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Experiences and work-arounds
This thread has 10 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Wednesday October 4, 2006 at 11:47
hd_guy
Lurking Member
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October 2006
3
Well, it has been 2 days since the 9800 arrived. I did research here as my previous remote was a pronto classic and this site made programming it much easier than it would have been. From the opinions posted here I had my doubts about ordering but new in the box for 200 dollars I had to give it a try.

Day one;

Unit looked very nice when turned off. Upon power on it already lost some of its appeal due to what I now believe is a needed contrast and color saturation adjustment. At ALL brightness levels the display appears to be washed out.

The setup begins

First setup just my core components of an RCA HD satellite receiver, my denon avr 5800, and my mits ws-55907.

My initial impressions;
Large database of built in codes? Maybe, but in my opinion not implemented very well. The remote attempts to learn codes the manufacturer uses and then tries to match them up with code numbers. I believe that matching a code to an actual inputed model number would have been best. On all the units I have tried, not a single one, had all the buttons I use. Example... Denon avr-5800 did not have any of the codes or button names I could use for DD 5.1, DTS, and THX Home Theater.

SO anyway, I continued to plow forward to see what I could do. Learned as many codes as I could find or at least match closely to pre-assigned button names. (Philips has got to be kidding to believe that we really could remember 8 custom codes for each device without the ability to rename the button)

The base components were now functional to at least watch some satellite but getting the inputs correct still required jumping around to several screens.

I then added VCR, Laser Disc, and started playing with the EPG.

I activated EPG and downloaded more than 200 channels.... NOT a good idea... they do warn of not using over 100 to not impact performance, they are correct.

So then I felt I would break up the guides the way my system uses the individual channels. Although my DTV has local channels, it does not take advantage of all local OVER the Air HD channels and all the digital sub channels, The guide for cable is not captured either on the DTV box. The DTV box has separate inputs for Satellite, Ant A, and Ant B. I use all 3, One for Sat, one for Over the air HD and Digital Locals, and one for cable. I then decided to break up the EPG into 4 categories to lighten the load on any one setup.

Satellite Channels
Satellite Music
Local
Cable

Then I find out that you can't assign a different EPG to each viewing activity, only per each unique device. THE WORKAROUND; Create a similar device to mimic the DTV receiver. A long as it is a sat receiver it didnít seem to matter what the manufacturer was. I just chose custom for the IR code and learned every used command for each pseudo HDTV receiver... Well that fixed the EPG problem.

Now the next thing that became annoying was having to manually switch the input to match what I was watching, i.e. dtv, locals, or cable.... (Why Philips did not design this into the sat receivers templates is beyond my comprehension)

So with much playing around I found that when using a dvd-r device you could assign a inputs... so pick a dvd-r, set it up for power always on (remember this is an imaginary device and does not exist) you will need to at a minimum assign a code to the play button to continue,,, pick an old unused remote and assign any command.
Now assign this device does not change channels in the four screens for 1, 2, 3 and 4 digits channel options. Now the time to assign the inputs, click add and add the inputs you need on whatever device you have not been able to in the past. In my case I am assigning discrete codes from my DTV box to each input I use...
When finished and you are assigning devices to include in the current activity, include the pseudo dvd-r device into the selection and you will be prompted for which input it uses for this activity...

WOOOO HOOOOO. It works great.... I select a viewing or listening option and the inputs are now selected correctly and the EPG works now for each of the 4 EPG's I downloaded because you can assign a different EPG to a different DTV receiver ( remember I only have one real receiver, but 4 devices entered with codes from the one)

Next issue, some devices are viewed using HD 1080i; some use some standard definition.... THE WORKAROUND, the same as above, I made another dvd-r and this time for the inputs, I assigned the code and label for HDTV, and STD TV, I then assign this dvd-r to the products used in the activity, and WOOO HOOOO, now no need to switch DISPLAY resolution for each viewing mode assigned an activity...


Needless to say, it is like custom startup macros which is what many users here have been complaining about... You can also assign a different sound mode to each input, i.e. DTS, DD5.1, Stereo, etc. and anything else your heart desires, well maybe not anything. But it is great for customizing the initial setup of each viewing or listening activity.

So, I have had it for 48 hours now and have a remote controlling 8 different activities with the proper, inputs on all devices, display resolution, sound mode, and EPG for each scenario by just the touch of the activity button

Hope this helps,

AN EXHAUSTED HD_GUY
Post 2 made on Wednesday October 4, 2006 at 13:25
Rambler358
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
April 2002
158
On October 4, 2006 at 11:47, hd_guy said...
Well, it has been 2 days since the 9800 arrived. I did
research here as my previous remote was a pronto classic
and this site made programming it much easier than it
would have been. From the opinions posted here I had my
doubts about ordering but new in the box for 200 dollars
I had to give it a try.

