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101 of 121 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pioneer VSX-822-K OK but with room for improvement, and there are better options in that price range
I wanted a NETWORK receiver, controllable from my iPhone and with AirPlay, to play music in my living room replacing a PIONEER VSX-D912K which still works fine, but it is from the pre-ETHERNET, pre-AIRPLAY, pre-HDMI era, and I evaluated several receivers: PIONEER VSX-822K, DENON AVR-1613, ONKYO TX-NR616 and TX-NR515. Each of them has pros and cons. After reading reviews,...
Published on December 11, 2012 by FLmiami

versus
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware...
Like many of the other reviews on this product... the receiver worked great for 18 months, then boom... no good. Pioneer released a firmware update that could not be performed via the internet update. I followed their instructions exactly as they prescribed... downloaded the firmware update files and copied them to a reformatted USB drive.

The firmware update...
Published 8 months ago by B. Ross


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buyer beware..., June 3, 2014
By 
B. Ross (Atlanta, GA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Like many of the other reviews on this product... the receiver worked great for 18 months, then boom... no good. Pioneer released a firmware update that could not be performed via the internet update. I followed their instructions exactly as they prescribed... downloaded the firmware update files and copied them to a reformatted USB drive.

The firmware update started fine, but after about 2 minutes it displayed "Update Error 6". From this point many of the primary functions of the receiver no longer worked. I tried updating the firmware again, but the system menu for updating was disabled.

After creating a support ticket with Pioneer, I was advised to bring the receiver to a local service shop. I just got off the phone with that shop with an estimate of $668 to fix a "bad digital board".

WOW. Less than 2 years old on a lightly used receiver, and it is dead. While the right thing for Pioneer to do would be to support their product, even out of warranty... I don't expect they will. This is the second Pioneer receiver I've purchased, and will most likely be the last unless they do the right thing and stand by their product.

Edit #1: I just spoke with Pioneer support. The young lady on the phone was unbelievably dismissive and indifferent. In her words... Pioneer does not stand by the firmware updates and is not responsible for any thing that goes wrong during the update. She agreed that the firmware update was created and tested by Pioneer, but had zero interest in helping diagnose or talk through the issue to understand what was wrong with the receiver. This was a person, who sounded to me like someone who sits through way too many of these type of support calls and has reached the realm of "the customer is always wrong, and how do I get them off my phone line". No case number, no apology... I literally felt like someone at the DMV trying to get a driver's license for an imaginary friend with no documentation. Shame on you Pioneer.

Edit #2: After much persistence... I was able to get Pioneer to agree to cover the parts portion of the repair. I still had to cover the labor. This was an acceptable compromise in my mind. The biggest problem I had was the number of times that Pioneer failed to respond during the process. It took > 3 months to finally get the approval for the repair. All along the way, calls and emails were never returned. My receiver is repaired, but still seems a little flaky. This will be my last Pioneer product.
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101 of 121 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pioneer VSX-822-K OK but with room for improvement, and there are better options in that price range, December 11, 2012
By 
This review is from: Pioneer VSX-822-K 5.1-Channel Network Ready A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I wanted a NETWORK receiver, controllable from my iPhone and with AirPlay, to play music in my living room replacing a PIONEER VSX-D912K which still works fine, but it is from the pre-ETHERNET, pre-AIRPLAY, pre-HDMI era, and I evaluated several receivers: PIONEER VSX-822K, DENON AVR-1613, ONKYO TX-NR616 and TX-NR515. Each of them has pros and cons. After reading reviews, comparing specs, features, prices, etc., I bought the PIONEER because it met my requirements and it was heavily discounted in a local store during the Thanksgiving week 2012, offered at about $180. So, $200 (-53%) below MSRP, $100 below the DENON, and $170 below the ONKYO TX-NR616. At today's price (12/13/2012) $279 there are better options in that price range, such as Pioneer VSX-1022-K and Onkyo TX-NR515 at $299.

DENON AVR-1613

Advantages
- AirPlay
- Audyssey MultEQ is reportedly more comprehensive (better?) than PIONEER's MCACC
- Better iPhone APP than the Pioneer and also third party APP available
- Better On-Screen display than the Pioneer
- Simpler remote control
- Second best price of the three.

