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    Too low to display
    1. Sony HT-CT150 3D Sound Bar System
    2. Logitech Squeezebox Radio Music
    Too low to display
    3. Pioneer VSX-1020-K 7.1 Home Theater
    4. Zinwell ZAT-970A Digital to Analog
    5. Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic
    6. Audio Technica AT-PL60USB Fully
    Too low to display
    7. Onkyo HT-S3300 5.1-Channel Home
    8. Sony PS-LX300USB USB Stereo Turntable
    9. Audio Unlimited Premium 900MHz
    Too low to display
    10. Onkyo TX-SR6087.2-Channel Home
    11. Sony CMTBX20i Micro Hi-Fi Shelf
    12. Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor
    13. Coby KCD150 Under-the-Cabinet
    Too low to display
    14. Pioneer VSX-820-K 5.1 Home Theater
    15. Logitech Squeezebox Boom All-in-One
    16. IHOME iHM79BC Rechargeable Mini
    17. Sony SS-B1000 5 1/8-InchBookshelf
    18. Audio Technica ATLP120 ProfessionalTurntable
    19. Sony BDV-E370 Sony 5.1 Blu-ray
    20. Case Logic PDVK-10 7 to 10-Inch

    1. Sony HT-CT150 3D Sound Bar System
    list price: $299.99 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003C1AO2I
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 113
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Complete your 3D home entertainment experience with simple, yet powerful surround sound. The HT-CT150 32" 3D sound bar home theater system features 3D compatibility and can also be turned into your entertainment hub by connecting multiple HD or 3D devices using a single HDMI cable per device (sold separately). In addition to the latest audio decoding technology, this beautifully sleek sound bar can be easily mounted directly to select BRAVIA TVs, hung on your wall, or placed separately on a shelf. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Dont even worry....., June 22, 2010
    I was skeptical I admit

    I moved out of my house into a much smaller townhouse and I had to give up my Klipsche 2 series 5.1 system.....I HATED giving up surround sound. I have been bouncing back forth between this one and the CT350 model. I was scared that this wouldn't be as loud as I would like it........wow was I wrong. The room I have it in is only 11 X 15 (system on short side) and this thing is fantastic. It has a max volume of 50 and I find 24 to be more than enough. Is it true 5.1....no... but it has great surround effects and very full sound.....you will feel like the action is going around you which is what we all want anyway isn't it?

    I tested it with Avatar Blu Ray..... Lord of the Rings ROTK Disc 2 DVD......Invictus ON Demand (for the accents.....hard on TV speakers).....was blown away each time

    I turned up the center to +5 to bring out the dialog a little more and set the sub at +2

    I also mounted the speaker ABOVE the TV which I feel really helps to bring out the surround effects because they don't get lost down near the ground around the furniture

    It is a little slow switching inputs but that is to be expected......the remote will only control Sony products....so if you have non Sony stuff invest in a Harmony remote

    If you are planning this for a really large room and you are going to be sitting 17 or more feet away maybe you should consider the 400W 350 model..... but for a normal room you will be thrilled by this unit.

    I couldnt be more happy with this purchase

    5-0 out of 5 stars WAS a skeptic. keyword: WAS!, July 5, 2010
    i was really skeptical about going with a sound bar at first, but all of those thoughts were out the window as soon as the system got broken in (about 1 or 2 day period to fully break in the system). coming from the traditional 5.1 systems (have had systems ranging from home theater in a box-type of setups to bose lifestyle 5.1's to martin logan set ups), i was really surprised at how well this 1 speaker set up simulated "surround sound". i found myself looking over my shoulder every now and then, while watching movies, because i was hearing things from alot of different places, other than just in front of me. the CT150 was supposed to be a temporary set up for me, but after about a month of use, i'm really considering sticking to soundbars. the simplicity and ergonomics just cannot be compared to by big, traditional 5.1 systems.

    as for sound quality, the vocals are nice and crisp. i know the CT100 had a vocal problem, but i can hear everything crystal clear on my CT150 (center channel set at +5). i have my CT150 in a very open living room (about 20x35), so i have my subwoofer level set at +5 (settings go from -6 to +6). the bass levels would be comparable to my bose lifestyle 25 system, with the CT150 having a slight bass advantage. all in all, a great little package. i really couldn't think of a better, more ergonomic set up for a smaller living room or bedroom. i might just stick with soundbars from now on and just upgrade to bigger/better soundbar set ups.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Audio Dad likes his new toy!, August 15, 2010
    Background: I am an audio enthusiast with 3 small children. My previous audio system, run by 3 Carver stereo amps, is in boxes in the basement, as I did not want little hands breaking things or blowing up pieces. The old system had more spent in Monster Cable wiring then this system cost. Life changes and the wife did not want speakers and wires everywhere so I made a compromise.

    Current Setup:
    Sony Bravia TV (2006)
    Sony HTCT150
    Sony Digital Media Port TDM-iP10
    Sony PS3 - Original 60gig
    Nintendo Wii
    Leap Frog - Zippity

    At the time of this review I have owned the HTCT150 for just over 2 weeks and have been quite impressed with the results. The main reason I got the system is for movies and TV watching and being able to hear and control the sound. The output range is good and it does a nice job with lows and high end. I liked that the system could be passive as the PS3 is our main DVD player and entertainment source, i.e. Netflix streaming. I have the PS3 hooked up via HDMI. HDMI up to the TV and from the TV I have both optical out and RCA. The TV will not do ARC (audio return channels) though HDMI and the TV will not convert analog audio (Wii and Zippity) to optical. I let the TV handle the analog audio, RCA switching and have the RCA's go into SA-CD/CD, seems on the HTCT150 the TV RCAs will only work without optical in hooked up.

    I have both an older 80gig iPod video and the iPhone 3G that I have hooked to the system using the Digital Media Port TDM-iP10. I use the video iPod for audio only and have full control over it using the remote for the HTCT150. I did a brief test with the iPhone by putting it in iPod mode, it worked as an audio source and had control of it with the remote. I did try to display pictures and it would not pass images or work as a video source. It seems the TDM-iP10 is audio only but you do get control with the HTCT150 remote.

    One of the big reasons for my purchase was for nighttime watching and dynamic compression. The system has 2 layers of compression you can use to keep the sound even and not wake the kid. Woke the oldest already before turning on the compression. The system has NIGHT MODE, this is compression in the digital amp of the HTCT150 and limits all sources. Audio DRC (Dynamic Range Control) only works in Dolby Digital, but that covers the TV and PS3 and has 3 levels, None, Standard, Max. With turning both NIGHT MODE and Audio DRC on I can watch TV or movies and hear no volume difference between show and commercial or dialogue and explosions, this is important for us Mom's and Dad's.

    Audiophile Time: I have played with the system with the LPCM and BluRay audio out and have been able to hear a difference. As they say " you are only as good as your source" . Dolby Digital bit rate out is around 960Kbs and Dolby True is around 7Mbs. By going into the Video Setup of the PS3 (go figure) and changing the audio output from bitstream to LPCM you can get the better sound. Bitstream outputs the encoding on the DVD/BluRay, LPCM has the PS3 do your decoding.

    Overall impressions: The audio performance for a system under $300 is very impressive I feel. The surround effect is very weak, however if you have a good 5.1 or 7.1 mix as source there is a more open feel to the audio. I just have not felt like it has replaced a true 5.1 system. It completely has met the "Wife Acceptance" Factor that we all know is very important. I am very happy with this system and I am not afraid that little hands will destroy it and if they do, oh well it wasn't that expensive.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gets better after a day or two, July 1, 2010
    Got this 3 days ago and at first I was disappointed with the sound loudness and bass from the SW. I went ahead and tweaked the settings from the amp menu and watched a movie and tv. The sound was ok the first day, had to turn it up to 40 - 45 to really hear the difference from the tv speakers. Yesterday, wow! I had to turn it down to 25 - 30 and the bass was louder! So far, happy with this. Easy to hook up and many connections on the SW.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Sound Bar review, September 22, 2010
    I write this review with an open mind. When I first placed the order, and received it from the manufacturer, the sub-woofer was broken. I had to return it and request a replacement. That in itself is a major pain in the you know what. I received my replacement yesterday and plugged it in and was underwhelmed by the sound. Once I read through the owners manual and configured the settings..... HOLY COW! What sound! Coming from such a small sound bar and medium sized sub-woofer! I've got a 52" Phillips HD TV that sounded decent by itself. With this added sound, it's literally like a movie theater experience.
    The 3 week wait for a working product seems to be worth it. I recommend this to anyone and hopefully you receive a working product on your first go-round.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very good product., July 27, 2010
    I have read a couple of bad reviews for this and just thought I would add my two cents. Anyone who says this has bad sound or is not loud enough is not setting it up right. This sounds great and it is very loud, in fact I got in trouble when I set it up. I had it up to max volume when I plugged in the system and it blasted the house, my wife was in the shower back by the bedroom and the sound made her jump and drop her back scrubber. I used to have a surround system with a receiver and five speakers but that was before I got married. My wife did not want the wires going all over the house so I looked into the sound bar with the understanding that if I didn't like it I would get another five speaker system. Well I was blown away. It sounds great, it plays true hd sound on the blu rays. The three hdmi ports make it very convenient. I only turn it up to 25, which is half way, and that shakes the windows.
    The look is very sleek, in fact with the bar pushed back against the t.v. it looks like part of the set. I highly recommend this product.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Value!, September 15, 2010
    I was an early adopter of the HTCT150's ancestor the HTCT100, a soundbar I loved and still own in a guest bedroom. That set receive an editor's choice on CNET back then, and is still hailed as one of the best values for its great sound and multitude of inputs for the price. MY only problem with it was sometimes low sounding audio in terms of speech. It is with that to say that the HTCT150 addresses this problem brilliantly and upgrades the sound overall as a whole. Side by side, the two sound similar until you get some good source and can tell the real umph this little guy has. It really does sound great. The bass is tight and punchy, while the sound from the bar is crisp and vibrant, a great combo. And like I said before, no problems with speech being drowned out by ambient sound.

    The bar and sub look great too, a sleek black, glossy black in the right places. There are also a ton of inputs that are 3d compliant, basically saying that they're accepting hdmi 1.4a if you decide to upgrade down the road, another bonus that some bars are offering. In fact, at this price, you're lucky to get one or two hdmi ports on a soundbar. This ones got 3, and a multitude of other ports.

    The only competitors out there are the JVC soundbar and the upcoming Vizio soundbar, but I still chose this one because of its overall score. While the other two sound great, better in some cases, they lack in areas this bar picks up on. People can say that there wasn't enough of an upgrade from the HTCT100, but that bar was awesome, and why fix what ain't broken? I live in an 800 sq ft apartment and the soundbar is in my living room and just fills the place up with sound. You won't be disappointed.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent sound, July 10, 2010
    I can't believe how this sound bar has improved my tv watching experience. It's awesome! It was so easy to hook up to all of my components (Sony Bravia TV and DVD player). The sound is definitely a huge improvement over the TVs speakers. All in all I am quite happy with this purchase.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not bad for the price, November 23, 2010
    I bought this system because like everyone else, my TV sound was pretty weak. I didn't want to deal with running speaker wires all over so I went with the sound bar. Its definitely easy to set up with my Sony TV and the sound is better than the TV. But it isn't as good as I was expecting from reading all the other reviews. I wish I could use the sound bar along with the TV speakers but using the pass-through the sound is off just slightly and creates a slight echo. Seems like I need to adjust the volume quite a bit more when switching channels or playing a DVD than I did with just the TV sound. Some channels are good at 14 and some I have to crank up to 40.

    5-0 out of 5 stars HTCT150 - A Great 5.1 virtual sound for less, September 19, 2010
    I just had HTCT150 a week ago, after setting it up I was Not Impressed with sound and Bass quality, After talking to Sony Store about configuration, they advised me to to configure the same way they have it in the show room

    SW Level raise up to +6
    then go to
    Bass and raise it up to +6

    then Played Avatar movie, and i was blown a way, Oh My god, the sound is Great, I can feel bass through my body and through the sofa, sounds quality is great. 5.1 virtual is some what true but not that great.

    I purchased Samsung Blue ray player for $150 a year ago and + HTCTC150 for $280 = $500 with tax.
    if you are shopping for a nice system then i advise to purchase Panasonic 5.1 home theater that already come with a nice blue ray Player and a better speakers and Sounds. but if you are already have a blue ray player and cables then going for that system is great and save you almost $200.

    1- you can connect multiple HDMI and Video inputs into the subwafr and only one cable from the system to the TV.
    2- Sound quality is Great, very loud, excellent Bass.
    3- very very easy to install. just plug and play. ( raise the bass to +6 and sub level to +6)

    1- well $300 is expensive

    2- Once you Purchase HTCHT150 you are Stuck with it, what i mean you wont be able to add any other speakers or sub to it. the system is stand a lone and there is no way to upgrade. if you decide one day you want a bigger speakers or sub then you have to purchase new system. ... Read more

    2. Logitech Squeezebox Radio Music Player with Color Screen (Black)
    list price: $179.99 -- our price: $164.65
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002LARRDK
    Manufacturer: Logitech, Inc
    Sales Rank: 313
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Logitech Squeezebox Radio brings a world of music—free Internet radio, subscription services, or your personal digital music collection—to any space in your home, over your Wi-Fi network. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Great functionality and sound but needs some work, November 1, 2009
    I am studying German and have been told that it helps if you listen to German radio so I ordered the Squeezebox Radio on the recommendation of my friend Scott. I find the Squeezebox Radio to be perfect for the night stand, where I will be listening to the radio before I got to bed.

    I set the presets with Berlin radio stations and linked via Wi-Fi and it sounds great in both spoken word and also music.

    PRO: The set up was so easy and it even made the WPA/WEP key entry for my Verizon FIOS Internet.

    I was also able to easily find all the stations I listened to in Berlin when I lived there and I was also able to find local stations and I could easily "install" BBC and CBC and even a Facebook and a Flickr applet. I am very pleased. I got a red one.

    The date and time is awesome because it is updated via Internet so I didn't even need to set the date or time -- so I also have myself an atomic clock, I guess.

    There are multiple alarms and also a line in so I can run my iPod and my iPod shuffle through the device, too, which is great for my German homework (a CD I burnt to MP3).

    CON: A little expensive but you get a lot more than just a radio. It doesn't come with a rechargeable battery pack or the remote -- an additional $50.

    BOTTOM-LINE: Small and deceptively powerful -- it is basically a little Linux box in a small boom box/Internet clock radio -- and it is the most modern of the Squeezebox line so you can do very cool stuff with the device. Easy to set up and to start using.

    It can work as simply as a clock radio with presets or you can get all geeky and install apps and podcasts and you can connect to SIRIUS and all those other paid streaming services. I love it. It is my new favorite thing.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great But Needs A Few Features Tweaked, November 19, 2009
    Having owned numerous Logitech (formerly Slim Devices) Squeezeboxes and a Duet, I can highly recommend this newest radio in the Squeezebox family. I purchased the bright red version and found it is relatively easy to setup and the WiFi range is surprisingly strong and far-ranging. This little radio has its own good mono speaker, and it is perfect for those who want a standalone radio. For those who listen exclusively to Internet radio (there is no broadcast radio on this device)and do not want to add streaming to their larger music systems, this new radio is absolutely perfect for a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom nightstand. It also has six preset buttons on the front like a car radio. There are wake-up alarm and sleep features although I have not used them yet. You can use the Squeezebox Radio in conjunction with easily downloaded software. However, by setting up a free Mysqueezebox account, you can program your own list of favorite stations, podcasts, and browse for others throughout the world, all while your computer is turned off. You can also use the radio in conjunction with your Pandora account. This setup is also quite easy. I have always been impressed with the excellent tech support provided by the company as well as the reassurance of a knowledgeable, loyal and highly active community forum for these devices. This is the best Internet radio I have seen in terms of design, ease of use and sound quality. Five stars!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great functionality and sound but needs some work, November 1, 2009
    I am a long time owner of Squeezebox products and was pretty excited to find out about the little table top Squeezebox Radio model. I picked one up and thought I would share my thoughts.

    The first thing you notice is how much heft this little player has. It is really well built and the fit and finish is superb. It has plenty of weight and solid rubber feet so that it won't skid around on your night stand or table top. The screen looks great and all of the buttons have a nice solid tactile feel. Compared to many other cheap wireless network streaming radios, this device feels an entire order of magnitude better in its construction quality. The only disappointment here is the lack of back lit buttons, for using the radio in low lighting. It's also worth noting that the entire radio has a high gloss finish that will be a magnet for fingerprints. Looks great though!

    The biggest challenge for most consumers with this device will be the initial set up. You need to create an account at [...] in order to set up your new Squeezebox Radio. The device uses this connection to play free internet music services as well as download software updates, etc, to the Radio. I already had a Squeezebox account so this was not a huge challenge for me, but it might be for some people who might be confused that they need to set up an account before they can use the device. There is an option to set up the account from the device itself. Don't do this (it is slow and tedious)! Go to the website and set it up in a few seconds and then just type your login and password on the device.

    Other than the laborious task of entering my full email and password for [...] the rest of the setup is very easy. The Squeezebox Radio supports push to connect wi-fi set up which is common on many newer model wireless routers. It's similar to programming a garage door opener. Simply point the Squeezebox Radio at your wireless network and for 120 seconds it will try to connect with the push to connect functionality. Then just push the connect button on your router and it's automagically all set up.

    Once set up the Radio will update its firmware and reboot, a process that takes a few extra minutes. After that you are good to go.

    In addition to the many built in free online services, you can also play your own music through the Squeezebox Server application. I run the Squeezebox Server application on my HP EX495 Windows Home Server but you can also run Squeezebox Server on any Mac, Windows PC or even Linux box (there are even installable distributions for many Network Attached Storage units). This allows the Squeezebox Radio (and any other Squeeze players) to access all of the music on my home network. It's absolutely wonderful to be able to take the little table top radio anywhere in the home and listen to your entire music collection.

    Sound quality is very good, easily enough to fill a small to medium sized room. It gets quite loud with little to no distortion and the controls are easy to use to change tracks, change volume, etc. Wireless strength is superb. I get a full signal anywhere within about 40 feet of my router, and the radio works anywhere on my suburban property with no audio hiccups or dropouts.

    In addition to the intuitive controls such as "home", "play", "stop", "back", etc, the unit also features six programmable "preset" buttons similar to what you have on a car radio. Setting these up is a bit more of a challenge than you would expect. You are supposed to be able to hold these down on any song, album, playlist, etc, that is being displayed in the radio menu and have it added as a preset. Unfortunately some items don't add correctly and must first be programmed as a "favorite". It turns out that you can only add favorites for some items (such as playlists) from the Squeezebox Server web based menu, which is quite inconvenient. I don't doubt that Slim Devices (the arm of Logitech that makes these devices) will fix this soon enough.

    Other minor glitches include some weird alarm behavior (it will show the time of the alarm when it is going off but strangely won't show the current time, which is annoying if you have hit the snooze button a few times and need to know what time it is), some auto dimming issues (the auto dimming works great but gets almost TOO dim in a dark room to see the radio) and a few other very minor nits.

    Slim Devices have a long history of enhancement and improvement of device firmware, so I would expect a lot of these issues to be worked out in the coming months. Additionally there will soon be a battery pack and small infrared remote for the Squeezebox Radio available as a $[...] add on purchase. Personally I think at $[...] the Radio should include these items, but considering the great sound of the radio, the high quality screen and the superb fit and finish it is justified that this device costs as much as it does.

    Also worth noting is that if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone you can get the iPeng application $[...] from the Apple App Store which makes controlling and programming your Squeezebox Radio an absolute breeze. iPeng is really a must have if you have these devices and want a wonderful pocket control that works from anywhere in your home. Beats the pants off of what Sonus has to offer!

    //Update 1 (Nov 2nd 2009)

    Yesterday my SB Radio lost all of the preset buttons which is most annoying. It also turns out that many of the requests for fixes around the alarms functionality have not been addressed and don't appear to be scheduled to be addressed in the next release or two of the software. If your primary use will be a night stand alarm clock I would recommend holding off for now until Logitech addresses alarm functionality issues. If the issues are not resolved I will reconsider my four star rating as it should then be a three star product.

