...Continued from Page 9.|
On the other hand, the touchscreen is quite sensitive to commands, requiring only gentle pressure. However, a button needs to be pressed longer than my experience has shown is normal before a command is accepted. You cannot quickly tap in a channel number: you must decisively press each button. This in itself could cause people to unconsciously press harder on the screen, rather than longer. Which leads to the "lagging" nature of the Director. Itís quite slow to change screens or devices, even if the new screen only contains a single button. While fine for the average person, power users looking to quickly get from one device to another may become frustrated. Fortunately, since you donít need to access a main menu to change devices, the problem isnít compounded.
All told the Director is an imposing physical presence Ė a big remote for big hands. Since no ergonomic finger grooves are provided, it can be a little slippery despite the "micro-fiber" feel coating. With no feet, either rubber or simply molded, it tends to slide around a bit on table surfaces. The saving grace is the slightly concave underside which provides a bit of help when resting the remote on a leg, plus it keeps it from rocking when placed on a flat surface.
Our famous MTBF!
Itís now time for everyoneís favorite low tech remote control test Ė the Menacing Thick Fluffy Blanket! Through this questionable scientific process we can determine the approximate strength of the transmitted infrared beam from a remote control. The Director passed Level One, one layer, with no noticeable degradation in performance. It also passed Level Two, though with decreased vertical offset range. Level Three, which only a few have ever passed, proved too much for the Director which couldnít meet the challenge. Thatís nothing to be concerned about though, since itís quite hard to see even a bright flashlight through that much fluff. During other IR testing we found the remote quite capable of bouncing signals off the roomís walls. This means you donít need to point it at exactly what youíre controlling, though in more severe tests we did find that it favored the right side where the extra IR emitters are located.
Despite the rather good on-board help system, youíre still going to need a manual to get you through programming this remote. So, Iím very pleased to say that the Directorís manual is the best Iíve seen for a remote control Ė 5.5" by 8.5", 84 pages and spiral bound, it always lays open to exactly where you want it. Itís got sharp diagrams, clearly written text and is presented in an easy-to-follow format. Due to itís size, itíll be quite difficult to accidentally lose it. More companies should follow One For Allís lead.
After using this remote control for a while, itís apparent that the Director has an abundance of worthwhile features. Unfortunately, protracted configuration procedures, slow system performance, limited screen customization options, no PC software on the horizon, plus a $399 price tag, means the Director will have a decidedly uphill battle for market share amongst its similarly priced compadres.