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Pioneer VSX-1020-K 7.1 Home Theater Receiver (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
- 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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- 110 Watts X 7, 7 channel configurable amplifier, surround back
- Dolby Pro-logic IIz or B speaker, Dolby True-HD / DTS-HD master audio and advanced MCACC
- Auto crossover setting
- It has a internet radio
- iControl pioneer AVR iPhone / iTouch "APP" Multi-Zone A/V pre-out, preset remote control
You're an audio perfectionist. you don't want to compromise your sound, even--perhaps especially--when it comes to your portable digital music. you love the convenience of carrying your favorite tunes everywhere on your iPod or iPhone device, but when you're ready to take out the earbuds, do you really want to settle for the poor performance of a wimpy speaker system? pioneer's audition series is the answer. you don't have to compromise audio quality when it comes to reproducing your digital music files. with its clean, modern styling and rich 2.1-channel sound with a dedicated built-in subwoofer, your portable music has never sounded so good on a compact unit. and with an optional Bluetooth adapter, any one of your portable a2dp profile Bluetooth-enabled audio devices can benefit from the audition series' incredible sound.
From the Manufacturer
Key Features are 110 Watts X 7, 7 Channel Configurable Amplifier, Surround Back. Dolby Pro-logic IIz or B Speaker, Dolby True-HD / DTS-HD Master Audio and Advanced MCACC. It has a 9 Band EQ. Auto Crossover Setting, USB to PC Graphs, PQLS – 2 Channel, Auto Level Control – Multi-Channel, Sound Retriever AIR – Multi- channel. It has a Internet radio. iPod Digital USB / USB Memory Audio. Its iPhone Certified, Sirius Satellite Radio, HDMI Repeater (6 In / 1 out), Analog to HDMI Video Conversion, HDMI to HDMI 1080p Scaler, Component Video (2 in / 1 out), Full Color GUI, iControl pioneer AVR iPhone / iTouch “APP” Multi-Zone A/V Pre-out, Preset Remote Control
Top Customer Reviews
I purchased this item after another purchase went sour with a Yamaha Receiver (simple shipping damage by UPS). I was originally very attracted to Pioneer, however, I did not want to pay extra $150. Lucky for me, damaged Yamaha became an excuse to upgrade to this Pioneer.
I admit, I am not an audiophile. However, I have much experience with technology, and technology is what got me with this device.
Summary of Goods:
-Internet Radio built-in, IP configurable
-Device specific iPhone App, free
-Very easy to navigate on-screen menu
-5+1 HDMI input (you never know when you need the 5th one)
-Very pleasant design
-Very clean sound, with good speaker of course
-Multiple pre-configured presets for various movie and music situations
-Very functional universal compatibility with FIOS and Cable remotes
-Front HDMI (very important if you need to hook up an HDMI camera)
-Front iPhone/iPod interface (also charges, I think. cable is provided)
Not so good (but still OK)
-Very complicated remote with small keys
-Depth size is a bit high, if you have IKEA TV stand (stands out about and inch)
-No Wi-Fi (Ethernet only)
As you an see, this receiver does not have many negatives that would effect its functionality much, especially the sound quality. Therefore, I will not focus on details for what is good, rather give some tips to potential purchasers. I will also provide more information here later in coming months based on further experience.
I would also like you to pay attention to a general tip at the end of this review for possible network connectivity challenges you might have in your current and future system and how to over come.
Set-up and configuration:
Basic set-up was very easy, and teh system was on after 10 minutes. Make sure you use the BD input for Blu-Ray, and HDMI 1 input for cable/sat source. It becomes easier to navigate later on. You can go to home menu and rename the sources as you like.
Provided booklet is a bit complicated but it is worth reading, in fact, it is a must to read it. You will have to go to it back and forth later in advance configuration phase.
Given my lack of experience with home-theater systems, originally I tried to use it with only two Polk Audio Monitor 70 3-Way Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Black), only to find out that you MUST have a center speaker in a system like this in order to comprehend the spoken word on TV. The system will otherwise eat up the dialogs and output the effects and music only..So, I later on picked up BIC America FH6-LCR Dual 6.5-Inch 175-Watt LCR Speaker with Mid/High Frequency Horn. It made all the difference. You may be able to survive without rear speaker in an home-theater system, but center is a MUST.
I am an avid internet radio listener. This device connects to internet with ease and stream any ".pls" URL's with ease. Forget about trying to set-up radios from the remote. You can go to the system's home menu and see the IP address of the receiver, and then log-into it from your computer and change default radio stations URLs. Unfortunately, there are only 24 stations at any given time. It is OK for most of the users I guess, but not for me. Still, having a built-in Internet radio is sufficiently awesome.
As long as, you hook up an Ethernet cable to the receiver, connection is not problem. Once it is connected, make sure to upgrade the firmware. the one on the receiver is not the latest version.
