Pros I've heard the sound is quite nice......
Cons Expected the HDMI inputs to work with my Plasma TV!!
Summary I recently purchased this Home Theater Receiver for one reason! I wanted to be able to utilize my HDMI connections to my cable box and DVD Player. I was able to do so with my DVD Player without any problem. (A Pioneer DV-59AVI) However, the problem arose when trying to hook up my HD cable box (Scientific Atlanta) with the HDMI connection.
The problem? It doesn't work!! After many frustrating hours speaking with Time Warner NYC and Pioneer, here's what I discovered. To adhere to the HDCP (high def. copy protection), ALL electronic manufacturers have to use what is known as 1.1 HDMI. Since Time Warner Cable NYC doesn't use that form of HDMI you can't hook up their cable box to this receiver using an HDMI connection. Since the Scientific Atlanta doesn't have HDMI but DVI video output (the 8300 has HDMI), I thought I might be able to eliminate the problem by using a DVI to HDMI converter and running the HDMI line to the receiver and use a coaxial digital cable for my audio. Unfortunately, as soon as I plugged in the HDMI cable or activated the HDMI input through the input menu, the sound went off. In any case, I couldn't get video to work.
Originally, a Pioneer customer service rep said that unless my cable company had 1.1 HDMI, it's a problem with the cable company. However, I finally spoke with someone a little higher up who was honest enougt to tell me that even if you have 1.1 HDMI, you still may have a problem using HDMI connection with this receiver. He said I'm not the only complaint he's received about this issue. It appears that Pioneer has released a product that isn't fully ready for release. The basic customer service reps at Pioneer gave me some mumbo jumbo about HDMI being so new which is why there's a problem. That's the last thing someone who pays $1200 for a home theater receiver wants to hear. The higher up person said their engineers are working on a solution and will contact me at that time.
If you're purchasing one of the new receivers by any manufacturer for the HDMI connections, I would be very careful and speak with your cable company and the manufacturer itself for any compatibility problems.
Pros Ipod, XM, Sounds awesome
Cons Ipod interface is slow
Summary This is by far the best stereo on the market for the price. I had a Denon 3802, which was a nightmare to set up. The Pioneer set itself up in minutes and the Ipod integration is superier to anything on the market (unless you have a mediastation). B&K is better, but for 1/2 the price this stereo is a bargain and sounds flawless. Consider this receiver vs. Dennon
Pros Plenty of inputs. The auto-setup program is amazing! I-pod and XM interfaces are 'neat' features. Good sound.
Cons Remote control lacks apeal.
Summary This is my first 'high-end' receiver so much of this might be standard now days. I upgraded from an old 501 model.
I had this thing setup in less than 20 minutes, including the automatic acoustic setup routine. I was absolutly amazed at this! It brought a completly new sound to the surround sound system. The on-screen display is wonderful for this as well as viewing the results. But, for comparison i did a manual setup only adjusting distance and sound level ( by ear ). These were the only controls my old receiver added. Power is clean and sounded great even with a manual setup using ears only. Utizing the memory feature it is easy to compare the auto setup against the manual setup. The auto setup sounds so much better and seems so precise that moving over to a different part of the couch will affect the sound.
The inputs are setup using the OSD and it was a breeze. As was bi-amping.
Some other features that I like:
-Bi-amping without rear jumper wires
-Ipod and XM interface
-Setup mic included
-Surround field enhancments actually work well without overpowering the sound
-Sounds excellent in Stereo mode.
There were really no suprises with this unit. Though I have not had it too long i have not found anything that I don't like besides what i could see in the specs.
I have this hooked up to a pair of Paradigm Monitor 5's with timbre matched center and surrounds. It is a little 'bright'. THis is completely expected given my room has wood floors, lots of windows, and Paradigms tend to be a little bright. The setup program did a great job of compensating for this!
My biggest complaint is the remote. It is functional but with this many buttons an LCD remote would be much easier to operate.
Pros Tons of features, excellent sound, great remote control, it got the look.
Cons No illumination on the lcd screen for the remote, I wish ipod could have an itunes integrated for better managing of the songs, it is slow to change songs but I can live with it.
Summary I recently bought this receiver and I love it, after being five years with my Marantz sr780, which has lots of power, I decided to upgrade my whole HT system. I bought a pair of KEF's iQ9 and pair of Monitor Audio r90 and a Monitor Audio r180 and the sound is amazing. My KEF's sound beautiful, my Marantz had the power to make them sound decently but not like this Pioneer, maybe a newer Marantz can. After Marantz I think Pioneer is the next option if not the best for this price range and it will even outperform more expensive receivers.
Time to let go my Marantz as the new King arrived. Time to let go my Mirage OM-14, because a newer more stylish KEF iQ9 are here. And dont forget about the Monito Audio, they are small with a exquisit finish, the most beautiful speakers ever, and all these well paired with Pioneer VSX-72TXV.
Pros Phono, XM and iPod inputs
Cons nearly unusable if you have multiple HDMI inputs (like HDTV & DVD)
Summary After reading the (mostly) glowing reviews on this receiver, I went ahead and ordered it. I was EXTREMELY disappointed with the way it handles HDMI. I had the following problems:
1. It cannot handle HDMI video signal from my COMCAST digital cable box.
2. Every time I switched between two HDMI inputs (for example, my HD Tivo and my DVD), I lost all audio! I would have to cycle through the complete list of inputs from beginning to end before I got audio back
3. 50% of the time, when I switch from one HDMI input to the other, I simply get a blue screen with nothing else. I have to switch back and forth repeatedly before I get a video signal
4. I had been hoping that the Pioneer would take any kind of signal (analog, componenet, HDMI) and convert/route it out the HDMI port to the TV. However, it cannot convert the component signal. So I had to run both HDMI and Component between the reciever and the TV, and if I want to use my xbox, I not only have to switch the pioneer receiver so it is using component, but I have to tell my TV to switch to componenet as well.