    //Update 2 (May 13 2010)

    Logitech has not only not fixed many of the initial annoyances with the SB Radio, but newer firmware has in fact made the product less stable and reliable. It still does an admirable job of playing your local music library if you run the SB Server on a PC or Mac in your home, but the network streaming functionality seems to be having issues and I've found the alarm to be terribly unreliable. I would now under the current circumstances rate this only 3 out of 5 stars. It's really a shame too, as the "Slim Devices" that originally brought us these problems was very open and communicative about issues and what was being done to fix them. Logitech has little interest in relaying useful information to its beta testers, err, customers and instead gives us the run around with if and when issues will ever be remedied.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Buggy!, November 14, 2009
    I've had the Squeezebox Radio for just over a week but that's long enough to decide what I like and what still needs some work. First, set-up was a snap. The radio found my wireless network instantly and I was able to enter the password and connect quickly. The radio them updated its own software so I was working with the newest release.
    What do I like? The radio seems solid. It's heavy enough that you can press the buttons with the radio on a nightstand and not have it slide. The front is angled back which helps even more. I'd call the sound quality - though not stereo - excellent. There's no comparison between how this radio sounds and the Sony clock radio I replaced it with. It has a very clear, crisp sound.
    What don't I like? I had the radio only three days when it lost all it's presets. I re-entered them and all has been well since. This is a well known bug. I am using [...] and NOT using my PC so the problem is likely there. Presets should be stored locally, not on a server. I saved all my presets as favorites so they MIGHT be there the next time this happens (then again, maybe the favorites list will be erased, too). I'd like to see an easier way to set the sleep timer. You have to use the menu and it should be a simple button press. Why not use the power button and cycle through sleep settings? i.e. ON ... 45 ... 30 ... 15 ... OFF? There also needs to be a simple way to snooze. Maybe the big button in the middle?
    The auto-dimming setting gets awfully dark at night! I should be able to set a minimum brightness level that suits me.
    And I'd love to see the apps include weather radar. Yes, this is a radio but it's got a great color display and being able to watch live weather radar on the screen would be super. A general weather app that makes use of this display would be a plus! Come on Logitech, get with it! This radio has more possibilities than, well, radio!

    Later: I've had the radio for a month now and am no longer quite so excited. I reduced my initial 4 stars to just 2 stars. This radio is buggy! My initial loss of the presets has now been followed by a loss of the volume control. There was absolutely no way to get it back besides a "factory reset" which removes every setting I so carefully made. You should be able to simply sit down and enjoy a radio, not beta test a product.
    I am returning it within Amazon's 30 day window. I've had enough.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than expected, October 14, 2009
    When the Boom came out, I wanted to purchase it right away, but the $300 price tag and the inability to truely make it wireless detered me. Now that the Radio is out with a lower price tag, battery capability and a color LCD, I was totally sold. I've had the Radio for about a week now, and I simply love it. Even the wife was jamming to it when I got home from work the day after I bought it.

    So far I have only had one issue with it...I can not find a setting to set the Album Art size to full screen on the Now Playing screen. It says in the manual that it is under the Screensaver settings, but when I go there it doesn't exist. I sent an email to Logitech support, but have not heard back from them yet. [Updated] Logitech just released a new software version that will correct this issue.

    Another cool feature that I didn't realize existed, was the ability to control the Radio from the web.

    As far as sound quality goes, it is far better than expected. There is virtually no distortion even at maximum volume. I even plugged a set of Computer Speakers into the Headphone Jack and it didn't make that much of a difference. The Base levels aren't that deep, but they are there. I can put it in my livingroom and pump it up near max volume and hear it clearly throughout the house.

    I haven't tested the Wireless strength extensively yet, but I was able to hook it up in the garage (1 Floor below and 50 feet from the router) and the signal strength was near full.

    Overall, I am very satisfied with my purchase and can't wait to get the battery pack so I can just carry this thing around anywhere.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Concept good but server and firmware are unstable and unreliable, July 13, 2010
    This radio has lots of good things going for it - when it works. Unfortunately it does so at best half the time - at other times it loses the connection to [...] (which you need for almost all functions except streaming music off your PC), powers down randomly, stops playing for no obvious reason, the screen freezes and shows details of a previous show, etc. (We have one desktop PC and two laptops hanging off the same wireless network at home, so are sure that the network itself is fine.) The support forums at logitech and slimdevices have been awash with complaints about this - apparently caused by firmware updates in combination with changes at [...] - but the problem remains unsolved. What is especially maddening is that the radio worked just fine from Jan to Mar 2010, so it's also clear that this is not a hardware problem! It is possible to roll back to an older firmware version (by installing the appropriate older version of the squeezebox server on a PC, and asking the radio to connect to it using "My Music"), but even the pre-April firmware version (4.2) now has the same problems as the more recent ones.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Radio Ga Ga, some other features, November 29, 2009

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The Squeezebox Radio is a first class, excellent Internet radio with clock/alarm functions. With the Flickr app installed, it will display photos stored under user's Flickr account. Other capabilities which are nice to have but not likely to be widely used include its ability to stream audio from a computer or double up as an iPod speaker.


    As it's the case with most Logitech products, the Squeezebox Radio comes inside a box where everything is packed nicely and securely, with enough padding to ensure that rough treatment won't damage it. All shiny surfaces are protected by plastic film sheets. I experienced no problems or frustrations taking components out of the box.

    The box contents include:

    - the Radio
    - power adapter with the US-standard 110V removable plug
    - 3.5mm audio cord for iPod or other MP3 players
    - folded poster with setup guide/manual/warranty statement

    Logitech's warranty is for 2 years from date of purchase and they would expect you to have the purchase receipt and to pay for shipping unless local laws prohibit that.


    The physical setup is as easy as attaching the removable plug to the power adapter, plugging the adapter into a power outlet and connecting it to the radio and turning the on the radio. An Ethernet port (cable not included) is available for wired connections. I did not attempt to perform a wired network setup.

    Once the radio is on for the first time, a language is selected from those displayed on the screen and then the radio will attempt to find a wireless access point. In my case, it immediately found my Linksys router and connected to it.

    The initial setup completed with me creating a Logitech account by providing an email address and a password. At that point it's possible to listen to the radio.


    Starting with 'radio', the array of options is almost overwhelming. The least intimidating way to get to listen to a station is by selecting 'Internet Radio'. This will open a multi-layered menu with everything from Staff Picks, Local, Music, Sports, Talk, World and Search. If you pick World, the next layer would include Find a City, Featured Cities, National Networks, World Music. Find a City would open a listing of continents. If you pick Antarctica, believe it or not, you can select between All Stations or By Genre. It turns out that the only genre in that continent was Folk and there was actually a Folk station broadcasting off Antarctica. This was just an example to show the breadth and depth of the Internet Radio menu option. Once you like a station, it can be easily assigned to one of the 6 preset buttons that flank the radio's color display.

    Another way to get music off the Internet is through Apps. These are dowloadable setups that would let your radio channel some services, some of them free. There are 29 such Apps that Logitech allows you to download and use at the time this review was written, not all of them free and not all of them 'music'. Staying with the music, the easiest way you can get an App to work on your radio is from Logitech's site you access with your Logitech account - Logitech promises not to Spam you and so far I didn't get any Spam from them. My favorite FREE music App/service so far is Pandora. It lets me, among other things, create my own 'radio stations' by simply entering one or more artists and songs names. Then, Pandora will play music that is compatible with my input. For example, I entered Pink Floyd, the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix for one of my 'stations' and I get to listen to, besides theses three, the Doors, Led Zeppelin, some Cream.

    The Settings menu is equally rich in options. It's another multi-layered menu tree that controls just about every aspect of your Squeeze and I'm not going to go into details because it may take several pages. The good news is that the options are pretty well organized and it shouldn't be difficult to customize the aspects of your Squeezebox behavior that you would like to modify. Thankfully, the 'Restore Factory Defaults' option exists, buried somewhere, 3 or 4 levels deep under Advanced.

    Clock and Alarm
    By default, the Squeezebox will display the date and time when turned off. There's no need to do anything to set date/time since it seems to 'get' the correct location for the time zone off your IP address. It's possible to select a different zone through the Settings menu, of course.

    The Alarm function is surprisingly rich. Any number of separate alarms can be set - don't know if there is a limit. You can set the time, whether it's a one-time or reoccurring and if it's a repeat alarm, the day of the week it will play. The volume can be selected and then you can dive into another one of Logitech's overwhelming menu trees that allows you to sound your alarm from the current playlist or play one of many Musical Sounds, Natural Sounds, or Sound Effects. Not much to complain other than you can't hear a sample of the sound you selected or maybe I didn't know how to play it.

    Other Internet Apps
    Normally, the Squeezebox will display the logo of the station you are playing or, if you are listening to a service such as Pandora, you will see the album cover the song came from. But if you install the Flickr App, you can display your Flickr pics instead. It's pretty cool but it wears off quite quickly. The color screen is nice and bright but it's also small and I get a radio because I want to listen to it, not to stare at a 2-inch screen. Again, it's nice but I wouldn't miss this capability if it wasn't available.

    There are other innovative apps that may have some limited use. The Amazon app for example, will allow you to buy your favorite music directly from the Squeezebox (wow!!!). The Facebook app will, according to the Logitech site, allow you to share your favorite music with family and friends, discover new friends with similar music interests or communicate with friends away from your computer. I didn't try it yet.

    More Features
    As if this wasn't enough, the Squeezebox also allows you to stream music off your home computers after you install the Squeezebox Server on it - supports Windows (Vista/XP/2000), Mac, Ubuntu, Linux. Again, a nice thing to have but I simply can't see why I would want to stream music to a device equipped with a small, mono speaker. I'd rather listen to music off my laptop since it comes out in stereo there. I suspect it works well but I didn't think it was worth trying.

    The Squeezebox also allows to connect and play an iPod or some other MP3 player - cable provided. And, again, it's good to have this but piping iPod music through a little mono speaker... not worth it.

    Finally, you can listen to the Squeezebox with headphones. It's nice you can but I don't think too many users would care about this capability.


    I find the Squeezebox to be an extraordinarily great Internet Radio device. Or rather, an Alarm Clock/Internet Radio. While limited by the small, single speaker to 'mono' sound, the quality of the output is quite impressive. I suspect there's a large cache built in because, when listening to the same Pandora output on my computer and on the Squeeze, the Squeeze came pretty close to crystal-clear while my computer's output was below par.

    It's impossible to say how many stations can be tuned to but the number should be in the thousands. It's not always easy to find what you are looking for but quick and dirty searches are possible by simply entering the station's call letters or you can go geographically by continent/country/city/genre.

    Some of the available Apps are fun to use - something like Pandora's customized radio stations should be close to one's dream of music listening. Other apps can go in the 'wow' category as in "I can't believe they can do this" but aren't likely to be used much. The beauty of the Apps concept is that the Squeezebox is infinitely expandable as more Apps doing things we can't imagine today can be added when available.

    What impressed most about the Squeezebox were:

    - extraordinary easy and quick setup on a Wi-Fi network
    - the sheer volume of Internet radio stations available
    - the availability of great Apps such as Pandora
    - the Alarm/Clock function
    - the color screen that displays interesting information such as album covers or stations logos and the name of the artists playing
    - infinite expandability through new Apps

    Some of the shortcomings include:

    - ONLY 6 preset station buttons
    - mono sound
    - a simple remote control would make operation easier
    - there's no information in the broadcast quality (kbps) displayed anywhere or rating the station based on the quality of their broadcast
    - it's possible to get lost into some of the enormous menu trees
    - completely dependent on Logitech for service - nothing other than maybe streaming music from one's own computer would work if Logitech went out of business or stopped supporting the Squeezebox.


    I really, really love this device and Amazon's rating for "I love it" is 5 stars. Clearly, it's not perfect but, for the price, this is close to the best one can get when it comes to the ability to listen to distant radio stations without involving a computer.

    All we hear is Radio Ga Ga
    Radio Blah Blah
    Radio what's new?
    Someone still loves you!



    Please see the first comment to this review on the ability to expand the sound quality to 'stereo' and 'amplified'. I am not likely to try that because I have other options for listening to hi-fi, loud music but it's nice to know that it can be done.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I am connected to the world through Squeezebox Radio, October 29, 2009
    I am studying German and have been told that it helps if you listen to German radio so I ordered the Squeezebox Radio on the recommendation of my friend Scott. I find the Squeezebox Radio to be perfect for the night stand, where I will be listening to the radio before I got to bed.

    I set the presets with Berlin radio stations and linked via Wi-Fi and it sounds great in both spoken word and also music.

    PRO: The set up was so easy and it even made the WPA/WEP key entry for my Verizon FIOS Internet.

    I was also able to easily find all the stations I listened to in Berlin when I lived there and I was also able to find local stations and I could easily "install" BBC and CBC and even a Facebook and a Flickr applet. I am very pleased. I got a red one.

    The date and time is awesome because it is updated via Internet so I didn't even need to set the date or time -- so I also have myself an atomic clock, I guess.

    There are multiple alarms and also a line in so I can run my iPod and my iPod shuffle through the device, too, which is great for my German homework (a CD I burnt to MP3).

    CON: A little expensive but you get a lot more than just a radio. It doesn't come with a rechargeable battery pack or the remote -- an additional $50.

    BOTTOM-LINE: Small and deceptively powerful -- it is basically a little Linux box in a small boom box/Internet clock radio -- and it is the most modern of the Squeezebox line so you can do very cool stuff with the device. Easy to set up and to start using.

    It can work as simply as a clock radio with presets or you can get all geeky and install apps and podcasts and you can connect to SIRIUS and all those other paid streaming services. I love it. It is my new favorite thing.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great But Needs A Few Features Tweaked, November 19, 2009
    Over the years I've purchased several streaming music products, each of which had it's limitations, some were just junk. This gives you good sound, no major setup headaches, and there seem to be a wide array of optional plugins to allow you to customize and build your music sources. Setup was fairly simple although typing in any text whether it's your login credentials for a music service or your wireless network information is tedious on any device that doesn't have a keyboard so just deal with it, hopefully you won't have to enter this information more than once.

    First, let me be a bit negative, this thing should really ship with a rechargable battery already installed. It should also ship with a remote control. I called customer support this mornng and I've been told that the accessory pack with the battery and remote will not be available until February 2010. It seems like they rushed to get the radio out before Christmas yet these accessories aren't available yet. When I first read about the radio and its battery backup functionality I'd assumed that the battery was already installed.

    Secondly, I attempted several times to set this up using WEP encryption. While a 26 character passcode is a hassle to enter anytime it was a real pain to attempt to enter it four or five times only to be told that the password didn't work. I've entered it into enough other devices in my home (printers, laptops, PSP) that I know the code was correct. I've been needing to change over to WPA anyway as it's more secure, once I changed to WPA and entered the passphrase it connected to the network in just a few seconds.

    Now the positives, the audio is above average considering the size of the radio, it found my music collection and scanned all of the titles into it's library, since it's just streaming the audio it only took a few minutes to scan about 4000 songs. There are some opportunities with the album art, many tracks just show some arbitrary image of a CD.

    As far as the plugins, Pandora works very well. I may even upgrade my pandora account to a paid account since I can skip more than six tracks an hour (once I have a remote anyway). The XMOnline plugin works very well too although it doesn't seem to update the PAD data with the song names and artist info.

    The Mediafly may or may not work, I created an account and linked it and picked a few podcasts out on Mediafly but they never appeared on my radio so it may just be me.

    I'd buy this for anyone thinking about getting an XM Boombox or portable radio, just pay XM for an online account and this works as well as a boombox and given that a boombox has to have an antenna near a window all you need with this is access to your wireless network (or wired if you want to run a cable to it from your router).

    I'm very happy with this product.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent new Internet radio. Compact, attractive design with good sound, October 30, 2009
    Having owned numerous Logitech (formerly Slim Devices) Squeezeboxes and a Duet, I can highly recommend this newest radio in the Squeezebox family. I purchased the bright red version and found it is relatively easy to setup and the WiFi range is surprisingly strong and far-ranging. This little radio has its own good mono speaker, and it is perfect for those who want a standalone radio. For those who listen exclusively to Internet radio (there is no broadcast radio on this device)and do not want to add streaming to their larger music systems, this new radio is absolutely perfect for a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom nightstand. It also has six preset buttons on the front like a car radio. There are wake-up alarm and sleep features although I have not used them yet. You can use the Squeezebox Radio in conjunction with easily downloaded software. However, by setting up a free Mysqueezebox account, you can program your own list of favorite stations, podcasts, and browse for others throughout the world, all while your computer is turned off. You can also use the radio in conjunction with your Pandora account. This setup is also quite easy. I have always been impressed with the excellent tech support provided by the company as well as the reassurance of a knowledgeable, loyal and highly active community forum for these devices. This is the best Internet radio I have seen in terms of design, ease of use and sound quality. Five stars!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A New Experience, March 22, 2010
    I bought the Squeezebox on a bit of a whim because I was thoroughly tired of the local radio stations. I also lived abroad for a long time, so the temptation to listen to my old "home" stations was big. I was contemplating a HD radio, but that really would have just brought the local junk stations in clearer...

    All in all I am extremely happy with the Squeezebox. I read some reviews here before I bought it, so I already opened a account with Logitech. Start-up was easy, plug it in, find your wireless network, enter the password. It did do a firmware update and then I was ready to play.

    The choices of stations are really overwhelming. I didn't know what to listen to at first. And this was only the "Internet Radio" option.

    I then added Pandora which was very simple. Highly recommended. Even more music choices and no commercials.

    I know there are even more things you can do with it, but right now I'm happy with the thousands of stations already available to me.

    I hooked the Squeezebox into my big stereo via a 3.5mm-RCA cable from the headphone jack in the Squeezebox to the AUX input in my stereo. The sound from the Squeezebox alone is very nice, through the stereo it's amazing.

    I never tried the Alarm Clock functions of the Squeezebox, so I can't comment on those.

    The Squeezebox looks very nice. No complaints there. I also like the fact that the display dims and gets really dark when the room is dark, which I really like. Most alarm clocks still light up the room at night, the Squeezebox does not.

    Reception around the house is great. In my living room which is about 40 feet and two walls from the router, it reports full signal strength, better than my laptops. Never had any reception problems. Of course, it does take a little hit on the available internet bandwidth, but not enough to really notice or be bothersome.

    My biggest issue is that the Squeezebox only has 6 actual station memory buttons. With the ability to have so many choices, they should have really tried to add some more buttons for simplicity. It's not a deal killer though. Also the whole search process (entering the letters via the wheel controller) can be tedious. But again, I enjoy the new radio experience enough to overlook all that.

    If there was a Squeezebox II, I would like to see maybe a small pull out keyboard or a remote with a little keyboard. That would be fantastic.

    But as for now, if you are contemplating getting a internet radio, you should really give this one a shot. I am having way more fun with it than I thought I would.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not Your Daddy's Squeezebox!, December 1, 2009

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I am the owner of A Logitech Squeezebox Boom and I simply love it, so when this product became available I grabbed it up. The Squeezebox Radio is somewhat smaller than the Squeezebox Boom, the main difference in size being that this unit has one speaker area on the front as opposed to two on the larger Boom.

    Like its big brother, the Radio is black and sleek looking and will work with just about any d�cor. It is small enough to fit nicely on any counter, table, etc. As of the time of this review, the Radio is also available with a red body and same black face.

    The only things the Radio lacks that the Boom has are a two-speaker configuration and a remote control. But what the Radio has is a nice little color display. A few weeks back, my Boom got a firmware upgrade pushed to it, which loaded a Facebook option. I thought this odd, as I couldn't see using Facebook on the Boom, as it is a one color (blue) display and doesn't load photos, etc. It's somewhat useful because you can read posting, and you can even scroll your Facebook wall, etc. across the display, even when not listening to music. Well, after getting the Radio, I now understand why they added a facebook app! The Radio displays your Facebook Wall, Photos, etc. The Squeezebox Radio rocks!!

    I use my primary Squeezebox in our kitchen, where it provides exceptional sound which fills the whole room (28' x 21' with a 14' ceiling) and flows into adjacent rooms. I have set up the Radio in our Family Room.

    The Squeezebox radio is well designed and simple to use, plus multiple Squeezeboxes will synchronize, so you can have your favorite stations and settings update on both devices without doing any reprogramming. You can also shut off synchronization if you want to keep separate settings for stations and so on.

    Sound quality is excellent, with strong bass and clean highs. For a small radio, this packs a punch.

    Here's what was in the box:
    * Squeezebox, approximately 9" long by 5" high and deep.
    * AC Adapter (Squeezebox does not accept batteries)
    * Quickstart Guide

    Set up:
    Setting up the Squeezebox is fairly simple. Take it out of the box, plug it in, and begin configuring it. This should take less than 15 minutes, depending on your computer literacy. It is a wireless device and also has an Ethernet jack just in case you want to hard-wire it to your router, cable-modem, etc. IMPORTANT: the Squeezebox is an IP-addressable device, so if you have a secure home network (WEP, etc.), you will need to configure the device and/or your router by inputting your network password, security key and/or the Squeezebox's MAC address, using the same address as you would to add a wireless laptop or printer to your home network.

    Keep in mind if you are behind a firewall at work or internet filtering is in place, you may or may not be able to use Squeezebox there. A simple test is to try to visit some internet radio websites or music service websites from your office. If they are blocked, you will probably have limited use of Squeezebox at work.

