Pioneer Expands Atmos, Adds HDCP 2.2

Update! Pioneer and Elite AVRs also get built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
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Update! Pioneer and Elite AVRs also get built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Pioneer VSX-1130-K.png

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.

In an update, Pioneer said none of its five Atmos-decoding AVRs are upgradable to DTS:X.

All four new models are 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.

Here’s what the new SKUs offer:

The $399 VSX-830 features Apple AirPlay, Spotify, Pandora, vTuner, HTC Connect and up-scaling 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 step-up 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.

The VSX-1130 also adds MCACC Pro to compensate for room acoustics. It supports Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 to compensate for differences in speaker size, distance, and level as well as the room’s layout, including ceiling height. MCACC Pro also features dual subwoofer output as well as four-band subwoofer EQ.

In the Elite series, the $450 VSX-45 features Apple AirPlay, Spotify, Pandora, vTuner, HTC Connect, and upscaling of 1080p video to UHD.

The component also features multi-channel 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 step-up 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.

For custom installation, the AVR is compatible with most popular home-control systems, including those from Crestron and Control4. It also offers such install features as full two-way RS-232C-over-IP control, plus the ability to receive metadata from networked iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches.

The step-up $700 VSX-90 adds Dolby Atmos 5.1.2, 5.6HMz DSD playback, and the SABRE Premier Audio 192/24 DAC. It also adds MCACC Pro.

The VSX-90 also adds multizone capability supporting three simultaneous zones, including digital audio transmission of network sources. A third zone can be supplied with an HDMI video signal.

Also with the VSX-90, all seven speaker outputs can be reconfigured six different ways, including a 7.2-channel speaker setup or a 5.2-channel setup with the extra two outputs available for a stereo zone. Configuration is controllable from the receiver and from Pioneer’s iControlAV5 app running on networked iOS and Android mobile devices.

All four AVRs can be controlled from Pioneer’s iControlAV5 app for iOS and Android devices, and initial set-up of all four can be accomplished from Pioneer’s Start-up Navi app for iOS and Android devices.

All four also feature All four also feature built-in AVNavigator, which provides an interactive guide that walks users through the entire receiver setup process, including speaker arrangement, sound optimization, connecting sources, MCACC calibration, renaming inputs, and so on.

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