Setting Up a Pioneer VSX-1130-K Receiver

by | Oct 1, 2015

Pioneer VSX-1130-K Front

We recently had a challenging experience with a customer who bought a Pioneer VSX-1130-K receiver. Our customer is like many others out there. Being very intelligent, they had configured their previous system and were reasonably confident that they could set their new AV receiver up themselves. They purchased the new receiver in order to convert from analog inputs to HDMI and also use the second zone for their outside speakers. After two days of trying to get the new AV Receiver to work, they cried “uncle” and called us. We were happy to help them set up and configure their system to run speakers in two zones. However, before we could set up the second zone, there was another issue that we needed to address.

Getting a Picture from the Pioneer VSX-1130-K Receiver

After our customer connected all of the cables and speakers, they powered everything up. The sound came right on, but they didn’t have a picture. They checked the connections and confirmed everything was connected as it should be. They concluded that there must be a soft setting that was wrong. This is where the issues began for our customer.

Pioneer only supplies an on-disk manual with the VSX-1130-K. This means that in order to read the friendly manual (RTFM) you need to fire up a computer or laptop and scroll through the PDF file you'll find on the included CD. There are positives and negatives to this system. The positives include being able to bounce around the file with hot links to various pages. Negatives include not being able to bounce back to the previous page unless you remember to jot down the page #. While there is a ton of information in Pioneer’s “friendly manual”, finding it has a lot in common with an Easter egg hunt. I couldn’t blame our customer one little bit for asking for help.

To solve the video out issue, I went into the video out settings and set the output to HDMI-1. The process is outlined below.

  • Push the MAIN button (top left of the remote), to tell the receiver to change the setting for the main output zone
  • Then push the OUT P. button to get to the video out screen
  • Select HDMI-1
  • Exit the screen

We now have a picture! First issue solved.

Setting the Second Zone on the Pioneer VSX-1130-K Receiver

Pioneer VSX-1130-K Receiver Rear

The factory setting for the Pioneeer VSX-1130-K Receiver is for a 7.2 output. To configure the VSX-1130-K for a second zone, there is another soft setting that needs to change.

  • Press HOME MENU
  • Select MANUAL SP. SETUP and press enter
  • Select SPEAKER B, press enter
  • When “Change Setting?” Is displayed, select YES
  • The Receiver now knows that the speakers connected to the ZONE B terminals are for a second zone and not for additional surround speakers
  • Once the setting has been changed to a two zone system, the OUT P. button will change the speakers that are playing. Repeatedly pressing this button will scroll through A, B, A/B and SP OFF. The AUDIO P. button does the same thing
  • Now that the receiver is set up to send audio to a second zone, we need to tell it what source (input) to send to that second zone
  • Press MULTI-ZONE ON/OFF on the front panel of the receiver. The zone switches between on and off with each press of this button. MULTI-ZONE illuminates when the setting is ON
  • Press MULTI-ZONE CONTROL on the front panel. The zone being controlled switches between the main zone and sub-zone with each button press. Press until SUB-ZONE is selected
  • Use the input selector dial (or push the corresponding button on the remote control) to select the input source for the second zone. If you want the second zone speakers to play what is on the cable box, select SAT/CBL. If you want the second zone to play another source, select it
  • Use the volume dial to adjust the volume of the second zone
  • Press MULTI-ZONE CONTROL on the front panel to send the control back to the main zone

Zone B is now configured to play the source you selected when the OUT P. or AUDIO P. buttons are used to select the second zone.


New AV Receivers have capabilities that we only dreamed of a few years ago. The added features come at a price though. That price is in the form of increasingly complex set-up procedures. Some manufacturers have figured out how to make these set-up procedures relatively user friendly. Pioneer still has some work to do in this area. Understanding that their manual is not a printed booklet that promotes flipping back and forth between pages would be a terrific start. Supplying an E-manual that flows more intuitively would be even better.

We aren’t complaining though. The situation did get us a new customer, and we were able to make them happy. The process just shouldn’t have been as painful as it was for the end user.

Images by Pioneer


About Brian Hill
Brian Hill is a home theater enthusiast who has an extensive background in sales. His interests include music & movies, F1 & NASCAR auto racing, hot rods (he has a '56 Nomad) and hockey — Go Sharks!
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  1. Willie Wilson

    Long delay switching sources – 8 seconds. Just replaced a previous pioneer and did not have this problem. thx

  2. Jonathan

    I am running into somewhat similar problems with this receiver. I have configured the above settings, I additionally went into the menu and set just about every setting I could find related to video outputs. read through the manual to no avail. The best I can get is the load screen on my bluray player shows the logo, but goes blank after it gets to the home screen and my PC shows the bios load screens but goes blank after it gets to the windows logon screen. I’m about ready to return the receiver and start over with something else. Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • Brian HIll

      Hi Johnathan,

      I have a couple of suggestions.