    So, where does the music come from? The Squeezebox can use numerous sources....internet radio, free music services like Pandora and Slacker, and subscription services like Rhapsody. Keep in mind whatever you need to typically access these services (accounts, passwords, payment plans) will apply for your Squeezebox. You can create favorite "stations" either on the Squeezebox, in Pandora, etc, or on the Squeezebox website. You can also control the Radio from your PC using the website.
    About the only con for the Squeezebox (and it's a very small one) is you need to input data, such as account names, etc. via the main rotary control knob. Logitech has made the interface extremely simple to use, but its still a 1 character at a time "scroll and press" sort of thing, so it takes a few minutes.

    And if the myriad of internet stations, local stations, and services aren't enough, the Radio also comes with sound effects (want a babbling brook as your alarm?), and you can plug in your iPod to it. It does not have an iPod cradle, just an RCA-style cable. The Radio can also search other devices on your network for music (your iTunes folder on your PC, etc.). There is also a headphone jack.

    The Squeezebox is an incredible product. If you want nice sound and fantastic features, try the Radio. If you want really powerful sound and volume, go for the Boom. I suggest both, in different places in your home and/or office.
    ... Read more

    3. Pioneer VSX-1020-K 7.1 Home Theater Receiver
    -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0039XQQX0
    Manufacturer: Pioneer
    Sales Rank: 171
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Key Features are110 Watts X 7, 7 Channel Configurable Amplifier, Surround Back. Dolby Pro-logic IIz or B Speaker, Dolby True-HD / DTS-HD Master Audio and Advanced MCACC. It has a 9 Band EQ.Auto Crossover Setting, USB to PC Graphs, PQLS – 2 Channel, Auto Level Control – Multi-Channel, Sound Retriever AIR – Multi- channel. It has a Internet radio. iPod Digital USB / USB Memory Audio. Its iPhone Certified, Sirius Satellite Radio, HDMI Repeater (6 In / 1 out), Analog to HDMI Video Conversion, HDMI to HDMI 1080p Scaler, Component Video (2 in / 1 out), Full Color GUI, iControl pioneer AVR iPhone / iTouch “APP” Multi-Zone A/V Pre-out, Preset Remote Control ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Bang for the Buck, Future Proof (7.1 & 3D), iPhone App is Great, Buy an Airport Express Too, May 20, 2010
    I tend to do a lot of research before making large purchasing decisions and so far this receiver is receiving a pretty rosy reception! Its successor, the 1019, was CNET's and Gizmodo's top mid-range receiver. Both reviewers had just as high hopes for the 1020, and Gizmodo already called it the best receiver $550 can buy, saying the 1020 "hit the sweet spot" that gave the most bang for buyer's buck.

    The critics I read all raved about the excellent sound quality, but the 1020 brings some new offerings to the table for a mid-range receiver.

    In short, the most valuable features you get with this model that you don't get with the next step down are:

    1. A fifth HDMI port in back, an extra sixth in front (for digital cameras, computers, etc.).
    2. Analog video upscaling (which I don't care too much about since most of my content is HD already or played through an upscaling player).
    3. The iContolAV iPhone app. Very cool for controlling volume and switching inputs. Works simply by having your receiver connected to ethernet and your iPhone connected to the network via WiFi. A few times the app has had trouble properly connecting, but it usually works well.
    4. Internet radio with programmable stations, which is cool, though you can't currently control the station selections from the iPhone App, unfortunately.
    5. A color configuration interface output to your TV via the HDMI output. I can't imagine trying to configure all my speakers without seeing a graphical representation of their location on screen.

    That last feature feature, the HDMI 1.4 ports that support 3D, the 7.1 surround capabilities, excellent sound quality and the iPhone App are what made the VSX-1020 the clear choice for me. I also appreciated the automatic calibration with the included microphone and the included iPod cable/compatibility, but those weren't as strong of selling points.

    The only negatives of note for me is that the little front port cover is a little cheap. It's not even a door, simply a little plastic piece that pops out if you push one side. I, like others, have also experienced the issue where the receiver switches to TV/Sat when first turned on, but I've yet to determine whether that's a problem with the receiver itself or my Harmony universal remote (I'll update the review as I get more information).

    One last tip to buyers, however. If you're considering listening to your phone's music over Bluetooth by buying the $99 AS-BT100 adapter, I'd consider buying a $99 Apple Airport Express instead (assuming your music is managed through iTunes). It lets you stream music from your computer to the receiver over WiFi and control what's playing via iTunes or Apple's robust "Remote" iPhone app, but more importantly the Airport Express acts as a USB print server and a one port wireless bridge (something that lets you connect wired devices to a wireless network).

    That wireless bridge capability is especially valuable, since you'll need it or something similar for internet radio and iControlAV iPhone app support if your VSX-1020 receiver isn't close to your wireless router (mine isn't). Buying the Airport Express kills two birds with one stone.


    A few ideas have been thrown out by other Amazon posters to help alleviate the issue with the receiver switching to TV/Sat when it first turns on. The first idea is to change the receiver's settings thusly:
    "1 Press Receiver , then press Home Menu.
    2 Select `System Setup', then press ENTER.
    3 Select `Other Setup', then press ENTER.
    4 Select `HDMI Setup', then press ENTER.
    5. Set Control to 'Off'."

    The second idea is to adjust your TV settings like so.
    "Go into Menu under HDMI-CEC and turn it Off. If the set is a Samsung look for AnyNet+ (default is normally On) and turn it Off."

    I'm still having issues going directly to a given HDMI input when the unit first power on (going to "HDMI Input 1" simply toggles the current HDMI input instead of going directly to the one you want), but I've made the quirk tolerable by programming one of the buttons on my universal remote to toggle inputs, so it's easy to fix.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good performance and versatility with a few shortcomings, May 10, 2010
    I picked up a 1020 over the weekend. I have been building custom cabinetry and needed a slimmer (and cooler) receiver for our secondary viewing room and the 1020 seemed to fit the bill in large part based upon a pleasant experience with the 919/1019 and the elite 21.

    For reference, the 1020 is replacing an Onkyo 1007, which I really enjoyed, but was a bit big for the cabinet and largely unused with a baby's bedroom nearly adjacent to the area. Keep in mind, the Onkyo weighs 52 lbs and draws nearly 11 amps - not a fair fight between the two.

    In comparison to the 1019/919 (which powers my second and third zones), the 1020 looks very similar, but Pioneer removed the blue led power button (they did the same with the bdp-320 from the 51fd last year as well). The front panel buttons have been reconfigured slightly, but overall the two look very similar.

    I have the 1020 configured as 5.1 plus wides. The speaker setup was pretty easy, but it appears that setting it up as normal plus wides would prevent you from operating Zone 2 despite the manual saying the contrary.

    In terms of audio quality, the receiver sounds very good and similar to the 1019/919. That said, when turned louder (say -5db), it appears to lose its legs a bit sooner than the 1019. I heard a bit more distortion in playing music loudly (i was alternating the same speakers and source via speaker switch before I had the two connected). That said, I would think most folks would not be able to tell a difference at normal volume levels, but the power draw cut from last year does seem to manifest itself at loud levels in my amateurish testing. Please do not try to pull every thread in my comparison - just an average guy comparing the two side by side.

    Running MCACC was as simple as other pioneer models, but the system did seem to be a bit too generous as to the speaker size of the speakers in my setup (audyssey classified them as small and set the individual speaker crossovers at 100hz). I have been using the wide listening mode and have found it reasonably effective in providing a broader sound array for the wide room. I will need more critical listening time to compare it to Audyssey DSX's wide presence processing mode. Overall, I am pleased with the sound quality of the 1020, but it could benefit by a bit more power. I would caution about tying to drive large or inefficient speakers with this receiver if your listening preferences are very loud.

    The remote is an improvement in that it is learning, but a step back in dark room navigation. Yes the keys glow in the dark, but labels are small and difficult to quickly identify. It is miles ahead of Denon's odd remotes, but lacks some of the simple and easy to identify buttons of Onkyo.

    The receiver has run cooly, which is an improvement from the space-heater my Onkyo could be.

    The receiver does offer a really good listening experience for a very light (and presumably efficient) unit. That said, I do lament a few things: onscreen osd - at least volume/source/audio codec; a slightly ergonomic remote; and assignable speakers to let you customize presence and zone 2.

    Overall, I am happy with the unit and pleasantly surprise how cooly it runs.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Packed with features but does have some flaws, June 10, 2010
    This thing is loaded with features. My favorite by far is playing internet radio directly from an internet connection. It has an easy way to program and rename stations from an http site. It has a nice glossy front and runs really cool especially compared to my old Onkyo oven. The iphone control is pretty cool although it would be nice if you could turn on the receiver from the iphone app. It plays an ipod well and does display cover art for music although very small. It's pretty cool that you can use a standard USB cable to connect an ipod as well as some other USB devices (Haven't played with that). I do wish the USB input was on the back. I have an ipod dock that i want to leave plugged in and it looks pretty bad plugged into the front.

    This thing switches inputs relatively quickly and can scroll through audio settings without long interruptions in sound. Powering up on the other hand is extremely sluggish. I timed 40 seconds from power up to get picture and sound rolling. I really like that you can customize the input names although the method of scrolling through each letter takes a while. It's also nice to be able to hide some inputs so that you don't have to scroll through a bunch of inputs that are never used when scanning through.

    The remote is setup like a universal remote. You have to select a specific mode for most inputs. Say you're in ipod mode, you have to go back into receiver mode to use many of the settings buttons. This makes it very difficult to program a universal remote to control the receiver. you have to have a different set of arrow commands programmed for each input. Also, for programming a universal remote. All inputs have a separate button that you can program except of course HDMI inputs which are the ones I use. To select one of the 5 HDMI inputs you can continually press the HDMI button to get the one you want which is not a good method when you just want to hit one button to get to the correct input. There is a backwards way to reassign the analog input selection to use an HDMI input then rename it, but it takes some work. It is impressive that the included remote can be programmed for other devices and can even learn commands and perform simple macros.

    The display on the unit I received has a small thread of some sort hanging down inside the display. This is probably just rare defect but it is annoying when looking at the display.

    I see this message flash multiple times on the display every time I power on. This is some kind of copyright nonsense built into HDMI cables. Although all HDMI inputs on my TV are HDCP compliant and I have used the same HDMI cables on a previous receiver without issues I had all kinds of problems getting my receiver to work at all because of this error. Time and time again I would be watching TV and then without touching anything I would see this error, then no inputs would work and it would take a while for anything to come back up. After playing with lots of setting and trying multiple cables and inputs on my TV now I just get the error without losing picture and sound. The manual says this: "Some components that are compatible with HDCP still cause this message to be displayed, but so long as there is no problem with displaying video, this is not a malfunction." Ummm, sorry Pioneer but when an error is displayed incorrectly that is called a bug and IS a problem. I'm sure they are being forced by law to incorporate this HDCP stuff in their unit but they are doing a very poor job.

    Zone 2
    Buying this receiver I had a plan to wire an adjacent room as a zone 2 so that I could play music in that other room. Unfortunately the zone 2 feature on this unit does not work with any digital inputs. Because I have everything connected via HDMI this makes zone 2 a worthless feature to me. As an alternative I decided to hook up the other room to the Speaker B connection. This won't allow me to listen to two different inputs simultaneously as zone 2 does, but at-least I can listed to digital inputs in the other room when I want. The problem is for some reason the speaker selection cannot be controlled with the remote. So I have to walk to the receiver to select to use Speaker B and then walk back to turn it off That may not sound like much, but part of my plan was to use an RF remote to control the music in the other room while in the other room. There is just no way to really get this unit to perform in such a scenario.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Almost a perfect receiver, August 23, 2010
    Well normally, I don't post reviews, but I certainly base my purchase decisions off of fellow reviewers hear on Amazon, so it's time to pay it forward. This receiver purchase comes after needing a receiver that has HDMI inputs to compliment the new additions to my downstairs entertainment setup. After buying the Samsung 55" LED 240hz from Amazon, I decided it was time to upgrade the receiver.

    Components I have include a Samsung Bluray player, Wii, Scientific Atlantic DVR (from Cox) and I also have the Apple airport which allows me to stream my upstairs music library to the downstairs (very awesome!). I also bought the Harmony One remote which I'll get into a little bit later in this review. The receiver so far has very much met or exceeded my expectations, with only a few things that I have to say would equal a "con".

    Sound. Although I'm no audiophile by any means, I certainly have become one. Pioneer does a great job at offering several different presets of how to listen to your content. I also like that each input maintains it's own setting. I have my bluray's played with a certain audio setting, as with radio, the Wii, etc.

    Extras. I'll admit, that I actually paid a little bit more to have the iPhone remote feature which works really well....for volume and selecting inputs only though. I'll admit that all my friends almost expect me to "wow" them with my gadgets and toys, and the Pioneer app does not disappoint. I also took the time and renamed all of the inputs that I'm using, so rather than seeing "HDMI 1", I renamed it "DVD", or "iTunes" and "Wii". The receiver is nice with that option.

    Internet connection. As mentioned, I have the Apple airport express and because I have several devices which needed a physical LAN connection to include the Samsung TV and DVD player, I bought a Netgear switch (which basically just expands the Internet connection to up to 5 devices). With the receiver, it was literally plug and play and no setup was needed on my end, which I was glad for.

    Speaker setup. At first, I didn't think much of the speaker MCACC setup, but after doing it with the wired microphone, it was actually very easy. For those who don't have their speakers perfectly centered within their room (for example, I sit a lot closer to my rear left speaker, versus the rear right speaker), I suggest using the MCACC setup. The only thing I changed was the setup identified my front speakers as being large, when in fact they were small. I have Bose speakers with the bass module (which is not the same as a sub-woofer!) and I think that was the reason.

    Plenty of inputs. I honestly can't imagine that you could use all of the HDMI and other inputs that are provided to you...which is great feature. I like having a device where I've got room to grow into it versus wondering how I'll make another device fit.

    Heat. When I was reading reviews for receivers, heat seemed to be concern. Now that I have a somewhat more enclosed setup, I too have noted that's a good thing to keep in mind. I would rate the Pioneer as being very good in this department. Even after hours of running it, the Pioneer puts off less than moderate heat. If anything, I think the cable box is more to blame. But I would recommend leaving the receiver on a shelf to itself, with nothing on top of it.

    Remote. If there was any frustration, I think it had to do with being overwhelmed. Between the DVD player, TV, and receiver remote, hands down, do yourself a favor and invest in the Harmony One remote. I didn't even bother trying to program the Pioneer remote to learn the other remotes, etc. Also, I definitely agree with the criticism of the Pioneer remote...c'mon Pioneer - no back light, small buttons...you guys need to do better. But like I said, that remote is sitting in a drawer right now thanks to a REAL remote, the Harmony One.

    Input selection. I too experienced problems initially when turning on the receiver and it would automatically go to the "BD Input". But thanks to other reviewers, I turned off the TV's "Anynet" feature and made some adjustments on what HDMI slots I used. What's nice about the Harmony One is that it allows you to select an actual HDMI slot of your choice (for example HDMI 3, which could be your DVD player) versus having to manually select input several times to toggle your way there. I did read some other reviews where the "input complaint" seems to be popular, but was slightly confused, because even on the Pioneer remote, you could easily select HDMI 1 to Radio, to HDMI 5 without having to manually toggle. I think the reviewers who are having those issues are using devices that do not even have HDMI inputs. I'll just say this, if you don't own 1 device that had HDMI, you're probably wasting your money with a high end receiver like this.

    Pass through technology. Okay, so here is BIG con for me and I'm a bit shocked. I initially had the bright idea that I was going to run everything into my receiver and only have one HDMI going out to the TV...well that bright idea won't work for you. Why? Well because this receiver does not have "pass through technology". Meaning that if I want to watch cable TV, I can't just turn on my Samsung and start flipping away, I would have to turn on the receiver AND would have to select the TV input...somewhat disappointing. It goes the same for watching movies, because everything goes through the receiver, you're committed to turning on the receiver (even if you do not want to watch it on surround sound). Now, I will say Pioneer does allow you to toggle the volume so you can choose to listen to a device through either your TV or surround, but the steps to make that toggle are not worth it to me AND, you would still have to have the receiver turned on. So for me, I adapted and hope you take this advice: for watching TV (via cable box), I suggest you run your HDMI cable from cable box into to TV HDMI, but then run audio cables out from the cable box to your receiver (either through standard red/white cables OR what I did, which was using the optical cord with the red laser). Running the audio cables separate allow you to listen to audio on your receiver when YOU want to. Because I'll be honest, although I love this receiver, it only goes on when I'm watching DVD's, playing the Wii, or streaming my iTunes library.

    You could easily do the same thing with your DVD player, but I actually only watch movies via surround, so the above work around was only needed with cable TV.

    Multi zone setup. Although I'm not using the multi-zone feature, I am powering outside speakers. Again, I love the ability to stream my iTunes library (using the Apple airport express) and this is what's nice about having an iPhone (I can use the Remote app and or Pioneer app), but what I do not like is the fact that I have to select the "B Speaker" feature from the receiver itself...there is no remote option that allows you to toggle between "A, B, or Both"...if anyone knows otherwise, please advise.

    Audio selections. While the instructions were okay, I wish it would have provided a bit more insight on what audio options should be used under certain conditions. Again, I'm no audiophile, so I have a very sneaking suspicion that I'm not maximizing my surround sound experience for Bluray movies. One thing to note, I'm not impressed with the Samsung Bluray DVD player one bit and plan on bringing my PS3 downstairs (which is the BEST Bluray player out there today), just remember to turn on the highest audio option from the DVD player, to achieve that golden digital / DTS 7.1 or even 5.1 sound.

    Internet radio. Although I have a LAN Internet cord running into the receiver, it's strictly to support the Pioneer iPhone app...not the Internet radio feature. I tried the Internet radio feature a few times but wasn't impressed. It does have some decent channels, but the biggest issue I see is that you have to have the TV turned on so you can select your channels you want to listen to. For me, if I'm going to have my TV turned on, then I might as well use the cable box's radio station features...even using the cable box stations, I can easily select a channel which I know to be a "Top 40" station, without actually having to have the TV on. The Internet radio through the receiver is a let down because of how slow it is going between channels and the fact that you need to have your TV to see what it is you're selecting.

    Thanks for reading!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great AV Receiver with a few quirks, May 20, 2010
    I purchased this receiver about 1 week ago and love it. It has great sound, tons of features, and lots of connectivity for whatever device you may have. The only real issue I had was how the receiver would switch to TV/SAT every time I would turn on the system using my Harmony One remote. However, I discovered that this problem was caused by my TV and the fix is the following: Go into Menu under HDMI-CEC and turn it Off. If the set is a Samsung look for AnyNet+ (default is normally On) and turn it Off. Once I did that, the problem was gone. Once that problem was resolved I was really able to appreciate the features of this receiver. I used the automatic setup with the MCACC and it worked out very well. The only minor problem was that it listed my surround speakers as LARGE so I manually went into the setup and changed them to SMALL. Overall, I would say this receiver was pretty easy to set up, has great sound, and does not run hot like some of the other receivers out there so it can easily be placed in a closed cabinet without overheating. I was upgrading from a Sony STR-DE995 so this is a noticeable improvement now that I can listen to BD and HD DVD movies in TrueHD instead of standard Dolby Digital. I love it and can really hear the separation of the channels that was lacking with my Sony. I highly recommend this AV Receiver for the money.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Preliminary Review for VSX-1020-K --Verdict: Recommended, August 29, 2010
    I am writing this review with limited experience. Very likely, the review will be updated later with more time spend with this receiver.

    I purchased this item after another purchase went sour with a Yamaha Receiver (simple shipping damage by UPS). I was originally very attracted to Pioneer, however, I did not want to pay extra $150. Lucky for me, damaged Yamaha became an excuse to upgrade to this Pioneer.

    I admit, I am not an audiophile. However, I have much experience with technology, and technology is what got me with this device.

    Summary of Goods:
    -Internet Radio built-in, IP configurable
    -Device specific iPhone App, free
    -Very easy to navigate on-screen menu
    -5+1 HDMI input (you never know when you need the 5th one)
    -Very pleasant design
    -Very clean sound, with good speaker of course
    -Multiple pre-configured presets for various movie and music situations
    -Very functional universal compatibility with FIOS and Cable remotes
    -Front HDMI (very important if you need to hook up an HDMI camera)
    -Front iPhone/iPod interface (also charges, I think. cable is provided)

    Not so good (but still OK)
    -Very complicated remote with small keys
    -Depth size is a bit high, if you have IKEA TV stand (stands out about and inch)
    -No Wi-Fi (Ethernet only)

    As you an see, this receiver does not have many negatives that would effect its functionality much, especially the sound quality. Therefore, I will not focus on details for what is good, rather give some tips to potential purchasers. I will also provide more information here later in coming months based on further experience.

