As $500 receivers go, the VSX-1016TXV is a bit bigger than average, measuring 16.5 inches wide, 6.75 high, and 18.5 deep. That might make for a tight squeeze in cabinets or on shelves, so it's a good idea to measure your space before you buy this receiver. It weighs just more than 33 pounds.
We had no complaints about the included remote. The LCD display is comparatively easy to read, and the keypad, though dense, is well laid out with clearly labeled buttons. As noted, Pioneer's MCACC (Multi-Channel Acoustic Calibration) auto setup program is both highly accurate and easy to use. After you plug in the supplied measuring microphone, bring up the onscreen display, and push a few buttons on the remote, the MCACC automatically determines your system's speaker sizes; speaker-to-listener distances, including the subwoofer; sets the volume levels of all of the speakers and the sub; sets the subwoofer crossover point; and applies a room/speaker correcting EQ program. And if you want to delve deeper and change some of the MCACC's setup details--the crossover setting, for example (MCACC selected 80Hz; we changed it to 50Hz)--it's easy enough to do. That's not always the case with autosetup programs.
Our one beef with the Pioneer's interface: The setup menus of the onscreen display are available over the composite, S-Video, and component-video outputs, but not HDMI. The Pioneer VSX-1016TXV sports seven 120-watt channels, and all of the basic surround-processing modes from Dolby and DTS. In addition to bass and treble controls, the VSX-1016TXV has a tone-control feature we haven't seen for a couple of years: Loudness. Engaging Loudness selectively boosts the bass and treble frequencies that human hearing is less sensitive to when the volume is low. We found it effective during late-night listening sessions.
The VSX-1016TXV's connectivity options look, on the surface at least, to be fairly comprehensive, but there's two significant shortcomings. While it offers switching for two HDMI sources, the receiver doesn't convert composite, S-Video, and component video to HDMI. Ideally, you'd be able to run all your source cables into the Pioneer and have whatever signal is coming in converted for output to a single HDMI cable that's connected to your HDTV. Alas, that isn't possible here. For example, if you run the component-video input from your Xbox 360 into the Pioneer, you'd still have to connect a separate component cable to output from the receiver to your TV. To further complicate matters, the HDMI inputs can accept video signals only from source devices. Audio signals can be passed along to the speakers of an HDMI-equipped TV, but you won't get any audio from your receiver unless you also connect analog or digital audio cables from the source. While it's true that most receivers with more robust HDMI implementation (video and audio via a single HDMI cable, analog-to-digital HDMI video conversion) cost more, that's starting to change. The JVC RX-D702 and the JVC RX-D411S, for instance, can handle both features with aplomb, despite street prices below $600 and $500, respectively.
On a more positive note, the VSX-1016TXV does provide five A/V inputs with composite and S-Video (including one on the front panel), three of which can be assigned to component-video sources. The receiver will convert composite and S-Video sources to output to component video as well. Audio connectivity includes one set of stereo inputs and one in/out tape loop. The 7.1-channel analog input can be used with HD-DVD, Blu-ray, DVD-Audio, or SACD players. (In fact, because of the aforementioned HDMI audio shortfall, it's your only worthwhile choice.) You also get five digital audio inputs (two coaxial, three optical--one of which is on the front panel), and one optical output. The 7.1 preamplifier outputs can be used with a separate power amplifier. Pioneer also offers an optional IDK-01 dock for iPod users. The absence of a dedicated phono input means that vinyl fans will need to invest in a dedicated preamp or opt for a turntable with line-level outputs.