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Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K Home Theater Receiver - Short Review

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Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - Front View

Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K 7.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver - Front View

Photo (C) Robert Silva - Licensed to About.com

The Bottom Line

The Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K combines practical features and good audio performance in an affordable package. The VSX-1019AH-K includes Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD audio processing, Four HDMI inputs inputs, analog to HDMI video conversion with 1080p upscaling. Extra bonuses include iPod connection via front USB port (no docking station needed), Sirius radio compatibility, and Pioneer's PQLS (Precision Quartz Locking System) for anti-jitter CD playback with compatible Pioneer Blu-ray Disc players. After reading this short review, check out my Full Reviews, as well as my supplementary Photo Gallery and Video Performance Tests.
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Pros

  • Excellent audio performance, extensive surround sound settings.
  • Four HDMI inputs and front USB port (for iPod and Flash Drive content).
  • MCACC speaker setup system works very well.
  • Built-in Fan in addition to heat sinks helps keep receiver from running too hot.
  • Large front Panel LED display.

Cons

  • Below average video upscaling performance.
  • No HDMI input on front panel.
  • No S-video Connections.
  • Complicated to use for the novice - Remote control has small buttons.
  • No dedicated phono turntable input connection.

Description

  • 7.1 channel home theater receiver rated at 120 Watts x 7 (1Hz) at .05% THD.
  • Audio Decoding: Dolby Digital Plus and TrueHD, DTS-HD, Dolby Digital 5.1/EX/Prologic IIx, DTS 5.1/ES, 96/24, Neo:6.
  • Audio inputs: 6 Stereo Analog, 2 Digital Optical, 2 Digital Coaxial.
  • 6 additional input jacks for discrete multi-channel input. Can be used for accessing SACD, DVD-Audio, or external decoder.
  • One set of stereo analog outputs for Zone 2 operation (additional amplifier and speakers required with this option).
  • Video Inputs: 4 HDMI, 2 Component, 3 Composite. One set of AV inputs are mounted on front panel.
  • Analog to HDMI video conversion (480i to 480p) and upscaling from 480p to 1080p via HDMI. HDMI pass-through of 1080p sources.
  • Standard AM/FM tuner, as well as Sirius Satellite Raio connectivity (Subscription and optional tuner/antenna are required).
  • Front mounted USB port for iPod, iPhone, and Flash Drive connection. iPod menu navigation/file access via receiver remote.
  • MCACC automatic speaker setup. Manual override available. Wireless remote and onscreen menu setup and navigation system.

Guide Review - Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K Home Theater Receiver - Short Review

Home Theater receivers have definitely evolved, with even mid-priced units incorporating features and performance, in some cases, that did not even exist as recently as a couple of years ago.

With the VSX-1019AH-K, Pioneer has incorporated such features as four HDMI video inputs, HDMI video and audio switching with analog-to-HDMI video conversion and 1080p upscaling, advanced HDMI audio capabilities, iPOD compatibility, and both XM and Sirius satellite radio.

Having had a chance to get a hands-on with the receiver, I can say that it performs its primary role very well, providing a satisfying listening experience from both movie and music source material.

The VSX-1019AH-K offers convenient and abundant features. One of my favorite features is the front mounted USB port for connecting an iPod. In addition, the MCACC automatic speaker setup system provides fairly accurate results.

This is one of the least expensive receivers to offer 1080p upscaling. However, I found this aspect of this receiver's performance to be disappointing. For full details, check out my suppplmentary Video Performance Test Gallery.

In addition, while you should always place a home theater in an setup that allows good air circulation, the VSX-1019AH-K gets warm, but does not get hot after hours of operation. Pioneer made a wise decision to include a built-in fan in addition to large heat sinks.

In terms of audio performance and features, this home theater receiver definitely deserves attention. But you are better offering using a good upscaling DVD player or a Blu-ray Disc player with good DVD upscaling, rather than relying on the upscaling ability of the VSX-1019HA-K.

The Pioneer VSX-1019AH-K has a suggested retail price of $499, but may be found lower: Compare Prices.

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Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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