Pros Ipod connect with OSD - no $100 dock - it's all in the box. Voice enhance helps bring out dialog in movies. Problem free HDMI upscaling. Painless setup via the included mic. Nice high def GUI for setup. Crisp clear sound
Cons GUI - OSD: Not as thorough as I would have liked as it does not apply to all inputs (i.e., radio is front panel only). Way too many acronyms and abbreviations - makes system very confusing initially.
Summary Would highly recommend this receiver to anyone looking for top-notch sound and features without breaking the bank. This is my first HDMI receiver but not my first home theater system - finally making the move to HD. I've actually reverted back to older speakers I had retired in the search for better sound. With the quallity of sound from the 1019AH I've found it was actually my old receiver with muddy sound and not my speakers. II always assumed I'd get a Denon or Yamaha unit but with the new Pioneer lineup they've won me over.
Pros 4 HDMI inputs
Takes analog video inputs and outputs on HDMI (with optional 1080p upconversion)
Good customization options
Cons None. Really.
Summary I have this in my home theater connected to (1) Nintendo Wii via component video and stereo audio (2) HD cable box via HDMI and (3) DVD via HDMI.
I only have one HDMI cable running to my projector, so it was essential to have the analog-to-HDMI output for the Wii. At first the video wasn't working well with the projector (Mitsubishi HC5500), but I reconfigured the video upscaling to "pure" which I think is just a pass-through, and now it works great because the projector does the upscaling. I figure the upscaling in a $2,000 projector is going to be better than any mid-range AV receiver anyway. The sound is excellent. I have it connected to all Polk in-wall speakers and a sub in a 7.1 arrangement, and it just sounds great. Dialogue is crisp and easy to hear, even in those annoying movies where the explosions are 50x louder than the dialogue. It is really a perfect mid-range receiver for movies and games. Really could not be better. A+
Pros ipod interface is a really nice feature, lots of ways to customize the sound
Cons Sound is good, but not overly impressive
Summary I picked up a 1019 after returning a malfunctioning HK 254. I feared that something as small and light as the Pioneer couldn't possibly match the HK for power, and that fear was confirmed when I listened to the receiver. Using the HK, the soundtrack on The Dark Knight has a tremedous amount of dynamic impact. While the Pioneer sounds crystal clear, much of that impact is missing. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't sound terrible. But it doesn't have the warm, natural sound of the HK with the HK's weight and dynamic punch. If I wasn't comparing it to the HK, I probably would have liked it fine. But I returned it and picked up another HK, because I would rather live with the HK's glitches to enjoy the HK's sound.
Incidentally, my old receiver was a Yamaha RXV-659. I think my Yamaha sounded a little better than the Pioneer 1019. If, as cnet claims, this Pioneer sounds better than the Yamaha 665, then the current Yamaha's amplifier is markedly inferior to the models that they replaced.
If you want the Pioneer's features, then you may be happy with this receiver. If you want top notch sound quality, look to HK (I have heard similarly good things about Marantz). Note that alot is dependent on speakers, and I think that the HK happens to pair wonderfully with my Paradigm Mini Monitors. Also, if you want something that works without any headaches whatsoever, you may be much happier with this Pioneer than with the HK 254. I, however, will put up with a few headaches for (to my ears) the superior HK sound. With the HK my system sounds downright thunderous in the most pleasant way possible. That thunder is lacking in the Pioneer - it sounds merely good. I, for one, like my thunder, so I didn't like the Pioneer enough to keep it.
Pros Excellent sound, Great GUI, direct iPod connectivity included, looks sharp.
Cons Remote control could be better, manual not the most user friendly, "handshaking" issues when sound from Satellite box is run through HDMI cable.
Summary I just purchased my VSX-1019AH-K a week ago on 07/02/09 from Best Buy. I really didn?t want to pay the full $509 price if I didn?t have to so I found a listing on eBay for $450 (taxes and shipping included) and brought it with me to see if Best Buy would at least give me a bit of a discount. To my surprise they matched the price? selling me the unit for $414.99 + tax! Very happy with the deal I got, I couldn?t wait to get home and set up my new receiver!
I hooked it up to my 10 yr old full size JBL 5.1 speaker system. I was actually considering replacing these speakers with a new set (like the Aperion 4T Hybrid SD) but I have to tell you, after hearing what my JBL speakers sound like with this receiver, I think I?ll save myself the $1500. This Pioneer receiver blows away my old 10 yr old Yamaha. The sound is fuller, cleaner, and has way more depth. Everything sounds better? T.V, DVD?s, Blue Ray, games and music.