    I would also like you to pay attention to a general tip at the end of this review for possible network connectivity challenges you might have in your current and future system and how to over come.


    Set-up and configuration:
    Basic set-up was very easy, and teh system was on after 10 minutes. Make sure you use the BD input for Blu-Ray, and HDMI 1 input for cable/sat source. It becomes easier to navigate later on. You can go to home menu and rename the sources as you like.
    Provided booklet is a bit complicated but it is worth reading, in fact, it is a must to read it. You will have to go to it back and forth later in advance configuration phase.

    Given my lack of experience with home-theater systems, originally I tried to use it with only two Polk Audio Monitor 70 3-Way Floorstanding Speaker (Single, Black), only to find out that you MUST have a center speaker in a system like this in order to comprehend the spoken word on TV. The system will otherwise eat up the dialogs and output the effects and music only..So, I later on picked up BIC America FH6-LCR Dual 6.5-Inch 175-Watt LCR Speaker with Mid/High Frequency Horn. It made all the difference. You may be able to survive without rear speaker in an home-theater system, but center is a MUST.

    Internet Radio:
    I am an avid internet radio listener. This device connects to internet with ease and stream any ".pls" URL's with ease. Forget about trying to set-up radios from the remote. You can go to the system's home menu and see the IP address of the receiver, and then log-into it from your computer and change default radio stations URLs. Unfortunately, there are only 24 stations at any given time. It is OK for most of the users I guess, but not for me. Still, having a built-in Internet radio is sufficiently awesome.

    Internet Connectivity:
    As long as, you hook up an Ethernet cable to the receiver, connection is not problem. Once it is connected, make sure to upgrade the firmware. the one on the receiver is not the latest version.


    Unlike many of the current receivers, VSX-1020 has 5+1 HDMI inputs. 5 on the rear, one up front. I was particularly impressed with the front HDMI. It is a must have for those who own HDMI cameras. Nowadays, many manufacturers are providing HDMI out-put on digital cameras. Imagine the convenience.


    There is a free app in the app-store for this device which enables you to control many functions of this device from your iPhone/iPod. You must be on the same network connected via the same Wi-Fi network. Once both your iPhone and receiver are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, the app immediately recognizes the receiver without further configuration. Again, make sure you are in Wi-Fi with your iPhone, not 3G for this.

    I do not own the Pioneer Electronics AS-BT100 Bluetooth Adapter for Compatible Pioneer Products (Black) for this. You should be able to stream in music from your iPhone (or another blue-tooth enabled device) via this. I am yet to try, perhaps if the adapter sells below $50, I will. Yet, I am afraid it will increase the depth of the receiver and became more problem to fit into some shelves. Alternatively, you can get an Airport Express and stream all the music you like from iTunes on your computer. Again, with he internet radio, I am sufficiently connected to external music sources already.

    For some configuration and mode changes you definitely need the Pioneer remote. However, to increase the sound level, mute, and turn it on and off, you can easily program your cable/FIOS remote to turn on all the connected systems (TV, Box, receiver, blu-ray) at once. I think, you would prefer to use a single button to turn on and off your entire home-theater system, instead of switching between remotes. Just read the user manual for your Cable remote, it is easy. Not only you have to enter the right codes, but also configure it that the sound controls (volume, mute) works for the receiver not TV.

    Like all other Pioneers, this receiver is nicely designed, with curvature corners. two large knobs to control Volume and Source looks very classic.


    If you are getting this system or a system like this one, you are likely to have or will have network connected TV and/or Blu-ray player already. Today, NOT many HDTVs and Blu-rays come with built-in Wi-Fi. If you have one that does, good for you. However, for those of you who need to connect his/her blu-ray player, HDTV and receiver to the network via Ethernet cable, you have a challenge. But there is a solution, less than ideal but it works.

    If you are lucky like me and you have single Ethernet jack on the wall, it is still not enough for all four devices. What I did to overcome this was to purchase TRENDnet 300 Mbps Wireless N Gigabit Router TEW-639GR (Black) for $50 and then hook it up to the single available jack and use the LAN jacks on the wireless-router as splitter. It worked fine, now I have a faster N router,a nd wired all four devices still room for another future one.

    Of you have no Ethernet jack close by, and you do not feel like laying one across the rooms for a single connection Airport Express works fine, but it has single Ethernet jack on it. For multiple connectivity, you will need to use the wireless router as bridge. Still a $90 solution, but for today home media devices connectivity is a must to upgrade the firmware, stream radios and watch Netflix.


    Just confirmed by calling Pioneer USA at 1-800-421-1404. There is no way to update the firmware by the end-user from home. AND THERE IS AN UPDATE TO THE FIRMWARE. The item must be taken to closest Pioneer authorized service center for an update. Please visit the Pioneer USA website or call the number above to get the location for nearest service center. I think, firmware update is important. I would call the service center about to get it done. IT IS FREE. I hope this info helps.

    That is all folks..I will provide more information with more time pent on this receiver.

    ***Buy it or Do not Buy it ??***



    5-0 out of 5 stars Borderline totally Awesome, May 27, 2010
    First receiver I've spent real money on. Most have been hand me downs from family and friends. Glad I waited!

    I have all my gear going to the VSX-1020 and only 1 HDMI cable going to my wall mounted Samsung LCD:

    1. Comcast HD DVR cable - HDMI
    2. PS3 - HDMI
    3. XBOX 360 - Component video / Optical audio
    4. Wii - Component video / RCA audio
    5. Home theater PC - DVI-HDMI / RCA audio
    6. DJ turntables and mixer - RCA audio
    7. iPod or iPhone - USB front
    8. Digital Camera - HDMI front
    9. Internet Radio - Ethernet

    The setup was challenging but was made much easier after plugging in a USB keyboard to rename the inputs and navigate the GUI. Even after plugging in the mic and performing the auto MCACC setup for 5.1, manual adjustments where needed to make it sound right. The manual does not help much and you are better off reading forums and reviews to figure this beast out.

    The remote control is solid in function (excellent support for my Samsung LCD and Comcast cable box) and crucial for certain tasks (displaying video to the monitor while spinning records and dj'ing) but lacking in aesthetics (ugly) and intuitiveness (buttons are all the same size, labels are teeny, impossible to use in the dark).

    The iPhone app is very handy for controlling source input and volume, not much else (for now hopefully).

    No onscreen volume or source info provided to the monitor, but the onscreen GUI for setup is the best and prettiest I have seen.

    Pandora, last.fm, slacker are *not* supported in the "Internet Radio" however the preloaded stations are nice and the ability to customize the list of stations is awesome. No more FM for me!

    The VSX-1020 is highly customizable and has a steep learning curve to setup but well worth the effort as it now switches effortlessly between all sources producing crisp 1080p picture and excellent 5.1 audio.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pioneer VSX-1020K Review, June 4, 2010
    I received the 1020k about 3 weeks ago. It replaces an old Pioneer receiver that has served me well for years. Overall, I feel this is an excellent receiver. Setting it up was easy. The Advanced MCACC works very well. I am only operating in Stereo right now driving an old pair of AR-5 speakers. The MCACC did an excellent job of equalizing the speakers for the room and gave a noticeably better sound quality. The power is more than adequate for my set up. Advertised as 110 watts driving a single channel. It is 80 watts per channel when driving stereo. Not sure what it drops down to when operating in 7.1. My speakers are very inefficient and it drives then much louder than I would ever listen to them. Even at very high volume I did not hear any distortion. It does play an IPOD/IPhone with no problem, however it does not recognize my Creative Zen. I found the remote control to be a bit cumbersome. It is OK for the receiver, and it works fine with my Sony XBR TV, but for some reason, I never could get it to recognize any of the codes for my Sony BluRay or my DirecTV box. So, I do have a Harmony One remote ordered to hopefully control all the components. The GUI is nice. It is nice to be able to plug in a USB keyboard and change the input descriptions. I have a tape deck and turntable hooked up and could change the descriptions accordingly. There is no preamp for a turntable, so that is an additional expense. I added the Behringer PP400 Ultra-Compact Phono Preamp for approximately $24 and it works well with my turntable. Pioneer gives you a pretty cheesy FM antenna which is no more than a strand of wire. To pick up FM stations better, I hooked up the old FM wire dipole that came with my old Pioneer receiver. Though the receiver does up convert all your video to 1080P, I have not seen much if any difference in the video quality. Overall, I think this is a very nice receiver and I am very happy with my purchase.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent bang for the buck., October 28, 2010
    First of all, kudos for Amazon and 5th Ave Electronics for FAST and safe shipping.

    Really like the iPhone integration features. New modes step up functionality from my previous receiver which cost me nearly 4 times as much (Marantz SR-8001). If the Marantz hadn't suffered an early death I wouldn't have bought this.

    There is no comparison between the sound of the Marantz 8000 series and a receiver of this level. That's why they cost big bucks--not only do they have HDMI but they also have essential sound features like a massive toroidal power supply and anal-retentive shielding and wiring design to minimize sound degradation from all the electronic whizbangery going on.

    The midrange is Marantz's claim to fame, with a fast, liquid quality reminiscent of real high-dollar stuff. With smooth highs and tight bass, I love that Marantz sound. It's obviously what they focus on.

    Now, for $400 this baby don't sound bad! If you have under $600 to spend on an A/V receiver, you should listen to this one, because it sounds as good or better than pretty much everything else in its range.

    The networking and iPhone/iPod integration features are a step above for this receiver.

    When I plugged the cat 6 cable into the back of the receiver, it was on the network and visible in seconds. My iPhone was controlling the dialogue and subwoofer volume in seconds. Now I just have to figure out how to stream sound over the iPhone's wifi connection to the receiver. So much more reliable than a bluetooth connection. Since that connection is there, there must be some way to exploit it.

    As far as I can tell, we're waiting for an iPhone app that addresses the receiver as a digital media server. The receiver has firmware to receive multimedia over ethernet, so if it can see your iPhone online as a multimedia device it should be able to stream all your iPhone/iTouch movies and music over your wifi network. Then you can have two-way wireless communication with your iPhone and no need for the fancy white iPod cable that comes with the unit.

    If this functionality can be added simply by adding a playback feature to the Pioneer iPhone app, I'm sure the software developers at Pioneer have it on their to-do list.

    It sure would be cool.

    Programming my Harmony One remote was more involved. Logitech doesn't automatically program the buttons of the remote for iPod control in its iPod/mp3 activity code.

    So you have to go in and designate all the buttons for that activity. It's involved, but all the codes are there and correct so it's just point and click. When I was done I had full iPod/iPhone control with my universal remote. When I've lived with this receiver for a few months, I'll know what other features to build into the remote's receiver profile to properly automate use with this Pioneer unit.

    As for HDMI performance, this receiver has more features than the Marantz SR8001. It has more two-way communication along the HDMI path between components, and seems to respond logically to signals from the sat dvr box, video game consoles and plasma display. Picture is a LOT better through this machine than through the 8001. I've heard that Marantz has also significantly improved picture quality in their newer receivers, so this isn't a knock on Marantz. It's just a comment that you will get good picture switching HDMI through this inexpensive little unit.

    Sound quality: bass is muddier so far. I haven't yet fine tuned bass response with this. I didn't use the automatic calibration with this receiver, since auto calibration has been hit or miss in the past with me. So I set up the speaker sizes, measured distances and levels manually. There is almost no deviation from default for everything but sub. The sub was very muddy--perhaps I need to change the crossover point to lower than 80 Hz. My speakers don't roll off until 50 Hz so that's doable--I was just trying to save precious watts for my speakers because this receiver isn't terribly powerful. I'll try it both ways for an extended time and see which I prefer--a little more volume with less precision because more signal is being sent to the sub, or a little less volume with cleaner sound in the midbass.

    Mids and highs are acceptable, though clearly not as refined nor as powerful as in the 8001. When you pay high dollars for a receiver, you are paying for incremental increases in sound quality, not a whole lot of computerized functionality. The functionality is cheap. Sound quality gets expensive rather quickly. That said, Pioneer seems to have prioritized fairly well on the sound quality front. There are receivers in this price range from Sony and Harman that are quite frankly unlistenable. This one is quite easy to live with, remembering how much money you saved over a high line Pioneer Elite or upper level Marantz/Denon, Onkyo, or beyond that into Outlaw, Sunfire, Arcam, etc.

    If you have $5000 to spend on a home theater receiver, you aren't reading this review. If you want 80% of the SQ of those units for less than ten percent of the price, here you are. I would rather go with one of the big boys, but I'm still paying for my house and my kids are approaching high school age. By the time I can afford one of the nice units, I'm sure my hearing will be shot anyway!

    So I buy the best sound and video I can afford, which means this unit for me.

    You can get a lot of better receivers out there for more money. But in this class this one sounds almost as good as the class leader from Denon, and completely outperforms the Denon in modern network functionality. If you want to integrate your home theater into your home network for low dollars, this receiver gets you there without paying a serious sound penalty--and if you want better sound, Pioneer's Elite series will soon incorporate all the network functionality of these new receivers and better sound in the bargain. Just remember you'll pay significantly more for marginally better sound.

    For me this setup is a winner. I'm very impressed.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best receiver available for less than $500, October 31, 2010
    I did quite a bit of research before buying this receiver with certain criteria in mind.

    Due to the height of my entertainment center, most high end receivers were out of the picture as they tend to be very tall. In fact that's why I had to trade in my Sherwood Newcastle R965. The Pioneer has a small footprint, and has had zero problems with heat dissipation as there is minimal room surrounding the unit for air circulation.

    The unit has plenty of connectivity options (as most do nowadays), including the convenient iPod/USB input on the front. I don't have an iPod, however was able to borrow a friends to try the UI and was quite pleased with the simplicity and speed of the interface.

    Coming from a acoustically superior receiver, I'm having a hard time saying the Pioneer is a SQ unit, however with the auto-tune initial setup, I feel like it's a more balanced sound than the Sherwood, and therefore I'm happier.

    I'm running a 5.0 stereo with the rear speakers directly behind the listener's head. The autotune spent some time with the time alignment and balancing the sound for the rears, and the end result is fabulous. I can listen to surround sound movies and hear the rears perfectly without being obnoxious.

    I do feel like the autotune removed a lot of the bass that I'm used to. I can probably manually add it back in, but it's been motivation to finally add a woofer. Also, because of positioning of the entertainment center, one tower is closer to the listener than the other, the pioneer made adjustments for that as well.

    I've had Pioneer receivers in the past and always complained about their DSP settings and remote controls. This model is a great improvement over the previous ones I've owned as it has 4 easy categories to switch through for DSP settings. They are easy to understand and make sense. The remote is an improvement over previous versions, but still far from where it needs to be. I use a Logitech Harmony 1100 touch screen universal remote, so I tossed the Pioneer in storage.

    I have 3 inputs; Cable (HDMI), PS3 (HDMI), and Wii (RCA) with my output to the monitor over HDMI. The receiver switches sources quickly and does a very good job decoding the various source formats. I've had receivers in the past that make very loud internal switching noises when switching between stereo and Dolby - this makes quiet quick switches.

    There is a plethora of logical adjustments that are easy to understand and implement including display changes. Pioneer really did a great job with the software on this model,and for the price I couldn't be any happier.

    I'd highly recommend this to anybody who has multiple inputs of various formats, who enjoys simple setup and operation, who has a less than ideal speaker setup, and who requires a smaller footprint. Don't buy this receiver with the idea that it's going to be a sound quality receiver as you'll be disappointed. Not saying it's terrible sounding, only that it sounds a little digital and overly processed. ... Read more

    4. Zinwell ZAT-970A Digital to Analog TV Converter Box
    list price: $49.99 -- our price: $40.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001DVZXC0
    Manufacturer: Zinwell
    Sales Rank: 240
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Digital TV Converter Box with Analog Pass-Through ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars comparison with dtvpal plus, November 17, 2008
    I purchased the two major timer event schedulable/programmable converter boxes available as of this date: the Zinwell and the DTVPal Plus (enhanced version of the DTVPal or TR-40 CRA). These are some of the major problems and advantages of each.

    The biggest problem I have with the Zinwell is that the remote control is the flimsiest and cheapest control I have ever seen with any product. The down arrow button is already having problems responding to pressing after only a few days. It usually takes several years before buttons on a remote control begin to go bad, and I am concerned that this one will not even be working a year from now. The text labels on the buttons are rubbing off and becoming harder to read.

    The biggest problem with the DTVPal Plus is the reception. The Plus is supposed to have enhanced reception over the prior models which were famous for bad reception, but in my area it gets a couple less UHF channels than the Zinwell and often has severe breakup on the ABC affiliate and two other channels (even with an amplified antenna). Perhaps this will be less of an issue if digital signals get boosted in February.

    The Zinwell has 8 timer events to 5 for the DTVPal Plus. The Zinwell lacks a recurring M-F weekday scheduling option. Both devices make you go through several menus to get to the timer scheduling. The DTVPal Plus has an awkward event scheduling process that takes you through two screens. The Zinwell has its own awkwardness-it makes you choose a channel from a list of station call letters rather than channel numbers! The Zinwell also requires confirmation at the end of the timer scheduling process, and defaults to Cancel making it easy to accidentally cancel your timer event, so watch out.

    If you like on-screen program guides, the DTVPal Plus has a fuller one than the Zinwell, and you can even schedule timer events direct from the program guide with the DTVPal Plus. The DTVPal Plus has an annoying download each time you turn on the converter box, but you can cancel the download.

    If you get a Zinwell, do not throw out the manual. Zinwell has unfortunately set a password on some of the channel functions, so you will need to look up the default password in the manual if you try to access these functions.

    Do not expect much support. Both companies took several days to respond to an inquiry and gave canned answers that did not address my question. After supplying follow-up information, neither company got back to me. There are several other issues and quirks with both devices.

    (--some updated notes 9/16/2009 after a few months of using--)

    The Zinwell picture quality has been nice. Occasionally, I have had an issue with the Zinwell audio and video getting slightly out of synch (as also reported by some other reviewers)-but doesn't bother me and turning off and on puts them back in synch.

    The biggest problem I have had with regular use of the Zinwell is that scheduled recurring events (weekly, etc.) get messed up regularly so I have to constantly monitor them. The Zinwell loses the channel on the recurring events and resets the channel to the highest station number. (I believe this is the most commonly reported major problem with this device.) Periodically it loses the recurring events completely and they need to be reentered. One-time events also get corrupted sometimes, although less often. Even the most popular 5 star review of this box by couchbum, in the Comments link, acknowledges that the timers fail periodically.

    The DTVPal Plus tends to run hot, so I have propped it up at an angle to give it some cooling space. I have had a disturbing problem a couple of times where the DTVPal Plus would not power on-had to unplug it from the power source and plug it back in again, and then it resumed working.

    Since they boosted the digital signals after the transition, the DTVPal Plus weaker reception has not been a problem and it now gets all the channels that my other converter boxes get. (However, I live in an urban area and have an amplified antenna, so the weaker reception may still be a problem for many people.)

    The DTVPal Plus regularly loses timer events and is very unreliable. I have found two specific sequences of timer events that cause it to consistently drop events. The DTVPal Plus timer issues have been far more numerous and problematic than those with the Zinwell. I used several VCRs over two decades and never had a device malfunction on its timer events or spontaneously change the selected channel. Not sure why it is so difficult for these digital boxes.

    I get the best results with both devices by setting timers the morning of the same day as the programs. Setting timers a day or more in advance of the programs increases chances for timer event corruption.

    Although the on-screen station program guide for the DTVPal Plus is robust, it has an inadequacy. The normal program guide access turns off audio and video while you are browsing the guide, so you cannot hear or watch television as you peruse it. To view television as you browse the guide, you cannot use the Guide button on the remote but must use the directional buttons to access the guide-but the guide still overlays much of the screen (semi-transparent).

    In the clock settings, the Zinwell has no daylight savings on/off, while the DTVPal Plus does allow you to control daylight savings. The Zinwell has the advantage that you can manually set the time, while the DTVPal Plus does not allow you to. If you manually set the time in the Zinwell, I found it loses 1-2 minutes per week and also loses the clock time completely if power goes out even for a second (most devices will hold the time for 2-3 minutes in a power outage). I have mine on a UPS (backup battery) to keep it from losing time in a brief power outage. At least the Zinwell allows you to control the time if you want to. (Early in the digital conversion both boxes were keeping erratic time so clock options were important, but digital time signals have improved enough now that using automatic time is generally fine. This has made the options of manual time setting and daylight savings much less important but I have included this info for those interested.)

