I finally took the plunge and decided to get an AVR to power the pre-wired speakers in my new home. I've never purchased or used an AVR before, so I'm completely new to all this. I decided to get the Pioneer VSX-1021 for several reasons, namely: price, feature set and the Airplay/iAVControl2 features. I bought it from BestBuy last weekend and it was the only unit in stock for 30 miles and did have the "O" on the packaging indicating the firmware update.
After spending 2 hours hooking it up last night, here are my initial thoughts. The unit is really solid and big. The # of connectors on the back is overwhelming, but I suppose this a good thing, especially for the price. Set up was difficult and time consuming, as others have mentioned. It took me a while to figure out which ports on the banana binding post that was pre-wired connected to which speakers. You'd think the prior homeowner would use the Front L/R ports for Front L/R speakers, but no, they didn't.
Anyways, after finally getting everything hooked up and doing my best to untangle the mess of wires I created, I started playing some HDTV and immediately noticed the audio was dropping in and out every 1-2 minutes for 1-2 seconds. I could see the DD signal to the 1021 dropping to Stereo causing the dropout. I immediately called TWC, as I knew it was their fault (always is
) and they reset my cable box (only fix they know) and surprisingly it worked.
So now I decided to try to Airplay and iAVControl2 features, as I was most excited about those. I have the Apple Airport Router and it's extended into my living room with an Airport Express, which was plugged directly into my 1021. This worked beautifully and everything was recognized immediately and worked easier than I could have imagined.
This is my setup:
TV: Pioneer PDP-4270HD (Connected to the Output on the 1021 via a single High Speed w/ Ethernet HDMI cable from Monoprice) *I assume my TV has ARC, cause I didn't need to use the optical cable?*
BluRay: PS3 (Connected to the BD input on the 1021 via older HDMI)
Cable/DVR: SA 8300HD with TWC (Connected to the DVR/BD input on the 1021 via older HDMI)
Speakers: Front - RDH MM-4; Center - RDH C-4; Surround - RHD MM-4 (http://www.rbhsound.com/bookshelf_ct.php
No Subwoofer...yet (suggestions?)Now here is where I need help:
1.) I still want to have the audio come out of my TV speakers, in addition to the surround system. Is there a way to have the TV speakers continue to work? In my new set-up they are non-existent, but I want the optionality. Most of my friends' systems are set up this way so they can turn down (or off) their surround and watch TV with just the TV speakers late at night to not wake up their kids.
2.) I can't get the HDMI Standby Pass-Through to work with my Cable/DVR. As I mentioned in #1, I want the option to watch TV with just my TV speakers and thought this feature would be for this exact purpose. I've read the prior posts relating to HDMI Standby Pass-Through problems and have followed all the instructions relating to Control HDMI on pg. 43 of the manual, but still can't get it to work. Do you have any suggestions or tips based on my set-up? Am I missing something obvious?
3.) I don't know anything these speakers that were pre-wired, but they seem to be just fine; however, the center speaker total dominate all the sound coming from HDTV. What's the best way to balance out the sound to all the speakers so it doesn't just sound like I added a sound-bar?
If I can't get this to work, I'll probably just return it and go back to listening in non-surround. Thanks in advance!