...I learned that a firmware update has been available for some time that would correct a longstanding problem with my 2009 Elite VSX-23TX. Do you think Pioneer bothered to inform customers of the firmware update? The answer would be no. Worse, from what I have learned, it appears that Pioneer requires customers to uncover "secret" firmware updates on their own and that the firmware updates be installed by authorized service centers — which then charge for what amounts to hardware bug fixes...
you raise an excellent point, one that I discussed with Walkamo (Pioneer's Chris Walker) in our recent PM's & subsequent phone call.
it does the avg owner no good to live with a problem, not knowing there's a fix. maybe he thinks to call Pioneer, but many will not and just become dissatisfied with the product.
Much better to advertise there's a bug fix, like the dts-master audio bomb that several Pioneer AVR's exhibited with specific discs. Rather than let owners think they're ruining their speakers, just tell people about there's a fix. Then they can decide if they want to take it to a shop or not. But if the company doesn't advertise that they have a fix for some issue, the owner never finds out unless he gets frustrated enough to call.
to his credit, Walkamo agreed they need to do a better job on that issue.
I do hope you know you're being tweaked
There's nothing personal, sometimes a healthy debate is fun
You did good on your comeback, btw
Until yesterday, I've been a satisfied Pioneer customer for 30 years. After much angst, I'm now a confused and potentially unsatisfied customer mired in this 2012 receiver discussion.
I just picked up a VSX-1122 to use with a Pioneer Plasma attached to a DirecTV receiver, AppleTV and external speakers in the master bedroom and a second set of speakers in the master bath. I wanted to test this setup and the iControlAV 2012 App before committing to a new SC-65 or SC-67 model for a more robust entertainment system with a 57-inch Panasonic plasma in the den.
After just 24-hours, I have encountered three vexing problems with this receiver/iOS software combination. I hope someone will tell me I'm missing something obvious.
The iControlAV 2012 iPad and iPhone App designs are quite sophisticated -- and for the most part, easy to setup and use. They are intuitive, fun to use and provide a better experience than similar remote software from other hardware manufacturers as far as they go. However, at first glance, the underlying technological controls do not appear to be as sophisticated as the eye-candy of the beautiful interface.
Specifically, I was flabbergasted to discover that two very basic remote control capabilities appear to be missing entirely from both the iPad and iPhone versions of these Pioneer Apps:
1. You can't use the iOS devices and Apps for the most basic of all TV remote control functions (change channels, switch resolutions, change aspect ratio/zoom functions). Indeed, it appears that these Apps cannot even be programmed by the user to support channel-changing with satellite or cable receivers.
So, is this true? Do I still have to pick up the wand-style remote just to change the satellite channels and/or select a movie or song on an AppleTV? Tell me I'm wrong. Of course, I can switch to Apple's Remote App or the DirecTV App to control these functions, but in the long run, that's not gonna' be very satisfying. Unfortunately, while DirecTV's iPad App allows channel-changing, the DirecTV iPhone App doesn't.
The lack of channel-changing technology in these Pioneer Apps seems to be a brain-dead omission.
2. These Apps do not appear to offer subwoofer equalizer support (though I assume the sub settings still can be edited using the standard wand remote and on-screen guide or MCACC).
3. Furthermore, for the third year in a row, Pioneer has released a new version of this App with no support for last year's models. Even Pioneer's top-of-the-line, 2011 SC-55 and SC-57 receivers instantly were rendered obsolete by this new, 2012 software (before their two-year warranties have expired).
If Pioneer's App updates don't support currently-shipping and warrantied receivers each year, how can a consumer trust that the Apps will work the third, fourth or fifth year when subsequent iOS updates are released? And what happens when a control App stops working after some future iOS update a few years down the road? Does Pioneer really expect customers to switch from buying new receivers every 20 years to buying new receivers every three-to-five years (like computers)? And does Pioneer expect this with such anemic software support?
Pioneer's new receiver/new App explanation makes it seem like the company still is building all the receiver's functionality right into the hardware instead of into the new software. If so, this means that these Apps are just a "skin" overtop of the old button-festooned interfaces. If true, that's very Microsoftian (and completely "bass-ackwards" from the way Apple marries hardware and software).
If I had to, I'd probably pay a recurring fee (maybe $25 or so annually) for firmware and/or software compatibility updates. But I certainly don't want to be left hanging in limbo every year. As an example: while making this VSX-1122 purchase yesterday, I learned that a firmware update has been available for some time that would correct a longstanding problem with my 2009 Elite VSX-23TX. Do you think Pioneer bothered to inform customers of the firmware update? The answer would be no. Worse, from what I have learned, it appears that Pioneer requires customers to uncover "secret" firmware updates on their own and that the firmware updates be installed by authorized service centers which then charge for what amounts to hardware bug fixes.
I purchased this new, VSX-1122 receiver knowing the iControlAV software had some limitations, but all these aforementioned issues are just dumbfounding and seem like deal breakers. I mean a TV remote software App that can't change channels? Really?
Hopefully, someone will point out that I'm missing some obvious solution here. Otherwise, I'm thinking about returning the receiver and dropping any idea of buying a new SC-67 or SC-68.
Perhaps someone with more iControlAV experience (or the Pioneer rep) can weigh in here. I'd really hate to dump Pioneer and start over, but if the company does't address omissions like these, some other company (maybe Apple once again) is eventually going to waltz in and take away the receiver market too.
