Product Review (March 2003) - Philips
ProntoPro Color Programmable Remote Control

There's nothing more annoying than having a separate remote for every piece of gear in an A/V system. Some come with universal features to help consolidate, but few live up to the expectations of serious users. The Pronto line of remotes has offered a powerful solution with their fully programmable features. Not only can the keys be programmed for specific functions that can be the same or different than the original, the whole display can be fully customized with any combination of buttons in multi-menu hierarchy. We took the ultimate Philips ProntoPro for a test drive by programming our entire A/V system into this one remote. The end result was impressive with a single remote capable of controlling every aspect of our complex home theater system.

The Philips ProntoPro remote control utilizes the Motorola MC68328 DragonBall™ processor and features a 256 color LCD touchscreen, 8MB of memory, RF transmission and a pickup sensor that activates the screen when the unit is moved. The docking station automatically charges the internal NiMH battery. The unit snaps in nicely to the base station avoiding a poor connection. A built-in universal database supports over 500 brands in 13 different device categories. This extensive database covers almost all current products on the market. If not, the remote has the capability to learn any command from any remote using the built-in IR reader. Five buttons on the right side of the unit hold the Mute, Volume Up, Volume Down, Channel Up and Channel Down. The left side of the remote has a contrast control and the backlight button. The lower part of the ProntoPro has four programmable button defined by the menus. Virtually unlimited macro capability produces many sequential commands with a single button push. For example, one macro button can turn on the TV, receiver and DVD player and start playing the disc.

If you would rather not customize every panel, the Pronto software has templates that can be used to simplify commonly used functions found on most remotes. For example, CD players will have Stop, Play, Pause, Track+, Track-, Scan+, Scan-, etc. These can be found on the predefined panels, all of which can be modified by the user if needed.

The Proto and ProntoPro remotes have become so popular over the years that manufactures are now providing full interface files (CCF) for their products. This allows the user to download the predefined panel(s) to operate equipment without having to spend the time to create the panel from scratch. The user can also easily modify the predefined panel to suit their personal preferences.

Games too?
There are even a couple of hidden games in the unit, although it's probably the most expensive handheld game player you have ever owned. While holding down the backlight button and the two lower left buttons, enter the keystrokes Mute, Channel+, Mute, Channel+, Volume- and then release the first three buttons. To enter the second game, use the same sequence, but hold down the two lower right buttons instead of the two lower left ones.

Using the RF mode
An RF extender (RFX6000), which can be used to extend the range of the remote, is also available for the TSU6000. The RF signals sent out by the ProntoPro are received by the RF extender and then translated into IR commands for routing back to the components. Normally, the IR signal has a range of about 30 feet and requires a clear line-of-sight to the component receiving the signal. However, the optional RF extender allows the ProntoPro to be used anywhere within range and can pass through walls, thereby greatly extending the places it can be used.

Pronto Edit Software
The Pronto Edit software used to create the panels for the ProntoPro is not exactly simple to use. It does take time to learn the program before one becomes efficient enough to create custom panels. Even with a bit of experience, creating panels and implementing them takes a lot of patience. We were able to successfully design all the panels needed to support our components with complete custom user interfaces. Many of our components required several panels to include all of the functions the original remote had on it. However, this is where you the user can decide what functions are most important and where to place them. Once the design is complete, it can be downloaded into the remote using the RS232 cable. Firmware updates can also be downloaded from this cable.

Conclusion
The Philips ProntoPro is a powerful remote control capable of controlling your entire A/V system. The non-color versions offer many of the same features, but certainly don't look as good. Fully user-defined user interface panels make the ProntoPro very flexible, only limited by one's imagination. However, learning the software can be time consuming with rewards at the end. This product has set the benchmark for custom handheld remote controls. The price may set you back, but the features are worth it.
- Kevin Nakano


Review System

Display - InFocus - ScreenPlay 7200 High-Definition DLP Front Projector (ISF calibrated)
Filmscreen - Stewart 100" 16:9 Luxus Deluxe FireHawk ScreenWall
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500u THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management - Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers - Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers - Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer - Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments - Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box #1 - Samsung SIR-T165 Terrestrial HDTV Receiver with DVI
Set-top Box #2 - RCA DTC100 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
DVD/CD/SACD Player - Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player - Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
Video Generator - Sencore VP300 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Color Analyzer - Milori ColorFacts with GretagMacbth Eye-One Beamer


Review at a glance

Philips - ProntoPro (TSU-6000)
Programmable Remote Control with Color Touchscreen Display

Features

  • Large, high-resolution color LCD display
  • Dynamic, touch screen display with bright backlight and 256 color palette
  • Unique, intuitive and fully customizable graphical user interface
  • Unlimited macro functionality
  • 8MB of flash memory for larger configuration files
  • Easy to program and save commands in non-volatile memory
  • Total control of IR based consumer electronics products
  • Send/learning IR eyes
  • RF (radio frequency) for multi room control using optional RF extender
  • Built-in US universal database with pre-installed codes for over 500 brands
  • Pick up sensor that activates screen
  • Recharging dock with NiMH battery pack included
  • Specifications

    Direct Access Buttons

  • Mute
  • Channel up/down
  • Volume up/down
  • Page up/down
  • 2 free programmable buttons
  • Backlight button
  • Hardware

  • Built-in IR codes for 549 brands
  • IR operating distance up to 33 ft (10 m)
  • IR operating angle 30 degrees (@16ft or 5 m)
  • IR learning frequencies up to 56 kHz and 455 kHz
  • Automatic power management: auto power up/down
  • Battery type: rechargeable AAA battery pack (included)
  • LCD

  • Display type: FSTN
  • Dynamic LCD input: finger or capped pen
  • Resolution: 320 x 240, 0.24 mm pitch
  • Position: portrait
  • Number of colors: 256
  • Screen dimensions: 3 x 2.3 inches (77 x 58 mm)
  • Environment

  • Operating temperature: 40F - 113F (5C - 45C)
  • Storage temperature -13F - 158F (-25C - 70C)
  • Memory

  • SRAM: 512 KB
  • Flash: 8 MB
  • Other

  • Backlight luminance: output f45 cd/m
  • Audio: Piezo with adjustable volume
  • Processor: Motorola DragonBall mc68328
  • PC link: RS232 serial port
  • Weight: 8.8 oz or 255 g (with batteries)
  • Dimensions: 5.6 x 3.7 x 1.3 inches (141 x 94 x 32 mm) (length x width x height)
  • ProntoPro TSU6000 Manual

    RF Extender RFX6000 Manual
    RF extender RFX6000 Tips & Tricks
    RF extender RFX6000 Data sheet


    Company Information
    Philips Consumer Electronics
    64 Perimeter Center East
    Atlanta, GA 30346
    Phone: 800-326-6586
    Phone: 770-821-2400
    Fax: 423-475-0411

    URL: www.pronto.philips.com

    MSRP: $999

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