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Proton iRemote iR800 Remote Control Review
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Advanced setup.
Although the iR800 lacks certain features such as punchthroughs, key copiers and a section for favorite channel macros, it does have a respectable complement of advanced options. First, various portions of the remote can be reset easily: remove entire devices, delete all learned codes under a device, remove individual learned buttons or macros, or wipe the entire remote back to factory defaults. All of these options sport confirmation safety screens... although the “delete whole remote” selection should probably be made a little bit more secure.

The LCD screen can be configured to power down after 2 through 90 minutes of inactivity, while the backlight will shut off after 5 through 60 seconds or can be disabled altogether. Note that if the LCD is off, the first button press will turn it on but not transmit a signal. The remote features a soft confirmation beep on all soft or hard button presses that can be disabled if desired. The manual indicates that batteries should last between 3 and 6 months with normal usage, and in my testing it seems to handle low battery voltages very well. Although the remote’s setup is not lost when batteries are changed, the time and date is reset.

The iR800’s manual is surprisingly good. Pamphlet sized and 71 pages in length, the manual is written in clear text with plenty of pictures and manages to cover all major features in a succinct and orderly manner. Nonetheless, certain auxiliary functions could have used more detailed explanations, while one item actually became misleading. The manual says that the low battery icon will only show when battery levels are low, but my sample remote refused to stop showing the icon, as highlighted in the manual, no matter how new the batteries. To make things more confusing, that specific icon only appears sporadically in later screenshots. As it turns out, the battery icon is always supposed to be displayed, indicating how much battery power is left via two bars. When the battery finally loses both bars, changes to the remote can no longer be made.

Proton iRemote iR800
Click to enlarge. (47kb)
The mysterious disappearing software.
Although the iRemote features a PC connection port whose use is fully described in the manual, Proton does not include the interface cable or offer any software to end users. Instead, this is sold only as an accessory item to dealers, who may want to duplicate remotes, backup configurations to a computer, or upgrade the firmware (the small switch in the battery compartment enables firmware flashing). Two cables are available, one for transferring setups directly between two remotes, and another for USB communications with a PC.

We’ve seen the “RemoteComm” editing software before with other remote models and can confirm that it doesn’t offer any options beyond what is already available on the remote. However, it would still have been nice for Proton to make this available as an inexpensive addition.

This leads to one bizarre item intended for use with the PC software. Available under the “Code” menu is a “Debug” option, described in the manual as a way to send “unrecognized infrared signals” to a dealer for analysis and later firmware update. The manual warns that not all codes can be successfully learned and to use this method if such a code is encountered – however it seems odd that the remote would be able to capture enough information to be of use in this purpose, but not to actually reproduce the signal. In any case, the remote has a special portion of its memory set aside to store one device’s worth of unrecognized codes but, since the PC connection is not utilized, there’s little an end user can do with it.

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