Disadvantages
- Cheap looking materials (plasticky top cover and front panel).

ONKYO TX-NR616 (the TX-NR515 is probably closer to the other two)
Advantages
- Audyssey 2EQ
- Rhapsody, Spotify, Last.FM, Slacker and other internet music services (in addition to PANDORA)((Nice feature!)
- Better iPhone APP than the Pioneer, and also third party APP available.
- Better On-Screen display than the Pioneer
- 7.2 (It's an advantage if you need it)

Disadvantages
- No AirPlay.
- The TX-NR616 is the priciest of the three. Probably worth it, for whoever needs its capabilities.
- The TX-NR515 was also pricier than the Pioneer, but it was an attractive option.

PIONEER VSX-822K

Advantages
- AirPlay
- Better case materials and construction than the DENON (stronger top cover).
- One more HDMI input than the DENON
- Best price of the four (heavily discounted Thanksgiving week 2012).

Disadvantages
- iPhone APP is basic, but good enough for day-to-day use.
- Dated (text) on-screen menus
- MCACC (not as good as Audyssey?)
- It does not have an upconversion/upscaling video chip (It's only a disadvantage if you have legacy source devices who would need this feature)
- Firmware can't be updated via ethernet. User must download the firmware file to a USB drive and use the USB port.
- Volume indicator is not in dB. It goes from 0 to 75? (ONKYO's scale in dB)
- 1 yr warranty (vs Onkyo's and Denon's 2 yrs)

PIONEER VSX-822-K FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I have only read a few selected pages of the manual (such as how to run the MCACC setup process, and how to do a firmware update), so some of my comments may or may not be entirely accurate.

One "issue" that caught my attention is that while you could set up and operate the VSX-D921K using its own LED display panel, this new receiver needs a TV in order to perform certain set-up functions and even to navigate menus and perform basic day-to-day functions using the standard remote control. Since it is an Audi-Video receiver, this should not be an issue for most potential buyers who will use it with a TV.

The on-screen menus are extremely basic. Just text. Like something from the days of MS-DOS. Outdated compared with the setup menus of any other current A/V device (TV, BD player, Apple TV). For example, entering the username and password of the PANDORA account takes a very long time due to a poor screen design and implementation where the user can only scroll up or down to get to the desired letters or numbers which are arranged in a vertical list (not displayed on the screen). In contrast, Apple TV has a much more efficient implementation with the letters and numbers in a matrix arrangement displayed on the screen that the user can navigate horizontally or vertically to get to the desired character faster. So, this is something that Pioneer should improve via a firmware update if possible. Fortunately, after setting up the receiver initially, the user won't have to use those set-up screens again.

For day-to-day operation, I use the Pioneer App for the iPhone to control it, navigate menus, and perform day-to-day operations and it works well.

Having said that, Pioneer's ControlAPP is very basic and there's room for improvement. I have an Onkyo TX-NR3008 in my home-theater and Onkyo's APP Remote2 is far more advanced, and it's the same for all their models. Pioneer offers this basic APP for their mid-level and entry-level receivers, and a more advanced APP for their high end receivers. I prefer the Onkyo and Denon single APP approach to PIONEER's two tiers APP.

SETUP
The MCACC speakers setup process is explained well in the manual and it took only a short time to complete. It uses a single listening point for the microphone. Not as comprehensive as Audyssey which is offered by DENON and ONKYO.

FIRMWARE UPDATE
It was easy to download from PIONEER website today, transfer it to a USB drive and update the VSX-822K following PIONEER's instructions.

NETWORK
It works well directly connected to the router via a CAT5E ethernet cable and also a TRENDNET TEW680MB WiFi to ETHERNET device. Previously, I had tried a cheaper NETGEAR WiFi to Ethernet device which was good enough for controlling it but not for streaming music, unless it was closer or within line-of-sight from the router.
The AirPlay feature works very well, and I can stream music from my iPhone flawlessly.
For PANDORA, I use the built in PANDORA station which also works very well now (after the firmware update of 12/11/2012); and I also use the MEDIA SERVER feature to play songs stored in a USB drive connected to my router. Very nice. I also tested the USB port to play music and it worked.
The Internet Radio also works very well. There are plenty of stations to choose from and Pioneer has a website where it's easy to setup a FAVORITES list, which are available in the receiver automatically[...]

