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Evolve Guide Remote Control Review
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I like content-related and informative advertisements just as much as the next guy, but the way these are implemented feels too intrusive for a little remote control that costs nearly $200 USD. My feeling is that, if this is the way Evolve is determined to go, they need to incorporate a larger LCD screen where their promo system could be redesigned to not interfere with normal remote control use - 'enlightening' rather than 'exasperating'.

Critic Suggestions
Choose two critics for program suggestions on the remote.
Perhaps it's due to my specific region, but there wasn't a single promo to be found during my testing period, just the default screens reminding me to sync the remote and press the interactive buttons. Which meant that having the remote switch into "promo" mode every minute was that much more frustrating - there wasn't even anything interesting to look at!

Final thoughts.
Although I like where the Guide Remote is heading, there are a few operational nuances that caught my notice. First, whenever switching to a new device the remote defaults to the "promo" screen rather than the quick control grid, which would have been more practical.

Next, despite all the interactivity keys, the program guide is decidedly static. Why must reminders only be set on the website? I would have liked to see ways on the remote to remind myself to watch the current program again, find out what other times it was on, and complete simple searches for program titles to determine when something was scheduled. There are even other guide-related opportunities that could be added. How about integrating the reminders list with timers for recording programs on a VCR? Multiple program guides for different family members? With the graphical screen, station icons would also be a nice touch.

Evolve Guide Remote
Click to enlarge. (91kb)
Conclusion
Despite backings from a company renowned for their advanced yet easy-to-use remote controls, the Guide Remote feels more like an excellent program guide wrapped in an inefficient remote... though on the positive side that makes this the perfect companion to a more customizable universal remote. The Guide Remote has the potential to become even better with time. Rumors are that Evolve is already working on future products with built-in program guides.

I can see the Guide Remote as being a perfect tool for the professional channel surfer. For anyone unaccustomed to an electronic program guide, it's an amazingly useful item that will most certainly have a prominent place in many home theaters. The final verdict? While the RD5000M may not meet the requirements of total system remote control consolidation, its main attraction is unique enough that home theater owners may be tempted to consider allowing two remotes a place on their coffee tables.

Doing what it does best, Evolve's Guide Remote will once and for all solve the age old question of... "what's on?".

- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)

Evolve Guide Remote RD5000M Data Box
Price:$199 USD
Contact:   Evolve Communications
Phone:(949) 450-1670
Web:www.guideremote.com

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