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To press or to point... that is the question.
Centered right above the screen is a red LED that illuminates whenever a command is transmitting, while on the right side of the case, under the hard buttons, is a wheel that allows for instant adjustment of the screenís contrast. The wheel is inset into the case and rather stiff, designed so it canít be accidentally changed. A full range of contrast adjustment is available, from totally white to totally black.
The Director provides two ways to use the LCD touchscreen. You can use your finger to point and press or, if youíd like to avoid smudges, a handy little stylus which stores inside the top of the case is included. Itís fairly small and comes to a sharp point, but it certainly allows for more accurate control of the screen. The stylus fits completely into the plastic housing via a wedge fit; no locking or snap mechanism is provided.
Backlighting the remote is an aqua green electroluminescent (EL) panel that provides smooth, even coverage. The brightness and color of the light is identical to many other popular LCD-based remote controls, and is activated by the very top hard button. As with the Producer series of remote controls, the [LIGHT] key is really a system toggle and either enables the light for whenever the screen is touched, or completely disables it. Because of this itís also possible to turn the light on for just a few seconds, saving battery power. By default the backlight stays on for 15 seconds, with the LCD screen remaining active for 20 seconds. Both of these timeouts cannot be changed. The hard buttons arenít backlit, but as thereís only six in total they shouldnít prove difficult to memorize.
Hope you used the right side of the room...
The business end of the Director is a little bit different than any other remote Iíve seen. First, the prerequisite red plastic window that conceals the IR emitters is centered on the right side of the remote and wraps a good distance around the edge, to under the [MUTE] button. The Director employs four IR diodes Ė two pointing out the front and two pointing to the right, located under the [VOL-] button. Why did they do this? Well, I assume the design goal was to increase the breadth of the transmitted signal. In fact, the remote already uses a half-and-half mixture of narrow beam and wide dispersion IR LEDs for the best possible performance. But aiming to the right? I suppose it would work if your equipment was also to the right of where you sat, but if itís located elsewhere I canít see where this would provide any benefit. For a truly wide dispersion, I would have expected one pointing out each side to be a more effective arrangement.