POWER, SOUND, ETC
I am not an audiophile, and as indicated below, I use it mostly to listen to internet radio or mp3 music from my iPhone via AirPlay. It has enough power and the music sounds good to me through my Athena Auditon Series F1.1 speakers

UPDATE 12/13/2012
- At today's prices in AMAZON, the VSX-1022K is a better deal than the VSX-822K ($299.00 vs $279.00). Even if a user doesn't need or care for 7.2 capability (initially) or a video-chip, for just a $20.00 difference, it might be worth picking the VSX-1022K "just in case". And if AirPlay is not a must, then the ONKYO TX-NR515 offered at $299.00 is probably preferable to the VSX-1022K (Audyssey, better APP, better On-Screen menus, more internet music services, longer warranty 2 yrs vs 1 yr).
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For what I paid it does the trick. but here are a few pointers, July 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pioneer VSX-822-K 5.1-Channel Network Ready A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Just purchased the VSX-822K as a refurbished for less than $150. At that price I figured, even if I didn't love it, I could keep it for a year and replace.

My motivation for purchasing was to convert my video connections from analog to HDMI. (My TV is of the age that it has only one DVI input. Its HD but over 5 years old.) By connecting cable box, BD, and PlayStation to receiver via HDMI, and using HDMI/DVI cable, the configuration is now all digital.

I believe I am getting a superior picture now from the cable box, that was originally connected via YUV component cables.

I also am benefiting of being able to play Pandora through the receiver (see note below) and can control via my Android phone.

A couple of comments.
a) I believe that this product had a significant mid-model revision. Several pictures on line show "B" speaker outputs. My unit did not have this. (My old receiver supported this, but I never really used the speakers in the other room. We'll see if I miss them.)

b) I connected the receiver to the home WIFI using the NetGear Universal NIC that can be found for $20. I would recommend this approach to those who have a problem like I did of stringing Cat5 (ethernet) cable to the unit.

c) My unit required an update of the firmware to support Pandora. Go to the Pioneer site to get firmware and follow instructions.

d) VERY IMPORTANT. DO NOT SUFFER with trying to enter your Pandora user ID via the onscreen user interface. The receiver has a built in web service. To enter this information once the receiver is connected to your home network, point a browser from any of your computers to the IP address of the receiver. (You can find the IP address via network settings.) This is not documented in their user guide, (why I have no idea), and will save you from throwing the remote control at your TV.) I found this trick by googling. Pioneer did create a nice little youtube video showing how to do this.

e) I also already have a bluetooth receiver, (belkin) that like I did with my prior receiver simply connected via analog. I don't know how much Pioneer is charging for their digital version, but it probably will save you some money going that approach.
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51 of 64 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Failed twice, very disappointed, December 11, 2012
By 
F. C. Lacher (Albuquerque New Mexico) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pioneer VSX-822-K 5.1-Channel Network Ready A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I bought this receiver because of the fairly good reviews and the low price after doing a lot of research and perusing many sites. My requirements are low and I'm not an audiophile; just want a reliable, decent product.

Setup was pretty easy and so was connection via HDMI. Most functions work well and the sound is good for the price.

On testing the BD (Blu-Ray) conection,the receiver shut itself off while playing "Apocalypse Now-Full Disclosure" and the new "Lawrence of Arabia", although less frequently with the latter disk. This happened repeatedly with these 2 DVDs, causing me to say "Oh no! Another crappy electronic product from China."

After finally getting through to Pioneer "support" and waiting for 20 minutes, the "technician" I spoke with told me that the source material, meaning my DVDs, were overloading the receiver. Since this makes no sense-it was meant to play DVDs, wasn't it?-and he had no advice to offer, I took the receiver to the authorized local repair shop in town here.

They called this afternoon and told me the main board was defective and Pioneer could deliver a new one in 2 days, which I am awaiting.

It's pathetic that a new, out-of-the-box machine should be defective on delivery, but that's the modern world of mass produced electronics.

