I posted the following in the Pronto forum, which was a mistake (a bit close-minded over there). I should have posted it here for those wondering about universal remotes in general.
My point of this post is to let those know that the PalmPilot is an excellent choice for a universal remote control. IMO, it is competing with the Pronto and the Madrigal at a much better price level. The street price of the pronto right now is $179. Add the necessities for the software and IR extender, and you're up to $220.
Read below, and check it out before purchasing another remote! I LOVE mine!
After reading the posts, and doing a lot of research on remote controls, I've chosed the Palm Pilot.
1. Is it better than the Pronto? No. The pronto is a dedicated remote control created for that purpose.
2. Can it do the same things as the Pronto? Yes, for the most part. Everything you need a remote to do, it does (learning, macros, touchscreen, hard keys (yes they are programmable), and even a timer to set off macros at a certain time of the day).
3. Does it have the same IR strength as the Pronto? No. But, the extender is supposed to increase the IR signal 400times. What I am going to do to remedy this is to use my leapfrog unit which attaches onto the remote and converts IR to RF, and then back to IR via a receiver, which shoots it at the target. This way, there is no need to 'point' the remote anywhere. I know of similar pieces of hardware which mimic the leapfrog on the web.
If price is no object, buy the Pronto. No reason not to. However, if price does come into factor, you have to consider this as the option to go with. They are selling the Palm III for $199 now (see www.cnet.com
). Add the software and the IR booster and you're up to $240. Compare that with the Pronto's $400 tag, and their maybe some re-thinking to do.
Also, there are SOOO many other things you can do with your Palm Pilot that you can't with the Pronto. Granted, if you use it only as a remote control, you may never go beyond the remote control software. However, the occasional trip somewhere when no one needs a remote at home could perhaps consist of using it for games, a GPS navigating system, a map of the US, checking email, and receiving pages. These are just some of the things that might come in handy down the line. The uses are endless. This was also another reason I chose the Palm.
But let's not forget the real reason why you are even taken the time to read this. For $240, the Palm Pilot is a damn good remote control which can perform similar, if not exact, functions as the dedicated remote control's which cost much more. It is a touch screen, learning remote with hard key buttons and macros. The entire layout is customizable to your specifications (names, size of buttons on screen, etc.)(see www.pacificneotek.com
). It definately should be considered as you shop for the best remote which fits your needs and price range.
For me, the Palm Pilot as a whole (price, versatility, etc.) is better than the Pronto. It does everything that the Pronto can do, and that's not even it's day job.