Pioneer Embraces AirPlay and iOS Apps With New VSX-1021 Receiver
Pioneer today announced its new VSX-1021 receiver, the first of eight receivers from the company scheduled to be released this year with support for Apple's AirPlay technology. The VSX-1021, which carries a suggested retail price of $549, can be easily configured to join a home network and automatically appears as an output option via AirPlay on iOS devices.
Once the VSX-1021 is connected to a home network through Ethernet or Wi-Fi using Pioneer's optional AS-WL300 wireless LAN adapter (sold separately), AirPlay lets consumers stream their favorite songs to the receiver from iTunes on Mac and PC, or their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later and iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.2.
To use Airplay, users can simply choose a song or playlist on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and then tap the AirPlay icon. The VSX-1021 will appear as an available device, and once selected, the receiver automatically turns on or switches to the Airplay source to start music playback.
Pioneer also announced the release of several new iOS apps to support the VSX-1021, offering similar functionalities found in Apple's Remote app for navigating iTunes libraries, although with additional features and Pioneer-specific implementations.
Pioneer Air Jam allows users to contribute songs from multiple iOS devices to a single playlist via Bluetooth, with all users being able to see the common playlist and access links to the iTunes Store and YouTube for more information on tracks from others.
Pioneer's new iControlAV2 app for iPad and iPhone/iPod touch is a revamp of the company's original iControlAV app that offers full remote control of certain Pioneer components such as the new VSX-1021.
Pioneer's iControlAV2 App enables VSX-1021 owners to put away the included remote control and utilize an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch as their main home theater controller, enabling direct control of the receiver's volume, bass, balance and room settings.
The app is further enhanced when used on an iPad, with most major functions combined into a single, intuitive screen. Additional features include detailed graphic representations of before and after MCACC room calibration, and sound adjustments that enable users to create their own equalizer settings with a simple "touch and draw" on the screen. The iControlAV2 App also includes Blu-ray player control when connected to a compatible Pioneer Blu-ray player.
All apps require a minimum of iOS 4.2 and are available from the App Store free of charge.