New Pioneer VSX-819H-K - Is this the new budget AVR king?
The new Pioneer VSX-819H-K was released on 1 May 09, so it's fairly new and there is not a whole of info online about it. No reviews, only a few stores are stocking it right now, online.
To me, it just screams value compared to other competitors...
Key features :
- LPCM over HDMI (Not just a pass-through, it will playback the audio)
- Lossless audio codec decoding (Dolby TrueHD, DTS HD MA)
- 110w x 5 (not sure how true that is... Is Pioneer known for inflating these specs?)
- 3 HDMI in/1 out (no upconversion, not a big deal if your using all digital sources like me)
I'm looking at this AVR (and considering the 919 too). Took my HTPC to a retailer yesterday to check out whether it works. It does, quite nicely, outputting 5.1 sound using a HD-DVD copy of Planet Earth. The only glitches were the sound testing under Vista being intermittent (first speaker in the test, the front left - would rarely sound up).
Some 819 owners have complained of video pass through issues which doesnt seem to be the case with the 919. I went with the 919 just to avoid the hassle. The 919 also supports the On screen setup via HDMI which the 819 doesnt.
I took my HTPC to check it out on an 819 precisely because of the reported video pass through problems but encountered none.
I did buy the 919 eventually as it only cost USD50 more than the 819 (which reportedly has power problems too).
One feature that had me initially sold on the 819 was the two unamped outs for connecting to amp'd speakers which would add the rear surrounds to give 7.1. Unfortunately you can't run these independently of the other main room speakers.