LATEST ADDITIONS

Mark Henninger  |  Dec 01, 2022  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $29.99

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Quick and easy setup
Excellent picture quality when upscaled on a 4K TV
Connects to TV USB for power
Voice control, private listening, and hidden control with mobile app
Minus
It only supports up to 1080p high-definition resolution
Is not Dolby or DTS enabled, requires pass-through
It cannot be hidden behind the TV
No volume buttons, microphone, or TV control on remote

THE VERDICT
With its Roku OS simplicity and surprisingly good performance for an HD streamer, it’s an excellent choice for anyone looking for a budget device to go with a second TV.

Considering its low price, it wouldn't be fair to compare the entry-level Roku Express with higher-end 4K models. This 1080p streamer isn't trying to be the best in the market, but it does an excellent job for what it is—a value-priced HD player. When the Roku Express goes on sale, it's an easy choice as a gift or to go with that legacy TV in the second room.

Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 01, 2022  |  0 comments
McIntosh’s new Hybrid Drive technology brings vacuum-tube and solid-state amps together in one component for the best of both worlds.
Howard Kneller  |  Nov 30, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $999

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Stellar performance
Full feature package
Small physical footprint
Killer price
Minus
Small, monochrome display
Modest power rating

THE VERDICT
A small, but technology and feature-rich all-in-one component that delivers large and impressive sound at a fraction of its expected price.

Like many, I've embraced music streaming, but refuse to give up my CDs and LPs. As a result, my stereo system contains multiple components and a thicket of wires. For people who won't tolerate such complexity, Panasonic's Technics has thankfully introduced the SA-C600 streaming CD receiver ($999). This impressively small component features an integrated amplifier, a streamer, a CD player, a phono stage, an FM tuner, and a headphone output.

Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 30, 2022  |  0 comments
And you thought the hi-fi record console was a thing of the past. Nope. San Diego-based Wrensilva today introduced a limited-edition version of its compact Loft console.
John Sciacca  |  Nov 29, 2022  |  0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q When I’m streaming 4K through my Roku Ultra, I occasionally get an onscreen warning that says “not 4K-compatible.” I also have a Panasonic DP-UB9000 Ultra HD Blu-ray player but there’s no issue with it. Every check I make shows that I am set up properly for 4K streaming and my Wi-Fi signal to the Roku is great. Any ideas? It’s making me crazy. —Michael Henn, via email

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 28, 2022  |  1 comments

Tom Petty always, always knew how to ensure the music he made over the course of his long and storied career would sound the absolute best it could during playback in any format. Petty’s longtime engineer and production partner Ryan Ulyate continues to both carry that torch and up the ante, as evidenced by his stellar mixing of all 18 tracks found on Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ November 1993 Greatest Hits collection in Dolby Atmos. Recently, Ulyate and I got on Zoom together to discuss how he created the stems for these Atmos mixes by accessing the original masters, which songs on Greatest Hits are the most immersive and why, and what Tom himself would have said upon hearing his music in Atmos—perfect topics all for deep-dive coverage in this month’s Spatial Audio File, methinks, so read on. . .

Ken C. Pohlmann  |  Nov 28, 2022  |  1 comments
Trinitron, Betamax, Walkman, PlayStation, Compact Disc, MiniDisc, Blu-ray – and EV. Yes, you read that right. In the not-so-distant future, you can pre-order your Sony Electric Vehicle. With a little help (or maybe a lot) from Honda, the proud block-letter logo of our favorite electronics company can now reside in your garage. And I'm not talking about that old Trinitron in the corner of the garage that you keep meaning to recycle.

Tom Norton  |  Nov 25, 2022  |  0 comments
Picture
Sound
Extras
The War of the Worlds was a huge movie hit in 1953, based loosely on H.G. Wells 1898 classic novel of an invasion from Mars. We're at the center of the action during our military's initial encounter with the Martians' unstoppable machines (the latter very different from Wells' tripod conception). Later we're trapped in a trashed farmhouse and get a frightening glimpse of a live Martian. In a gripping conclusion, the Martians appear on the verge of total victory.
Barb Gonzalez  |  Nov 23, 2022  |  0 comments
Take advantage of the Black Friday streaming deals if you need a new streaming device or want to try a streaming service. Significant savings are available on Roku, Amazon, Apple, and Chromecast, and even the Nvidia Shield is on sale. With prices about to go up on many streaming services, the Black Friday deals are the best time to lock in lower rates or get substantial discounts.  
Mark Henninger  |  Nov 23, 2022  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $629.96

AT A GLANCE
Plus
High fidelity sound
Components sold separately
Easy setup

Built-in Roku 4K streaming
Cordless private listening mode
Minus
No Dolby Atmos support
Weak bass without the subwoofer

THE VERDICT
The top-of-the-line soundbar system from Roku is full of cool features and gives you a surround-sound listening experience that is better than competing systems of similar cost. But it lacks support for 3D immersive sound like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X, and the Streambar Pro on its own is not nearly as impressive sounding as when it's part of a complete 5.1 system.

Soundbars have evolved from simple standalone add-on speakers for TVs into fully self-contained home entertainment systems able to deliver cinematic, immersive listening experiences. The catch is today's soundbar systems can get quite costly, often exceeding the price of the TV they might be connected to. With Roku's Streambar Pro, the cost of entry is only $179.99 for the soundbar itself, and you can expand the system from there. Granted, tricking it out with a subwoofer and four add-on wireless is almost four times the cost, but what you get is a very nice surround-sound solution that's easy to install, easy to use, and outperforms many similarly priced soundbars.

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