Universal remotes

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
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First post in the AV section, so hi all.

I have an ageing but perfectly functional (and well cared-for) Philips Pronto TSU9800, which I love. Controls CDP/preamp as well as TV, AV amp, 2 blu rays, freesat box, sub, some lighting etc. Use wifi extenders so that it all works without the need for line of sight.

I am not intending to change at the moment, but have never found anything that seems to work in the same way - largely touchscreen based with a few hard buttons and with complete control over buttons, screens, macros, delays, editability via PC etc etc.

What do people here use, and what do you consider the strengths and weaknesses? I do have a spare 9800, but I also know they won't last forever!
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
332
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My brother has one, though he hasn't fully set it up. I did try a Logitech a few years ago and found it insufficiently customisable at that point. The screen is also a good deal smaller than I would like - the Pronto screen is big, RT for scale:

Optimized-DSC_1246.JPG

And it's the ability to customise like this that I am after - no going to channel list or having to recall channel numbers etc:

Optimized-DSC_1247.JPG
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
332
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I guess this tells me what I've tended to suspect, which is that even though we live in an era of remote control proliferation there isn't that much choice in trimming it down. That's a pity.
 

12th Monkey

Well-known member
Aug 31, 2015
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And Lo and Behold, a small stash of unopened ones surfaces in Oz. Good price too. I have one on order, though I stress I am nothing to do with the seller!


This is the description I used on eBay for one I sold:

They don't make them like they used to...



There are drawbacks, but the truth is that there has been nothing made since that is as flexible, customisable or just as nice to have and to use as the Philips Pronto series, particularly the final iterations, the TSU9200,TSU9400, 9600 and 9800. The market for them dried up because of expected competition that never really materialised and because they were properly expensive. The baby model was £650 when I bought one, and the other models noticeably more expensive still.



Good points: Well-made, nice to hold and use, good battery life (though some may need new batteries at some point, and these are still available from eBay - it's best to leave them on the charging dock when not in use). They are almost infinitely customisable, so you can have multiple screens for different pieces of kit, with whatever backgrounds you want as well as using the built in graphics gallery in the software package. You can build macros, so that one button will execute a series of commands, or just stack lots of functions on one button, including delays, sound effects etc. You can also buy RF extenders, which work using their own wifi and allow the units to control items in other rooms or hidden away. Nothing else that you can buy does all this as well as a Pronto.



Bad points: Read this carefully. A Pronto does very little out of the box. It requires ProntoEdit Professional (PEP) to work, which can be downloaded from a website called Remote Central. This is fairly user-friendly, but still takes some time to learn; if you are not comfortable using a PC, you may find a Pronto is therefore no use to you. PEP works with most versions of Windows, but I believe there are some (fixable) issues with Win10. It takes time to set up a system, and for a simple TV/DVD setup, you might not consider this worthwhile. But for 3/4 items plus, it makes films and music a much more enjoyable experience by allowing it to do all of the faffing about and make a complex system usable by someone who's never seen it before. These are also a good few years old now and many will not be in the best of nick, so a good one is highly desirable. Worn ones show cosmetic damage around the outside edge, may have missing silver 'Philips' lettering from the bottom of the front and look scruffy at the rear. Oh, and it doesn't do Bluetooth, so won't control an Amazon fire TV stick etc.
 

Series1boy

Well-known member
Oct 14, 2013
343
6
10,895
I use the harmony elite with hub, andI can use my harmony remote, the harmony app on my iPhone, iPad and even the wife and daughter can have the app on their phones and control the system.

its a fantastic piece of kit, easy to set up, very reasonable price and reliable!
 

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