Pioneer Electronics (USA) has unveiled its new line of Elite branded AV receivers (http://macte.ch/sNuCH) are designed to meet the needs of today’s connected consumers and their portable devices.
The five new Elite models consist of the VSX-40 ($450), VSX-50 ($600), VSX-51 (US$700), VSX-52($900) and VSX-53($1,100). All five new utilize the Elite audio and video technology and the VSX-50 and up have network features like Pioneer’s proprietary iPhone and iPad apps including iControlAV21 and Air Jam2, as well as Apple’s AirPlay, DLNA Certified (1.5) and Internet radio to become the hub of a consumer’s home network and entertainment system.
Starting with the VSX-50 and up, each Elite receiver is network capable, offering Ethernet connectivity to provide consumers with a wide range of new content, set-up and control of their home theater system. Chris Walker, director AV marketing and product planning for the home entertainment division of Pioneer Electronics (USA), says that features and apps that consumers can take advantage of with the new line of Elite receivers include:
° AirPlay — consumers have complete access, control and playback of their entire iTunes music library wirelessly through their home theater system. The AS-WL300, optional wireless LAN converter from Pioneer (sold separately), is available to simplify the connection process. Users can enjoy all their music with song information and album art simultaneously displayed on a connected monitor/TV. AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later and iPad, iPhone or iPod touch with iOS 4.2.
° Air Jam — encouraging social connectivity via entertainment devices, Pioneer’s free Air Jam App is available from the Apple App Store for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Compatible with four of the five Elite receivers, the app allows pairing of up to four devices via Bluetooth (optional AS-BT200 Bluetooth adapter required). Once linked, each individual can cue songs from their own music libraries to create a shared playlist to play back on the AV Receiver. Each connected device also displays the list of songs added by all the users and which device a song plays from. The Air Jam App stores the lists of songs created for each session for future purchases at the iTunes Store.
° DLNA Certified (1.5) — the new line of Elite receivers are also DLNA Certified (1.5), allowing music content to be shared from a computer to the receiver via the consumers’ home network. Through Ethernet or the optional AS-WL300 wireless LAN converter (sold separately), each receiver can access and play high resolution music (up to 192kHz/24-Bit). Audio can also be streamed and controlled through the Elite receivers using a device that supports UPnP/DLNA media servers and renderers.
° Bluetooth Audio Streaming — with the optional Bluetooth adapter, the entire lineup of receivers features wireless Bluetooth transfer of audio content from any A2DP Bluetooth wireless enabled mobile device or personal computer. With Pioneer’s exclusive Sound Retriever AIR technology, specifically designed to enhance Bluetooth audio transmissions, music playback delivered through Bluetooth is near-CD sound quality.
° vTuner — the line also brings Internet radio stations into the living room with vTuner. The feature is further enhanced on the VSX-52 and VSX-53 with the addition of other Internet radio based music services such as Pandora.
Each receiver in the lineup is “Made for iPad, iPhone and iPod” and comes with a free USB/video cable to provide an “out of the box, plug-and-play” convenience. Consumers can enjoy audio, video and photos stored on their mobile device with no “optional dock required,” in addition to charging while plugged into the receivers.