Product Name:Pioneer VSX-518-K, VSX-818V-K, VSX-918V-K and VSX-1018TXH-K
Description: Pioneer just updated its AV receiver line with the VSX-518-K, VSX-818V-K, VSX-918V-K and VSX-1018TXH-K, all of which sport plenty of high-def goodness. The high-end VSX-1018-K supports HDMI 1.3 and does on-board decoding of HD audio formats like Dolby TrueHD, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD Master Audio, and DTS-HD High Resolution Audio. It also pumps out 130 watts on 7 channels, so everyone in your neighborhood can enjoy The Bourne Ultimatum along with you, thanks to Pioneer’s Direct Energy Amplifier technology and improved heat compensation.
The other three receivers use Pioneer’s P.H.A.T.
seriously? (Pioneer Hybrid Amplifier Technology) to crank out 120 watts over 5 channels with improved sonic accuracy. All but the VSX-518-K have iPod, XM, and Sirius inputs.
Price:$199, $249, $349, and $599
In-store date:April, except the VSX-1018TXH-K, which will drop in June.
Why it’s cool: The high-end model has just about everything you’d need for a high-def setup, plus plenty of power. The other ones? Not bad for the price, but nothing to crap your pants about.