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Home Theater Mode – a smorgasbord of controls!
Similar to the Producer 8 remote control, the Director also includes a "Home Theater" mode, complete with a prominent access button designed to display the most often used functions of your system in a single place. You can select what device to assign to Video Playback, Audio Playback, Menu Source, Audio Source, Pro-Logic, Channel Source and PIP sections, as well as a dedicated "Power" macro that actually counts as your 22nd. A completed "Theater" device can become immense when all options are assigned, but remarkably handy. In addition, two more buttons are always shown across the top of the screen next to the power macro – Audio In (receiver) and Video Out (television).
Look ma, no wires!
A unique feature of the Director is a special "magnetic coupler modem", which is used to download new pre-programmed code sets, either over the phone or through your computer’s speakers with .WAV files. No more sending in the remote to get it upgraded! This innovative procedure involves invoking the "upgrade" procedure from the "System" setup menu and simply holding the lower back half of the remote over a speaker and waiting for the procedure to complete. Upgraded codes are given their own special access section under the Device setup menu.
Already the Mosaic (yes, Mosaic) web site has an extensive list of new code sets (although they seem to be listed alongside some existing ones). For instance, the number of covered Home Automation Controller brands has gone from 8 to 36; LaserDiscs from 6 to 28. The Director is indeed showing itself future-proof. If you should misplace the remote to a device you purchase in the future, chances are the online database will be updated to cover it.
As with many other sophisticated remote controls, the Director features a number of other advanced functions designed to make configuration easier. The first is "Volume Lock", which provides a way for many devices to use another’s volume controls. After selecting the "source" of the volume lock, two columns are displayed – on the left are all available devices, on the right are those locked to the selected device. Adding or removing volume locks is simply a matter of pressing the device’s name in the left column. Although easy to use, the implementation doesn’t go far enough. You can only have one lock established at a time – so if you wanted the TV’s volume to control video sources and the Amp’s for audio sources, you couldn’t actually implement that through this function. It’s one or the other, but not both. You might need to use the learning function.
The next function is "View/Delete". This displays all "personalized" buttons – or those that have had their functions changed from the default – for a particular device. That includes buttons which hold a macro, have been moved, learned on, or those that use a "Key Magic" advanced code. The button’s type will be displayed when selected, plus a "Delete" option to quickly remove it. In addition to this method, other separate Personalization commands include specific "delete" or "delete all" functions for learned signals, macros, moved keys, and Key Magic features.