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Any current (or forthcoming) remote do this?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by cerebros, Oct 26, 2003.

  1. cerebros

    cerebros
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    I'm currently a Pronto user, and while in general I think it's a good device, there are a few features I wish it had that would make it even better. However, it's a while since I last seriously looked into this, so maybe another remote has these features over and above current Pronto functionality ?

    1) More hard buttons.

    Fun though creating your own lay-outs is, I always find myself wishing I had couple of extra hard buttons so that I could reduce the number of screens I make on the remote. Plus a set of teletext buttons would be handy as hard buttons


    2) 4-way joypad with centre OK/Select button.

    As most remotes seem to have some variation on this theme these days (with the proliferation of STB's and DVD's that have somewhat deep menu systems), this would be handy (I think the Pronto NG has a 4-way button?).


    3) Device state memories

    This for me is a real big one. As most of my devices don't have a dedicated "off" or "standby" button/code it would be handy if the remote could "remember" what's on or off, especially when I'm trying to create a macro to turn everything off at night.


    Do any current learning remotes offer this level of functionality (or indeed, any of the cheaper PDA's? I know some have IR add-in cards, but I'm not sure what sort of things the software is capable of).


    Thanks
     
  2. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    The Harmony series of remotes have little displays and lots of hard buttons. They have logic programming of sorts so that they know what is on and off. However, as with any IR based system, if someone turns a product off they wont know. With Harmony remotes though you can then use the "HELP" button and it will ask you questions to which you respond so it can re-sequence everything.

    By having a NIGHTIME re-set sequence on your Pronto you can -re-sequence things yourself so that everything gets to a known state for when the "initialise" button is pushed to start use of system.

    IE Nightiime gives you a page with power commands for products. You then have user switch each one to STBY state then when done press "reset button" which just goes to a new page with an Initialise system button. Then when that button is pushed it can send out all the on commands required etc and you know what state things are in for future use.

    Does this make sense?

    The latest Marantz and Philips Pronto's have cursor hard buttons I believe although I still use my old RC1000.

    Gordon
     
  3. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I've got the Marantz RC9200 remote. This has the 4 way cursor with an enter key (not in the middle) and several other hard keys (11 plus cursor I think).
    It doesn't have the 'device state' that you want, but other than that is a great remote, but it should be at around £600 :eek:
    There is also the (discontinued) RC5200 which is exactly the same remote but with a B&W screen and a lot cheaper.

    Mark.
     
  4. Jules

    Jules
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    Ditto the Marantz RC9200. I've got one and It's miles easier to user than a Pronto because of the extra hard buttons and the larger programmable screen area.

    Also, rather than worry about what 'state' your components are in, why not download discrete power commands for each device that either switches on OR switches off, rather than the 'toggle' on/off button that usually comes with the devices original remote.

    I know these discrete on/off codes aren't available for every device on the market, but I've got 10 devices in my setup, and I didn't have any trouble.

    Also, you can 'cheat' with some devices (like Sky digital boxes) where you have an OFF button programed with a macro to:
    -press SKY button
    -wait 1.5 seconds
    -press power button

    this achieves the same result as using a discrete OFF command.
     
  5. cerebros

    cerebros
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    Yes, it makes sense, but for my purposes is a bit arse about face for the following reason.

    As I don't have a dedicated HC room, I turn components on as they're needed, rather than all at once. I very, very, rarely have the need to fire up more than two components at once, but often do have a number of components on at once that I want to shut down.

    Example:
    Typically at the end of the day I'll probably have the TV on, the DTT box, my amp and DVD player, all of which I'll want to turn off before I go to bed.
    However, when I've started using the equipment, the first thing I'll have done is turn the TV on and the DTT box (assuming I've remembered to turn it off, which I often don't), and only the amp if there's something on worthy of surround sound. Later on in the evening, typically when there's naff all on TV and the gf decides now would be a good time to carry on working our way through my Buffy DVD's, I turn the amp on (if it's not already) followed by the DVD player.

    So you can see why I need to be able to turn eveything off at the press of a button, rather than everything on (not that I won't give your suggestion a try, as it might mean i remember to turn the DTT box off).
     
  6. cerebros

    cerebros
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    Unfortuantely, last time I tried to find discrete codes for my gear, I couldn't find any that worked. The only thing that lesson taught me is to try to buy gear that has discrete codes in future (although that applies to all the components functions, not just power, as it's annoying that controls such as the dimmer on my DVD player don't have a button to toggle the state)
     
  7. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Cerebros: Do you worry about the power your devices use?

    If you use rational screen layouts and programming that ask you questions on screen then my way works. If this is too much for you then it's going to cost you a load of money for voltage sensing devices and amx or crestron control. Taking the 10 seconds to push the correct button my way will save £1000's......

    If you want "dimmer " ir control for your DVD player then I suggest you are going to have to spend a SHED load for some really special devices....

    Gordon
     
  8. cerebros

    cerebros
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    Not particularly, but i do seem to be getting somewhat forgetful in my old age... I've come downstairs in the morning on a number of occasions to find I've left my amp on all night.

    Also, if i'm taping something off DTT late at night on timer, i need to remember to put the box in standby so that it'll switch on and to the right channel (I can't put it into standby straight away after programming it, as analogue reception is crap in my house, so I need the box for watching TV).

    Not too much for me all the time, but it also has to be girlfriend friendly too (and she's far worse at remembering to turn off my amp and other components than I).

    Don't see why that feature should be that hard to come by - my receiver has display dimmer via its remote and although the function requires going into its menus to operate, I've got a set of macro's programmed on my Pronto to go to one of the dimmer settings or restore to full brightness (all though I could probably do with getting rid of the in-between steps since I only ever seem to use full bright or full dim).
     
  9. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    Try one of these, really easy to use and set up.

    I paid £50 for mine new.

    They look better when active
     

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  10. cerebros

    cerebros
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    What about PDA software? Does any of this offer the sort of functionality I'm looking for, or does the software basically copy the Pronto model of working?
     

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