The software that comes with this remote allows seemingly infinite control, but with this flexibility comes difficulty. I have a reasonable degree of experience programming Pronto remotes, but if you are not familiar with the software or the difficulties of programming a remote to function perfectly every time, you really should look for some help. You could program the Philips Pronto TSU9300 by yourself, and many will, but I think you might be missing out on just how good this remote can really be.
While the IR emitter is very powerful, it still requires a line of sight to function. The TSU9300 does allow for wireless wi-fi communication, and
Philips has add on devices to allow wi-fi to IR, as well as wi-fi to RS-232 control. While wi-fi to IR allows for nearly perfect control of gear, wi-fi to RS-232 is faultless. Either or both of these could be necessary and will add to the cost of the remote system. Home theater fanatics with simpler systems that don't have one of the supported music servers could save money with some of the less costly remotes available.
Your remote is the pinnacle of your home theater, and being able to effectively control any and all components in your rig is its only goal. The Philips Pronto TSU9300 is an amazingly flexible remote that is capable of controlling almost any home theater, from the simplest receiver-based system to an all-out assault with countless options and fringe systems, such as screen control, lighting, music servers, temperature and of course your gear. If you want the finest control of a room, and even a home, this is likely the cheapest way to command your gear without going to a true dealer-installed system like AMX or Crestron, and the user programmability will save you costly dealer reprograms for minor gear changes.
The new Philips Pronto TSU9300 remote not only will control any system you could have, it adds the benefit of bi-directional feeds for many common music servers, allowing in-your-hand control of playback. This is something that simply hasn't existed prior to the likes of AMX or Crestron, and is a huge step forward in remote controls. If you use any of these music servers, the wow factor of this feature alone would justify the cost of this remote. Additionally, there is increased ease of use with its new scroll wheel for scanning your music library. The TSU9300 is capable of wi-fi to IR or RS-232 control and these features will be necessary for the high-end home theaters to improve efficacy of control. The wi-fi to RS-232 controller can also add bi-directional control of Lutron RadioRA's lighting control system, allowing anyone to truly raise the bar of their home theater control, regardless of when your home was built.
This remote doesn't come cheap, and it will benefit from either tons of time on your side or a small investment in a company like Only One Remote to make it perfectly suit your system. Once you get it set up right, you will be able to experience the level of control others have spent (and still spend) tens of thousands of dollars on. A well-programmed Philips Pronto remote can honestly compete with the big boys at a fraction of the cost, while being easier to modify as well. This is a breakthrough product and one I think you will hear plenty more about in the future as it hits the street.
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• Philips Discontinues Pronto Remotes - news.