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Pioneer lives up to its name with the introduction of the industry's first HDMI 2.0-compatible AV receivers . Two of the five new models are Elite-branded—the VSX-44 and VSX-80—while the other three are Pioneer-branded, and all five new models feature HDMI 2.0 connections. Pioneer plans to ship these new AVRs by the end of the March 2014, and they should be on store shelves shortly thereafter.

 

As with many AVRs, there are too many features to cover them all in a short post.

 

 



Pioneer's $700 Elite VSX-80 

 

Thanks to HDMI 2.0, the five new models feature support for 2160/60p resolution and 4:4:4 8-bit color thanks to an increase in bandwidth to 18 Gbps—up from 10.2 Gbps with HDMI 1.4. According to Pioneer, full support for 2160p 4:4:4 8-bit video will arrive as a firmware update scheduled for this summer. Needless to say, you'll need a HDMI 2.0-compatible UHDTV to take advantage of the new feature.

 



Pioneer's $600 VSX-1124 

 

Taking advantage of 2160/60p 4:4:4 content might prove a challenge in the short term—UHD (ultra high-definition) content is rare enough as it is, and HFR (high frame rate) UHD video is rarer still. That said, AVRs tend to be long-term purchases, and buying one that features HDMI 2.0 is a great hedge against premature obsolescence. 

 


Pioneer's $500 Elite VSX-44

 

Pioneer's new AVRs range in price from $400 for the 5.2-channel VSX-824 to $700 for the 7.2-channel Elite VSX-80. The Pioneer Elite VSX-80 features premium ESS Sabre DACs (digital audio converters) and subwoofer EQ as well as 165 watts per channel of power. The top non-Elite HDMI 2.0 model—the $600 Pioneer VSX-1124—sports almost all of the VSX-80's features including identical power specifications.

 



Pioneer's $500 VSX-1024 

 

The $500, 7.2-channel Pioneer Elite VSX-44 forgoes a number of features found on the VSX-80 and VSX-1124, including subwoofer EQ and ESS Sabre DACs. Maximum power on the VSX-1024 is rated at 140 watts per channel. The Pioneer VSX-1024 also sells for $500 and offers a similar feature set to the Elite VSX-80 but is limited to 140 watts per channel of power. Finally, the $400 Pioneer VSX-824 sports 5.2 channels with 140 watts of power.

 



Pioneer's $400 VSX-824 

 

Kudos to Pioneer for being first to market with HDMI 2.0-compatible AVRs, which include 1080p upscaling to 2160/60p. I'm curious if that will have a tangible benefit when showing 1080i footage such as sports broadcasts. There's not much content out there that takes advantage of both UHD resolution and 60p frame rates, although I suspect hardcore video gamers will be interested in that capability.

 

For now, there's little reason to rush out and upgrade to an HDMI 2.0-compatible AVR just for that feature. However, if you are currently in the market for a new AVR, the inclusion of HDMI 2.0 is a compelling option that promises forward compatibility with new TVs and 2160/60p UHD/4K video formats.

 



 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McC  /t/1522834/pioneer-premiers-five-hdmi-2-0-compatible-av-receivers#post_24490845


Their cheapest receiver will be $400? Ouch !!
 

That's not quite true. The VSX-523 is still around and sells for $250 but is limited to 5.1 audio and does not feature HDMI 2.0. It's more accurate to say Pioneer's least expensive HDMI 2.0-compatible receiver is $400—plus, that's just msrp.
 

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those prices dont seem to unreasonable to me, yes its more then I would like to pay or can just toss out there to buy but the feature set seems to go along with the price and hey you are paying for that new tech smell.
 

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At those prices, why do we still need to purchase a separate Wifi and bluetooth adapter? These receivers are advancing in certain ways, but still much too antiquated in other ways.
 

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I'm leery of anything that will require a future firmware update from Pioneer that will see a products full potential. For that reason I'm out.


Will wait till next year.