The set up was a cinch with the automatic speaker calibration. It made a mistake thinking my rear speakers were large but that was easy enough to fix. The only other thing I had to adjust was to change the subwoofer setting from ?yes? to ?plus.? This sends lower frequencies to both your large speakers and your sub at the same time, which gave my particular system a more full rounded sound. The manual isn?t the most user friendly so it took a while to figure out how to do this but I?m very happy with the end result. I was happy with the calibration of all my other speakers so I left them alone.
The direct connection option with my iPod was easy as well and very much appreciated. I can also hook my iPod up through my PS3 but the Pioneer lets me control the iPod through a menu on my T.V. with the same options as the iPod itself (searching by artist, playlist, ect.) This is actually the feature that sold my wife on agreeing to purchase a receiver at all in the first place so it holds a special place in my heart. :-)
On the Con side, I think the remote could have been a little better designed. For instance, when you switch between the different surround sound options, often times you have to hit the ?receiver? button first. This button is all the way at the bottom of the remote and isn?t noticeable enough for my taste. It?s really nit picky but there?s not much to dislike about this receiver so I had to mention it. Another nuisance is the ?handshaking? issue I have with the sound on standard digital channels (non-HD). It should first be noted that I have a Dish Network HD DVR box and run an HDMI cable from the Dish box to the receiver and then another HDMI cable from the receiver to my LCD T.V. This handshaking issue is a little difficult to explain but I?ll do my best. What happens is, if I turn my T.V. and receiver off when I?m on an HD channel, when I turn everything back on, I can only hear sound from HD channels, not the standard digital ones. To fix the issue I either have to go into the GUI menu and back out? or switch the input in the receiver to my DVD player (or any other input) and then back to HDMI. This forces the receiver to sink back up (re-handshake) with Dish Network, which kicks the sound for digital channels back on. I called Pioneer to see if the issue could be resolved and they advised it?s a common ?handshaking? issue between a Satellite box and the receiver when you run the sound through the HDMI cable. They advised me to call Dish Network thinking on my Dish box could be changed that would resolve the issue. A 30 min call to Dish Network later, the issue could not be resolved. It should be noted that both Pioneer and Dish Network advised this is a common problem for all receivers hooked up this way and isn?t specific to just Pioneer. I can?t confirm this as this is the first receiver I?ve owned with HDMI inputs, but at any rate, it?s not a deal killer for me by any means.
The bottom line is, in my opinion, the Pro?s way out weigh the Cons and I highly recommend this receiver to anybody looking in the $400-$600 price range. You will not be disappointed!
Pros This system has wonderful sound, got my PS3, 360, wii, and dvd routed through and they all sound and look great. Setup was relatively easy. Plays my Sony Walkman A728, not even Sony AVRs do this without the $100 add-on.
Cons Not really, the system produces a significant amount of heat, but most AVRs do in my experience, so find a space with adequate ventilation-you need about 3 in above the player to cool it.
Summary Performance: Can't say anything but nice things about this AVR. All my components sound great, it appears to be future proof with 4 HDMIs, I'm currently only using 1. I have this hooked up to my WEGA 34XBr970 (3 year old 1080i HDTV) and it compliments it nicely with its 7.1 sound, this was a significant upgrade from my 8 year old ancient AVR. My den is an ok size and this fills it with great sound without any problems. The fact that this works with my Sony walkman is fantastic, considering that even Sony's AVRs support it only after you buy an additional add on...I just plugged in via USB and boom my music was on the GUI and I was able to navigate from the remote to play whatever I wanted in MP3 or WMA.
Setup: This part was fairly intuitive, I did have to reference my manual a few times to make sure I was doing some of the calibrations and manual setups correctly. The manual is a bit clumsy but overall you can find what you need in it. The remote does need an overhaul in functionality, but you get used to it. The system does produce significant heat and so you will need to place it in a well-ventilated area...as the previous poster had mentioned, I also placed mine in a tv stand but only had about 3 cm of space above the unit, so it generated alot of heat on the shelf above it. I had to move the unit to an audio pier, from which the unit performs beautifully now while remaining cool (I have about 3 in head space above the AVR).
Bottom Line: I could have gone more expensive with some convincing needed for my wife, but this unit caught my eye and shocked me when I started researching it about a month ago. For the money and then some, this unit is a definite purchase and my home theater is better for it.