    The DTVPal Plus has one bright spot: it handles poor signal quality well. The two aspects of reception are signal strength and signal quality. While the DTVPal Plus does not pick up low strength well, it does handle poor signal quality very well. There are a couple of minor stations with poor quality (but adequate strength) that my Zenith and Zinwell cannot receive but that the DTVPal Plus picks up. In my experience, it also has less dropout from other things that reduce signal quality, such as splitting the antenna feed or electrical interference.

    One other small plus I have found with the DTVPal Plus: it operates from my old universal remote (as a SAT box), which allows me to control all my devices-very, very handy. None of the other converter boxes that I have will work with this old universal remote, although I have heard that some of the newer universal remotes can control converter boxes. This somewhat makes up for the fact that the DTVPal Plus has no buttons on the box and can only be operated by remote control. (However, it may be too sensitive-it also turns on when I press the fast forward button on one brand of VCR remote!)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Nice. You can record different stations while away from home. Works great with a VCR, March 10, 2009
    I only have an outdoor TV antenna. No cable or satellite. I too bought this converter for the built in timer. You can record different channels at different times while you're away from home with your VCR and TV antenna (However, you can not record one station and watch another station "at the same time"). You have to set your TV and VCR to channel 3 (always) and the timer in this converter is what you set for the time and channel to record. Make sure the clock time on the converter box matches the clock time on your VCR. Or you may miss part of your show. There is one problem that I haven't figured out yet. I hooked this converter to the TV in my living room. My outdoor antenna cable line continues on and goes to the bedroom and the TV in the bedroom only plays the channel that the converter box is on in the living room. I have 2 of these converter boxes and so I hooked the second one up in the bedroom. It receives no channel signals. Well, that didn't last long since I received my DVD recorder in the mail (Toshiba DR560 1080p Upconverting DVD Recorder with Built-in Tuner, bought on Amazon) and this DVD recorder has a built-in ATSC/NTSC/QAM digital/analog tuner. Meaning, I don't need a converter box in my living room now. This DVD recorder allows me to record one station and watch another station at the same time from my over the air, outdoor antenna. Just like a VCR. Awesome! Now the converter box works on the bedroom TV. Since the DVD recorder is allowing the signal to continue on through to the bedroom. I am a happy camper. I now have an extra converter box. Maybe I'll sell it on Amazon.

    Over 3 years ago, I got rid of my cable (yes, the first 3 months was very difficult). I bought an outdoor TV antenna and lived with that for about a year. The reception wasn't good, lots of white specs or lines. Then I bought a "booster" for the antenna. A big improvement almost like receiving paid cable. This converter box allows me to receive more TV stations then the outdoor TV antenna alone. I haven't figured out yet what these stations are. I think they're cable or satellite channels. This converter box also improved the reception of all the TV stations. My new DVD recorder, as I mentioned above, also improved the reception even better then this converter box.

    By the way, so far I've saved over 2 thousand dollars by getting rid of my paid cable and going to an outdoor antenna. Add up your monthly cable bill and times it by 12. That's what you're paying a year for paid cable.

    3-0 out of 5 stars VCR TIMER - good to keep your DVR or VCR working, September 13, 2008
    The main reason I bought this product was for the DVR/VCR Timer. This feature allows you to program your favorite shows, and the box will automatically change channels to that show. You can then use your DVR or VCR to capture the video off the box.

    Other boxes like the Zenith DTT901 have better reception capability, but lack the ability to operate with DVRs or VCRs.

    The Zinwell also has analog passthru for people who will be watching Low Power or "clear air" stations after the February 2009 analog shutdown. If you're like me, and don't have any analog stations post-transition, then this feature has no real relevance.

    The Zinwell's guide is rather poor, since it only tells you what program is on now, and what program will be on next hour. The Dish DTVpal has a full=featured guide upto 12 hours into the future, but I don't recommend that device due to poor quality build & software bugs that make it almost unusable.

    Overall I'm satisfied with the Zinwell's DVR and VCR capability, although I still use the Zenith as my main box when watching live television.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty good, but not outstanding, February 10, 2009
    I've been playing around with three DTV converter boxes over the past three months (Magnavox DTV Digital to Analog Converter, TR-40 CRA by Dish Network, and this Zinwell), and none of them stands out above the rest. They all do about the same thing, providing excellent picture quality over their analog equivalents, and I can get 27/28 channels with a rooftop antenna in the Baltimore-Washington area. This Zinwell is the latest, and after about 2 months of testing it, here are my observations:

    - It has a power button and channel buttons on the front of the box in case you misplace the remote
    - It displays signal intensity/quality meters each time you change the channel so you can adjust your antenna for best reception
    - Internal firmware is upgradeable for future updates
    - Built-in timer changes channels for extending the life of analog VCRs
    - Great picture quality
    - Analog pass-through (kind of)
    - Volume control from this remote (based on TV's current max volume)
    - Parental controls

    - Remote control is pretty flimsy
    - Power cord is only 3' long so you may need an extension cord to reach a wall jack
    - Analog pass-through signal is not as clear as without the box
    - Picks up one less channel than the Magnavox on the same antenna
    - Built in time clock slips a few minutes over a period of weeks; annoying if you're using it to provide programming to an analog VCR
    - red LED to tell you it's "off" is an unnecessary waste of energy

    Having spoken to others using various DTV boxes/setups, it seems like the deciding factor on how many channels you'll receive is what kind of antenna you're using. Those with rabbit ears inside the house get as few as 4-6 channels; my 18-year old stationary roof-top antenna gets 27-28 as of today.

    1-0 out of 5 stars DANGER! DANGER!, May 29, 2009
    I've had my Zinwell converter box for two months and a few days ago, it simply stopped working. The unit powers up and five seconds later goes off. The real problem though is with Zinwell. When I called I went to the tech support line where I was told to leave a message only to find out the mailbox was full. After two attempts, I keyed in the customer service extension and same thing happened. THIS ISN'T BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE, IT'S ZERO CUSTOMER SERVICE. BUY AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    3-0 out of 5 stars 2nd ZAT 970 arrived. Comments & TIP!, June 11, 2009
    2nd Review:::

    I reviewed the ZAT 970A earlier after a few days using it. It was good enough (AND offers an "Event Timer" option most other Converter Boxes (CBs) do NOT offer) that we ordered a 2nd unit - which just arrived!


    - ZAT's picture & sound quality remains as good as our highly rated Insignia/Zenith CBs. Each CB recognizes and displays the same channels w/ similar clarity/sound (or break-ups --- which always seems antenna-dependant!).

    - I earlier mentioned the ZAT 970A's remote response were very slow! When our 2nd ZAT arrived, I installed it in a different room, different TV/antenna. The 2nd ZAT's remote responses were INSTANTANEOUS! So I swapped ZATs and tested again. The 2nd, FAST ZAT now responded SLOWLY to remote commands! I then swapped remotes -- SAME slow response! So I swapped and tested everything again -- SAME results!

    IOW, BOTH ZATs reacted fast in one room/situation, but slowly in another room/situation. When each ZAT was slow, it sat atop our Tivo 1 unit. Maybe some electrical/hard disk interference slows ZAT down. Dunno, but I realized I can't blame ZAT for this.

    TIP re: Editing Event Timers:::

    We bought the ZAT ONLY because it's "Event Timer" option helps us record programs on Tivo/VCR.

    I complained earlier that since we use ZAT's Event Timers DAILY to set up recordings of 8pm-11pm Prime Time TV (often editing 3 time periods!), it frustrated that:

    --- ZAT's remote did NOT have 1-button access to Event Timers.

    --- ZAT's Event Timer option is burried several layers deep in it's menus (AND below things you almost NEVER change: Language, Time Zone, Time etc.)

    --- AND that if you edit an Event Timer then press "Exit" to save your edit (let's say Event #4), ZAT kicks you backwards several menus to "Progam Timer!!!" If you then want to edit, say, Event #5, you must press "Enter," "Down," "Down," "Down," "Enter," "Event," "Event," "Event" -- Ugh! Really, really, dumb programming!

    TIP to Avoid That Ugliness: If you wanna edit 2+ Event Timers, INSTEAD OF pressing "Exit" to save each edit, move UP to "Timer #" (or whatever it's called - 1st option) then press ">" or "<" to move to another Event.

    ZAT will ask: "Save?" Select "Yes," then ZAT will move to the next/previous Event -- WITHOUT taking you BACKWARDS several layers! This saves time & frustration when editing 2+ Event Timers.

    Final complaint: I'm an adult, know what I'm doing and accept mistakes I make! I resent electronics and/or software treating me as a child, an idiot. For example, ZAT's default response to "Save?" is "No!" IMO, the default should be "Yes!" It frustrates and wastes my time (& batteries) to constantly have to undo ZAT's defaults. A GOOD programmer would have added an "Installation" option letting ME select "Safe" (Protect me from myself!) or "Fast" (Go for it!) modes!

    1st Review:::

    Got the ZAT 970A CECB (Coupon-Eligible-Converter Box) 2 days ago. Amazon's price was perfect: $0!!! ($40 cost MINUS $40 Govt. Coupon Plus FREE Amazon Shipping = $0 cost delivered to our door! I ordered another for a spare unit/remote.)

    We've used 2 highly-rated Insignia/Zenith CECBs for months. We bought the ZAT ONLY because it's "Timer Events" option lets us record programs on our aging Series 1 Tivo unit that we use only as a very smart VCR (Tivo no longer supports Series 1 units!!).


    *** Easy hook-up (as are all CECBs)
    *** Picture/Sound Quality: The ZAT's picture/sound quality matches the Insignia/Zenith.

    Cons (fatal? serious? frustrating!):

    *** On day #1, we programmed all 8 of the ZAT's Event Timers to switch to different channels at specific times, then programmed Tivo to record Ch. 3 @ those times.

    On Day #1, all programs recorded perfectly!

    But on day #2, ALL Zat's Event Timers spontaneously changed to a channel we RARELY watch!!!

    On Day #2, we started watching a program that had just started recording -- WRONG CHANNEL! We found that ALL 8 of ZAT's Event Timers had been changed to this same channel! This could be FATAL for our recording/time-shifting purposes. If this repeats, it will ELIMINATE ZAT's main advantage over other CECBs with NO Event Timer options.

    *** Seriously deteriorating "Remote" responsiveness. ZAT's remote seems slow in general compared w/ other remotes. But last night it began taking 4-5 seconds for ZAT to respond to clicks of the Remote's buttons! I turned ZAT off, then back on again (when in doubt, Kick It!). The long delay disappeared, but it's still slow.

    *** Really, really lousy software programming! We've developed software for decades and learned: grasp what's used often, then put that up FRONT and uber-EASY & uber-RELIABLE! IMO, folks will OFTEN (daily?) use ZAT's Event Timer option. It should have a dedicated Remote button, OR have it's own Menu item on TOP of other Menu options. But... NOT ZAT! ZAT buries "Event Timer" deep in the "Setup" menu (AFTER: Language, TV System, Time Zone/Time -- HOW OFTEN would you change THOSE?) Equally bad, when you edit an Event Timer and select "Save," ZAT takes you BACKWARDS several menus! So to edit another Event Timer, you must start all over! That's sad, user-UNfriendly software programming.

    Comments re: Others' Comments:

    *** Sure the remote is flimsy compared to the solid, heavy remote of our Sony Tivo's remote. But ZAT's remote is similar to the lightweight remotes that came w/ Insignia/Zenith CECB units. Can't complain.

    *** Someone mentioned having to program things twice to record things: 1) The ZAT; and, 2) the VCR/Tivo. It may be much simpler. We erased ALL Tivo's/VCR's recording options and started over. We now record "M-F Prime Time shows" by telling Tivo to record WHATEVER comes over Ch. 3 between 8pm and 11pm M-F - simple! We then used 3 of ZAT's 8 Timer options to switch channels at: 8pm, 9pm & 10pm. Daily, we just "Edit" ZAT's channel option for each of those time slots - simple, and actually MUCH easier/faster than changing Tivo's recording options (no "Edit" option, you must start all over!)!

    *** A couple folks mentioned the ZAT's Timer option offers a "Time ON" option, but NO "Time OFF" option (like most recording devices have -- they're not the same).

    We found that "feature" to be a major advantage. If we set up a recording on one channel, then discover a better show on a different channel, we just change ZAT's channel - Tivo doesn't care, it just records what's coming thru Ch. 3!

    In sum, ZAT offers an important feature (Event Timers) most CECBs lack. But ZAT seems fragile and, most important, unpredictable. $0's a great bargain, but not if it's untrustworthy. I hope ZAT settles down and becomes reliable (fingers crossed).

    4-0 out of 5 stars ZAT970A vs. DTVPal notes, December 31, 2008
    A few notes about the differences:

    Most importantly, the ZAT970A has an 8 event capacity, while the DTVPal has only 5 available events, a piece of information not available in the manual nor anywhere else, even on the Dish website. I wouldn't have bought it had I known. This is nearly as boneheaded as the rest of the available CECB boxes, which have none.

    I have not found any notable reception differences between the two boxes; both have good sensitivity for the available stations within 30 miles. I am using a multiple antenna setup with amplifiers the same one I used for analog reception (necessary to pull in the furthest station), feeding 4 VCRs, 2 TVs, and one DVD recorder. For all stations, the signal strength and quality exceed 90% on either box.

    The DTVPal's on-screen guide is far superior to the ZAT970A's, but still no great shakes; for serious time-shifters, the online TV Guide website is still a necessity. It should be noted that the DTVPal guide is also superior to the guide on the $180 (retail) Samsung HD receiver I bought to view live HDTV on my ~ 4 yr. old Samsung HDTV-ready (hah!) 32" CRT style 16:9 flat screen.

    I haven't noticed any problems yet with the time settings, both are set to automatic Eastern time. Since I got them after the time change, any DST problems will show up next year.

    The DTVPal remote is easier to use due to it's larger button size, but the buttons on the ZAT970A remote are not as small as some remotes I have had to use.

    The DTVPal manual has larger print and illustrations, and is more thorough; the ZAT970A manual notes that to enter the Service Mode Menu to correct certain problems, the dealer should be contacted. This is a feat that will be difficult to accomplish since it is not sold in brick&mortar locations in most of the country.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Zinwell ZAT-970A Digital-to-Analog Converter Box, December 12, 2008
    I chose the ZAT-970A for use with an analog VCR, since it provides for the setting of up to 8 timers. So far it has worked fine for that purpose, although I've not tested it extensively. The programming of a timer is somewhat unusual in that the start time is based on a 24 hour clock and no end time is requested; therefore, the box does not shut off at the conclusion of a timed event. (I've read that a ZAT-970A with more recent software utilizes AM/PM instead of a 24 hour clock.) Basically this converter box works well. The tuner detects the same stations as a Zenith DTT901 and has good picture quality. I chose it over the only other converter box with timers that qualifies for a government coupon.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Zinwell ZAT-970A falls short!, July 28, 2009
    I have two Zinwell ZAT-970A units, and I'm having problems with both of them. The reason I bought them is because they can be programmed to pass programs to my VCR's.

    There are many problems;

    1. They do not always pass a good signal. My home has a TV antenna, with a signal booster, in the attic. On my main set-up, I have a splitter attached to my coaxial antenna cable. One signal goes to a Insignia Converter box which then goes to a A/B switch and then to the TV. This works fine. I need this set-up because we will often want to tape a show while watching another show at the same time.

    The second signal goes to my Zinwell ZAT-970A unit, then to my VCR. The VCR is connected to the A/B Switch which then goes to the TV.

    My problem is that my Zinwell units will, quite often, scramble the signal, sometimes for a half hour or more. It will also say "BAD SIGNAL" or "NO SIGNAL". At first, I thought I had a problem with my antenna set-up. But then I found out that, after switching over to the Insignia converter, the reception is fine...the Insignia box is not having any trouble with the signal quality or strength on any channel.

    2. Once the Zinwell converter box has encountered what it thinks is a bad signal, everything is out of sync. Even if the picture clears up, the sound and the picture no longer match. The sound lags by 3 or 4 seconds. If this happens while you are watching, you have to power the unit off and on to get it back in sync. If it happens while you are recording a program, you are out of luck.

    3. Another annoying habit that the Zinwell units have is that, every once in a while it will not start recording the program (channel) you programmed, it will jump to the last channel in your channel list and pass that channel to the VCR. Then, when you get home, surprise surprise, you have a recording of some obscure show, on a channel you never heard of.

    4. We use closed captioning a lot. When you play back a program you recorded through the Zinwell box, the closed captioning is totally scrambled.

    I purchased these units back when the initial HDTV switch was supposed to happen in January so my warranty may now be in question, but I need to get these issues resolved before the new season begins.

    I have tried their Customer Service number 1-866-444-3739 many, many, many times. I have never been able to connect with anyone at their "CUSTOMER SERVICE" or "TECHNICAL SUPPORT" extensions, EVER. Go ahead, you try them. Do it BEFORE you buy. I sent emails to the two addresses they list on their web site. No answers so far. Are they still in business???????

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works as advertised!, February 2, 2009
    I was looking for a converter box that I could use with my DVR/DVD recorder, since very few recorders of this type are available with an ATSC (digital) tuner. I found nothing comparable to my Panasonic DVD recorder with built in Hard Drive. You program your DVR to record at the desired time and then program the Zinwell ZAT-970A to come on at the that same time. If you want to change stations at a later time, you simply program another start time into the Zinwell ZAT-970A. (You can program up to 8 start times) The only drawback is that you cannot program an end time. However you set the overall run time for how long you want the unit to stay on and it will turn itself off after that amount of time. (I chose 2 hours) Since your DVR will stop recording at the end of it's program, leaving the converter box on longer doesn't pose a problem. (actually this is not so bad. you don't have to set a stop time in the Zinwell program) To be able to watch a different show than the one recording, I simply put an RF splitter on the coax cable coming in from the antenna then used the two outputs from the splitter for the TV and converter box. The unit has a video output that I use an the input to my DVR and recording quality, although not high definition, is very good.

    The bottom line: It does everything that I want and saved me hundreds of dollars on a new DVR. I am purchasing another one for my DVD recorder that I have in my bedroom. ... Read more

    5. Audio Technica AT-LP60 Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable
    list price: $149.00 -- our price: $99.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002GYTPAE
    Manufacturer: Audio Technica
    Sales Rank: 216
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Audio technica turntable Fully Automatic belt drive ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Turntable At This Price, February 6, 2010
    You really can't get a better turntable for this price. It wasn't broken or cracked when it arrived, it was easy to assemble, and it sounds great. For under 100 bucks that is more than I expected. The other cool thing about this turntable that is not in the description is that it's easily upgradeable. The turntable comes with a ATN3600L stylus. You can replace that stylus with the ATN3600DLX stylus for even better sound quality and performance. You can also get a better belt for it too but I haven't looked into that yet. It's not going to get any better than this until you hit about the $300 range.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Super Sound, Really Impressed!, March 10, 2010
    I needed to replace my year-old Sony so I was pretty discouraged when I started my search. I was pretty much settled on the Pioneer and was researching reviews on the net when I stumbled on the Audio Technica AT-PL60 reviews that were so positive. So I switched and researched the PL-60 and decided to buy. Don't let the low price scare you off! It Sounds way better than my Sony which cost three times as much. It took two minutes to set up to my system and my vinyl came to life again! Family, Love and the Electric Prunes never sounded so good! I would Highly agree with the other reviewers that this is the best turntable under $300!

    5-0 out of 5 stars love it..., January 13, 2010
    sounds and looks great. easy to use. i love my vinyl and i would much rather listen to it in its original form rather than transferring it into my computer.
    this player meets all my needs. it plugs directly into a set of speakers, no stereo needed.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good purchase for the money, September 26, 2010
    I bought this when the stylus on my old Soundesign turntable and saw that for $20 more than buying a new stylus, I could upgrade to a better record player. The player itself has 2 settings for autostart" 7" and 12" which covers most of my records. Unfortunately, there is no 10 setting. There are also only 2 speeds: 33.3 and 45 RPM. No 78 RPM setting, so older records will not play on this turntable. Sound-wise, this record player is a big improvement over the player I was using before. Unless a record is very scratched up, you will not hear crackling when using this turntable. Overall, if you want an inexpensive turntable you can't go wrong here. This is definitely the best turntable in its price range.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very nice turntable, July 30, 2010
    I purchased this turntable to be able to record my old albums onto my computer. I had read that USB-equipped turntables were often less than ideal. I found this on amazon and have been very pleased.

    It came with standard RCA jacks and adapters to male and female 1/8" stereo so I can plug in speakers, headphones or into my computer without buying anything else.

    Assembly was straightforward. (You have to put the turntable on the unit and attach the belt.)

    Sound quality is great.

    The "line-level" output works well. I have a Macbook and it accepts line-level inputs so ripping with Audacity is straightforward.

