March 08, 2011 by Lisa Montgomery
Home theater receivers are becoming increasingly multifunctional these days. Take Pioneer Electronics’ new VSX-1021 receiver. The $549 unit functions as a 7.1 home theater receiver, with the added capability of streaming music from a user’s iTunes library. Apple’s AirPlay technology is built in, so you don’t even have to connect your iPod, iPhone or iPad to the receiver; instead your tunes are transmitted wirelessly via Wi-Fi, courtesy of Pioneer’s optional AS-WL300 wireless LAN adapter, which is sold separately. The VSX-1021 is the first of eight AirPlay devices planned for 2011.
To stream the song to the receiver, a user touches the Airplay icon on their mobile device. The VSX-1021 appears as an available device; once selected, the receiver turns on and switches to the Airplay source to start the music playback.
For even greater entertainment value, Pioneer announced the availability of two new apps. Ideal for parties, the Air Jam app lets up to four iPhone/iPad/iPod users simultaneously connect to the VSX-1021 A/V receiver. Once Air Jam is launched, each device will display the list of songs and artists added by all the connected users. Each user can shuffle, select and control the playlist. If they like some of the songs on the other devices, they can purchase those songs directly at the touch of an icon.
Then, by using Pioneer’s iControlAV2 app, you can control the volume, bass, balance and room settings of the VSX-1021. The iControlAV2 app is designed to also allow iPad/iPod/iPhone users to control a compatible Pioneer Blu-ray player. Both the Air Jam and iControlAV2 apps are free through the iTunes store.
Other AirPlay-compatible receivers in Pioneers current lineup include models VSX-521 ($249), VSX-821 ($349) and VSX-921 ($449). In addition to being iPad/iPhone/iPod friendly, the receivers feature HDMI 1.4a support and are ready to pass 3D content from a Blu-ray 3D player or 3D cable or satellite box to any compatible display. Auto Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration and Dolby ProLogic IIz Decoding are included as well.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.
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