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Budget remotes - are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by Phil.LFC, Jul 9, 2002.

  1. Phil.LFC

    Phil.LFC
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    I'm getting a bit fed up of the kids posting my remotes down the back of the sofa or anywhere else they'll fit. I currently have one each for TV, VCR, Digibox, Amp, DVD, and light dimmer switch.
    The Denon 1601 remote controls basic functions for the TV/VCR/DVD but it is small and fiddly and impossible to use in the dark. I have never seen or used a universal remote and am wondering whether they are any good or not. After looking on here it seems that the Marantz RC1200 could be a good bet at £30/£50 ?? from Richer Sounds.
    I'm a bit worried that they may be more confusing to operate - can anyone offer any advice please? Also, how do they work? Do they need codes or do they learn from your current remotes?
    :confused: :confused: :confused:
     
  2. MegnCalvin

    MegnCalvin
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    On a similar note - Does anyone know if you can still get the Marantz RC1200 for £29.99 instore at Richer Sounds?
     
  3. RichardH

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    Don't think so - I dropped in to RS Watford, and they had none in stock, and none in the warehouse - they also said they'd been discontinued. Finally, the ad in WHF is now out of date (different offers in the latest one), so I think we've missed out.
    I'm now veering horribly towards a Pronto.
     
  4. raven219

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    If you don't need all the functionality of a Pronto, then have a look at the Cambridge Audio M1. Touch screen, 8 devices and macros. Backlit for dark conditions. Richer Sounds have it for 79.99 but if look at lektropacks it is called E-Pilot and costs 64.95.

    Prices exclude delivery etc.

    HTH

    Raven
     
  5. pointon

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    I second the Cambridge Audio as the best budget remote you can get. Especially if you have kids that like to 'experiment' with remotes.

    It's budget, but looks cool. It's limited compared to the almighty Pronto, but functional enough. Simple to use. Best of all, it's built like Superman. I haven't even been able to scratch mine yet after a year of drunken fumbling and dropping and ****ed off throwing against walls. Perfect for survival amongst young'uns.
     
  6. RichardH

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    Tricky one, isn't it - if I'm going to go the all in one remote route, then I'm tempted to go the whole hog and go Pronto - the computer link is the thing that makes me think that, apart from anything else.
    Having said that, I really want a remote available in two rooms, so maybe one of these for the less demanding room as a trial, and maybe a Pronto later. Just seen a version of it here (if you want the frameset, go to the main site and search for prod code 321-00193 (it's in the Univeral Remotes section of the catalogue - price £68 inc VAT, free next day delivery. Tempting. Lectropacks website is running like a dog - can't see the details of their version properly.
     
  7. RichardH

    RichardH
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    Ha, got the Lektopacks site now. Downloaded the PDF manual to have a shuftie.
    ....Hmm, just had a whizz through, and one thing 'd like to do is turn the TV volume right down when watching a DVD. The "Mute" on our TV (Panasonic TX32DK1) leaves a red "mute" icon on screen whenever muted, which is a pain, so we have to turn the TV down when running the amp. I'm assuming that would be tricky with an M1 or similar macro, and that I'd need to go Pronto to do this - any thoughts?
     
  8. Phil.LFC

    Phil.LFC
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    Richard,
    I'm now also thinking of going for a Pronto after Richer Sounds in Birmingham said the RC1200 is discontinued. The Pronto certainly gets a lot of praise on this forum - haven't read any negative posts. Like you I think the link to a PC would be worth the extra cash. Not sure how easy these things are to programme but I'm sure it would be easier on the PC.
    I believe RS sell the Pronto for £150. There also seems to be a new version out now with more buttons on it. Not sure whether it's any better or more expensive though. I wonder whether the Pronto might be discontinued soon too.:confused:
    With reference to your "mute" problem - Do you not use your amp for all sound from your TV? I used to have the TV connected to my amp with the Phono leads but now run them from my Skybox instead as it sounds a bit better like this. I then only have to use the TV volume control when watching terrestrial (not often).
    Good luck with your remote hunting! Let us know how you get on.
    :)
     
  9. RichardH

    RichardH
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    "New version with more buttons" - that's the Neo - it has different format CCF files (config files) - there are bits of software around to convert Pronto CCFs to Neo versions. Not sure if it's a parallel or (doubtfully) replacement product. http://www.qed-uk.com has the Neo for £140 (or did when I last looked).
    Have a look on Remote Central for more info.
     