      One of the things that manufacturers of AV receivers do to make installation ‘easier’ is to pre-set how the inputs are to behave. We have run into many cases where the analog connections needed to be re-programmed so the receiver would ‘see’ and pass through either the video or audio input that was plugged into the inputs in question. During the initial installation of this receiver, did you use the ‘Start-up Navi’ to set the inputs? If you did not, I would recommend going back to ‘start’. First, re-set the receiver to factory settings (page 91 of the friendly manual). Then, using the ‘Start-up Navi’ App, go back through the set up of the receiver. This should set the inputs to the proper channels for your components. Once the inputs are configured, your issue should disappear.

      Another possibility can occur if you are using an IR repeater with your system. We have seen cases where both signals from an IR repeater and signals from the remote control were duplicating commands – at slightly different times. The duplicate signals caused a receiver to go completely haywire. Make sure any cabinet doors that are supposed to be closed, are closed. This way only the signals from the IR repeater will go through to the receiver.

  3. Randy Wise

    I just installed my VSX1130. I have a cable box, Blu Ray player, Apple TV and an xBoxOne plugged into the appropriate slots in the back. When I select “Watch TV” on the Harmony remote, I get a “No source Signal HDMI1”. When I try the Blu Ray, I get the same thing. And so to with the xBox. I’ve looked at everything I can find. I swapped out the HDMI cable. I even moved it to the HDMI2 slot on the TV. Still no picture or sound.

    • Brian HIll

      Randy, Your comment leaves me with more questions than potential solutions.
      First, have you confirmed that the HDMI cable from the receiver to the TV is connected to the HDMI-1 out on the receiver?
      Next, have you tried to manually set the receiver to the proper input(not use the remote control)? if you have tried manually setting the input, with the same result, then we can rule out the remote control programming. If manually setting the inputs on the receiver works, that would indicate the remote is not programmed correctly, or is using the wrong Pioneer codes.
      Assuming that the HDMI out is connected correctly and manually setting the input on the receiver does not give you the expected results, I would next work to get video signals from the receiver to the TV. Go back through the process of setting the output of the receiver to HDMI-1 out as outlined in the article. As long as the input is correct, this should give you, at least, a video output.
      Once you have video output, the next step would be to configure the inputs. Page 59 of the friendly manual gives you step by step instructions on how to do this.
      These steps should get you where you need to go. Please leave an additional response on this thread to let us know how it worked out for you.

  4. Riccardo

    Hi. I have installed my vsx1130 connecting 7 speakers and a SW. Setting the reciever as a 7.2 all sounds good. When I switch in 5.2/HDZone mode the right HDZone speaker emits the sound plus a loud white noise. The left HDZone speaker sounds fine. Instead using the Speaker-B connections for the 2nd zone (as explained in the article) I have tried to use the “HDZone/Bi-Amp” connections. Thanks in advance.

  5. Tauseef


    I just purchased VSX-1130k. On connecting speakers and after inintial setup, I was disappointed to find that I cannot use subwoofer in all modes with all inputs. to name a few, iPod (via USB), iPhone/andriod phone (via Bluetooth). internet radio etc.

    In other words I cannot listen to 2.1 when in stereo mode. or even some surround modes.

    Am I missing something or is this a limitation with this receiver?

    Looking forward to hearing from you on the earliest.

    • richard d williams

      Push home menu button then system setup then manual sp setup then speaker settings enter. Now at sw push left or right arrow until you see PLUS. This should fix it

  6. Mark

    I have a VSX 1122 at home with which using zone 2 is as simple as 2 commands on the remote. Because my receiver is so easy, I installed the VSX 1130 for a customer thinking that zone 2 would be easy. So far this is so damn complicated that I’m about to get an Onkyo.
    This new design completely sucks and is way too complicated. Why the changes?????? WHAT A FKN PAIN IN THE BALLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Mark

    One more thing… and I hope someone from Pioneer is looking at this…
    NEVER AGAIN will I Install a Pioneer receiver… Going back to Onkyo

  8. marlena

    Appreciate it! This a good online site!

  9. Dan

    I have the 1130 and have spent ALOT of time trying to figure out the different “hidden” features (sooo complicated)…

    One thing that someone may know, I used too get the set-up menu on my TV screen and I don’t anymore. Is there something I did? How can I get it back?

  10. Rob

    Love the article as I can not get the a/b switch to run inside verses outside speakers. I had it working for years and receiver got reset. Problem I have is we can’t find the remote. Is there a way to setup without? I tried the Navi app over and over, no luck

  11. Mike

    Hi, u have a pioneer VSX1124k, and I was wondering if it us possible to stream video to it. I have it connected to LAN, and Im Running Serviio on a PC. The pioneer sees the server, and I can play audio that is streamed but when I select a video title, it seems that any type format just doesn’t play.