I will report further if this second board is also defective. If it is the unit
goes back to Amazon.If it works, I will crank up the star level.

UPDATE: The new board didn't solve the problem, so I returned the receiver to Amazon and got another-same model. See below.

UPDATE (12/23/12): The new machine works just fine and I have raised the star level to 3, still waiting to see whether it will last and whether I will have more Blu-Ray issues.Standard DVDS and CDS, USB connection, the tuner and my TV connections are fine.I have no internet connection as yet, so don't know about Pandora or Internet Radio.

I've also been led to believe that there may either a bad batch of "Apocalypse Now-full Disclosure" disks out there, or that my Panasonic Blu-Ray player is somewhat incompatible with this machine. I've found comments elsewhere in the Web relating to both of those possibilities.

For now, I'm playing it by ear and hoping for the best. Generally, I am pleased with the receiver.

UPDATE 12/29/12: The second receiver showed the same problems as the first; i.e. shutting off with some DVDs, however it also began shutting off when playing CDS in the DVD player. My conclusion is that there is a basic incompatibility between my Panasonic DMP-BD60 blu-ray player, or that the machine model has some internal flaw.
In any case, I shipped it back to Amazon yesterday, in disgust.

After the last shutoff, it wouldn't stay on after restart, so it seems that it either went into protect mode or something burned out. I was planning to test my older OPPO (standard) DVD player to verify my idea that the Panasonic was not compatible, but I couldn't since he receiver wouldn't stay on. GRRRR.

I am back in shopping mode for a reasonably priced receiver with not too many bells and whistles, but with HDMI and hopefully, Apple connectivity.

This has been a very disappointing experience.
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77 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Satisfied Customer, May 11, 2012
I have had my Pioneer VSX-1122-K for about a week now, and I love it. My previous receiver was a Pioneer VSX - 1021-K, and I had allot of HDMI handshaking issue's as well as a few other bugs that were very frustrating. Given all the issues I encountered with my previous receiver, I was hesitant to get another Pioneer. I am happy to say that I have NO issues with the VSX-1122-K at all! The handshaking issues are gone, and I have NOT encountred any bugs. The overall quality of the VSX-1122-K seems to be far superior to that of the previous model year. The Airplay feature is awesome and makes listening to my favorite music easy and convenient. The 2012 Icontrol application for the Ipad is very cool and allows you to turn up the bass or dilague during movies and TV shows without having to change any settings on the actual receiver. This model has a front HDMI port that allows me to hook up my HD video Camera without having to climb behind the TV stand with a flashlight. Pioneer also did away with the cheap looking, finger print collecting, high gloss plastic it has been using for the last few years, and upgraded to a nice black brushed aluminum face plate. I have not tried playing FLAC audio files on it yet, but am looking forward to giving it a try. This receiver is packed with cool features, sounds great, looks great, and you can't beat the price.
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31 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars High quality entry-level receiver, May 4, 2012
By 
Vlad Andreyev "\/ L /\ D" (North Potomac, Maryland) - See all my reviews
I needed to replace an old Harman Kardon AVR 510 that served me well for over 10 years but recently developed problems. I initially bought a Denon AVR-1513, but that one couldn't maintain a reliable HDMI link with my other components and the TV, so I returned it and bought a Pioneer VSX-522-K. I also considered getting a Yamaha RX-V373, but somehow the Pioneer inspired more confidence, even though I'd read some great reviews of Yamaha receivers here. So, after using it for a few days, here's what I've found.

First of all, it sounds fine. The old, upper-mid-range Harman Kardon was a truly great receiver, and this entry-level Pioneer isn't far behind in terms of sound quality. It also looks and feels to me like a higher quality product than the new Denon and Yamaha models. There is an acoustic calibration system and a USB port on the front; the Denon didn't have either of these. In addition to the requisite Dolby and DTS surround modes, there are several other modes that simulate different acoustic environments, like a concert hall, for example. It has midnight and loudness modes, automatic phase control, and compressed audio enhancer. However, like the Denon, this receiver has few inputs and not a single component video one, whereas the previous year model - VSX-521-K - had two.