  10. LDR

    LDR
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  11. Phil.LFC

    Phil.LFC
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    I've had a look on Remote Central and was pretty sure about going for the Pronto rather than the Pronto Neo.....until I saw Richer Sounds advert in What Hi-Fi with "one for All Mosaic - £99.95 (£150 off)"!
    I haven't really done any research on this remote but I notice it is advertised as an Editors Choice/Best Buy with Home Entertainment magazine. I'm going to search for some reviews, unless anyone thinks (or knows!) the Pronto would be a lot better for £50 extra?:confused:
     
  12. pointon

    pointon
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    With just £50 difference, if you can afford it, go for the Pronto.
     
  13. LDR

    LDR
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    Yep, I agree with Pointon, A Pronto is so diverse & easily customisable that its worth the extra, also the batteries seem to last a fairly decent amount of time b4 needing a recharge. The ability to upload/download via PC is another benefit in its favour also.

    If your looking to get one then I would reccomend www.letsautomate.com , excellent customer service, deliver via UPS etc.
     
  14. Phil.LFC

    Phil.LFC
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    I'm definitely going to go for the Pronto now. Thanks for all the advice. I'll probably buy one from Richer Sounds as it's easy to return if any problems. Had a bad experience recently buying a TV mail order, but that's another story:eek:
    Richer Sounds are selling the 2mb model for £150 which is about as good a price as you can get I think. I've just got to wait for next payday AND convince the wife!:)
    No doubt I'll be back on here with set-up questions when I've got one:confused: :)
     
  15. RichardH

    RichardH
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    Well, I got hold of a Marantz 1200 in the end (thanks Wayne!).
    It's been easy to learn most of the codes from existing remotes, and works nicely. Certainly for the money, it's great. It's not the end to multi-remote woes, though - there just aren't enough buttons available to be able to program every single button up.

    I think what this remote has shown is that the Pronto really IS the only complete answer. However, the Marantz is fine for me at the moment.
    Well, I showed my wife (who has been grumbling about the number of remotes, and the fact she doesn't know how to use them all, etc), and though I think she'll prefer the Marantz, she said "Why can't all the buttons just SAY what they do".... which is exactly what the Pronto would offer. So maybe when the cinema room is built, a Pronto may find itself into the household :)
     
  16. Brox

    Brox
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    i'm considering the Cambridge audio M1 or equivalent (e-pilot)
    but am I going to be able to control all my kit properly so that I can hide away my current remotes.

    for instance can i go through DVD menus etc and select scenes, and go into the menu on my TV to turn the speakers off etc.

    What are its limitations?

    Hope someone can help.
     
  17. RichardH

    RichardH
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    Well, I think (although I don't have one, so can't be definitive), that you may run in to the same problem I have with the Marantz - as the buttons are fixed in number, you may not be able to get enough to do absolutely EVERTHING with the M1 - you just not have enough buttons. Have a look at the Lekropacks website - you can download the manual as a PDF for their version of the M1 - see what you thjink after reading that, perhaps?

    Another point - Richer Sounds might be a little more expenseive, but you have 14 days to take it back if you don't like it.
     
  18. alfablue

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    Richer Sounds are selling the Pronto without docking station - how necessary is this? Can it connect to PC without?

    Thanks
     
  19. RichardH

    RichardH
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    Just seen this info posted over at DVD Reviewer - Maplin are doing a version of the M1 for £39.99 - Maplin - prod code NZ27 - currently on the home page.
     
  20. paulsa

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    At the moment you can also get the E Pilot from Maplins for £39.99
     
  21. RichardH

    RichardH
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    ....Is there an echo in this thread? :D ;) :D
     
  22. paulsa

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    hhhhmmm musta had my eyes shut :blush:
     
  23. paulr

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    You could still get the marantz from RS in Hull a couple of weeks ago.IMO its a great " cheap " universal remote.........and for the money well worth it.If u dont believe me look at the argos catalogue and see what u can get for the same money.

    Any problems....so far none,...except whats already been posted about running out of buttons..........not a big problem though,just needs a bit of prioritisation.

    Am i glad i bought it though...............YES.:D
     

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