Originally Posted by novakm
My Review, part 2
This is about all of the "high tech" features of the VSX-52.
* I was excited about the Internet radio capability (HMG), since I get poor reception, and there are some distant stations I like. The interface is terrible, requiring scrolling through menus. I could not find any way that I could turn on the unit, press a single button to select a station, and enjoy, like I can do with regular radio. Even worse is that it's not stable. Station drops out randomly, and you have to go to the unit to reset it. Stations change randomly. Sometimes, two stations play at once. I was not able to get it to play any station more than 1 hour without some problem spoiling the experience. I will go back to using my IPod until there is a firmware update.
* AirPlay. This is a great feature, when it works. Just select VSX-52 on the Ipod, and it plays there. I can select songs, pause, resume, and control the volume all right from the IPod. When it works. 1/2 the time the IPOD does not show the VSX-52 choice, and sometimes the connection is dropped.
* Bluetooth. This is a great idea, and it seems to work well. Range is limited to about 30 feet. It also sounds like the bandwidth of Bluetooth is very low. Makes my system sound like at cheap boom box. I returned the adapter and I will go back to using the Ipod dock.
* HDMI - The cable box downgrades to 720P when I turn the TV on. Sometimes, turning the TV on kills the sound feed. I tried the troubleshooting hints on the boards with no success. I disconnected HDMI from the cable box, and have it connected with component leads. So the way to make HDMI work reliably is to disconnect it. Seems to work fine with the BluRay player.
* This thing is big! I had to move my center speaker to accomodate the height, and take the back off my cabinet to accomodate the depth.
* The volume control is much too fine, in 1/2DB increments. Holding down the button makes it go too fast. I'm going to play with my Harmony remote to see if there is a setting for repeat speed, or else program it to repeat 6 times when I press the button so I get 3DB increments.
* There are no specs available for the IR in. I have tried a couple different things, and have not gotten it to work yet. I will eventually, but it would be much better if Pioneer just told us what's needed, instead of telling us to ask the remote supplier.
* I like that each input can be completely tuned without affecting the others. I have had a lot of fun tweaking all of the different settings, but eventually will get to the point where I never have to tweak again.
You will notice that most of the problems have one thing in common. They require the VSX-52 to work with with software and hardware from others, using poorly designed or nonexistent standards. I have decided not to return the unit because I doubt another brand would do these things better. It's too easy for manufacturers to point fingers at each other while not solving the problem.