Great bang for the buck, but have two annoying problems.
the guru "I live on amazon", Amazon
10 April 2012
Summary: I love this receiver. I have hardwired sound system in my living room and BOSE in the kitchen. So I can use the A+B speaker feature and have 7.1 channel surround sound (in a way) with a 5.1 channel receiver. I do have two really annoying issues that I cannot for the life of me figure out. I have read the manual a hundred times, and its of no help. 1) I have direct TV connected via HDMI to this receiver. The DTV is using "video 1.
Summary: I bought this amp because the first feature it lists is "Bluetooth ready." Shame on me for not reading more carefully. It is NOT bluetooth ready--it needs a separate adapter. It sounded ok but I went with the 120w Harman-Kardon they have on here and plugged in a Logitech Bluetooth adapter to that. Much crisper sound.
Summary: I'm an audio visual professional and all around tech geek. I can confirm what most of the other helpful reviews have stated. This receiver sounds great, but you're going to have to spend some time with it. The manual, while not impossible to read, is wordy at best and doesn't give you too much information. I have no issue with the idea that you have to run a video cable for the on screen menus. it's an rca connection that you're probably not using on your tv anyway.
Summary: The only reason I went with the VSX-821-K 5.1 Over the VSX-521-K 5.1 was because of the Ipad/Ipod compatibility. Well it is very very much useless in that feature. You can listen to your music true the provided cable but you will not be able to see video on your TV as they claim. Had I know this from the start I would have gone witht the VSX-521-K 5.1. it does the very same thing this model does but you are not paying extra money for a feature that does not work.
VSX-821 - Slightly Deceptive Features but Good Sound
Angel_Pen "angel_rising", Amazon
28 July 2011
Summary: The sound is excellent, slightly better than my old Yamaha receiver. Let's call it "more realistic" but the menu interface is miserable. Pioneer flat out distorts information on their advertisements. For instance, they claim the VSX-821 is compatible with iPod's Audio AND Video. This is not entirely true. For starters you need to be a geek to figure out the connections and which iPod is compatible with what. It is not a plug and play thing they are selling you here.
Summary: I bought the VSX821 as a budget way to get HDMI switching for my system(AppleTV.Bluray,cable box).Performs this function well.However, when you first activate the receiver you must perform some setup functions.Unfortunately you cannot do the setup thru a HDMI connection. It can only do the setup over a composite connection to see the onscreen menus.So I had to dig out a old cable to do this .Moderately irritating.The picture quality is outstanding over HDMI to my...