Unfortunately, when it comes to convenience features, the Pioneer falls short. Unlike the entry-level offerings from Denon and Yamaha, this receiver does not support OSD (on-screen display) over HDMI. There are almost no settings that you can customize, besides the typical speaker size/level/distance setup; the only other (useful) options are automatic power-off and HDMI pass-through, which happen to be mutually exclusive, HDMI ARC on/off, and lip-sync delay. You cannot set the startup volume and mute levels, change input names, etc. The front display is rather small and useless; it is impossible to tell by looking at it how many channels are present in the source sound track. So, you may easily end up listening to stereo and not realize it. This and no OSD over HDMI is why I can't give it 5 stars.

Overall, considering the price, I am satisfied with this receiver, because it is easy to set up, sounds good, and looks like a high quality device. If you are looking for an entry-level AVR in this price range, I would recommend this Pioneer VSX-522-K (or VSX-521-K, if you need component video) or the Yamaha RX-V373. In fact, the latter definitely has more features and may be the best choice, but look at them all at a store, if you can.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good receiver, here is a trick for Roku / Chromecast if it does not work, August 7, 2013
By 
Ryan_H_DC (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
Bought this, had trouble with Roku audio over HDMI and Chromecast audio over HDMI, here is what fixed it for me and enabled sound on both devices with full surround support

On the remote hit the auto/direct button and make sure AUTO SURROUND is selected

On the remote it the auto parameter button on the remote and navigate by pressing up or down until CH1 is displayed, change it to CH2, if it's on CH2 it's good.

On the remote hit the Signal Sel button until the H appears on the front of the receiver and HDMI lights up, you can also try A but H worked for me (I think the options are H, A, C1)
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26 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a great value., April 5, 2013
By 
Eric V. (Santa Monica CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pioneer VSX-822-K 5.1-Channel Network Ready A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
I have been eyeing different receivers for about 6 months. I wandered into Costco a few weeks back and picked up the Pioneer SC-1522-K and long story short my wife didn't approve of the cost or the size so I returned it.

Fast forward to a week ago. I had a few Amazon gift cards from my birthday that I decided to use to buy the 1022-K but it had jumped in price from $249 to $299 so I purchased the 822-K for $229. After all, I will most likely never need the 7.1 function or 2nd zone so I didn't lose too much sleep over it.

The package arrived to my office double-boxed and within the two day Prime time frame. The only real downside to this receiver that I have noticed so far is that you will need a TV/monitor with HDMI for the setup. I tried w/o a monitor and couldn't turn Demo mode off or set the speaker settings. Simple fix, I took my computer monitor over and set the receiver up.

I paired the 822-K with two of the Pioneer Andrew Jones FS52 floor-standing speakers and people in the office including myself were BLOWN AWAY. The sound I was getting with a total outlay of $450 was shocking. In fact, I will be sad to take this setup home and want to buy the same setup for my office.

If you are thinking that 80 watts isn't enough - I assure you that it's plenty. It gets uncomfortably loud before any noticeable distortion. It runs cool and in my opinion is still one of the best looking receivers out there.

To sum everything up...I thought I would miss the SC-1522-K that I purchased at Costco for $599 but I don't. This was one of my best purchases to date.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't do Pioneer!!, April 23, 2014
By 
M. Bulkeley (Great Falls, VA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is the only reason I need to never buy another Pioneer product again. While it mostly worked for about 18 months (always had problems with HDMI synchronization which resulted in intermittent green lines flashing on the screen), it just doesn't work anymore. Pioneer support is non-existent. "Self-support" through the internet doesn't work because nobody else can figure this out. Device is no longer connecting to network and their is nothing to be done. Their ability to create an interface that makes even modest sense is lacking.

Never again!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worked great for 2 years, May 18, 2014
By 
This review is from: Pioneer VSX-822-K 5.1-Channel Network Ready A/V Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
Got this for a great deal, did everything I wanted, then died after 2 years typical usage. Warranty was only for a year. Repair would have been more than I paid for the receiver, and Pioneer customer service is a joke. Not just this model, google VSX receiver issues, the hits are almost endless. ALmost all failures are in the 18-24 month period. Bottom line, this is a crap product, and i'll never buy Pioneer again.
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