    I would recommend this turntable to anyone with a stack of vinyl in the closet.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great turntable, great price!, October 9, 2010
    I ordered this turntable so that I could (hopefully) listen to LPs I haven't been able to hear for the past 25+ years. (Old turntable broke; CDs were the "in" thing at the time, so I never replaced my old turntable). I'm not an audiophile as some are, plus I have hearing loss in one ear, so all I know is "Does it sound good?" Well, I can tell you that I am pleasantly surprised at the quality of sound that I heard from LPs that are old, and some not in the best of condition.

    First, the set-up. I worried a bit about putting the belt on. (Did I also mention that I'm a klutz?) However, when the package arrived, I took everything out, read all the directions first, and within 2 minutes after that (that is not an exaggeration), I had the turntable set-up accomplished. It couldn't have been easier!

    Initially, I hooked the turntable up to a pair of miniature speakers I bought for my iPod. I just wanted to make sure the records would play. I put the first album on the turntable, cleaned it with Discwasher cleaning kit, and pushed the Start button. I actually got tears in my eyes when I heard the LP play. Even with the miniature speakers, the music sounded pretty darn good. However, the miniature speakers do not have sound control, so I attached a pair of computer speakers (Altec). The music sounded even better. Today, I believe I'm going to bite the bullet and hook the turntable up to the stereo component (I still have one that has Phono input). I'm anxious to see what the music sounds like coming through a Bose speaker system.

    Some reviewers commented on the short phono plugs that are permanently attached to the turntable. They are short, but 2 different types of extensions are shipped with the turntable, so I had no problem attaching my speakers, and I don't believe I'll have trouble when I attach the turntable to the stereo system.

    I've only used this turntable one day (but I played albums for 4 hours last night!), so I can't comment on its longevity. However, based on what I experienced last night, I believe this turntable, especially for the price, is great. An FYI: This is the first review I've ever written for a product, so that says something about how I feel about this turntable.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good entry level turntable, June 27, 2010
    Better looking than the equivalent Sony. Probably a better machine too. Definitely buy this over the USB version, you don't want to rely on some cheap-as-dirt on-board sound processor to convert the signal to digital. Buy the analog-only machine and just plug it into the microphone jack on your computer if you want to record the stuff. Audacity is free and handles analog input quite well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect, March 24, 2010
    Did lots of research on this record player before purchasing. Easy to use, simple. Plugged into the back of my son's CD player so he can listen through the speakers. He wanted a record player with automatic arm - there is a button to lift up and down the arm, not just automatically lifting at start or end of album. Great! He's so happy - it's exactly what he wanted.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect..., June 6, 2010
    I admit, I'm new to vinyl. I have never used a turntable before last week when I picked up this Audio-Technica AT-LP60.

    Setup is simple, it takes about five minutes. For speakers I have it hooked up to my Logitech Z-2300s via the RCA-to-3.5mm converter cable. My first test record was the 180gram vinyl version of Opeth's Blackwater Park and the sound is excellent. Smooth bass reproduction, very little distortion or background noise. Operation is fully automatic - put a record on and hit start, it does the rest. The AT-LP60 will support 12" or 7" records at either 33 or 45rpm. There's also a button to lift and drop the tonearm so you can manually place it or pause playback.

    The reason I'm not giving this five stars (yet) -
    Record playback is noticeably distorted as you get close to the end (the inner part of the vinyl). As I mentioned before, I'm new to vinyl... But a few quick Google searches seem to tell me that this is the fault of an incorrectly aligned cartridge. No big deal, I can just align it, right? But it doesn't look like there's any capability to do so, the cartridge is a solid piece and the stylus just snaps on. I suppose that's some of the capability you lose when buying an entry-level turntable.

    So if anybody can shed some light on a fix for this problem, even if it requires some further purchases, you'd make my day.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Audio Technica AT-PL60 turntable, April 1, 2010
    It works good,The only thing they might need to
    address is that the stylus arm is dropping alittle
    fast on to the record.Other than that,am satisfied,
    with the product. ... Read more

    6. Audio Technica AT-PL60USB Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable with USB Port
    list price: $199.95 -- our price: $100.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002GYTPB8
    Manufacturer: Audio Technica
    Sales Rank: 32
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Get your classic albums off the shelf and into your MP3 player!The Audio-Technica AT-LP60 USB makes it easier than ever to transfer your albums to the digital realm with this new recording system. The AT-LP60 USB stereo turntable comes equipped with a USB output that allows direct connection to your computer. The system also offers: state-of-the-art recording software—Audacity (for both MAC and PC), an integral dual-magnet Audio-Technica phono cartridge, a USB cable and adapter cables. The turntable also features a built-in switchable phono/line preamp that allows connection to a stereo system equipped with either a phono or line-level input. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars A nice toy.... and i mean it!, February 24, 2010
    Have been waiting and watching and after my first use, download to the computer, and mp3 file creation, I'm happy enough to recommend this product.

    For under a hundred bucks the quality seems great. The manual for setup of the system and software is well done with step by step pictures.

    I have mine connected to both the computer and external speakers. I'm able to listen to the music while recording thru the external speakers and listen to playback of the downloaded music thru head phones on the computer.

    the software has lots of options to play with. but the basic " push the red button to record " and file save as and file export, get the job done to make your albums digital.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good provisional or first machine, but perhaps best to go up one model, June 11, 2010
    This has recently gone up in price, even apart from the Gold Box Special that greeted me. In a way, I wish I'd seen the higher price, which would have discouraged me from ordering so quickly. I remember when, in the '70s, it cost more to replace a Shure V-15 Type II cartridge than to purchase this turntable, which comes complete with cartridge, stylus, and 4 different connecting cables to cover just about all situations, even those for customers without a receiver/amplifier. It wasn't long before, in the '80s, the elliptical stylus itself went for over a hundred, eventually taken off the market by Shure due to the scarcity of its rare and costly constituent.

    The point: for 60 to 90 bucks, you should not expect anything close to a genuine audiophile turntable--even though the machine includes auto tone arm lift, two instruction manuals, four well-made cables, cartridge and stylus. But the feature missing with this turntable, the one reason I wish I hadn't ordered it and had waited to purchase the next model up, is a counterweight for achieving precise tone arm balance as well as an anti-skating control for reducing pressure (and distortion) on the inside grooves of the vinyl LP, especially the tracks closest to the middle hole.

    Nevertheless, given the absence of a counter-weighted tone arm and anti-skating control, this turntable does a highly competent job of tracking most recordings. In fact, it performs better than both of the ailing industry-standard, professional Stanton turntables that were proving increasingly problematic at the station. Also, the tracking pressure that I measured is less than 2 and a half grams, light enough to prevent the stylus from eating up your vinyl (at least not until after 2-3 playings).

    The unit comes with built-in preamp, so not only does it not require an amp with a phono jack, but it doesn't require any amp beyond the one in your computer if your primary consideration is converting vinyl to digital. A couple of things to be aware of: the lift on the tone arm is too small to be of use for manual placement. You'll need to be comfortable with the automatic lift mechanism or forget about picking up and dropping down the tone arm with any semblance of accuracy. Also, in back is an all-important lever that switches the unit from "phono" to "line" connection. If you're using the unit without an amp with phono jack (beginning in the '90s, cost-conscious manufacturers began leaving them off of receivers and amps, though with the comeback of vinyl we've seen the reappearance of phono jacks), be sure to set the switch to "line." The same holds true if your connection involves use of any of the optional cables and connectors that are included with the turntable.

    The turntable tracks quite nicely from what I've seen, and is worth the low cost. Still, before investing in a USB unit--without or without phono connectors--you may simply wish to save up for the best "conventional" turntable along with an amplifier or receiver that has a phono jack. That way you'll have a better chance of scoring some of the audiophile niceties mentioned above, and connection to your computer will be no problem--whether you have an 1/8" familiar audio jack or an adapter that will transform RCA into USB cables.

    The software included with the turntable is Audacity--a respected freeware program that's capable of doing an excellent job but is not known for being the most user-friendly program. Other possibilities are Cool Edit (for PC users); Spin Doctor or Sound Studio (Mac users). Once you've converted a couple of LPs, it's a piece of cake--except for the potential of allowing the process to consume all of your time and life. (Try to resist the temptation to make up your own CDs, complete with jewel cases, printed front and back covers and spines, disc centers, booklets, photos, inserts, etc. Another not inconsiderable expense--in time as well as money.)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Underwhelming, April 28, 2010
    Purely as a turntable, this is a satisfactory unit comparable to any other at the $50 to $80 range. The features that should have set it apart (and for which I purchased the item) are all woefully disappointing.

    1) USB-Direct Recording: The true purpose of my purchase was to update my current phonograph configuration to a more convenient way to convert my LPs to MP3. When using the USB connection, there is a dull but constant power-cycle hum from the moment USB Codec is selected as the Recording Device. After attempting to avail myself of this feature with multiple computers in my home I have concluded that the USB connection should be considered unusable by even the least discriminating among music lovers (Perhaps power filters could be used to isolate potential ground-loops but even then, you would still have to contend with issue number 3 below).

    2) The software: Always in search of audio recording software that would work well on a PC, I was eager to test the claims of Audacity as proclaimed in the included accessory description for this turntable. As it turns out, Audacity is open source freeware. Anyone can get a more recent version of the software for free online.

    3) Pre-amp: The ability to play this unit directly through a sound system with the boosted "Phono" inputs of older receivers was a major draw. Having held on to an older receiver for the single purpose of bridging between my turntable and my newer AV receiver, I was looking forward to eliminating one large and superfluous component in my rack. Given the tragic failure of the USB connection, I had also expected this to be the viable alternative to converting to MP3 on my laptop. Sadly, this too was a failure. The pre-amp in this unit is unable to cope with the low input at the end of any track that fades out. The result is a very abrupt cut-off followed by a series of unpleasant audio events as the pre-amp cuts in and out. These events seem to indicate that the db level at the end of the song combined with the surface noise usually experienced between tracks rests squarely at the bottom of the volume range necessary for the pre-amp to engage. As it turns out, this is also the case with USB recording but one might not notice as the aggravating hum covers most of the audio at this volume level.

    At this point, my only remaining choice is to use the non-amplified output and run it through the mic input of my Creative Labs SB1090 USB Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Audio System external sound card (a delightful purchase from Amazon which will be reviewed separately). Of course, I could have done this with my existing turntable as could anyone else who purchased a comparable unit at a comparable price.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Flexibility and affordability but not reliability, April 30, 2010
    This turntable requires assembly but is easy to set up and use. The sound quality output is really good though I recommend you use a receiver with phono amplication like the cheap Sherwood RX4109 2-Channel 100 Watts Stereo Receiver (Black) rather than a turntable's built-in preamp. It can run automatically, featuring a start and stop button that will take care of buisness as long as you have the right size and speed set, or you can just use the arm raise/lower switch to do things manualy, and it always pulls the arm at the end of recordings regardless of how it's used. The cartridge and belt are apparently replacable and upgradable, and between USB, line out and phono out you have plenty of options for connections.

    However it doesn't track amazingly well even on a new, clean record, and it has trouble maintaining speed. This may mean it really needs a belt upgrade, or maybe it just has a weak motor. In any event, after playing through about one side of a LP it starts slowing down appreciably, with a minute's worth of sound played over about 65-70 seconds and notes all going flat (guitars standard turned sounded like they were Eb). If I want to play both sides or more than one record it starts slowing down appreciably (I synced songs on records to songs on other media and they finished well ahead of it). It cost me $75, I guess you get what you pay for, and I may return it and get a direct drive model.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works great!, June 16, 2010
    I was a little concerned about buying it because one user complained of a humming noise from not being grounded properly, but it worked great. I've recorded a dozen albums and am very happy with the purchase. Lots of options on the software that I am still figuring out, but overall, I am very happy with this.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Turntable, June 9, 2010
    The outside packing box arrived tattered but that hasn't affected the functionality of this excellent player. There are complaints that the arm cannot be secured to its resting position when moving it. Please consider that this is not a portable juke box for the beach - a rubber band will do the job. The platter is aluminum, arm return is automatic and gentle. Dust cover, an extra on some other popular turntables, fits tightly on all sides and spring-loaded hinges hold it reliably. Connected to Harmon/Kardon computer speakers it puts out sound so great that I haven't yet taken the time to test the DVD recording capabilities. A thoughtful extra was the inclusion of various RCA plug connectors to accommodate all types of speakers.

    A very happy with this purchase and the reasonable price - another winner from Amazon.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great turntable, April 14, 2010
    Great turntable for the price!
    I love how this turntable can be used directly with speakers with no need for a receiver, and it sounds great. You can also attach it to any kind of sound system for even better sound. I also like the fact that its automatic so there is no risk of falling sleep or just forgetting you had a record playing and coming back to a ruined LP and needle. I don't like that it doesn't come with any strap for the arm and that you can't regulate the weight of the arm (so with really old records you need to put a penny at the end of the arm!). I am also surprised that its very well built when most of the turntables this days are made out of flaky plastic. I haven't tried converting any of my records to mp3's but I am sure it will work just fine.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Would be 5 star if not for USB problems, October 28, 2010
    If you are planning to buy this to hook up to your computer, don't bother with the USB and just get the regular one for slightly less. Half of the time, the USB connection doesn't work, and I can only get it to run through Audacity. I just ended up using a line in connection to my computer, and it plays through automatically. But all and all, it works great for a cheap basic turntable. If I would have known how troublesome the USB was, I would have got the standard non-USB model. But for a few dollar price difference, it wasn't worth returning.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Audio Technica AT-LP60USB Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable with USB Port, July 13, 2010
    very user friendly. excellant product. no problems using it...
    I was able to download my mother's old records on CD's for her...
    Audio Technica AT-LP60USB Fully Automatic Belt Driven Turntable with USB Port

    5-0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Wonderful Machine, November 30, 2010
    Starting with assembly, I must say it was very simple! The included instructions are clear and concise (including the connect-to-computer instructions).

    Now onto the player itself.

    The player's output to stereo (and phono) are wonderful! The quality is amazing! My only issue is that the length of the stereo cord is irritatingly short--about one foot long!

    Ripping record to your PC or Mac is simple! Just install the software, press 'record', and start playing your record! The rips are wonderful quality, too (IF you convert to a lossless format. MP3 is obviously going to be of a lesser quality)!

    Overall, I must say that I love this. Besides the short stereo cord, this is a great, easy to use, and compact record player.

    Also included with the record player:
    * A USB cable
    * A stereo (female) to headphone-jack (female)
    * A stereo (female) to headphone-jack (male)
    * Installation disc for Audacity (the recording software) ... Read more

    7. Onkyo HT-S3300 5.1-Channel Home Theater Receiver and Speaker Package (Black)
    list price: $379.00 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003BEDQR6
    Manufacturer: ONKYO
    Sales Rank: 232
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    If you’re looking for a future-ready receiver-and-speaker package that won’t break the bank, your search may be over. Meet Onkyo’s 5.1-channel HT-S3300—a system packed with so much advanced technology that it redefines entry-level home theater. As with every A/V receiver in Onkyo’s 2010 line-up, you get the latest iteration of HDMI—version 1.4. Three HDMI inputs let you hook up, say, your Blu-ray player, game console, and cable/satellite box—all of which can be output via a single cable to your connected high-res display. Not only is HDMI 1.4 compatible with next-generation 3D video, it also enables a convenient Audio Return Channel. On top of this, the HT-S3300 supports lossless HD audio formats from Dolby and DTS—previously the domain of mid-range to high-end receivers only. But that’s not all. The HT-S3300 also provides an overlaid On-Screen Display function for easy adjustment of settings; a Universal Port for one-cable connection of peripherals; Audyssey equalization; four gaming audio modes; and a fully immersive, beautifully balanced 5.1-channel speaker set. ... Read more


    5-0 out of 5 stars So far, so SWEET!!!, April 13, 2010
    First, let me say that I am by no means an expert "audiophile", but I did a lot of research before deciding on the Onkyo HT-S3300. I purchased it through Tiger Direct as Amazon would have it, then not have it and state "This item has not yet been released". Anyway, the first thing I noticed is the box is labed HT-S3300(B) and does state for Blu-ray. Not sure if any other 3300 models exist but this is the one I received. Now, for the review:

    The receiver is a REPEATER...not pass through. I also called Onkyo tech support prior to delivery and a courteous and professional lady stated all 2010 models are now REPEATERS. So, for some prior models (3200, 5200) you don't need a seperate audio cable (this of course is a personal preference, if you choose, for the 2010 models, or based upon the types of cables you presently have). Audio and video is done via HDMI. It is also HDMI 1.4a(supporting 3D video and Audio Return Channel) (per Onkyo description). As this could create confusion for some (it did for me) I needed to verify the receiver is a repeater. The wording on many electronics' product descriptions (Sony is guilty, too) is unclear. Make sure you do your research since you plan on spending your money and know and learn a little about what you are purchasing.

    Set up was about 30-45 min (reading and learning manual). Each of the speaker wires provided are color coded for easy hook up. Now, in the process of research I learned about guages. The ones provided do appear very thin, but I did a quick hook-up and will replace the the wires with a 14 or 16 guage.

    Every piece of equipment provided is black and nicely put together. For some, aesthetics are very important...for others, sound and functionality. I tend to lean towards the latter.

    I learned in my searching process a bit more about Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 channels. Size and space play an important role in the proper utilization of either. This is subjective but I believe there is some merit to it. I live in a basement apartment which is the full length of the house, front to back. No walls and of a long rectangular shape. 7.1 would not, I believe, have been much of a benefit so I opted for 5.1. NO REGRETS.

    The subwoofer is HUGE. Even Sarah Palin could see this when she looks out her window (sorry Russia). It packs a punch. One thing I must add is the wires for the surround speakers are long, but won't not work for my setup (carpet is pretty much attached to the floor and cannot be altered). I will make the surround wireless (purchased Rocketfish Wireless HD Audio Starter Kit: model RK-RBKIT) and waiting on delivery. More on that later.

    There are 3 HDMI in jacks and 1 HDMI out. There are also Digital IN Coaxial and Optical jacks...Component and Composite jacks, etc. The Ipod dock (UP-A1) is optional. Be sure to review the photo of the back of the receiver in the product description above.

    My components: LG 47" HDTV, PS3, Roku and Apple TV.

    This newer model does offer on screen setup(through your TV), but it will only work when hooked up via HDMI.

    I have the volume set below 20 and it was plenty loud. Remember, my description of my apartment and setup will be different from others so, for my present situation, it works wonderfully. I haven't tried the a Blu-ray movie yet so I will update on that when I do.

    There are many presets so you will have to play around for what works for you and your setup. I will refrain from listing Pro's and Con's as that too, is subjective for some and sometimes results from after purchase, not before. Suffice to say I am very happy with my HT-S3300.

    Please feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer or provide alternate suggestions or websites if I don't know or am not sure.

    Enjoy! M

    Update: Remember, on the PS3 if you are using a digital optical cable, the setting should be Bitstream. If you are using HDMI, set it to LPCM. Since I am using HDMI the setting is LPCM. Played about 10 minutes of Speed Racer on Blu-ray...SWEEEEEEET!!! Sound is flawless.

    Update 04/14/2010...Purchased 16 gauge wire and swiped connections on front and center speakers and subwoofer. Still waiting on Rocketfish for wireless HD. I believe I can notice a difference from the Onkyo supplied wires. I also feel a bit more comfortable since the 16 gauge is thicker.

    VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure when you change your hookups you must remember to go into the menu and make the changes as well.

    Note: Some have inquired about the subwoofer which is passive (not self powered) and also about active subwoofers. The passive subwoofer supplied with the 3300 is, in my opinion, plenty strong. I did a bit more research into this and there appears to be a 50/50 split. I reviewed opinions etc., and weeding out the comments that try to be expert but only provide one line responses it appears that there are pluses and minuses for each. Again, it is subjective and boils down to your personal preference. I also called Onkyo tech support to inquire about future upgrades for the 3300 and the pleasant gentleman responded that if I wanted to upgrade the subwoofer I would probably need to purchase a new system. I am ok with that because he also reminded me this an entry level system. Entry level or not, the 3300 is plenty powerful for my needs but please share your comments to help others decide on possibly the 3300, 5300 or other type system. Try not to get too caught up in the ongoing, neverending debate. Go with what you like...not matter what your ears will love you for it.

    Update 04/15/10...Just for kicks, I unhooked all HDMI's and used my HDMI switcher hooked into CBL/SAT. Every thing worked fine. Video and sound played without issue.

    Rocketfish HD Wireless Kit arrived and is now hooked up with the surround speakers. Took a few minutes to hook wires and speakers up. Since it is a Kit it is preconfigured in the factory so you just hookup, plug in and go. Comes with a remote for volume control, on/off, bass, mute, input of A/B speakers. Watching Watchmen(Blu-ray) and sounding pretty nice. Have to remeasure since surround speakers are now behind me.

