Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by Clint C, Sep 2, 2003.
Are there any models of the Pronto to avoid?
Are they all good?
Is there a preferred model?
The latest model - Pronto Next Generation (RU950) had loads of major bugs to start out with - but has just had a firmware upgrade and the editing software has just been updated too, which sorted out most flaws. There is a new full colour ProntoPro Next Generation coming out soon (at around the $1000 mark!).
I just got a Pronto NG a weeks back when the upodate was released from www.letsautomate.com for £250 plus £40 for the docking station and aside from an initial faulty unit which was quickly replaced without quibble, it has impressed me greatly.
There are a few things yet to be implemented on this model (like the timer) but Philips do release upgrades periodically and seem to listen to users requests.
For the good in-depth reviews on each Pronto, go to www.remotecentral.com. You can also download configuration files from other users, get discrete remote commands for almost any piece of equipment you own and take part in discussion forums dedicated to each Pronto remote control.
The only thing that puts me off this is.....
The somewhat reduced battery lifespan
You have to press some of the hard buttons twice to activate a command.
Delayed response in all(?) buttons
If Philips ever fix these then I'll consider one but in the meantime i'll stick with my Pronto 940
clintc, if you've never owned a Pronto or universal remote before then the above may not bother you.
The lifespan of the 4 non-rechargeable AAA batteries on the ProntoNG has been worked out to be about 3weeks! And that's based on a test where the back light was never turned on!!
The optional docking station comes with a NiMH rechargeable battery pack and the docking station acts as a recharger once plugged into the mains. Since NiMH batteries don't suffer from the "memory effect", so you can let it recharge continually. The docking station also allows you to connect to the PC so you can download your configuration file to the remote, without plugging in the USB cable directly.
(USB is plugged into the docking cradle which is similar to the cradle for a PDA) It should be included with the remote IMHO because it's essential for recharging / connecting to the PC but I suppose the asking price of £40 would soon be used buying batteries for the thing every month.
Uploading to the remote is slowish (for USB) the response times are a bit sluggish but I found my old 2way Sony remote for the AV receiver much slower and annoying.
You can improve things with good programming and ditching animations / pushed down button effects.
The edit software is somewhat basic and leaves a lot to be desired. A lot of standard Windows commands are poorly implemented (e.g. shift clicking to select multiple items is pretty ropey) and the most used toolbars aren't constantly accessable but are hidden away in the properties dialogue window.
All these are niggles which will hopefully be ironed out in the near future. As it stands you can design a pretty decent interface if you have the time and patience. If you aren't artistically inclined you can "borrow" other users design elements and customise the functions to your own AV system.
In my opinion the pros far outweigh the cons with these remotes but don't expect them to be flawless.
If you just want to control your system and don't want to design an interface there are other remotes which cost less and are probably more suited to your needs.
Again, www.remotecentral.com is your best bet for this info.
Thanks for that guys. The reason I ask is yes I've never owned one before but wondered if there were any specific models to avoid. You've also answered my other question about the purpose of the docking station and now I can see it's essential. I've been looking on ebay for a good deal and can now look out for the one's with docking stations. If there are any models to avoid then I'd appreciate knowing.
Thanks in advance.
Its only the Pronto NG that has awful battery life.
My original Pronto would last 6 months or more on a set.....
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