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Pioneer VSX-1020-K: Tons of features, sub-$500

CNET reviews the Pioneer VSX-1020-K, finding that its six HDMI inputs, easy iPod connectivity, and sweet sound quality make it an excellent midrange AV receiver, although it's missing some minor HDMI features.

Pioneer VSX-1020-K
Pioneer VSX-1020-K Sarah Tew/CNET

Pioneer ran away with our Editors' Choice in the AV receiver category in 2009, with the VSX-1019AH-K delivering an unmatched combination of performance and features in its price class. Pioneer hasn't slowed down with the new 2010 model, the VSX-1020-K, upping the HDMI connectivity to six inputs while keeping the same excellent sound quality we loved on last year's model.

Now playing: Watch this: Pioneer VSX-1020-K

Our main knock is that the VSX-1020-K lacks some of the newest HDMI features available on competing receivers, such as audio return channel and standby pass-through. We're also not thrilled it's the only receiver at this price level with a one-year warranty--the rest have two or more.

Still, those are small nitpicks on what is overall an excellent value for a midrange AV receiver. Just note that competitors have caught up in areas such as iPod connectivity and graphical user interfaces, so the Pioneer is no longer the easy pick of the litter.

Read the full review of the Pioneer VSX-1020-K.