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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca


Product Reviews

Links to different products that I have reviewed.

An exclusive look at the PRIMA Cinema system which lets you watch first-run Hollywood films in the comfort of your own home!

Ever wonder what pre-amp and amp combo I use in my own theater? It's these two. And they sound frickin' amazing! Great dynamics, amazing surround, and the ability to go to 11!

Want to take your home theater to an 11? Add a D-BOX motion platform! I guarantee that movies will *never* again be the same!

I take a look -- and listen! -- to Martin Logan's high-end foray into the soundbar market. Verdict: Impressive!

DISH Network housewide DVR system may very well reinvent the way that you watch TV. With 3 HD tuners and 2 TB of storage, this might be the last DVR you'll ever need!

The latest additions to Control4's automation system. These new controllers feature more power and HDMI outputs. Plus you can do video intercom on the color touchscreens. Tres cool.

This plays high-res audio and sounds every bit as good as it looks. Which is awfully good.

Yes. It's true. This is the mount that punched me in the face and sent me to the doctor. But, I hold no animus towards it. It's still a revolutionary step in TV mounting technology.

Want to impress the crap out of your friends and family? Get motorized shades. That you can retrofit into any home. Cause they run on battery power. And tie-in to your automation system. The Awesome!

Combine a great sounding speaker, with a built-in amplifier and Apple AirPort and you've got the makings for one cool, entertainment hub!

Why would you consider buying a dedicated music server? Read about this and maybe you'll understand.

Two ways -- wired and wireless -- to get HDMI from your source to your display.

A combo -- especially DAC -- that performs nothing short of sonic magic!

My exclusive hands-on review on Kaleidescape's new 300 disc combo vault/player! (more)

A minimalist listening dream! This combo gives amazing audio performance in a teeny-tiny footprint!

OK. TV mounts are rarely cool. But, this one is! Trust me. If you have a TV that needs to go in a slightly off-center location, this could be the *perfect* solution!

After great skepticism of the whole "3d thing" I spend a whole day with Runco's double-stack projector solution...

Industrial grade surge protection at the panel level. Probably one of the most surefire surge elimination systems on the market.

Lexicon's new 8-channel, digital power amplifier proves big things can come in tiny packages!

The first product collaboration following the Meridian-Sooloos purchase. And even sweeter music server!

A review of Audyssey's professional calibration suite for maximizing your room's sonic performance.

 Kaleidescape Modular Disc Vault

The missing link in the Kaleidescape Blu-ray streaming chain is no longer missing. I give the Disc Vault a thorough vetting...

 Disney WOW! System Optimization Disc

I take a thorough look at the new Disney WOW! Blu-ray for system calibration. Is it a "Wow!" or a "Whoa!"?

Panamax BlueBOLT IP enabled surge

Why would you ned to have IP control over your surge protector? Why indeed!

Olive 4HD Music Server

A relatively inexpensive, audiophile music server that can support 96/24 high res music files.

Yamaha YID-W10 Wireless iPod Dock

Yamaha's YID-W10 is one of the coolest accessories to come along for the iPod

Lutron RadioRA2

Lutron's brand new wireless, lighting control system, RadioRA2

NuVo Renovia Distributed Audio System

NuVo's powerline audio distribution system, with a name that sounds like a skin regenerator!

 Russound Collage Powerline Audio System

My review of Russound's new housewide audio system distributed over your home's existing electrical cabling.

Kaleidescape Blu-ray Player

A link to the review I did for Kaleidescape's new M500 Blu-ray player.

Sony 400-Disc Blu-ray Changer

A detailed review of Sony's latest ES-Series 400-Disc Blu-ray Changer.

Marantz IS301 iPod Dock

My review of Martantz's IS301 Bluetooth Wireless iPod Dock.

 Sunfire TGM100

Sunfire's entry into the movie/music server category.

Kaleidescape Mini System

Kaleidescape's latest system update---the Mini System!

Linksys by Cisco Wireless Music System

Linksys by Cisco's Premier Wireless Audio kit for distributing music around your home.

Vudu XL2

A super cool way to stream High Def movies.

Sooloos Music Server

One of the coolest music servers out there....Sooloos!

Niles ZR-6 Multi-room audio

A review of Niles new ZR-6 iPod friendly multi-room audio system.

 Acoustic Research HDP100

HDMI signals run over your home's powerlines.

Universal Remote Control MX-980/MSC-400

A powerful remote control combo from URC.

Niles iC2 Theater Controller

The replacement to the long-heralded IntelliControl from Niles is here.

Elan System 8

Elan's System 8 multi-room audio/video distribution system.

Fusion Research Genesis Movie server

Fusion Research serves up the Genesis for movie and music distribution.

Sonos 150 Bundle

The Sonos 150 music bundle might be one of the most powerful DIY music systems ever!