Note: I own a ton of Pioneer products and still like their consumer electronics, however, IMO I feel 2nd generation HDMI 2.0 products will work out all the kinks.
 

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I thought those prices were super cheap, 700 for the elite seemed weird since that's cheaper than the current model is selling for, by a LOT.


but 7.2 channels. that's why. I guess they have done this for their best selling models, and left the high end and entry receivers off the list for now?


I also thought it was kind of funny to say an AVR is a 'long term purchase' as I think it's the most likely to become obsolete. I mean, I'm still using the same dvd player I bought in 2001, i'm using the same speakers I bought well before that, but the avr I bought when I bought my speakers didn't even have component video, let alone hdmi, or support for any of the current audio formats, and the receiver I have now(which is my 4th since 1999) only has 3 hdmi inputs, and is long overdue for an upgrade. I could see AMPS being a long term purchase, but with the way things change, processing is short term imo. even the best avr on the market today won't have what entry level models will in 5yrs.


anyway, enough of that, glad to see this is coming out now, because when I do replace my AVR, it'll be nice to have hdmi 2.0 support, and even better, it'll be nice for that not to be a premium feature.
 
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That is cheap for Pioneer....in years past, Elite receivers would easily go for 4 digits. I guess they came to a rude awakening. Still sporting my SC-05 (HDMI 1.3) and see no reason to upgrade in the near-term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt  /t/1522834/pioneer-premiers-five-hdmi-2-0-compatible-av-receivers#post_24491736


I thought those prices were super cheap, 700 for the elite seemed weird since that's cheaper than the current model is selling for, by a LOT.


but 7.2 channels. that's why. I guess they have done this for their best selling models, and left the high end and entry receivers off the list for now?

I also thought it was kind of funny to say an AVR is a 'long term purchase' as I think it's the most likely to become obsolete. I mean, I'm still using the same dvd player I bought in 2001, i'm using the same speakers I bought well before that, but the avr I bought when I bought my speakers didn't even have component video, let alone hdmi, or support for any of the current audio formats, and the receiver I have now(which is my 4th since 1999) only has 3 hdmi inputs, and is long overdue for an upgrade. I could see AMPS being a long term purchase, but with the way things change, processing is short term imo. even the best avr on the market today won't have what entry level models will in 5yrs.


anyway, enough of that, glad to see this is coming out now, because when I do replace my AVR, it'll be nice to have hdmi 2.0 support, and even better, it'll be nice for that not to be a premium feature.
 

I think it's fair to say DVD is obsolete. Speakers are what they are... true long-term investments, best "bang-for-your-buck." 


I'd agree with the notion that an AVR is a once-every-three-or-four-years upgrade, which is still longer than a lot of other devices like my tablet, cell phone, and PC. To me, any tech item that potentially lasts for two years or more is a long term purchase. Ultimately, I've upgraded my AVR much less often than my speakers, subs, TVs, computers, phones, cameras, and etc. But that's just me.
 

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HDMI 2.0 is a big deal but the fact that these have MCACC with Sub EQ is what interests me even more!


I have no devices that will do 4k and wont have any for a long time and that is easily what is against these AVRs most....no sources and lack of displays....
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimeran  /t/1522834/pioneer-premiers-five-hdmi-2-0-compatible-av-receivers#post_24492976


HDMI 2.0 is a big deal but the fact that these have MCACC with Sub EQ is what interests me even more!


I have no devices that will do 4k and wont have any for a long time and that is easily what is against these AVRs most....no sources and lack of displays....

Only 2 of the models have Sub EQ. There will be a lot of 4K displays available by Christmas time. Many at prices only slightly higher than their 1080p equivalents. Whenever I buy my next TV, it will be a 4K TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic  /t/1522834/pioneer-premiers-five-hdmi-2-0-compatible-av-receivers#post_24492058


I think it's fair to say DVD is obsolete. Speakers are what they are... true long-term investments, best "bang-for-your-buck." 



