002. I was one of the first reviewers to be sent the product for review, and I can recall ...

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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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Kaleidescape App: Re-Rediscover your movie collection!

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (2)

How many times has this happened to you…

You’re over at someone’s house, say, babysitting their kids. You start browsing through their movie collection looking for something to entertain the little youngins. As you are flipping through the titles you spot an interesting sounding film. You think to yourself, “Hmm. This is the fourth movie in the series; that must mean that the first three were also good, so chances...

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The Force is Strong...with Disney?

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.

OBI-WAN: That boy is our last hope.

YODA: No..there is another...

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Boss Install: Black Diamond Anamorphic

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

It’s no secret that I love anamorphic front projection systems. (For a thorough primer on what an anamorphic front projection system is, why it is so wicked-awesome and to see how it affects the video frame, click this link.)

There have been three principal reasons making it diffic...

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Seeing Star Wars for the First Time, Again

Posted on August 26, 2012 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (1)

Obi-Wan: That boy is our last hope.

Yoda: No. There is another... The Empire Strikes Back

I first saw Star Wars in 1977. I was 7 years old. And I think it will be one of those memories that I will carry with me until the day the day that I die.

My parents were shopping in Carmel, California and they dropped my cousin and me off at this small th...

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The Art of the Perfect Demo

Posted on July 19, 2012 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (2)

Demonstration (noun) - An explanation, display, illustration, or experiment showing how something works

A well-crafted demo delivers an incredibly powerful, emotional experience that can stay with someone for years. In fact, I can still clearly remember the first time I experienced a home theater system. It was not a formal demo per se, but was at my friend Travis's house. His father had just purchased a new surround system and we ...

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D-BOX MFX Theater Seating System

Posted on July 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (32)

I’m going to start this review by stepping back in time a bit...

Back to the days of the epic CEDIA booth. Back to times when Runco reigned like a conquering king and would pair with giants like Krell and Stewart and California Audio Technology (CAT) to build virtual cities that would then show the most amazing 15 minute demos at the CEDIA Expo. People would line-up like it was a ride at Disneyland and then wait hours to get a shot ...

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Walt Disney's Animation Innovations - Part 1

Posted on June 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (2)

I love Walt Disney, and I’m doing my darnedest to instill that love into Lauryn as well. We recently took her to her first trip to Disney World where we spent three great days at the parks. And several months ago our family went on a

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We're not so different, you and I...

Posted on March 21, 2012 at 4:45 PM Comments comments (0)

There’s been some kinda-sorta negative stuff going around on the Interwebs lately about Kaleidescape and their awesome media server. They were handed down a pretty negative judgment at the first of the month which may or may not impact them from being able to continue selling their product in its current, DVD-importing form. (Kaleidescape is hopeful that the verdict will be stayed pending their appeal, which has already been filed.

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I'm not a conspiracy theory guy, but...

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (2)

In general, I don’t want to hear about second gunmen or grassy knolls, or missiles into the Pentagon or bombs pre-loaded into the Trade Center buildings. I hate all of that nonsense. For most things, I subscribe to the Occam’s razor theory, being that when presented with multiple hypotheses, generally the simplest explanation is usually the right one. However the coincidence of Wal-Mart announcing TODAY a new “Exclusive Disc-to-Digital Service” seems jus...

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Kaleidescape Verdict: IT IS SO ORDERED!

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Updated! Scroll to bottom for new update 5:20 PM, March 15, 2012

That booming sound you may have heard yesterday was the echoing ripple of a bit of your electronic freedom and innovation being smashed under the heavy-handed gavel of Judge William J. Monahan of the California Superior Court.

As I wrote several weeks ago in my

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Pushed off the Episode I fence

Posted on February 13, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (6)

As you likely know Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace was re-released to theaters this past Friday. In addition to little bits cut back in – identical to the recent Blu-ray release from what I’ve read – the big news is that this release is the first Star Wars film to be released in 3D. (I’m going to avoid the obvious, long-hanging Jar Jar in 3D jokes here.) And I have been straddling the fence about whether to pony up and go see this or not....

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DVD CCA 1, Kaleidescape and Innovation 0

Posted on February 1, 2012 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. B...

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George did NOT rape your childhood

Posted on January 5, 2012 at 4:35 PM Comments comments (0)

No one raped my childhood, least of all George Lucas. And, quite frankly, if some metaphorical version of George Lucas wanted to have sexual congress with some metaphorical version of my childhood, it would be the most beautiful, consensual of lovemaking.” -- Joe Nussbaum, Director George Lucas in Love

We watched a documentary the other evening entitled “

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Sony: 4k from Lens to Living Room

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (1)

AKA: Why Sony is uniquely positioned to deliver the next level of home entertainment.

Some of the biggest news out of CEDIA this past September was talk of higher resolution – 4K – projectors; namely the new model from Sony and the four offerings from JVC.  And whether you l...

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