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Pioneer Expands Atmos, Adds HDCP 2.2

LONG BEACH, CALIF. – Dolby Atmos, HDCP 2.2 copy protection, and built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will play major roles in Pioneer Home Entertainment’s 2015 A/V receiver lineup.

The company plans April availability of the $399 VSX- 830 and $599 VSX-1130 in the Pioneer series and the $450 VSX-45 and $700 VSX-90 in the Elite series.

All four are the brand’s first AVRs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection, which appears on HDMI 2.0 inputs and outputs that deliver the 2.0 spec’s maximum 18Gbps data rate. The high data rate supports passthrough of 4:4:4 24-bit color for 60 fps 4K UHD video, high-dynamic range video, 32 audio channels and other enhancements enabled by higher speeds.

Dolby Atmos also comes way down in price, starting at $599 in the Pioneer series and $700 in the Elite series. From Pioneer, Atmos had previously been available only on three Elite AVRs at $1,600, $2,000 and $3,000. They were launched last year and continue in the line

All four new models are also Pioneer’s first AVRs with built-in Bluetooth and built-in Wi-Fi, making add-on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth dongles unnecessary.

Networking and Apple AirPlay continue to start at $399. None of the new or previously available AVRs is upgradable to add DTS:X surround decoding. None of the new models features HDBaseT connections.

Here’s what the new SKUs offer:
The $399 VSX-830 features DLNA 1.5 for audio, Apple AirPlay, Spotify, Pandora, vTuner, HTC Connect and upscaling of 1080p video to UHD.

The component also features multichannel high-resolution audio playback of 192kHz/24-Bit 5.0- and 5.1-channel WAV files (via USB) and 96kHz/24-bit 5.0- and 5.1-channel FLAC files (limited to 48kHz via Wi-Fi).

The receiver also supports two-channel high-resolution AIFF, WAV, FLAC and 2.8MHz DSD files, with the stepup model adding support for 5.6MHz DSD. Both also play back Apple Lossless, MP3, WMA and AAC files. Gapless playback of many of the file formats is also supported.

The VSX-830 also comes with Advanced MCACC with subwoofer EQ to compensate for room-acoustic problems. MCACC room calibration works with high-resolution music files, the company said.

The $599 VSX-1130 adds Dolby Atmos 5.1.2, 5.6HMz DSD playback, and the Sabre Premier Audio 192/24 DAC to produce warm, more natural sound reproduction as well as deliver a linear response to substantially reduce jitter, the company said.