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Pioneer Jumps On DTS:X Bandwagon

Pioneer launched its first three audio/video receivers that can be upgraded to decode DTS:X object-based surround soundtracks.

Their predecessors featured Dolby Atmos object-based surround decoding but weren’t firmware-upgradable to DTS:X.

The three new networked models, which sit at the top of the Elite series, are the $2,500 SC-99, $2,000 SC-97, and $1,600 SC-95.

Compared to their predecessors, the new models add full-speed 18Gbps HDMI 2.0 connectors, HDCP 2.2 copy protection, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. HDMI 2.0 with 18Gbps throughput enables the AVRs to passthrough 60fps 4K Ultra HD video and 4:4:4 24-bit color, while HDCP 2.2 enables the passthrough of copy-protected 4K content from future 4K Blu-ray players and video streamers.

It wasn’t clear whether the HDMI inputs and outputs feature HDMI 2.0a technology to pass through high-dynamic range (HDR) metadata.

Key carryover features include vTuner, Pandora, Spotify, AirPlay, DLNA 1.5, and second-zone HDMI. Also like before, the top two models are certified by London’s Air Studios to faithfully reproduce the sound created by artists in the studio.

The AVRs integrate with home-control systems from such companies as AMX, Control4, and Crestron.