Me too, and I also had a Pronto TS1000.

My initial impressions;
Large database of built in codes? Maybe, but in my opinion
not implemented very well. The remote attempts to learn
codes the manufacturer uses and then tries to match them
up with code numbers. I believe that matching a code to
an actual inputed model number would have been best.

I agree. So why does the remote even ask you to input the device model #?

(Philips hasgot to be kidding to believe that we really could
remember 8 custom codes for each device without the ability to
rename the button)

Actually, the latest firmware allows renaming of the custom buttons. But the big downside for me is that the custom buttons are only available on a respective device instead of on any activity pages.

I then added VCR, Laser Disc, and started playing with
the EPG.

How did you add a LaserDisc? I had to use a DVD device and then re-learn all codes for it.

I activated EPG and downloaded more than 200 channels....
NOT a good idea... they do warn of not using over 100
to not impact performance, they are correct.

This feature is nice, I've got about 80-90 or so channels on mine. Performance really isn't that bad.

So then I felt I would break up the guides the way my
system uses the individual channels. Although my DTV has
local channels, it does not take advantage of all local
OVER the Air HD channels and all the digital sub channels,
The guide for cable is not captured either on the DTV
box. The DTV box has separate inputs for Satellite, Ant
A, and Ant B. I use all 3, One for Sat, one for Over the
air HD and Digital Locals, and one for cable. I then decided
to break up the EPG into 4 categories to lighten the load
on any one setup.

Satellite Channels
Satellite Music
Local
Cable

Interesting, I didn't know you could break up the EPG into categories.

Then I find out that you can't assign a different EPG
to each viewing activity, only per each unique device.
THE WORKAROUND; Create a similar device to mimic the DTV
receiver. A long as it is a sat receiver it didnít seem
to matter what the manufacturer was.

Actually this works for a TV device as well. :)

Now the next thing that became annoying was having to
manually switch the input to match what I was watching,
i.e. dtv, locals, or cable.... (Why Philips did not design
this into the sat receivers templates is beyond my comprehension)

True! However, for each activity the wizard does prompt you (at least in the current firmware) for which input selection(s) are needed. This option is available on preamps/receivers and TVs.

You can also assign a different sound mode to each input,
i.e. DTS, DD5.1, Stereo, etc. and anything else your heart
desires, well maybe not anything. But it is great for
customizing the initial setup of each viewing or listening
activity.

I still haven't been able to do this, could you elaborate more on selecting a specific sound mode for a particular activity?

EDIT: Nevermind, I think just creating a DVD-R device like you mentioned above should do it?

So, I have had it for 48 hours now and have a remote controlling
8 different activities with the proper, inputs on all
devices, display resolution, sound mode, and EPG for each
scenario by just the touch of the activity button

I've had mine for 48 hours as well, and have run into some other problems though. Sometimes the remote screen will lock up when editing a device, and "trying" the input selections. At this point you can only turn off (reset) the remote. And because nothing was saved, you go through a round-robin effect of trying to edit the device. This makes it unable to delete device inputs, except by deleting and recreating the device.

This remote seems to have potential. I like the hard button setup on this over my old Pronto, and the EPG is nice to have. If I can work around some of the quirks I'm having, I just may keep it. Otherwise I may look into the upcoming Logitech Harmony 1000, perhaps an iPronto or maybe even a Pronto TSU7000. We'll see...

Last edited by Rambler358 on October 4, 2006 13:49.
OP | Post 3 made on Thursday October 5, 2006 at 19:42
hd_guy
Lurking Member
Joined:
Posts:
October 2006
3
I still haven't been able to do this, could you elaborate more on selecting a specific sound mode for a particular activity?

EDIT: Nevermind, I think just creating a DVD-R device like you mentioned above should do it?

EXACTLY,,,, you can add many pseudo devices and add whatever learned code you need to the input select options you add. Then whenever you add the pseudo device to the activity, you can choose which input to select for that specific input. In my case I added the DTS, Dolby Digital, Stereo receiver codes as inputs for the pseudo device, then assigned the specific input I needed for each activity. For another pseudo device, i assigned to the input codes, display resolution, for another, i really used it to switch inputs on my sat receiver because the receiver templates did not contain the input switching option.... the great thing is you can use it for whatever you want to create your own startup macro specific to each activity, including controlling lighting with an ir to x10 converter.
Post 4 made on Thursday October 5, 2006 at 22:24
Rambler358
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
April 2002
158
On October 5, 2006 at 19:42, hd_guy said...
EXACTLY,,,, you can add many pseudo devices and add whatever
learned code you need to the input select options you
add. Then whenever you add the pseudo device to the activity,
you can choose which input to select for that specific
input. In my case I added the DTS, Dolby Digital, Stereo
receiver codes as inputs for the pseudo device, then assigned
the specific input I needed for each activity. For another
pseudo device, i assigned to the input codes, display
resolution, for another, i really used it to switch inputs
on my sat receiver because the receiver templates did
not contain the input switching option.... the great thing
is you can use it for whatever you want to create your
own startup macro specific to each activity, including
controlling lighting with an ir to x10 converter.

