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Middleweight Contest: Pronto vs PDA

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by GazTheHat, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. GazTheHat

    GazTheHat
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    Hi All,

    In the blue-corner, weighing in at 180 pounds, the Pronto RU980. And in the red-corner, weighing in at a even 200 pounds a PDA. :)

    My second Pronto has given up the ghost! So i'm after another remote. I found some links regarding PDA's being used as a remote and quite fancied the idea. I'm undeciced whether to get another Pronto or get a PDA this time.

    I know sod-all about PDA's, but i've been trying to read up on them a bit. I quite fancy the Compaq / HP iPaq or something like that, i don't want to spend more than £200.

    Round 1: Distance
    I hear the PDA's have poor signal, distance and angle wise. But isn't there an extender that would fix this? Ultramote or something. I've never had a problem with the pronto, no matter where it is or where it's pointing. 10-8 round to Pronto.

    Round 2: Style/Looks
    The PDA's seem to be half the width of the Pronto and lOOk a lot more stylish. 10-8 round to PDA.

    Round 3: Function
    I quite fancy a PDA, as i have my movies in a s/sheet, (sad-o i know), so the wifey could flick through the list, check the imdb review via WiFi before selecting a movie. Plus i have the ability to develop mClient applications, so i could have a movie app on there. They're colour, the grey pronto gets to me sometimes. They support CCFs etc etc etc.. (Plus the added bonus of being a mini pc) 10-8 to PDA

    Round 4: Location
    My seated area faces the av equipment, about 10-12ft away. I'm planning to house the equiment in the wall though, with a glass panel front. I'm pretty sure the pronto would still function fine, but would a PDA?? 10-9 to Pronto.


    I have the PDA ahead in this contest, slightly. I'd like to hear anyones comments/suggestions on this to help me decide the Middleweight Remote Championship of the world!!!
    :lease:
     
  2. M@rtin

    M@rtin
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    I think that with the right PDA it could work better or at least as well as a Pronto. In my experience though, I've had a few of them with various remote apps and they've never been as responsive as a real Pronto. That's even using Griffen's Total remote software that comes with a plugin IR emitter that fits into your headphone socket.

    PDA's I've had are the HP iPaq 5500, 4150 and the Fujitsu-Siemens Loox 720. The Loox has consumer IR but it doesn't work too well - I have heard that the iPaq 2210 is a good choice as it has CIR with a built-in remote app. The new rx3715 has this too and is marketed as a multimedia PDA so should also be good (it can also be used as a wifi controller for your PC's MP3 player).
     
  3. GazTheHat

    GazTheHat
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    Thanks for your response. I'm still leaning towards the PDA, unless someone says otherwise. So you think the 2210 would be a good option. I think that was reviewed on remotecentral.

    Anyone else have any fors/againsts? to help me make up my mind.
     
  4. Loada

    Loada
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    If you want to use the unit for remote control (and nothing else) stick with the dedicated remote (Pronto RU950/RU980). If you want a fancy display and PDA features, go with the PDA. The bottom-line is PDAs (currently) just don't make great remotes - it will only every be adequate at best as a remote control - the software (and the hardware) is just not good enough to match a dedicated remote. But, in fairness, you can have lots of features (wireless networking, album/DVD covers, IMDB/internet access and the like) which are just not possible with a standard universal remote like the Pronto.

    The argument about whether PDAs make good remotes will rage for ever and ever but it really boils down to what you're REALLY going to use it for. First and foremost, you want the remote control to do what its supposed to (remote control your kit!) - the graphical frippery is all nice to wow your granny with but ultimately you will soon become bored of it.

    You might want to check out the PDA forum over at RemoteCentral for a bit more inspiration. Also, if you're happy with importing, you can get the new colour ProntoPro (TSU7000, the USA equivalent of the RU980) from the US for nearly half what it costs here. It's a little over your stated budget, but it might be worth a look as an alternative.

    Just my 2p...
     
  5. M@rtin

    M@rtin
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    It's worth checking the PDA reviews at www.pdabuyersguide.com and www.pdagold.com as they will probably cover the IR capabilities. Try the forums as well for other users' experiences...
     
  6. alexs2

    alexs2
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    A lot of PDA's simply don't have powerful enough IR transmitters for decent use as remotes(I've tried it with both a Sony and Palm PDA)and gone back to the Pronto I had.
    The display may not be as pretty,but the thing works very nicely from 6m range.
     
  7. mikeyavman

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    I had a dell which did have a good transmitter, but it crashed alot, and I went back to my pronto. I have ordered a simpad though as I want ip control of things.
     
  8. GazTheHat

    GazTheHat
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    Thanks for info Loada and everyone. It seems i might have been wowed by the PDAs a little too much then. I guess if it lOOks good and doesn't operate as well, what's the point!?!? Like a Ferrari without an engine i guess. :suicide:

    Not knowing enough about PDAs and being slightly too lazy to make an informed purchase, i could get one which is totally crap. So i think the Middleweight Belt is retained by the pronto (for now...!)

    Loada, got any sites for importing the U.S colour pronto? Is there any compatability issues?? It all depends on my insurance company anyway, whether they're gonna replace it or give me the cash. But i'd defo be interested in the Colour U.S version :smashin:
     
  9. johndon

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    I use an iPaq 2210 with PDAWIN as the controlling software and it works well. All the gear is directly in front of the seating position, about 9ft away, in cabinets with speaker fabric over the front of the doors.

    The only problem I've had is since I got a wireless card for the iPAQ. The wireless card sticks out of the end of the iPaq and, if you look at the iPaq 'end on', the IR transmitter is above the wireless card with the result that the card effectively blocks the IR transmissions so it makes it a little more awkward to use as, if the iPaq is pointing upwards at all when you try to send an IR signal, it gets blocked so you have to point it downwards.

    HTH

    John
     
  10. Loada

    Loada
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    Sorry but I can't give you any definitive websites. It's prolly a good idea to search this (and RemoteCentral.com) forums as people post "deals" they've got/spotted from time to time. As for compatibility, you will obviously need a stepdown transformer to convert our 240v to the US 110v that the docking station will require. The other compatibility issues are to do with the (optional) RF unit which operates on a different frequency in the USA compared to the European unit - that's really only of interest to you if you intend to get the RF unit and you may find the UK RF unit works with the USA remote anyway?

    To get a feel for pricing, a well-respected USA remote control "specialist" is Bluedo. That will give you an idea of the ballpark prices you can expect to pay when importing but be wary of import tax, VAT and shipping. They're not the cheapest though, there will always be a better deal elsewhere if you're prepared to look - as ever with online purchasing (especially from abroad), always buy with a reputable credit-card that has good protection against dodgy sellers.

    Hope that helps...
     
  11. Fishbones

    Fishbones
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    Have a look at the Remote Control II software from http://www.wincesoft.de
    The software is flawless. I am using it on a SIMPAD, but can be used on other devices.
     

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