John Sciacca  |  Nov 29, 2022  |  1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

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
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  |  1 comments

PRICE $660

High fidelity sound
Components sold separately
Easy setup
Built-in Roku 4K streaming
Cordless private listening mode
No Dolby Atmos support
Weak bass without the subwoofer

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.

Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 22, 2022  |  0 comments
Yes, there will be crazy blow-out deals on Friday, led by low-end loss-leaders to get you in the store (thanks but no thanks), but everyone knows Black Friday deals are already here as companies vie for your attention in the hopes of boosting sales in the almighty fourth quarter. Here’ a smattering of some of the better deals that can be had online today. Happy shopping.
Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 22, 2022  |  0 comments
At the height of European colonial ambitions in Africa, two of Great Britain's key colonies there were Cape Town, at Africa's southern tip and, north of there, Natal. The latter abutted Zululand. The Zulus, a powerful warrior nation, was created from local tribes conquered earlier in the century by the iconic Zulu chief, Shaka. )...This superb 1964 film Zulu...depicts ...the battle of Rorke's Drift...It can still be viewed via streaming, but instead I seriously recommend the 50th anniversary Blu-ray release (in the red jacket shown above). The stereo audio on this disc is satisfactory though underwhelming. But its widescreen videos is exceptional...
David Vaughn  |  Nov 21, 2022  |  0 comments

Kaleidescape Scenes
Game of Thrones is arguably one of the best TV shows in history — well, at least the first six seasons — and became a cultural phenomenon when it hit HBO in April 2011. It would go on to produce a total of eight seasons and one of the most controversial endings one could ever dream up. Co-creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were ripped to shreds on the Internet — and rightfully so, in this writer’s opinion — leaving viewers to wonder what effect this would have on further projects set within the universe George R. R. Martin crafted in his popular book series.
Dennis Young, Mark Henninger  |  Nov 18, 2022  |  0 comments
It’s been seven long years since I last attended Capital Audiofest, the largest high-end audio show on the east coast of the U.S. This year’s show took place on November 11-13 at the Twinbrook Hilton in Rockville Maryland, which is the same venue as my last visit. The show grew significantly in the interim, with five full floors of the hotel taken up by demos, but it maintains the same casual look and feel and a strong focus on two-channel, audiophile-centric systems.