I'd agree with the notion that an AVR is a once-every-three-or-four-years upgrade, which is still longer than a lot of other devices like my tablet, cell phone, and PC. To me, any tech item that potentially lasts for two years or more is a long term purchase. Ultimately, I've upgraded my AVR much less often than my speakers, subs, TVs, computers, phones, cameras, and etc. But that's just me.

maybe I'm the exception, but I've got 2 'spare' receivers that I don't have a place to put them, they need to get upgraded way more often than anything else I have. i guess that's why I personally think of avrs as not a long term device. it's the only thing i have that gets replaced way before it breaks/wears out. i have an excellent condition sony receiver in my bedroom that works awesome, but it's totally useless for video switching since it only has s-video and composite inputs. even my TV's last longer for me. haha, actually in the last 8yrs I've only upgraded my phone once too. that one I know I'm the exception though.


dvd may be 'obsolete' but I didn't have to buy a new dvd player every 3yrs. I bought one, and it lasted the entire life cycle.


I guess an avr is pretty average then, not the longest life cycle, but not the shortest either.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97  /t/1522834/pioneer-premiers-five-hdmi-2-0-compatible-av-receivers#post_24491755


That is cheap for Pioneer....in years past, Elite receivers would easily go for 4 digits. I guess they came to a rude awakening. Still sporting my SC-05 (HDMI 1.3) and see no reason to upgrade in the near-term.

for the last 3-4 years Pioneer has performed a "watering down: of their Elite line with cheaper models that would hardly qualify as "Elite." Often they share the same components as a non-Elite model wrapped in an Elite fascia.

Still, good to see Pioneer getting with the times and adding sub EQ.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic  /t/1522834/pioneer-premiers-five-hdmi-2-0-compatible-av-receivers#post_24490248


Pioneer lives up to its name with the introduction of the industry's first HDMI 2.0-compatible AV receivers .


Thanks to HDMI 2.0, the five new models feature support for 2160/60p resolution and 4:4:4 8-bit color thanks to an increase in bandwidth to 18 Gbps—up from 10.2 Gbps with HDMI 1.4. According to Pioneer, full support for 2160p 4:4:4 8-bit video will arrive as a firmware update scheduled for this summer. Needless to say, you'll need a HDMI 2.0-compatible UHDTV to take advantage of the new feature.


For now, there's little reason to rush out and upgrade to an HDMI 2.0-compatible AVR just for that feature. However, if you are currently in the market for a new AVR, the inclusion of HDMI 2.0 is a compelling option that promises forward compatibility with new TVs and 2160/60p UHD/4K video formats.
I find it a bit humorous to market it as HDMI 2.0 if they don't have firmware ready that increases that bandwidth to 18 Gbps? More like HDMI 2.0 ready.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy  /t/1522834/pioneer-premiers-five-hdmi-2-0-compatible-av-receivers#post_24494159


for the last 3-4 years Pioneer has performed a "watering down: of their Elite line with cheaper models that would hardly qualify as "Elite." Often they share the same components as a non-Elite model wrapped in an Elite fascia.

Still, good to see Pioneer getting with the times and adding sub EQ.

The Elite line often times does match the normal AVR better but the main difference is they support the "installers" a bit better with room automation control stuff.


I also didnt realize that there were 4k sets coming out at such reasonable prices by the end of the year. However, I would argue that you really need a projector to take advantage of HDMI 2.0 and 4k
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast  /t/1522834/pioneer-premiers-five-hdmi-2-0-compatible-av-receivers#post_24491210


Enter: the precursors to the dominating technical advances on 2014. Trickle up technology at its best. Im staying tuned for when these releases transfer from receivers to processors.

I am using a X4000 as a pre pro now, but I really want a dedicated pre pro. Will have my eye out this year because Im not dropping that coin unless its HDMI 2.0.
 

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I'm amazed that their top of the line "Elite" receiver doesn't have a pre-out for the center speaker.
 

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The VSX-80 isn't their top of the line, it's bottom-barrel Elite. With the current lineup you don't get full multichannel pre-outs until the SC-72.
 
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