Pioneer Electronics has announced a new line of A/V receivers designed to integrate an iPod or iPhone into the user's home theater system. The three receivers—the 5-channel VSX-819AH ($299) and the 7-channel VSX-919AH ($399) and VSX-1019AH ($499)—each include a front-mounted USB port for connecting an iPod or iPhone. Your player charges while connected, and you can access the iPod or iPhone's content via a full-color, graphical interface on your television using the receiver's remote control. If an iPhone is connected, the receiver automatically mutes audio whenever a call is received.
The three receivers also include proprietary digital-audio enhancement functions the company calls Advanced Sound Retriever (ASR) and Auto Level Control (ALC). ASR was designed to improve playback of highly compressed audio files; ALC normalizes volume levels across tracks. The company claims these technologies "restore compressed audio data and recreate the dynamic listening experiences intended by the original musician."
All three receivers are available now.