So does this method add the multiple DVD-R's to the bottom of the Activity screen? If so, doesn't it get awful cluttered? And can you rename the activity to something more menaingful than DVDR?
Post 5 made on Friday October 6, 2006 at 05:30
De Pampi
Long Time Member
Joined:
Posts:
November 2005
95
It doesn't add multiple DVD-R's at the bottom.

Here some experience I have with this pseudo device adding. If you add multiple pseudo devices to assign different startup codes, you must select devices of different brands (but the same type), because if you add two pseudo devices of the same brand and type and if you change the ir-code of one of them it automatically changes the ir code of the second pseudo device (is this a bug?). The same holds for changing the delays. This doesn't happen when the two pseudo devices are of different brands.

Another note, if you make a smart choise for a pseudo device you do not end up with useless command pages in your activities. A smart choise is to add a pseudo device which is already in the activity such as a home theater center for watching TV.

A not so smart choise is adding a pseudo TV, this extends the watch activity with another screen in which you have to select the TV for the watch activity. Normally you would have: watch -> activities on the bottom but then you have watch -> select TV -> activities on the bottom. This is probably usefull when you have a projector and a TV on wich you can watch.

Regards,

De Pampi
Post 6 made on Friday October 6, 2006 at 14:03
Rambler358
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
April 2002
158
On October 4, 2006 at 11:47, hd_guy said...
I then added VCR, Laser Disc

I'd still be interested to know how you setup your Laserdisc player. :-)
OP | Post 7 made on Friday October 6, 2006 at 14:06
hd_guy
Lurking Member
Joined:
Posts:
October 2006
3
On October 6, 2006 at 14:03, Rambler358 said...
I'd still be interested to know how you setup your Laserdisc
player. :-)

I just used another DVD device and learned all the codes.... I did get a reply from philips stating; I will put this remark in our improvement database. The same I will do for the Laser Disc category.
Post 8 made on Friday October 6, 2006 at 16:17
Rambler358
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
April 2002
158
On October 6, 2006 at 14:06, hd_guy said...
I just used another DVD device and learned all the codes....
I did get a reply from philips stating; I will put this
remark in our improvement database. The same I will do
for the Laser Disc category.

Ah, okay - that's the same thing I did with regards to the LaserDisc player. Do you know if there's a way to rename the activities at the bottom of the watch screen - DVD, Sat, VCR, etc? With my DVD and Laserdisc players, I have 2 DVD icons with both labeled DVD, and it's confusing for others to use the remote and select the right player this way.

And it's good to know that you at least got a response back from Philips, but I don't think any of us are holding are breath waiting for a new update.

The upcoming Logitech Harmony 1000 remote due out this Fall looks very nice though, and I hope Daniel is able to get his hands on one for a review here soon. :-)

Of course, if I had an extra grand just laying around I'd wait for the new Philips touchscreen that was announced and get that. But unfortunately, I don't. :-(
Post 9 made on Saturday October 7, 2006 at 00:43
Rambler358
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
April 2002
158
hd_guy - I cannot for the life of me figure out how to set the correct EPG Lineup ID to my family room and bedroom devices! How exactly do you change the ID numbers assigned to each device? It doesn't seem to want to stay set for me.

EDIT: I managed to figure it out. I had more devices than would fit on 1 screen, and the scrollbars were hiding most of the drop-down indicator. :-/

Last edited by Rambler358 on October 7, 2006 01:18.
Post 10 made on Thursday October 19, 2006 at 11:57
sunnyd76
Lurking Member
Joined:
Posts:
October 2006
2
Question about use of 9800 with X10... Does the remote have proper lables for X10 or any lighting product? or will i have to use a profile for something like a TV and have the remote learn from the X10 remote?
Post 11 made on Thursday October 19, 2006 at 13:41
Rambler358
Founding Member
Joined:
Posts:
April 2002
158
On October 19, 2006 at 11:57, sunnyd76 said...
Question about use of 9800 with X10... Does the remote
have proper lables for X10 or any lighting product? or
will i have to use a profile for something like a TV and
have the remote learn from the X10 remote?

I don't believe there's any built-in support for X10 devices. However, some people have used work-arounds to get this to work. Creating a pseudo device as mentioned in this thread, and learning the codes should work. It's a clumsy workaround, but it should work.


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