Pioneer Elite SC-05 A/V Receiver User Interface

User Interface
The remote included with the SC-05 is functional but nothing to brag about. I found it very responsive to commands, and some buttons—volume control and mute—are backlit, although this isn't the case for the input buttons. It fits nicely in my hand, but control in a dark room is limited to changing the volume only. It was nearly impossible to change inputs easily. It does offer "universal" functionality, but aftermarket universal remotes are a big upgrade—especially with the WAF (wife-acceptance factor).

The front panel display is easy to read from across the room, and it's thankfully dimmable. The simple yet elegant design of the front panel includes only a couple of knobs—one for source selection, the other for volume control. A flip-down panel hides some other functions, including a headphone jack, the MCACC setup-mic input, inputs for audio/video (presumably for a video camera or game console), multi-zone controls, the USB port, and audio/video controls.

The Home Media Gallery user interface is simple and easy to use. Connection to my home network took seconds to accomplish, but I needed to venture into my office and give the Pioneer permission to connect to my files. Once that was completed, music, video, and picture files streamed seamlessly to the AVR. Internet radio worked as advertised, although finding good stations can be a challenge because there are so many to choose from!

The rear panel offers a vast variety of hook-up options, including analog stereo and composite video outputs for a second zone and stereo audio for a third zone. The speaker terminals are a little cramped, but that's why some bright mind invented banana plugs.

The user menu is well organized and easy to navigate. Volume and input commands didn't appear on my display, although this type of support is provided via Kuro Link and HDMI control with Pioneer flat panels. In order to activate PQLS, HDMI control must be enabled whether your display is compatible or not.