    ***One item of neverending and frustrating debate is the PCM/Bitstream settings on the PS3 and a receiver's capabiilty of decoding Dolby TRUE HD and DTS-HD MA. In a nutshell, I have a headache. The fact of multiple "flavors" of PS3 doesn't help. Since the 3300 can decode Dolby True HD and DTS-HD MA (or any other receiver or HTIB that supports those audio formats), you are left with such questions as, "What IS the correct setting on the PS3? Will my receiver actually show "Dolby or DTS?" What are the differences between the slim and fat PS3? Your head hurting yet?

    The Slim PS3's support HD decoding in both LPCM and BITSTREAM. The Fat PS3's(like mine) can only support HD decoding in LPCM, but not in BITSTREAM. My situation leans toward having the PS3 handle the decoding (set to PCM, via HDMI) instead of the receiver. Keeping in mind my receiver will show "MCH PCM 5.1." This in no way indicates there is a problem since it does not show "DOLBY D or DTS-HD MA." One thing I have noticed in this whole experience is many people think their receiver or PS3 is acting up (which is the case sometimes). Since the PS3 is doing the work, it takes the credit. If you choose to let the receiver do the decoding, it will show Dolby or DTS. Also, you MUST remember to go into the setup of your Bluray or DVD menu and verify audio format. Don't rely on the system to do that for you. This, too, may cause some distress if not checked.
    It never occurred to me I may need a check list before watching a movie.

    Update 05/27/2010...It's been about six weeks and I have nothing but continued praise for this system. The wireless speaker kit (Rocketfish) works very well with this system, so that also gets some well deserved kudos. No audio or picture issues to report. One minor quib is acutally pointed at the remote...universal remote. I have the Logitech Harmony 550 and transferring commands from the Onkyo remote will require patience and planning. What minor commands I do have set up work as expected. In all, not one regret with my Onkyo purchase.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best entry level system out there, April 15, 2010
    I was skeptical before ordering this system as I ordered Sony HTSS360 (another popular and high rated entry level system) before and its sound was nowhere acceptable as the speakers were weak and sub-woofer was doing all the job, creating a woofy and very narrow ranged sound.

    When I saw the 2010 Onkyo systems, I initially pre-ordered HT-S5300 but it being not released yet gave me some time to research and take a close look at ht-s3300 as well. After looking at its specs, I decided to give it a try and I am glad I did as it saved me $200. I am also happier with smaller and less-intrusive speakers of ht-s3300 compared to 5300 and having two less speakers to wire across the room. Now let me try to give you some opinion on the system and its sound.

    First I must say, it is good looking system with shiny black speakers and a boxy but classy looking receiver. Its sound is much better than I expected especially it being an entry level system. Instead of going over all its specs, I will try to answer most people would have in mind and also list the important pros and cons.

    -Has a HDMI repeater and do the switching, so you only need HDMI cables without extra audio cables.
    -Supports all the new formats and it does pretty good job at decoding HD audio formats.
    -I was initially hesitant about the audyssey audio correction system it is equipped with since it doesn't have a microphone for auto calibration. However, it turns out that the audyssey system is factory calibrated to the specifications of the speaker set it comes with and it does pretty good job of acoustic correction. The only adjustment I needed to do was measuring the speaker distances to the optimal listening area and manually entering it to the receiver set-up. I also did some minor adjustment on speaker levels, but it is a matter of personal taste.
    -On screen display is great to see the menus, volume level and setup options overlayed on the tv screen.
    -All the necessary options are provided in the menus without going into unnecessarily detailed options. Pretty customizable yet easy to use and configure options.
    -No background noise when not in use, or any sonic booms on power on/off.
    -Speakers are surprisingly good for this price level, I am even impressed with the passive subwoofer as its power is adequate when paired with the other supplied speakers and it produces clean basses.
    -Finally the sound is on par with systems I listened before which cost in the range of $400-$800. So, I consider this system a pretty damn good deal. I don't think you can get anything for this price that would produce a better or even comparable sound.
    -It runs cooler than the previous Onkyo receivers I have encountered.

    -it is 5.1 system, but it was actually a pro for me as I don't like too many speaker around and I personally find 5.1 enough to create satisfactory surround effects. Most media out there is 5.1 anyway...
    -It is not for large rooms, don't forget it is 660W system and the subwoofer is passive with 130W output. My living room is about 15X15ft and its output is enough but for rooms that are considerably bigger, I recommend another system (perhaps ht-s5300).
    -Only 3 HDMI input, so all the inputs are used up on mine. If I buy another device, I have hook one of them to component inouts.
    -No video inputs on front side of the receiver, just a stereo audio input for connecting portable media players.
    -No automatic acoustic correction, so it has to be done manually. If you upgrade your speakers then you cannot use audyssey function as it factory configured for the specifications of the speaker set it ships with. You have to turn off audyssey if you are using different set of speakers.
    -The sub-woofer is passive, but I found its size and power is adequate for small/medium rooms. But if you are bass freak and you are not living at an apartment (otherwise, you will have angry neighbors), then consider ht-s5300.

    If you are in the same boat I was and trying to decide between ht-s3300 and ht-s5300, I can confidently recommend ht-s3300 for $200 less as long as your living/entertainment room is small/medium size. But, ht-s5300 is no doubt a superior system with better speakers and a more powerful receiver with more inputs and I don't see any reason for not choosing that over this if you can afford it and have space to accommodate its much bigger and 7 speakers (its center and front speakers are too big and intrusive for my taste and there is no way to hide its sub-woofer, I couldn't even completely hide this systems sub-woofer).

    I will give an update to this post after using the system for couple of weeks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A must buy!, April 17, 2010
    This is my first ever online review on anything I've bought so far but I had to do it as it really deserves it and I find online reviews extremely valuable. I bought my Onkyo HT-S3300 about 2 weeks ago from Newegg rather than Amazon as it said "this item is not yet released" on the latter. I've done a lot of research before buying this unit and read a lot of reviews on a lot of other systems. I've also bought a Harman Kardon AVR 254 from Ebay along with Yamaha NS-SP1800BL 5.1-Channel Home Theater Speaker Package from Amazon for the basement 1 week earlier and I will make a comparison as well. Other reviewers have done a great job regarding technical details so I won't go into a lot of details with those.

    Onkyo looks really nice and the piano black speakers were a great addition to our living room. I hooked up the Comcast HD DVR, Sony bdp-s360 blueray player and a Philips dvp3982 multi-region dvd player to the receiver through HDMI cables and connected it to my Sony Bravia kdl-52w5100. On screen menu is very helpful and I've done the setup fairly quickly with level calibration and speaker distances. I have Audyssey and Dynamic EQ turned on and I'm using the Dynamic volume on Light setting. There are a bunch of different surround settings you can use and since personal preferences change, I won't list them. Sound is incredible! We have a medium sized living room and, in my opinion, the passive subwoofer is doing a much better job than the active woofer of the Yamaha I mentioned above. I watched Hulk on blue ray and couldn't turn on the volume above 40 as the windows were rattling.
    You can also turn on the Audio TV Out option on and only use your TV's speakers if you don't want to use the receiver's speakers for some reason.

    Now, a bit on the comparison:

    - Harman Kardon AVR 254 supports 7.1 vs Onkyo with 5.1. I personally prefer 5.1 so, this really is not a selling point for me on HK.
    - HK looks REALLY nice if you're into aesthetics.
    - HK can convert PAL to NTSC. This was the biggest positive for me as my PS3 is from Europe. I also have a European DVD player. I hooked these to HK 254 using HDMI cables and connected it to my NTSC TV and those 2 units work perfectly.
    - HK comes with a microphone and has automatic setup feature which is pretty cool.
    - Here comes the biggest downfall of HK vs Onkyo. Sound level. Unless I'm doing something terribly wrong, the sound I get from HK vs Onkyo is much less. I have to crank the volume all the way up to -15 from -91 (highest is +8) to get some decent sound. I called the customer service regarding this and they said this was the regular case for HK units. For reference, default sound is set to -24dB. This was a big dissapointment for me on HK. I commented on Onkyo above can't really go above 40 which is around half way - phenomenal...
    - Overall, I would recommend Onkyo HT-S3300 over the HK AVR 254 by a mile based on my personal experience with the components I'm using. However, the fact that HK does system conversion saved me over $180 on a digital PAL / NTSC converter which is the main reason I'm keeping it.

    I hope this was helpful. If you're thinking about buying a top of the line entry/medium system, don't hesitate to buy this unit. Contact me in case you have any questions and I'd be happy to help out as much as I can...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Budget counscious almost audiophile, August 8, 2010
    I recently purchased this system expecting to be blown away because of all the rave reviews for this system. Truth be told, I am. Setup was a breeze for the most part, except the packaged speaker wire is a little short. I had to buy new wire to run my surround speakers to the receiver. Upgrading to a higher quality gauge wire is recommended also but I'm doing fine with the regular wire in the package. I live in a small apartment with a living room size of probably 15x15 ft, and this system is perfect for it! The passive subwoofer is more than enough for my needs. It shakes the whole room and I know that neighbors will complain eventually... All in good fun though.

    My setup is PS3 and comcast hd dvr to the receiver via hdmi, and then hdmi from receiver to my Samsung LNS4051D. The picture is flawless. I tried watching some blu-rays and was amazed by how good the sound sounded. However, after plugging and playing the speakers, I realized that the receiver was somehow not recieving the blu-ray's Uncompressed PCM properly. I have a fat PS3 and had audio settings set to linear pcm, but my receiver showed that it was receiving a 2ch source so it used Pro Logic II to send sound into a 5.1 format. I wanted true 5.1 surround channels, so after fiddling around with the ps3, I figured it out. All I did was go to audio settings on the XMB and set the hdmi audio output option to auto. Just keep clicking next until it gives you a list of all the audio codecs that the ps3 supports and you'll be all set up! Now while watching a Uncompressed pcm format, the receiver will display Multich PCM. While watching Dolby Digital, it will display Dolby, and so on and so forth. Pretty straightforward in my opinion.

    - Do your research before you buy
    - I highly recommend buying additional, better gauge speaker wire (remember to buy a wire stripper!). I had a pretty small room, but I ran out of wire pretty quickly. The given wires are different colors though so that's a plus for installation.
    - At this price point, it's hard to find any alternative theater systems that offer as many features as the Onkyo.
    - No need for optical wires running everywhere if you plan to use HDMI.
    - All in all, an excellent product. The speakers sound good and look good as well!

    2-0 out of 5 stars Returned the system with much sadness, April 16, 2010
    Update 7/14/2010:

    I went a different direction after returning the Onkyo. I bought the Sony 710 for about $220 and bought individual speakers- 3 energy CLR for the front, center and right, and the Yamaha in ceiling (IW 480) for the surround and finally the Polk Audio subwoofer for the sub. This all cost me $560. I would say that it is more than twice as good, but it is at twice the price. The difference is, and this is even true with bose speakers is that no matter how good the sound is from small speakers, the sound is still from small speakers. The difference is that with the small speakers, you know where the sound in coming from, the bigger the speaker, the more the room is filled with sound and the more that it sounds like a movie theater. When you are at a movie theater, you don't know where the sound is coming from, but hear the sound in the entire room. With the Onkyo and almost any other HTIB, you will hear the sound coming from the speaker, instead of the sound filling up the room. I think that this is worth twice the price, but the Onkyo is still a good deal for the money. Another thing that I did is that because I don't have cable or a game system, I didn't use HDMI. I do not like HDMI in that it is so glitchy and always has been. I am sooo happy with the fiber that I am now using. Now, I have the HDMI going directly to the TV from the blue ray and a fiber optic cable going to the receiver for sound. I much prefer this set up, but if you have different components, then this might not work for you.

    Update 6/7/2010:

    I was watching Star Wars when the thing just stopped. I had my Blu Ray hooked up to it, and after much troubleshooting, I found that the HDMI board went out. From day one, I have been having trouble with the HDMI connection, with the sound going in and out, but after ordering a very high end cable, the problem seemed to stop until a day or so before it went out completely. I originally attributed this to the new HDMI 3-D format, but in retrospect, it was probably always a bad connection board. I had this for about 45 days, after the Amazon return policy. After a long conversation, they did take it back, and charged me a 20% restocking fee. Hopefully, they do not restock it, and they did tell me that they will refund the restocking fee, but as of now, they have not. I will edit this post if they do as they say that they are going to do. WIsh me luck!

    I just bought this a week ago for $305 from Amazon- everything as expected from Amazon, arriving as stated. I gave it four stars because everything is as advertised- you get a lot for the money, setting the standards for low cost for the included features (Yamaha needs to respond). I have a 46 inch Panasonic Plasma, and Blue Ray, and a VCR- yea, a VCR (kids movies) hooked up. My room size is fairly large 18 X 22. My sitting area is about 10 feet from the TV and the surround speakers are about 15 feet from my sitting area, with the woofer in front. I am happy with the sound out of the front, center and woofer (although passive), but the rear speakers struggle a bit at 15 feet away. I had to put them considerably higher than the other speakers and they still have trouble reaching me. With this said, 15 feet away is not the ideal placement, but who doesn't need to compromise on the placement of the speakers. As I said, everything works as advertised- HD DTS, HD Dolby- although these are better suited for a 7.1, or 7.2, full HDMI, B speakers terminals, as well as the awesome on screen programming. I don't really care about all that automatic settings, and equalizers- any system that you buy will have these types of things as well. My complaints are the details. If you are using HDMI, you need to have the system on to use the other components or you have to still hook the other components to the tv separately. The system will not bridge the blue ray to the tv while off as other high end systems do. Also, there is no line out for a powered subwoofer (although I am ok with the passive sub- its adequate for me). Finally- the four stars- to hang my speakers at a 90 degree angle, because they did not come with a screw terminal for the wall brackets, I had to use velcro. The speakers have holes in the back to be used for a screw or a nail in the wall, but the would need to be flat on the wall- similar to a clock, but if you wanted to use speaker brackets, there is nothing for the speaker brackets to screw into. This really irritated me- to use velcro on a new system. Overall, though four stars for the system as advertised- best bang for the buck. If you have a few bucks more, I would probably get the new onkyo 5.1 receiver for around $230 on Amazon, and a better speaker package- Polk Audio, Accoustic Research have some pretty good speaker packages for around $200. But again, can't be beat for the price!

    Update 4/19:
    After listening to it and getting everything set up the way that I want it to, I am really pleased with the system. I am still annoyed with the speakers and how difficult they are to mount to a speaker bracket, the sound for the money is really good. I am pleased with the passive sub and really thought about hooking up an active sub to the system, but am satisfied enough where I don't feel that I need to spend any more money. No buyers remorse here- again, best bang for the buck!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Biggest bang for the buck!, April 20, 2010
    I pre-ordered this system a while ago and received it about 2 weeks ago. I am still overwhelmed by the sound quality and features of this product. It simply is the best sound system there is that money can buy for about $300-$400. The one issue I noticed was that the speakers have only key-holes (no threads) so if you need to buy a speaker stand, make sure you buy one that has adhesive tapes to keep the speakers in place (that's what I have done and am quite satisfied with the result).

    The sound is very rich and there are many different settings depending on your application. All options are accessible through the remote. Overall, I can say that this is a perfect system if you are living in an apartment and need a system that can cover everything from listening to music to watching movies and tv shows.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Surround system value, September 5, 2010
    I ordered the Onkyo 3300 after to substantial research. The value pricing from Amazon was OUTSTANDING!! I highly recommend the system to anyone looking for a start up system at a reasonable price. I had only two minor issues: 1.) dont order any speaker mounts for this system. The speaker cases are plastic and the system comes with hardware to mount them. 2.) After unboxing the unit and installing, the remote failed within 1 day. HOWEVER, I was THRILLED with the customer service i received from Onkyo. They answered my email with an RMA and sent me a new remote within just a few days. I have had the system for 60 days and am thrilled with the sound and performance. I suggest you order the Amazon HDMI cables. The system does not come with them.

    Overall i rate Amazon and Onkyo on this system 4 1/2 Stars.. Nice job guys!

    5-0 out of 5 stars By far, the best Home Theater system for the price, August 29, 2010
    If you have done a lot of shopping for a home theater system, you will notice that all the electronics stores (ie Walmart, Best Buy) only sell Home Theater systems that include a Bluray player. But I didn't want that! I have a Playstation 3 already, and don't need 2 Bluray players. So I went out looking for the right surround system system in a $500 budget. I had absolutely no luck. Then I decided to look at Onkyo's website for a receiver to see they were selling home theater systems. I checked the price, and was amazed to see how cheap it was...I thought it was too good to be true.

    So I figured I would give it a shot. Bose endourses Onkyo, and will sell their products at Bose Stores...something you would not expect from Bose. Knowing that Bose would put their name behind Onkyo gave me some trust that Onkyo would not make a bad sound system. And golly, I was never happier to be right!

    Immediately upon opening the box, I was stunned at the quality of the speakers. It looked like a $1,000 system. I put the speakers up, tweaked the receiver settings, and put on several movies that have surround sound such as Battlestar Galactica, Casino Royale, and Inglorious Bastards. Each movie sounded AMAZING. So amazing in fact, it made my neighbor come next door to tell me I was shaking his apartment. All from a 660w system!

    So here is the low down:

    Pros: Amazing processing and decoding for Dolby Digital HD and top of the line DTS. It has some equalizer settings that also make the speakers sound better. You truly feel immersed in video games and movies...better than I would have expected. The PRICE is a major pro.

    Con: The subwoofer tends to put out a lot of bass. This is good if you live in a home with no neighbors to upset. But the subwoofer vibrates off the wall, and travels throughout the apartment complex. The settings can lower the bass, but it sometimes doesn't feel like enough.

    Overall: GET THIS SYSTEM. If you want a 7.1, get it. But Onkyo has maded a $1,000 sound system affordable for everyone. If you don't get this, you hate children. You don't hate children...do you?

    5-0 out of 5 stars More than a "Best Bang for your Buck", April 29, 2010
    People say this system is a "Best Bang for your Buck" system...it's actually a best bang system period. I would've paid $499 for a system like this. Setup was easy, sound is incredible...OSD is fantastic. Sub is loud for being passive and audio is crystal clear. If you get sick of the speakers that come with the system you can easily switch the speaker setting to "large" and upgrade your speakers as you see fit. I have it hooked up to a PS3 (slim...and it plays DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD perfectly), a XBOX 360 (Call of Duty with this system is rediculous...no more sneaking up on me), and a Wii (eh, it's a wii...my cd player sounds better but thats not the Recievers fault at all). Subwoofer is big (FYI) I have it in an apartment and this thing will rattle walls if I turn it up. Packaging was excellent...nothing is getting damaged in this box (though it is a rather big box). I'll extend my review after I play around with the system in the next couple of weeks.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All I could ask for for HD Audio, July 8, 2010
    This package is great. The speakers and subwooffer are very slick and clean. The sub is a wood-like material and looks very nice. The speakers are solid plastic, and are sturdy enough. The receiver has some sharp edges, but it is also very slick looking.

    The receiver has 3 HDMI 1.4 inputs which make setting up your players (games, cable box, blu-ray) super simple. If you have an HDMI 1.4 cable and don't use a cable box, you can even return audio from your television to the receiver with the ARC (audio return channel), which is pretty nifty. The onscreen menu is great and very useful. All the newest HD audio codecs are decoded perfectly; no setup required. A quick thing to note however, if your Blu-ray player is decoding the audio, the receiver may display Dolby Dig or DTS instead of TrueHD and Master-HD respectively. You will have to change the setting on your blu-ray player if you want the receiver to decode it (personal preference). It also supports HDMI-thru, which means you can use the HDMI ports while the receiver is off. This means blu ray or game while using the tv speakers if you want. Very cool.

    The speakers are great. The sub-woofer is PASSIVE but that is not a bad thing. With the EX BASS setting, it shakes my windows on the default settings! It is a beast. The speakers are clear and responsive. Sounds better than anything I have had before. There are also TONS of sound options (dynamic volume, dynamic eq, etc.) to play with, along with different room settings. I could list these for days.

    The setup did take me a while, mostly because there are so many settings to understand, and this was my first audio system; but in retrospect, it wasn't hard at all. The manual is well written and clear. The remote is also good, but it is not universal (bummer). I now have three remotes and an xbox controller that all must be used. I wish it was programmable.

    The speaker wire is standard, and could be upgraded to a higher gauge if you wish. The rear speakers didn't have enough wire for me personally (about 25-30ft), but should work for a smaller, square room. I had to run the speakers nearly 75ft along a wall, so it was not enough for me.

