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Pioneer Rolls Out Six New A/V Receivers

Home electronics brand Pioneer has launched six new A/V receivers, including two new models designed to bring quality home theater experiences to folks on something less than a successful film director’s budget. The new receivers feature improved capability to work with Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, Bluetooth connectivity for streaming audio (via an optional adapter), and HDMI 1.4a support for handling 3D content.

“Even with content coming at consumers from so many places and formats these days, we know that while at home, the home theater is still the entertainment hub,” said Pioneer Electronics USA marketing and product planning manager David Bales, in a statement. “For this year’s Elite A/V receiver line, we added a number of new features to enhance the playback to be as true to the artists original intent as possible and simplify the connected home.”

All the new Pioneer Elite A/V receivers come with a “Works with iPhone” stamp, letting iPod and iPhone users plug their PMPs right into the receiver to access their media, and iPhone/iPod touch owners can also get Pioneer’s free iControlAV App from the Apple App Store to use their iPhones/iPod touch devices as remote controls. The entire line offers Bluetooth audio streaming, either via an optional adapter or (in the VX-30 and higher models) using “Sound Retriever AIR” technology Pioneer says offers higher quality compressed audio via Bluetooth.

The receivers include a front USB input, Ethernet connectivity, and offer custom installation options including second- and third-zone audio and video capability, RS-232C connectivity for home automation, dual HDMI inputs with a front HDMI input for hooking up cameras and other portable devices. All the receivers feature Pioneer’s “Wide Surround” designed to work with a wide front speaker arrangements and support 9.1 surround sound with a new “virtual height” option.

At the top of the line, the SC-37 can tap into Sirius satellite radio and Rhapsody streaming music service, and also sports a Home Media Gallery that can pull up music and photos and more from PCs around the home. The VX-32 and higher models feature Marvell Qdeo video processing technology, while the VX-30 and VX-31 are designed to offer affordable options to folks just stepping into the home theater game. However, prices vary widely: the SC-37 starts carries an MSRP of $2,200, while the VX-30 and VX-31 carry $450 and $650 price tags, respectively.