The big surprise at CES 2007 has been the dearth of major announcements about new home-audio products. Receivers with HDMI 1.3 and built-in decoding for next-gen lossless audio formats are nowhere to be seen. But at least one receiver has brought something new to the table: Pioneer's VSX-1017TXV is the first model we've seen that offers built-in compatibility with both XM and Sirius satellite radio services. (In fact, it's one of three receivers in Pioneer's 2007 line that offers the dual-satellite option.)
As evidenced by the model number, the 1017TXV is just an evolutionary upgrade of 2006's well-regarded Pioneer VSX-1016TXV. In addition to the XM and Sirius compatibility (each requires an external tuner dongle and a subscription), the THX Select 2 Certified receiver offers two HDMI inputs, compatibility with Pioneer's optional iPod dock, and Pioneer's best-in-class MCACC autocalibration. Our major beef is that its HDMI functionality still falls short of our ideal (analog video can't be converted to digital HDMI output). That said, considering its $500 list price, the VSX-1017TXV looks to deliver an impressive home theater bang for the buck. And you can always relegate it to bedroom duty as a satellite-radio hub if and when you upgrade to any of those as-yet-unannounced HDMI 1.3 receivers.