AVR with Digital-Audio & Component-Video Outputs

My Pioneer VSX-35TX A/V receiver just died. I'm looking for a new receiver in the $500 range, but I'm having a hard time finding any that have, among other things, a digital-audio output. Why is that important? I have a Pioneer TRE-D800 wireless headphone transmitter that does 5.1 audio, and it can accept either optical or coaxial inputs. Another consideration is that my Pioneer Elite PRO-510HD RPTV has no HDMI inputs, so I need a component-video output. I want a receiver that can grow from here, so 3D pass-through is a must, and 7.1 audio would be a bonus.

I'm interested in the Pioneer VSX-1122, but it doesn't seem to have all the outputs I need. The Pioneer Elite VSX-52 has exactly what I'm looking for, but it's $400 out of my range. What other brands of receivers should I be looking at, or am I just plain screwed at my current budget?

Chris Friebus

The VSX-1122 has a digital-audio output, but no component-video output. Both types of outputs are becoming more scarce on AVRs as HDMI-equipped products become more common. I looked at AVRs in your price range from Denon, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, and Yamaha, and other than the VSX-1122, I could find none with digital-audio outputs. I'm afraid you'll have to spend quite a bit more than your stated budget for these connections.

As you point out, the VSX-52 (reviewed here) has everything you need now—the digital-audio and component-video outputs are highlighted in the photo above—and want for the future, but it lists for $900. However, it is no longer a current model, so you can get it for substantially less than that. After a quick search online, I found it on Amazon for $750—still more than your budget allows, but if you can stretch that much, it's a worthy AVR that does what you need now and will grow with your system as you upgrade your other components.

If you have an A/V question, please send it to askhometheater@gmail.com.

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COMMENTS
ballstadt's picture

You can pick up last year's SR5005 at various online locations for between $475-600 and it offers both features Chris requested. I just installed one of these last month and have been hugely impressed and satisfied.

Leandro's picture

Hello! I have a Marantz SR6006. I have, from the TV, the ARC hdmi input (hdmi 2) connected to the hdmi ARC output of the receiver. There are two ARC outputs on the SR6006. I am connected to the hdmi 1. Now on the SR6006's hdmi inputs, I have a Time Warner HD cable box, a PS3, and an Xbox 360 in 3 of the 7 hdmi inputs available. I for some reason cannot get the setup wizard to display on my tv. I am not sure what the hell I am doing wrong. Is there a setting on my tv I need to change that involves the ARC communication? I would appreciate ANY help as I am fairly new to all of the newer technology. Thanks in advance.

CJLA's picture

Hi Guys,
I just wanted to make you aware that Atlona Technologies has an HDMI to optical converter that maintains the 5.1 channels. It's not cheap, but if you are unaware of this it could be an option. For more info, please go to http://www.atlona.com/Atlona-HDMI-Audio-De-Embedder-with-3D-Support.html I imagine that you would put this inline between the receiver and the TV for listening to multiple sources, or inline between the video source and the receiver for a single source. Hope this helps!
At Scott: Great job on the The Tech Guy as usual!

Scott Wilkinson's picture
I hadn't seen this Atlona device; good suggestion! You're right, though, it is expensive at $240. And thanks for your kind words re The Tech Guy; I had a blast filling in for Leo!
shutyertrap's picture

I was so focused on finding a digital audio out, I didn't even notice the VSX 1122 didn't have component out! Cross that one off the list. This would be so much easier if I was buying a new TV at the same time!

I was floored when I went back to Pioneer's site to look at the VSX 52 and found it replaced by new models (I literally thought I'd seen it on there just a week prior), all but only the super expensive having gotten rid of optical out. Looks like I'm bargain hunting for last year's models.

Thanks for the heads up on the Marantz unit. Again, I'd just checked their website and had written them off cause I didn't see what I was looking for.

Scott, how worried should I be with online retailers? I had heard that Pioneer Elite equipment wasn't sold 'officially' online, and therefore the warranties weren't valid.

borissauer1's picture

Just a heads-up, Pioneer will not honor the manufacturers warranty on any Elite receivers unless purchased through a verified dealer, which Amazon does not have. This came back to burn me once. Also, as of last check, none of their "authorized" online dealers had stock on any of their new Elite models, so purchasing an Elite receiver online could be trouble. Sorry for the bad news but don't let it come back to bite you.
P.S. this only applies to their Elite models, the 1122 is not Elite and is not a problem with their policy to the best of my knowledge.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
Here is Pioneer's official policy regarding sales of Elite products online:

Pioneer does NOT authorize any dealers to sell Elite-branded products on the Internet (only in-store sales are permitted). Therefore, any Elite-branded product purchased on the Internet is NOT authorized, which means that it does NOT carry the manufacturer's limited warranty and does not qualify for any manufacturer's rebate.

mailiang's picture

Pioneer policy:
Pioneer will not authorize ANY dealers to sell their ELITE brand products on the Internet. Only Elite in store retailers qualify. Any Elite branded product purchased on the Internet does NOT carry the manufacturer's limited warranty. All other Pioneer products are covered, but only if they are ordered and shipped from Amazon direct, not through one of their many individual dealer options unless that seller can prove that they are an authorized Pioneer dealer.

Ian
(Former Boomer Mcloud Regional Sales Manager/Pioneer Car Audio rep.)

shutyertrap's picture

Thanks guys, that's what I had thought. Hopefully I can find some local dealers (I'm in SoCal) that still have the 52 and with a discount at that. I'm gonna wanna find some place that has that Marantz 5005 too, just so I can physically check it out.

Really appreciate the responses to my initial question to AskHT. It's lit a fire in me to quickly try and get the money to purchase a new receiver sooner than later, as I feel I may be totally screwed if I wait even 6 months.

HardBoiled's picture

Is there an inexpensive HDMI to component converter available for use with the vsx 1122?

Scott Wilkinson's picture

There are many such devices, and I regret I didn't think of it before. I simply searched Google for "hdmi to component" and found several converters for around $30.

Monoprice has one for closer to $40 here:

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=101&cp_id=10114&cs_id...

I have no idea how well any of them work, but they are cheap enough to gamble on.

More expensive models from known companies such as Atlona are in the $200 range. HDTV Supply carries several here:

http://www.hdtvsupply.com/hdtocoad.html

HardBoiled's picture

Update: The vsx 1122 does not have a digital-audio output. The pioneer website specs are wrong.

Leandro's picture

On Crutchfield! Retail price was $1199. I just purchased this model on Crutchfield for $799. I figure this is an awesome AVR. I hope it is. I just need help hooking it up. But if you are in the market, save yourself $400!

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