The Pioneer app isn't meant to control the TV, just the receiver. If you were expecting that you will be disappointed. Also for the software, while it does suck that Pioneer keeps releasing new versions of iControlAV that aren't compatible with previous years, it doesn't mean they aren't supporting them and fixing any bug issues that might arrive during the warranty period. It just means that each receiver gets it's own version that's supported and that's the way they're going to do it.
It definitely is unfortunate that Pioneer isn't just releasing one app that is compatible with all their devices. It seems like more work to deal with different app store submissions etc... and being a software engineer myself I wouldn't want to have to maintain a crap load of apps for each different year's receiver. I think this is what happens when a hardware company makes software. The software is a nice to have afterthought. Apple differs because the hardware and software are parts of a cohesive product and now system (app store, airplay support, etc ...).
Hopefully, one receiver manufacturer will catch on and do what Apple did for phones to receivers. As you've mentioned, there is definitely the same gap and a huge opportunity for a company with the will and resources to make a great product.
How Pioneer can step up its Elite AVRs to a higher level. The thread title should be in future tense to reflect the "dialogue" .....
Denon 4311 with XT32 and Audyssey Pro
Oppo 93 and 103
Sherwood R-972 with its version of the Trinnov Optimizer
MiniDSP 10x10 HD
PSB Imagine T2, Center, and Surrounds (as of 5/2014); HSU ULS-15 subs (2)
The Audyssey FAQ Guide can be found here:
Except, given what appears to be their current model, there is no "maintaining" of previous year's apps other than leaving it available for download. "One and done". It would seem silly to start from scratch on each successive app... it's likely they mod the previous version to work with the new and just not bother with regression testing and put a new label on it.
Marantz SR7009/7.1.4/FH+TM/DefTech PM1000/LCR+TM amped
This is interesting, the THX website lists both the SC-67 and SC-68 as being Ultra2 Plus certified, whereas Pioneer lists the SC-67 as Select2 Plus. Since the power specs on both receivers are identical, it makes me wonder if Pioneer is "downgrading" the THX certification on the SC-67 to give another selling point to the SC-68?
"we" have suspected this ever since the release of the original sc models...
Is ARC better then MCACC? or XT32?
I am possibly looking to get a different receiver. I liked the Denon units, but I had a 991 for about 6 weeks and died, so am a bit leery of them.
My other Choices were Marantz AV7005 Receiver or possibly going separates?
Emotiva 5 channel Amp and a processor of some sort.
I have, shortly, a pair of Salk Song Towers. I listen to mostly music but also movies as well. A LOT of my music is FLAC or Apple Lossless so a receiver that can do Airplay would be nice, but not totally required.
Thanks in advance...
A perhaps not-so-minor clarification: the SR7005 is the receiver, while the AV7005 is the separate preamp/processor.
The specs I've seen suggest that MCACC < ARC < XT32, although I suspect that Anthem fans might disagree with that order. The AV7005 has only XT, which I think is more nearly comparable to ARC.
Marantz SR7009/7.1.4/FH+TM/DefTech PM1000/LCR+TM amped
too many letters/numbers floating around. Though I did think about going the Pre/pro route as well.
I have heard a lot of good reviews about ARC, but wanted to hear from real world users...
I've installed the SC-55 and SC-57 but with only one sub so I haven't been able to test this ,
What a waste , why even bother putting 2 outputs if you can't tune them independently ? I hope the SC-68 has changed this or I'm not even interested.
The product sheet, like the one for the SC-09, implies they are independent - 9.2 vs the other models which were all advertised as 9.1.
I'll try to confirm.
- User upgradeable firmware with real benefits as in features and not only the regular bug fixes --- The upgradeable firmware feature is to make it easy to upgrade the firmware if there is a bug. In previous models upgrading the firmware required the product to be taken to a service center. As far as I know we have never claimed that we would add new features to a product that were not advertised at the time of announcement.
- Newest iOS/Android Apps availability for the previous models why is this just like last year exclusive for the newest ? Panasonic is doing it a lot better with their Apps for their Televisions. --- The reason that New IOS and Android apps are not compatible with previous versions of receivers is because each application is written to take advantage of hardware features/software features for that particulars years features. The receiver is doing most of the work and the application just displaying the information from the receiver. If we tried to make an App that worked with all of our AVR's we would not be able to offer some of the unique features that new models brings.
- Where is the successor of the SC-09TX/SC-LX90? --- Currently there is no successor to the SC-09 scheduled for this year. I will be in Japan the middle of June to begin work on next years products.
- What about enhancements to the MCACC EQ ? Like Sub EQ ? Is this available ? Is this coming ? I recently just took over the the receiver category again (My guy who handled receivers for me just began a new job in our company). I just took home a Denon 4311 and plan on installing it this weekend to better understand Audyessy DSX. I have also requested a white paper on Advanced MCACC from both our folks in Japan and Air Studios in London (Air Studios help develop MCACC with us) on the philosophy behind the capabilities of Advanced MCACC. Once I get something from Japan I will share my findings.
I know that it appears that I am only on these boards every once in awhile. In fact I am on these boards quite often, and I keep notes of ideas that are offered up hear for future and current products. I am not the final decision maker.
I hope Pioneer works on the GUI. It's one of the worst because it is complex, ugly and you must have the iOS app to do certain stuff if you want to see on a screen, or suffer the small front panel digits.
I tried the vsx53 and hated the GUI. There was so much I could not do unless I have it networked and using an iOS app which I could not network it. But you must be able to do absolutely everything from the on screen guide in an avr.
Pioneer needs to severely improve the on screen interface.
Thanks so much:-)
When connected using the front USB port directly, the receiver can access (and can only access) the music data files as is. There's no analogue path through USB.