Unlike many of the current receivers, VSX-1020 has 5+1 HDMI inputs. 5 on the rear, one up front. I was particularly impressed with the front HDMI. It is a must have for those who own HDMI cameras. Nowadays, many manufacturers are providing HDMI out-put on digital cameras. Imagine the convenience.
There is a free app in the app-store for this device which enables you to control many functions of this device from your iPhone/iPod. You must be on the same network connected via the same Wi-Fi network. Once both your iPhone and receiver are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, the app immediately recognizes the receiver without further configuration. Again, make sure you are in Wi-Fi with your iPhone, not 3G for this.
I do not own the Pioneer Electronics AS-BT100 Bluetooth Adapter for Compatible Pioneer Products (Black) for this. You should be able to stream in music from your iPhone (or another blue-tooth enabled device) via this. I am yet to try, perhaps if the adapter sells below $50, I will. Yet, I am afraid it will increase the depth of the receiver and became more problem to fit into some shelves. Alternatively, you can get an Airport Express and stream all the music you like from iTunes on your computer. Again, with he internet radio, I am sufficiently connected to external music sources already.
For some configuration and mode changes you definitely need the Pioneer remote. However, to increase the sound level, mute, and turn it on and off, you can easily program your cable/FIOS remote to turn on all the connected systems (TV, Box, receiver, blu-ray) at once. I think, you would prefer to use a single button to turn on and off your entire home-theater system, instead of switching between remotes. Just read the user manual for your Cable remote, it is easy. Not only you have to enter the right codes, but also configure it that the sound controls (volume, mute) works for the receiver not TV.
Like all other Pioneers, this receiver is nicely designed, with curvature corners. two large knobs to control Volume and Source looks very classic.
GENERAL TIP ON NETWORK CONNECTIVITY IF YOU LACK ETHERNET JACKS:
If you are getting this system or a system like this one, you are likely to have or will have network connected TV and/or Blu-ray player already. Today, NOT many HDTVs and Blu-rays come with built-in Wi-Fi. If you have one that does, good for you. However, for those of you who need to connect his/her blu-ray player, HDTV and receiver to the network via Ethernet cable, you have a challenge. But there is a solution, less than ideal but it works.
If you are lucky like me and you have single Ethernet jack on the wall, it is still not enough for all four devices. What I did to overcome this was to purchase TRENDnet 300 Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router TEW-639GR (Black) for $50 and then hook it up to the single available jack and use the LAN jacks on the wireless-router as splitter. It worked fine, now I have a faster N router,a nd wired all four devices still room for another future one.
Of you have no Ethernet jack close by, and you do not feel like laying one across the rooms for a single connection Airport Express works fine, but it has single Ethernet jack on it. For multiple connectivity, you will need to use the wireless router as bridge. Still a $90 solution, but for today home media devices connectivity is a must to upgrade the firmware, stream radios and watch Netflix.
**FIRMWARE UPDATE QUESTIONS:
Just confirmed by calling Pioneer USA at 1-800-421-1404. There is no way to update the firmware by the end-user from home. AND THERE IS AN UPDATE TO THE FIRMWARE. The item must be taken to closest Pioneer authorized service center for an update. Please visit the Pioneer USA website or call the number above to get the location for nearest service center. I think, firmware update is important. I would call the service center about to get it done. IT IS FREE. I hope this info helps.
That is all folks..I will provide more information with more time pent on this receiver.
***Buy it or Do not Buy it ??***
DEFINITELY, BUY IT !
I have all my gear going to the VSX-1020 and only 1 HDMI cable going to my wall mounted Samsung LCD:
1. Comcast HD DVR cable - HDMI
2. PS3 - HDMI
3. XBOX 360 - Component video / Optical audio
4. Wii - Component video / RCA audio
5. Home theater PC - DVI-HDMI / RCA audio
6. DJ turntables and mixer - RCA audio
7. iPod or iPhone - USB front
8. Digital Camera - HDMI front
9. Internet Radio - Ethernet
The setup was challenging but was made much easier after plugging in a USB keyboard to rename the inputs and navigate the GUI. Even after plugging in the mic and performing the auto MCACC setup for 5.1, manual adjustments where needed to make it sound right. The manual does not help much and you are better off reading forums and reviews to figure this beast out.
The remote control is solid in function (excellent support for my Samsung LCD and Comcast cable box) and crucial for certain tasks (displaying video to the monitor while spinning records and dj'ing) but lacking in aesthetics (ugly) and intuitiveness (buttons are all the same size, labels are teeny, impossible to use in the dark).
The iPhone app is very handy for controlling source input and volume, not much else (for now hopefully).
No onscreen volume or source info provided to the monitor, but the onscreen GUI for setup is the best and prettiest I have seen.
Pandora, last.fm, slacker are *not* supported in the "Internet Radio" however the preloaded stations are nice and the ability to customize the list of stations is awesome. No more FM for me!
The VSX-1020 is highly customizable and has a steep learning curve to setup but well worth the effort as it now switches effortlessly between all sources producing crisp 1080p picture and excellent 5.1 audio.