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Pioneer VSX-818V 5.1 Channel A/V Receiver Review

by August 29, 2008
  • Product Name: VSX-818V 5.1 Channel A/V Receiver
  • Manufacturer: Pioneer Electronics
  • Performance Rating: StarStarStarStar
  • Value Rating: StarStarStarStarhalf-star
  • Review Date: August 29, 2008 17:25
  • MSRP: $ 249
  • Buy Now

 

Power Amplifier Design: PHAT
Surround Power: 120w x 5
THD: 1kHz w/O.O5% THD @ 8 ohm
Inputs/Outputs:
2 Video HDMI
3 component video in / 1 monitor out
4 AV in / 1 Rec. out
5 Audio in / 1 Rec. out (including tuner and front)
iPod compatible through USB
XM and Sirius ready
1 Digital coaxial input
2 Digital optical input / output
Room EQ: Auto MCACC Speaker Calibration (including 5 EQ bands)
DSP: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Pro-Logic II, DTS 96/24, WAM9 Pro, EX HD Surround
Additional Features: Onscreen Display, Sleep Timer, Display Dimmer, Front A/V Terminals, 30 AM/FM Presets
Remote: Preset
Dimensions (inches): 16 9/16 x 6 1/4 x 13 7/8
Weight: 17 lbs 9 oz
Warranty:
1 Year

Pros

  • On-screen display
  • Large speaker binding posts
  • Great sound
  • Excellent Value

Cons

  • Non-discrete output devices for all but the main channels
  • Limited digital inputs
  • Cluttered remote control
  • No HDMI audio support
  • No 5.1 pre-amp outputs

 

Pioneer VSX-818V Introduction

To see how much Pioneer has progressed in its entry level receivers and determine if manufacturers are truly taking advice from consumers and review publications like Audioholics, I compared the VSX-818V to the Pioneer VSX-815 which we reviewed in 2005.


Pioneer VSX-815 Pioneer VSX-818V
Surround Power: 100 watts x 7 (1% THD @ 8-ohms, 1kHz)
120 watts x 5 (.05% THD @ 8 ohm, 1kHz)
Stereo Power: 100 watts x 2 (20Hz-20kHz; 0.7% THD @ 8-ohms)
95W per channel (20Hz to 20kHz, THD .06%, 8-ohms)
DSP: Dolby Digital 5.1/EX, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS 96/24/Neo6, Pro Logic IIx/Game Mode, WMA9 Pro, 9 Advanced Surround modes, 7-channel stereo, Virtual surround back Dolby Digital 5.1/EX, DTS-ES 6.1 Discrete, DTS 96/24/Neo6, Pro Logic IIx/Game Mode, WMA9 Pro, 9 Advanced Surround modes, 7-channel stereo, Virtual surround back, EX HD Surround
Inputs: 3 component video, 4 A/V, 5 digital ins (2 optical/1 front optical/2 coax), 5.1 multi-channel input, front AV inputs (including optical) 2 HDMI (switching only), 3 component video, 4 A/V, 5 Audio in (including tuner and front), 5 digital ins (2 optical/1 front optical/2 coax), iPod compatible through USB, XM and Sirius ready
HDMI:
None
2 in/1 out (switching only)
Outputs: 1 component, 2 A/V, headphone output
1 component, 1 A/V, 1 Audio out, 2 Digital optical outs, headphone output
Analogue Pre-outs:
7.1 preamp outputs (includes subwoofer) Subwoofer only
Room EQ: Auto/Manual MCACC (including 5-band EQ) Auto/Manual MCACC (including 5-band EQ)
Additional Features Sleep timer, dimmer option, multi-way loudspeaker binding posts, AM/FM tuner Sleep Timer, Display Dimmer, Front A/V Terminals, 30 AM/FM Presets
On-screen Display:
No
Yes
Dimensions: 16 9/16 " W x 6 1/4" H x 15 13/16" D 16 9/16 x 6 1/4 x 13 7/8
Weight: 22 lbs. 4 oz. 17 lbs 9 oz
Warranty: 1 year 1 Year
MSRP: $365 $249

Although comparing a 7.1 channel receiver (which retailed at over $100 more) to a 5.1 channel receiver may seem like comparing apples to oranges, the VSX line has made some notable improvements over the last 3 years. Our two biggest concerns against the VSX-815 in 2005 were that it didn’t have video upscaling or on-screen display. The VSX-818V does come with on-screen display, but still leaves video upscaling to its bigger brothers (we really didn’t expect it at this price point anyways.) It does however have 2 switching-only HDMI inputs and 1 output, something that wasn’t possible at this price point just last year. The lowest price model that Pioneer offers with video upscaling is the VSX-1018AH which comes in at $599.

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About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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Recent Forum Posts:

gliz posts on September 02, 2008 12:04
jamie2112, post: 450360
Its just a review. And its a holiday why are you worried about something so trivial? Go fire up the grill for god's sakes………

I was smokeing a pork sholder for about 18hrs, had a little time to kill
BTW it was awsome pulled pork!!!
gene posts on September 02, 2008 11:39
on thing, if no video scaling is expected at this price, why is it listd as a “con”?

Good point and I will remove it. I think the only real strike at this price is the usage of opamps for the center and rear speakers. Personally, I'd rather them ditch the HDMI and upgrade the amps for those channels. You can buy a 4 x 1 HDMI switcher for like $99 or less now.
Adam posts on September 01, 2008 15:30
gliz, post: 450355
on thing, if no video scaling is expected at this price, why is it listd as a “con”?

jamie2112, post: 450360
Its just a review. And its a holiday why are you worried about something so trivial? Go fire up the grill for god's sakes………

It's a legitimate question, my friend. I would guess that gliz isn't worried about it, just asking.

As for the grill…excellent suggestion!
jamie2112 posts on September 01, 2008 15:26
gliz, post: 450355
on thing, if no video scaling is expected at this price, why is it listd as a “con”?

Its just a review. And its a holiday why are you worried about something so trivial? Go fire up the grill for god's sakes………
Adam posts on September 01, 2008 15:17
gliz, post: 450355
on thing, if no video scaling is expected at this price, why is it listd as a “con”?

I believe the statement, “No video upscaling (expected at this price)” is intended to read that video scaling is expected at this price and that it's a con because this unit doesn't have it.
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