Consumer electronics outfit Pioneer has unveiled four new A/V receivers aimed at the digital media market, including the first of a planned series of eight devices this year that will support Apple’s AirPlay technology. The VSX-1021 AV receive functions as a 7.1 channel home theater receiver that enables users to push tunes from iTunes on their Mac or iOS device directly to the receiver via a wired or wireless home network.
“Our newest receivers make it extremely easy for consumers to connect their iPhones, iPads, and iPods, enabling them to access their music and video content as well as share them with others in one room or the home,” said Pioneer Electronics USA director of AV marketing and product planning Chris Walker, in a statement. “Pioneer receivers are made to deliver the highest level of audio and video performance consumers expect no matter of the source it comes from.”
All the new A/V receivers come with USB/video cables for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices that enable user to easily share media even if they don’t want the AirPlay functionality—but the systems don’t just support Apple gear: they also support Bluetooth audio streaming via a separate $99 Bluetooth adapter that uses proprietary technology achieve near-CD audio quality. Folks looking at the VSX-1021 model might be swayed by its support of DLNA 1.5, even if they aren’t interested in AirPlay.
Each model also supports HDMI 1.4a (so they’re 3D-ready) along with the HDMI 1.4a audio return channel. For folks who sometimes use the speakers in their TVs rather than a full home theater rig, there’s a new HDMI Standby THrough feature that enables audioo to pass through from a set top box or other device to through the receiver without needing to power up the receiver. The systems also feature Audio Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration for speaker setup and optimization, Dobly ProLogic IIz Decoding (along with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio), Pioneer’s Sound Retriever technology for livening up compressed audio formats, and auto level control that helps ensure volume levels remain relatively steady and commercials don’t blow you out of a room.
The new receivers should be available this month, with the VSX-1021 carrying a suggested retail price of $549.