Pioneer VSX-1020-K 7.1 Home Theater Receiver

I tend to do a lot of research before making a large purchase decision and as far as Pioneer VSX-1020-K 7.1 Home Theater Receiver is receiving a reception pretty pink!

This is the predecessor, the 1019, CNET and Gizmodo is the top mid-range receiver. Both reviewers had such high hopes for 1020, and Gizmodo is calling it the best receiver $ 550 to buy, say 1020 "hit the sweet spot" that gives buyers the most bang for buck.

The critics I read all raved about the sound quality is excellent, but 1020 brought some new offerings to the table for mid-range receiver.

In short, the most valuable features you get with this model is that you do not get to the next step down is:

1. An HDMI port on the back of the fifth, sixth addition in front (for digital cameras, computers, etc.).
2. Analog video upscaling (which I do not really care about because most of my HD content is played through player or upscaling).
3. The iContolAV iPhone app. Very cool for controlling volume and switching inputs. Working only with a receiver you connect to the network and your iPhone is connected to the network via WiFi. Some times the app has encountered a problem with the correct link, but it usually works well.
4. Internet radio with programmable station, which is cool, although you currently can not control the choice of stations from the iPhone App, unfortunately.
5. A configuration interface for color output to your TV via an HDMI output. I can not imagine trying to configure all my speakers without seeing a graphical representation of their location on the screen.

Features the latest features, HDMI 1.4 ports that support 3D, 7.1 surround capabilities, excellent sound quality and the iPhone App is what makes the VSX 1020, the obvious choice for me. I also appreciate the automatic calibration with included microphone and an iPod cable included / compatibility, but they are not as strong selling points.

Only negative note for me is that the small port of the front cover is a little cheap. This is not even a door, just a small plastic piece that pops out if you push one side. I, like others, also experienced a problem where the receiver to switch to TV / Sat when first turned on, but I have not determined whether it is a problem with the receiver itself or my Harmony universal remote (I will update my review for more information) .

One last tip to the buyer, however. If you're considering listening to music via a Bluetooth phone with the purchase of US-BT100 adapter $ 99, I will consider to buy a $ 99 Apple Airport Express (assuming your music is managed through iTunes).

It lets you stream music from your computer to the recipient via WiFi and control what is playing through iTunes or strong Apple "Remote" iPhone app, but more importantly Airport Express to act as a USB print server and a wireless bridge one port (something that lets you connect wired devices to the wireless network).

That the wireless bridge capability is very valuable, because you will need it or something similar for Internet radio and support iControlAV iPhone app if you VSX-1020 receiver is not close to a wireless router (I do not). Airport Express Buying kill two birds with one stone.

Technical Details
  • Front USB connectivity provide iPod, touch, and iPhone users ultimate plug-and-play integration of their Apple products with their home theater
  • Simple connectivity to high-performance HD video, HD audio, portable, internet, wireless, and analog components
  • The latest version of HDMI inputs and outputs provide more HD connectivity options with "future-proof" 3-D capability
  • 1080p video conversion and upscaling ensures the highest quality video from any source

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