Is this the OP Manual for your older VSX 35?http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/pi...0938401630.pdf
I could not see any mention of a Zone 2 and the feature that you say it had.
What page in the OP Manual did it discuss the Pluses and Minuses that you are talking about...
In your CONS you list:
1) No variable volume control zone 2 when using 7.1
You cannot have a separate Zone if you are using 7.1
Your two connections for Zone 2 would either be Setup "C" or Setup "E" as listed on page 12 of the OP Manual.
Both setups limit you to 5.1 in the main and then a Zone 2 with the other two amplifiers.
However starting on page 53 and concluding on Page 54 in the OP manual it discusses using your remote to adjust the volume in Zone 2 or 3.
How did this work with the VSX 35 (please reference the page in the OP Manual that discusses this)
2) -HDMI standby pass-through will not work with my Directv receiver
We all have discovered that for HDMI Control (which needs to be ON for this Feature), ALL Components have to have the HDMI Control Feature.
In the OP manual Pioneer states that their HDMI Control is really looked at as Kuro-Link and is meant for Pioneer components but that it may work with other HDMI Control equipment.
Maybe Kuro-Link was after 1999, I don't know.
3) Receiver goes to TV/SAT when I have HDMI control set up even though there is not a TV/SAT HDMI input. I have to turn off HDMI control to get this to work correctly.
Yes after coming out of Standby and turning the receiver on, it defaults to TV/SAT when Control with HDMI is ON but you just change it to whatever Input you want.
I have a Logitech 650 remote and it will let you program the Input of each component when it is turned on, choose whatever input you want and it will auto go there then no worry about the TV/SAT default at turning it on.
4) I have to scale down video to support Zone two HDMI to my patio TV since it only support 1080i
Because you have the VSX 53 as I do, you have 2 HDMI Outs, (HDMI Control only works on HDMI 1) if you set their Output to "HDMI Out ALL" both HDTV's should get 1080P as stated on page 54 of the OP Manual.
I am pretty sure, I just got a separate LCD to go with my main and I'll connect it to the VSX 53's HDMI 2 Out tomorrow. Or am I misunderstanding that because your second HDMI HDTV is only 1080i then you have to set both HDTV's to 1080i the lower of the 1080 spec and you would like separate resolutions that can be set for each HDMI Out.
I'll find that out because my other LCD is a 720P HDTV and my main Plasma is a 1080P HDTV. Which also mixes LCD & PLasma. Interesting thoughts. I'll see what happens.
5) No separate audio pass through of audio to HDMI 2
I'll let you know about HDMI 2 tomorrow but you should get Audio at HDMI 2.
6) When I turn pass through on it affects zone one and now I do not have 7.1.
Please explain further, I know you are not using Pass-through with your DirecTV as stated in Con 2 above so what are you passing-Thru that is not giving you 7.1?
7) No 120 volt AC switch to control my older Pioneer Amplifier. VSX-53 only has 12 volt switch and my older Pioneer A-35R amplifier does not have this. I now have to manually turn on the amp every time I listen to zone 2.
Pretty minor complaint, get a Logitech Universal Remote (I have the 650) and when you want Zone 2 you can Setup a Zone 2 Watch TV mode in the remote, then with the push of 1 button it will turn on and setup everything as you want. $60.00
Pros: Internet connectivity and Ipod control app
Come on JMCL, one Pro Comment?
From 1999 to 2012 I guarantee that there are a lot of Upgrades / Pros over your VSX 35!
Let me try a few.....
1) Video Scaler: Marvell Qdeo up to 1080p / 24fps
2) DLNA 1.5 Certified
3) Network Audio Formats: LPCM, WAV 192kHz, MP3, ACC, WMA, FLAC 192kHz
4) Digital Core DSP Engine: TI Aureus
5) THX™ Certification: Select 2 Plus
6) Dolby True HD, DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Digital plus.
7) Phase Control: Full Band / Plus
8) Auto MCACC: Advanced & Manual
9) Video Parameter Adjustments: Advanced Video Adjust - HD Sources Progressive Motion - YNR, CNR, BNR, MNR, Detail, Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Chroma, Black level
10) HDMI 1.4 & 36-bit Deep Color the VSX 35 no HDMI at all.
11) Video Converter to HDMI
12) Amplifier Design: Advanced Direct Energy
I could go on and on.
If Pioneer left it off they must have had a good reason...
Put in a movie like 2012 or even your DirectTV HD Surround and you must have been impressed with the advances in Surround Decoding and Video via HDMI and Qdeo over your 35.
Flash forward 12 years and there will be changes, don't be so set in your old ways but try and move forward and learn how to make it work for you.
Pioneer tries to keep their pulse on the buying public and what they want and has made changes for the Times.
I am sure that they have their reasons, maybe not enough people appreciated the Features that you did. I don't know.
There were things that were different in coming from my old Sony to this Pioneer but I don't even think of them or hardly remember what they were!
I am totally at ease with my 53 and Luv it!
As stated above the Elite VSX 53 has so much going for it!
However, If you Can't...Can you return it?
Have you looked at the new Pioneer SC models?http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PU...lite+Receivers
The new Elite SC 61 is the same price as the VSX 53 and has the newer Class D3 amplifier design, also in the SC61 Brochure it Lists Zone 2: Volume, Tone & Balance
This may be for you...Check it out here:http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/ep...le%20Sheet.pdf
Bottom line JMCL, I always recommend that people Download and actually READ the Owners Manual before buying any piece of Equipment.
If there are specific Items and or Features that you care about (and you definitely did and do) make sure that your future choice has it and or Does IT!
It will either Guarantee your Satisfaction and Happiness with your possible New Purchase or let you know that a certain piece of equipment is just not for you!
You have to do your Research / Homework especially with today and the Internet, there is no excuse for you not to!