∞ Pioneer throws weight behind AirPlay with first of eight new receivers

Home audio peripheral maker Pioneer on Tuesday announced the release of its VSX-1021-K A/V receiver – the first of eight Pioneer receivers coming out this year with support for AirPlay, Apple’s streaming audio technology highlighted in iTunes and on iOS devices. The VSX-1021-K costs $549.

[ad#Google Adsense 300×250 in story]The VSX-1021-K is a 7.1 channel receiver with Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD support, with 90 watts per channel output. Features include 5 HDMI inputs and 1 output, Sirius satellite ready, 3 analog inputs, 4 digital inputs and more.

A built in 10/100 Ethernet port lets you connect the VSX-1021-K to your home LAN, and Pioneer offers optional wireless networking kits and Bluetooth adapters. When the VSX-1021-K is connected to the network, it’s visible as an AirPlay streaming device in iTunes running on the Mac, PC or on iOS devices, and can be used to stream content.

Pioneer also offers a free app that you can download from the App Store to use your iOS device as a remote control, and “Air Jam” software that lets you make a group playlist using content from up to four Bluetooth-connected iOS devices.