Everyone is trying to incorporate some type of streaming media into the home theater systems these days. Pioneer Electronics doesn’t want you to squeeze another box into the AV cabinet. Instead, they are packing a whole lot of streaming video and audio options into a new line of receivers.
Pioneer just announced plans to release five new audio/video receivers by the end of March. Besides offering streaming from services like Pandora, each one will be “Roku Ready,” which means it has an HDMI port that supports MHL, as well as the Roku Streaming Stick. Just plug the pint-sized Stick into the port on the back of the receiver and you can stream over 1,000 different channels of movies, TV shows, news, sports, and much more. Users can also navigate through that massive selection using each receiver’s respective remote or the new iControlAV5 app.
All five receivers also have other new enhancements, including support for HDMI 2.0. This latest version of the HDMI spec promises better signal bandwidth, up to 18Gbps. This incorporates perks such as 4K60p 4:4:4 color support and use with today’s 4K TVs.
If you want to get specific, the VSX-44 and the VSX-80 are 7.2-channel receivers under the company’s Elite brand. That means each one is specifically designed for the custom install market, with ways to get the component integrated into a whole-house system. Those features include RS-232 and IP Control (VSX-80), as well as multi-zone and multi-source features. It’s also worth noting that the VSX-80 adds in the ESS SABRE Premier Audio DAC, MCACC technology with a subwoofer EQ, support for high-resolution audio and 4K 60p Ultra HD content.
The 5.2 channel VSX-824, as well as the 7.2-channel VSX-1024 and VSX-1124, don’t get the Elite branding, but have many of the above features. Most notably, all three are Roku Ready and have support for the HDMI 2.0 spec. The VSX-1124 also gets the ES9006S DAC, the MCACC and subwoofer EQ, the high-res music support, and the 4K2K upscaling.
All of the above receivers also work with the aforementioned iControlAV5 app. This allows you to control the AVR from a variety of networked portables. The VSX-80 and VSX-1124 also get the added AV Scaling feature, which allows users to override a television’s native setting for easy adjustments on the video scaling.
Pioneer will start selling all five receivers by the end of March. The Elite VSX-44 and VSX-80 are priced at $500 and $700, respectively. The VSX-824 has an MSRP of $399, with the VSX-1024 priced at $499, and the VSX-1124 coming in at $599.
Pioneer’s VSX-1124 7.2-channel receiver.
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