Universal Remote Control MX-450

Universal Remote's computer-less programmable remote.

 Soundcast Outcast

Outdoor audio made easy.

 HD Glasses

An Internet Spam offer just too good to pass up!

 Qsonix Wurlitzer Digital Jukebox

The coolest looking music server around.

Crestron Adagio Entertainment System

My review of Crestron's Adagio system.

 SpeakerCraft MODE

SpeakerCraft's MODE audio distribution system.

Russound ComPoint Intercom

An ingenious intercom system from Russound.

 Lutron AuroRA

Lutron's new, low cost lighting solution.

S1 Digital

A high-end media-center solution.

Harmony ONE

Is Harmony's latest remote really, The ONE?

Custom Installer Columns

Links to my monthly "The Custom Installer" column.

Getting the Best Bass Out of Your Sub.

Part of a series I wrote on improving bass performance.

Maximizing Your System

6 Tips for getting the most out of your current system with spending little or no money.

Showing Your Cards

Sharing your budget can help your system designer get the best system for your buck.

Ultimate Media Center Install

Why Microsoft's Media Center can be the hub of your A/V and automation system.

 Two Screens are Better than One!

Why having two screens can be the perfect solution.

 Serving Up DVDs

Why hasn't movie-serving caught on?

Surviving Tough Times

Recession tips for both installers and home owners.

Cat5 - Miracle wire?

All the handy-dandy things that you can do with a $.20 cent a foot piece of Cat5 wire.

Ways to Hide Your Sub

Nobody likes that big, black, bass cube. Here's some tips on hiding it!

It All Adds Up

The potential high-price of change orders mid-job.

 The Art of the Demo

Many stores are losing the fine art of giving a killer demo.

 Put it There!

Finding the right cabinetry for your A/V gear can make all the difference.

 Are You Ready to Retrofit?

Retrofitting new technology into an existing home can be tough. These are some things an installer will look at.

 Distributing Audio for Audiophiles

There's no reason why distributed audio can't sound great.

 Keep It Moving

A project manager can insure that your job goes smoothly.

Feature Stories

Links to feature stories that I have written.

Aston Martin DBS Sound System

My feature story of my weekend spent with the new Aston Martin DBS.

My Theater Makeover

Ever wonder what my personal system looks like? Wonder no more...

In-Ear Headphone Face-Off

Four Sound + Vision editors weigh-in on different headphones.

CEDIA Gear Hall of Fame

The first 10 inductees into CEDIA's Gear of Fame.

Walt Disney's New Theater Furniture

I attended the launch party of Theo Kalomirakis's new theater furniture line for Walt Disney.

Making of The Force Unleashed Video Game

My trip out to Lucas Ranch to go behind-the-scenes of the new Star Wars video game.

Theo Kalomirakis: The Man Who Invented Home Theater

My interview and profile of Theo Kalomirakis, one of the most respected theater designers in the world.

THX Certified

The process to becoming THX Certified.

Choosing an Installer

A step-by-step guide to choosing the right installer for your job.

A/V Urban Legends

6 of my favorite Audio/Video Urban Legends debunked.

High Seas Theater

My overnight adventure aboard the USS Truman aircraft carrier.

 A Day in the Life

A typical day in the life of a custom!

 TV Calibration Demystified

Ever wonder what exactly goes into calibrating a TV?

Trinity Wall Street Audio Remodel

Following the events of September 11, the Trinity Wall Street Church, located just a block from Ground Zero, needed to totally redo their pipe organ system.

How To...

Links to a series of "How to..." articles that I have written.

Mount a Flat Panel TV.

A step-by-step on mounting your new flat panel.

Program a Remote Control

Programming a smart remote.

Install a Media Server

Getting your music onto a hard drive is just a few steps away.

Run Wire Through a Wall

Getting wire from A-to-B is the toughest part of most installs.

Set-up an A/V Receiver

The A/V receiver is the quarterback of your system and properly setting it up is imperative to proper performance.

Install an IR System

Ever wish you could control your gear behind closed cabinetry?

Calibrate Your HDTV

With a test disc and a little time, you can have your TV looking its best.

Position Your Home Theater Speakers

A little care in placing your speakers can yield big rewards.

Run Wire Like a Pro

Some tips for running wire the right way.

Soundproof Your Theater

Want to keep sound in (or out) of your theater? Follow these steps.

Create a Video Distribution System

Routing video around your home might be easier than you think.


Links to various blogs that I have written for other sites.

Residential Systems

A link to all the brilliant blogs I've written for Jeremy G over at Resi Systems

Theo's Roundtable

A link to blog's I've written at Theo's Roundtable

Sound + Vision Blog

A link to blogs that I have written for Sound + Vision's Website.