    All in all, you cant beat this for the price (super cheap). It sounds great, the quality of the hardware is very high, and it is a breeze to use. Recommened MUST BUY for any HD audio/video-philes. ... Read more

    8. Sony PS-LX300USB USB Stereo Turntable (Black)
    list price: $199.99 -- our price: $114.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0015HOFZI
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 252
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Do you still have some classic vinyl? Would you like to transfer those albums to your PC, Walkman music player, or even your iPod music player? Well now you can bring those albums into the digital world with the PS-LX300USB USB stereo turntable from Sony. Using the USB connection, you can import all that music into your computer and create MP3 files to store on a PC or bring along with you on your favorite portable player. The supplied Audio Studio software makes it easy for you to archive your music from vinyl, optimize the sound, and store it on your PC. The PS-LX300USB USB turntable is also a fully functional turntable that can connect to your current system and playback your classic vinyl albums. ... Read more

    9. Audio Unlimited Premium 900MHz Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Speakers withRemote and Dual Power Transmitter (Black)
    list price: $119.99 -- our price: $84.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0036VO2B8
    Manufacturer: Cables Unlimited
    Sales Rank: 220
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Listen to music just about anywhere without the hassle of running unsightly speaker wire! These high-quality, weather-resistant speakers can even be used in wet areas. Powered by 900MHz Phase Loop Lock circuitry which automatically locks in and keeps the audio signal clear and strong within a range of up to 150 feet with no line of sight limitations. The signal works just like high powered wireless 900MHz phones delivering a crystal clear signal through walls or any other obstacles in your yard truly offering endless installation options. The system transmitter supports all types audio inputs including RCA inputs for home theatre receivers, MP3 players, computers and iPods. Audio Unlimited's wireless speaker system is the perfect solution for adding music around the pool/spa, on the patio, near the BBQ, in your office, garage, in the garden, or out on the deck during those hot summer nights ... Read more

    10. Onkyo TX-SR6087.2-Channel Home Theater Receiver (Black)
    list price: $599.00 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003BIFOL8
    Manufacturer: Onkyo
    Sales Rank: 335
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Sure, we call it an "entry-level" A/V receiver. But when you witness the full potential of the TX-SR608, you'll know the level you're entering is far beyond the ordinary. For a start, you get six of the latest HDMI 1.4 inputs for simple hook-up of all your high-def sources. HDMI 1.4 also brings compatibility with the new 3D video format, as well as an Audio Return Channel from your display back to the receiver. Complementing HDMI on the input front, you have an analog RGB video input for connecting your PC, and a Universal Port for Onkyo peripherals. All video sources, regardless of resolution, can be upscaled to big and beautiful 1080p via HDMI and Faroudja DCDi Cinema. Audio processing incorporates quality Burr-Brown DACs, lossless Dolby and DTS codecs, and the expanded surround formats of Audyssey DSX and Dolby Pro Logic IIz. Three-stage inverted Darlington circuitry and jitter cleaning technology work to ensure extremely precise and faithful amplification. In recognition of the TX-SR608's outstanding A/V prowess, it has been awarded THX Select2 Plus Certification. ... Read more

    11. Sony CMTBX20i Micro Hi-Fi Shelf System (Black)
    list price: $129.95 -- our price: $118.88
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00171OSI6
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 229
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amplify the mood of any room. Unleash your favorite tunes from your iPod music player with the CMT-BX20i micro hi-fi shelf system. Just plug your iPod into the dock and enjoy rich sound--perfect for adding music for parties are just relaxing around the house. A remote control with full iPod functions is included to manage your music from the comfort of your sofa. ... Read more

    12. Polk Audio PSW10 10-Inch Monitor Series Powered Subwoofer (Single, Black)
    list price: $239.95 -- our price: $99.04
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0002KVQBA
    Manufacturer: Polk Audio
    Sales Rank: 379
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Do away with distortion.While the Polk Monitor Series PSW10's 10" driver and 50W built-in amplifier are filling out your home audio's bass tones, a wide variety of distortion-reducing technologies - including laser Klippel Distortion analysis - deliver bass true to the source. ... Read more

    13. Coby KCD150 Under-the-Cabinet CD Player with AM/FM Radio (Silver)
    list price: $34.99 -- our price: $30.24
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001TJKWL8
    Manufacturer: Coby
    Sales Rank: 268
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Coby's KCD150 provides great-quality sound with a built-in, full-range speaker system. Digital AM/FM radio and intuitive controls make tuning and playback a snap. Integrated multi-function alarm clock also included. Unit comes with under-cabinet mounting kit. ... Read more

    14. Pioneer VSX-820-K 5.1 Home Theater Receiver
    -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0039XQL2G
    Manufacturer: Pioneer
    Sales Rank: 382
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Key Features are 110 watts X 5, Dolby True-HD / DTS-HD Master Audio, Dolby Pro-Logic IIz Height Channel Decoder, Auto MCACC with room EQ, Phase ControlAuto Level Control – 2 Channel, Advanced Sound Retriever – 2 channel, iPod Digital USB / USB Memory Audio / OSD, Front A/V Inputs, Sirius Satellite Radio w/OSD, Bluetooth Ready w/ optional AS-BT100, HDMI Repeater (4 In / 1 out), Deep Color, x.v. color, Component Video Inputs (2 in / 1 out),Audio Inputs (6 in / 1out - includes Tuner),Audio/Video Inputs (4in / 1 out), Digital Inputs (3 - 1 coax / 2opt), Dolby PLIIz Pre-Out, Glossy Black Cosmetic, Preset Remote Control. ... Read more

    15. Logitech Squeezebox Boom All-in-One Network Music Player / Wi-Fi Internet Radio
    list price: $249.99 -- our price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001DJ64D4
    Manufacturer: Logitech
    Sales Rank: 274
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Logitech Squeezebox Boom all-in-one network music player with integrated speakers. Plug it in. Turn it on. Rock the house! The all-in-one network music player that combines award-winning squeezebox functionality with an integrated amplifier and speakers to deliver your digital music to any room in your home. Enjoy the music and content you love, with crystal clear sound. ... Read more

    16. IHOME iHM79BC Rechargeable Mini Speakers (Black)
    list price: $49.99 -- our price: $41.77
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00343DNJK
    Manufacturer: Sound Design, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 354
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Rechargeable Mini Speakers ... Read more

    17. Sony SS-B1000 5 1/8-InchBookshelf Speakers (Pair)
    list price: $80.00 -- our price: $49.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000OG88KY
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 1
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Enjoy your favorite music in any room of the house with quality sound from the SS-B1000 performance bookshelf speakers. With 120 watts of power and an advanced woofer and tweeter design, they deliver high-resolution audio so you hear the music just as it was recorded. ... Read more

    18. Audio Technica ATLP120 ProfessionalTurntable with USB
    list price: $429.00 -- our price: $214.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002S1CJ2Q
    Manufacturer: Audio Technica
    Sales Rank: 404
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The Audio Technica AT-LP120 USB features a high-torque direct-drive motor for quick start-ups and a selectable internal stereo phono pre-amplifier that allows the turntable to plug directly to computers and other components with no dedicated turntable input. With a dedicated USB output, interfacing with your computer has never been easier.This is the all-in-one solutions for archiving or transferring your LP collection directly to your computer.Other key features include: forward and reverse play capability; cast aluminum platter with slip mat and a start/stop button with remote start/stop input; three speeds 33/45/78; selectable high-accuracy quartz-controlled pitch lock and pitch change slider control with +/-10% or +/-20% adjustment ranges; and removable hinged dust cover. A replaceable Audio-Technica ATP-2 cartridge is included. ... Read more

    19. Sony BDV-E370 Sony 5.1 Blu-ray Disc System [3D Compatible]
    list price: $399.99 -- our price: $248.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003YTDD9Y
    Manufacturer: Sony
    Sales Rank: 475
    Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Enjoy Full HD 1080p and powerful 5.1 channel HD surround sound with the Sony BDV-E370 3D Blu-ray Disc Home Theater System. Minimized wait times means you can start watching your movies faster than ever. Plus, with this great system you can take your entertainment experience to the next level in 3D. You can instantly access a wide variety of movies, music and more from: Netflix, Amazon on Demand, Pandora, Slacker, and YouTube. ... Read more


    4-0 out of 5 stars Does NOT have DLNA support, November 30, 2010
    Just got this all-in-one Bluray theater today. In general it's a nice bargain (especially at the GoldBox deal from Thanksgiving). I use it in our Living Room to replace the TV speakers, so the sound is definitely an improvement. I probably wouldn't use this in a true "home theater" since the subwoofer isn't powered. But for general Bluray listening in the Living Room and for Netflix streaming, it sounds just fine. It does what it claims and has a lot of good streaming options (Netflix, Pandora, etc). Picture quality is excellent. Bluray player is similar to Sony's BDP-S370 player.

    However, unlike all of the reviews (on the Internet) of this unit that I read before purchasing, this unit does NOT have DLNA support for streaming music from your local network servers. In fact on page 35 of the included manual in the section "Playing files stores on a DLNA server" it specifically says: "Except for BDV-E370 U.S. models".

    This is extremely annoying. It's obvious to me that this device *used* to have this feature, which is why all of the older reviews mention it. My guess is that it was removed in a software update. Yes, I did the network update and now it says that no other update is available. I didn't check to see if DLNA was available before the update. The related setup page for DLNA called "Connection Server Settings" in the "Network Settings" screen is also missing.

    Unless you get a really good price deal on this, I'd recommend the BDV-E570 instead which has the DLNA support and also includes the WiFi adapter. I had a wired Ethernet, so the adapter wasn't a big deal. But if I had known that this unit really didn't support DLNA, I probably would not have bought it. Now that it's already installed and working, I'll probably keep it.

    Maybe we can convince Sony to put DLNA support back into this device. It's obviously just a software issue and I'm annoyed at Sony for not including this and am annoyed at the reviews that all say it has it when it doesn't. But that's why I'm giving only 4 stars.

    Update #1: Since there is no HDMI input, to hook up your cable box you need to connect the digital audio output of the cable box to the input on the E370. You use your TV to switch the video and use the E370 to switch the audio. The only problem with this is that the Sony E370 does not support discrete remote codes for the different audio inputs. It only has a "NextInput" command. So you'll need a smart remote (like a Harmony) that can remember what input is currently selected so that it knows how many "NextInputs" to send to the E370 to get it to the correct channel.

    Update #2: (12/17/2010) Just installed the latest v735 firmware and still no DLNA support :(

    5-0 out of 5 stars $239 Very Well Spent, December 7, 2010
    I ordered this on the Thanksgiving Goldbox deal. I received it one week later.

    The system was packaged very nicely and was easy to unbox and setup the system. I hooked up my DVR cable box into the Sat/Cable (Digital Coaxial input) jack. I hooked up my Playstation 3 into the TV (Digital In Optical) jack. (not into my television, but into the input named "TV" on the unit) When I try each source, it tells me on the unit's front LCD screen that I'm getting Dolby Digital.

    Using the unit's blu-ray, I watched the movie "Stealth". I must say it was like a whole new experience. I could hear those fighter jets buzzing in the front speakers and then transfer to the rear speakers. It was definately pretty cool to watch (and now finally hear) that movie. After watching the movie, I played some Call of Duty: World at War on my PS3. It was amazing to hear the shooting of my gun and hearing things expload all around me. It really put me into the war zone.

    I'm very impressed with the unit. I think it's a great value for what I paid. It doesn't have HDMI inputs, however, as stated above, I was able to hook up my existing equipment. I like how you can watch Netflix on the unit, along with Pandora Radio and a few other streaming services.

    Overall, I'm very happy I bought the unit. It produces very nice sound, and for the price it is an excellent product. I'm not an expert on sound systems as this is my first unit. I'm not saying it's the best unit available, but for the price, it's a darn good unit! I love it and hope to enjoy it for years to come.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I would be happy to help.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Decent / NO DLNA / ill informed Customer Service, December 7, 2010
    I got this product mainly because of DLNA and internet streaming feature. I already knew it does NOT come with Wireless Adapter so I would not complaint on that front. Overall it gives a decent output but not great in configuring, Internet streaming and DLNA (totally missing).

    To start with, there were quite a few "not so obvious" configurations that I had to struggle to make it work seamlessly between Sony TV & this home theater system. When i called SONY Customer Service (I spoke to five different agents across five days) and no one had a clue about why the System is muting itslef (no audio) when I switch between my TV inputs (Dish, Comcast Cable & TV- Free to Air)...After a lot of research I myself figured out that "Control for HDMI" settings on TV was the reason why System was acting up. "Control for HDMI" is actually supposed to make things a lot easier but in this case, they were getting so messed up. What the heck ! I got a sony system so that it could sync up well with my Sony TV and that "BrAVIA SYNC" itself was creating problem ??).. I was surprised that 4 out of 5 were clueless and kept telling me this is how it is designed and if I want I can switch off the "Control for HDMI". But that would mean using two different remotes for watching TV. one for TV and other for controlling volume on the system...All in all, I never got a satisfactory response except the last agent I spoke to...trick was to use a Digital Optical cable..

    Secondly, DLNA - Again spoke to 3 agents across 3 days and all the agents said that BDVE370 does support DLNA. All through my conversations with them (lasted for 45 mins each) they kept on putting me on hold. They were apparently not trained or educated about DLNA feature and after every 1 minute, they used to put me on hold and check something (either in their repository)...they walked me through the setting on my Laptop (has to have a Windows 7). After doing the settings on laptop, they asked me change some settings on the HT System which were missing on the system..This is when they realized this model does not support DLNA..One of the agents went on to say it was a oversight on his part. BDVe370 is not DLNA compliant..When I asked my call be transfered to his superior, I was put on hold only to realize at the end of 10 mins that he had never transfered it to the supervisor by simply hung up on me...All in all, this was one of the worst customer service I have experienced that had no knowledge of the products they were supporting..

    About internet streaming, i experienced that the HD videos were not really coming out to be HD on the tv..they were more like Std def...not sure if thats what everyone is experiencing ...I am a loyal SONY fan and keep going back to Sony for my needs (Camcorder, Camera, TV, Laptop and now Home Theater)...but this experience has changed my mindset...

    All in all, a decent product if u dont find a need to contact customer service and if u dont need DLNA.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Do not believe what description or box features show, December 5, 2010
    I purchased this unit because of the extremely reasonable price for the unit and all of the features that were listed.

    1. Streaming from Netflix, etc.
    2. 3D capability.
    3. DLNA capability with Win7.
    4. Number of compatible video formats. (MP4 especially).

    Well, DNLA is even shown on the box but the unit does not support DNLA. I allowed the auto upate when installing the unit. FW went to .708 from the previous M04 version. No DNLA.

    It will not play MP4 videos using AAC audio encoding (Nero recoding).

    Other than than that, I works great. Maybe Sony will fix the FW issues and then I will be 99% pleased with it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Supports USB, no DLNA !!, December 1, 2010
    I got this system during a gold box deal, i like the system so far.

    Here is what i like -

    1) it has a night mode, does not wake up your neighbors at night, even though the sounds are clear and nice
    2) nice bass from Subwoofer
    3) 3D compatible

    5) USB support, i have a 500gb drive connected to it. supports a wide array of video files
    6) Different audio modes

    Cons -
    1) Cannot control the sound on sub woofer
    2) No DLNA Support with firmware upgrade (M04.R.708) from sony support site

    **Sorry for the confusion, sony site said that after the update DLNA will work, it actually does not!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Entry Level Home Theater for Great Price, December 15, 2010
    This is my first home theater for a great price using the Gold Box deal. I have always had a good faith in sony sound products right from my child hood since the invention of Walk man and I am quite happy with the overall performance of this home theater system. Thanks to AMAZON for the unbeatable price...


    1) Supports Dolby true HD & DTS HD (But no HDMI input - so not sure if this unit can receive HD audio input from other audio sources) - these two formats were tested locally by running Dark Knight, Batman Begins Blu-ray which has HD audio channels like Dolby True HD & DTS HD. Other Audio formats like Dolby Digital, DTS are also tested using Coaxial or Optical input from other sources like Cable box, TV output.

    2) Has all the basic inputs (Coaxial, Optical, Stereo (red+white), FM, USB (for IPod, Memory sticks)

    3) Plays music from your Ipod or Iphone (but the control cannot be seen in TV - The best way to change the song is by operating the ipod itself or using the home theater remote, either way it is very difficult if you are sitting far away from the iPod unless you have a zooming lens or binocular to look into your ipod from that distance)

    4) easy calibration with calibration input device comes with the box

    5) Usual sony Internet & CrossBar Menu - Sony style (i really like the crossBar Menu)

    6) Can change the sound level of each speakers including woofer. (if you decided not to use the auto calibration settings)

    7) Rear speakers cables are quite long, you should be okay with the built in wire if your room is 12 X 12 or you can buy a normal cable speakers from your near by store if your room is really large. quite easy to place the speakers using the color code on back of the speakers.

    8) No issues with the video, usual sony quality. Yet to test the 3D video.

    9) I cannot really argue with the sound for such a entry level home theater, but it does delivers for the price. I already got complaints from my neighbors to reduce the sound, so i believe the system produces quite a good groovy bass effect from the woofer.

    10) The speakers are very light weight, so you can just use Push pins to hang it on the wall, if the wall is not concrete. You dont need to put a screw..

    11) Splits 2 channel stereo sounds into Dolby Pro logic, Pro logic II, Neo 6 very well..But switching these modes is difficult, everytime u have to go to system menu to change it, but who wants to change these modes every 2 minutes..set your favorite mode one time based on your input source and enjoy..


    1) No DLNA support so far...hoping to see new firmware upgrade to have DLNA .. or Just a Dream LOL

    2) FM display is poor, even my car stereo shows more details about the song & singers, this one just shows the channel frequency. Need a special antenna if you have a poor FM reception in your apartment/home. it just comes with a thin FM wire which i dont think is useful. FM auto tuning is also very slow.

    3) Did not recognize my USB Harddisk (NTFS - Western digital 500 Gb passport), but i am sure it will read USB sticks.

    4) Need a separate usb device for wireless internet ( who cares if you have ethernet connection )

    5) LED displays in the unit is very small for such a large unit, they could have done better, the info is very limited, it does not display the audio format of the input source like Dolby True HD or DTS HD in the unit LEDs.


    All my cons are nice to have features only. Nothing stops you from enjoying this unit.
    Great Sound for Great Price. Come on !!! who gives a complete 3D blu ray home theater all in one box for 240$ whereas other companies basic home theater audio system costs 300$ & more. Thanks to Sony & Amazon.
    It is clearly given in the manual that DLNA support is not included in BDV-e370 but i am not sure if it was advertised and written on the box.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great buy, December 4, 2010
    Works great. For the money and brand you can't beat it. Only downfall is no HDMI inputs, but thanks to the fact that HDMI supports audio return on the same cable, any sound input to my tv from my ps3 or antenna can be output into this home theater by just setting it on TV mode. Works great!

    1-0 out of 5 stars DLNA Support What A Lie!, December 2, 2010
    I just purchased this item and was really counting on its DLNA features, so I set everything up and then allowed it to update its firmware using the network option. Big mistake, sure I now have the the latest firmware version "M04.R.708" but not all of features that the firmware update claims to add to this device.

    I will improve the stars on this device if and when this DLNA issue is fix as this was very important to me.

    If you updated the device already you are out of luck unless Sony sends out a specific new update to address this issue, but I wouldn't hold my breath any time soon.

    Update: 12/15/2010

    Sony techs have been clueless so far about the BDV-E370 DLNA non support issue, even after applying the updates that claim to add such features!

    The updates have already been tried by many folks using the only two possible procedures (the Network or CD-R methods) both have failed to add DLNA features onto the the BDV-E370, but it does add such features to the BDV-E570 and higher models using the very same update "M04.R.708".

    It's funny how on the top outside of the box itself, it clearly shows the "DLNA Certified Logo" along with Sony's own support website that claims the firmware update "M04.R.708" adds those features, but it was all a lie. Sony really botched this one and this is truly false advertising, what a bunch of clowns!

    Perhaps if enough folks complain about it Sony will actually turn on the DLNA features. I will not give my money to Sony and put up with such blatant false advertising, and those that care about the DLNA features should give this product the lowest possible rating until Sony gets their act together. Let Sony see it and hear about it!... ... Read more

    20. Case Logic PDVK-10 7 to 10-Inch In-Car Portable DVD Player Case (Black)
    list price: $19.99 -- our price: $19.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000P17188
    Manufacturer: Case Logic
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Caselogic PDVK-10 7 to 10-Inch In-Car Portable DVD Player Case. Take your portable DVD player and favorite movies on the go in this padded, multi-functional case. Holds up to 10' portable DVD and portable iPod players. Patented Grab & Go Suspension system makes in-car attachment and removal fast and easy (attaches to most standard headrests). Case quickly detaches from attachment system, converting to a portable carrying case. Allows for 90 or 180 screen extension for optimal viewing. Extra storage compartment for accessories, cables and charger. CAUTION: Player must be strapped securely inside case while vehicle is in motion. 25 Year Warranty! ... Read more

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