Philips Pronto TSU3500 Home Theater Controller (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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- Single control solution for any device, any brand with the extensive IR code database and ability to "learn" from OE remtoes.
- Radio frequency works through walls and from other rooms
- High-contrast easy-to-read monochrome display
- LCD screen has backlighting for convenience in the dark
- One-touch convenience allows you to perform multiple commands with one press of a button via a macro.
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The Pronto control panel replaces a table full of remotes! The programmable elegant unit is compatible with virtually any brand of A/V equipment. The new high-contrast monochrome display ensures an easy-to-read solution.
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A long time ago I used to be a computer programmer and I quickly figured out how to write code for the pronto. Doing basic things isn't too complicated, but to really use the bells and whistles you need to devote some time to learning. One bright note is the software that you run on your PC is pretty easy to use and there's a good simulator so you can see what things look like before you upload to your Pronto.
Back to my current Pronto. They're built pretty well BUT the other day it fell off of the coffee table onto a tile floor face down. No, the screen didn't break, but now the row of buttons below the screen no longer work. Since I had these programmed to switch between various functions, the unit is pretty much useless.
So now the big decision. Get another Pronto (if you do the math, these things are costing me about $90 a year) or be a lemming and get the Logitech Harmony (for less than half the money). Decisions...decisions..decisions.
Bottom line - plan on investing hours and hours to learn the programming for this device - but it's worth the effort. Also, never ever drop it!
Update: OK, I got the Harmony 880. Much cheaper than the Philips but it doesn't have a touch screen. The good news on the Harmony was I set it up in no time at all - this is one seriously smart remote! The bad news on the Harmony - the buttons are kind of small but workable. Because there isn't a touch screen you can't have channel presets like you can with the Philips (e.g., touch HBO and the cable box automatically goes to channel 200). I didn't use the presets that often, but I will miss them. I think over time I'll find the Harmony easier to use. One thing I didn't like about a touch screen remote (the Pronto) was flipping back and forth between screens to complete a task because you can only put so much stuff on a screen. Yes, you can write "macros" and assign those to buttons but there are times where you have to actually enter something (like a channel number).
UPDATE: We bought the color model and it is much easier to use than the B&W version.
This will be the last remote I buy.