Pioneer Brings Back Home Theater in a Box

Pioneer is bringing back the once-popular home theater in a box (HTiB) with a $499 bundle that gives you almost everything you need to set up a six-speaker Dolby Atmos/DTS:X surround sound system. The only thing the package doesn’t include is a Blu-ray player or other source component.

At the heart of the HTP-076 Home Theater is the Pioneer VSX-326, a Dolby Atmos/DTS:X-capable AV receiver featuring quad-core 32-bit processing and rated to deliver 80 watts into five channels (8 ohms @ 0.08 % THD, two channels driven, FTC). The system uses two Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers with up-firing drivers to create a 3.1.2-channel setup capable of producing a “convincing 3D soundfield” without having to install ceiling speakers, according to Pioneer.

Proprietary Reflex Optimizer and Sound Control processing is used to improve sound localization by aligning sound that bounces off the ceiling with sound that reaches the listener’s ears directly and compensating for the lag — or bass delay — that occurs between the subwoofer and the main-channel speakers.

For non-Atmos-enabled speaker configurations, the system provides DTS Virtual:X and Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer processing, both of which simulate the overhead height effects used in Dolby Atmos and DTS:X movie soundtracks; the Dolby processing will be available via a future firmware update. The system also draws on DTS Neural:X and Dolby Surround technologies to simulate a wrap-around surround-sound experience from “2D” soundtracks.

Video is not overlooked in HTP-076 system, which supports content encoded in the HDR10, HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma), and Dolby Vision high-dynamic range formats. The AV receiver’s HDMI ports also support 4K (60p/4:4:4/24-bit), wide color (BT.2020), and HDCP 2.2 copy protection.

Other system highlights include a dialogue-enhancement control on the remote that adjusts midrange sound to help clarify voices, and Zone B audio outputs that expand main-zone listening to wireless headphones via a headphone dock.

“Setting up a home theater can be a confusing and intimidating process with many consumers not knowing where to start,” said Don Milks, director of marketing and product localization for Onkyo & Pioneer USA. “Our complete home theater package is an ideal, all-in-one starting point for folks who want to enjoy a tremendous home theater experience without breaking the bank.”

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jnemesh's picture

HTIB needs to die all over again, apparently. You get what you pay for, and this looks to be cheap and disposable.