    • Brian HIll

      Hi Mike, You will need to stream video through a secondary source, like an Apple TV or a Chromecast stick. either of these will connect to one of your HDMI inputs on the receiver. Brian

  12. Carlos P.

    Hi, the unit in question is VSX-1131, the issue is the volume seems to be to low, to what TV i have to raise the volume over 75%. Is that normal operation?

    • Brian HIll

      Hi Carlos, It is likely your cable box that is limiting the volume before it gets to the receiver. We have an article about that issue with an AT&T box. It is called ‘Resolving U-verse and Vizio smart TV sound issues’. The article will walk you through how to re-set the volume of an AT&T box. If you have a different cable box, the steps may be different. I hope this helps! Brian

  13. Ky

    Could vsx1130-K 7.2 use main zone and second zone for 2 different input same times ? If yes could you tell me how setting for about that ? For the moment, I can use second zone (speaker B) for one input or main speaker + speaker B for this same input but can not use 2 inputs different at same times for these 2 zones.
    Thanks for help

  14. Brian HIll

    The receiver should allow for a different input for Zone 2 than what is playing in the main zone. When in Zone 2, select the input you would like to use. It should be that easy!

  15. Darius Kuehne

    I have a LG OLED TV model LG65G7P that says supports Dolby Atmos. Gen 4 Apple TV via HDMI to TV. On screen display confirms Atmos operational. Can I get the Atmos signal to my pioneer VSX 1130k via optical from TV to work properly? I do get sound. Just not sure if true Atmos. Or must I run hdmi audio return from tv to VSX? Due to many complications I need to avoid running all hdmi sources through VSX receiver then to TV. Advise appreciated.

    • Steve Cooper


      You’ve selected two very good pieces of Home Theater Equipment. We like the LG OLED TVs a lot.

      Optical connections aren’t capable of transmitting Dolby Atmos signals — They don’t have the necessary bandwidth. So, you’ll never get Dolby Atmos output through an optical cable. While we always suggest routing audio/video signals from the source, through the receiver, then out to the TV, we understand you’re dilemma. Fortunately, there might be a fix.

      The tech specs says the OLED65G7P meets all the requirements for Dolby Atmos: Native Dolby Atmos decoding and Dolby Digital Plus output through HDMI ARC (Audio Return channel). Note that the LG how-to video say’s that the HDMI ARC channel for this TV only outputs Dolby Digital (not Plus). Dolby Digital Plus (or Dolby TrueHD) is required for Dolby Atmos. Since building the TV to process and output Dolby Atmos and then not being able to output Dolby Atmos makes no sense, I’m going to guess (and hope) that the tech specs are correct and the video is wrong. Keep in mind that I don’t have that model of TV in stock so I can’t verify which is correct.

      Here’s what you need to do:

      1. Disconnect the Optical Audio Cable from the TV and the receiver
      2. Connect a high-speed HDMI cable from the TV’s HDMI ARC port (usually HDMI 1 on LG TVs)
      3. Connect the other end to the HDMI ARC port on the receiver
      4. Configure the TV and receiver as per the manuals


      Here’s a link to the LG OLED65G7P manuals and videos (the videos are near the bottom of the page).

  16. Abdulgader Azizkhan

    I’ve the same model just bought , but i need to know what is the best speakers model do i need for this model !!!

    Thank you all

    • Brian HIll

      First, most passive speakers will work with this system. Second, speakers are a very subjective. Please go to your local retail establishment (Best Buy, Video Only, Fry’s, etc.) that sells speakers and listen to as many as you can. Once you find speakers that sound good to your ear, you have your choice. Finally, Let your integrator know and they can pick them up for you. By involving your integrator, they can double check compatibility and often get you better pricing than retail. Brian

  17. Mahesh

    My speakercraft subwoofer connected to Pioneer VSX-1130 shuts off every 20-30 mins. Had to turn off and on the main power of the subwoofer every 20-30 mins. No luck setting the SW settings to Plus either. My system is 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos. The receiver is connected to BenQ projector, Xbox One S and Digital tuner. Tried resetting the receiver to factory settings and gone through the auto calibration (MCAAC Pro) and still no luck. Please help.

  18. MarkS

    Your site here has helped me with my VSX1130k, thank you! I have an additional question: I want to pipe my 1130 through a whole-house audio system which has RCA inputs…I believe I should be able to use the DVD ‘input’ configured as a recording device (cassette or DVDr). I cannot figure out how to make the setup menu configuration for this condition. Any insight you can provide is appreciated.

  19. Matt Bohman

    Hello. I bought the Pioneer VSX 1130K a while ago, and it seems to work fine, although setup is complicated (as we can see in these comments)

    My question: Is there a setup to stream Amazon Music? I do not have Spotify nor Pandora, the 2 built in streaming apps. thanks

    • Brian HIll

      I am not aware of an app for streaming that is built in to Pioneer products.


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