RCA RCU1000B: Click to enlarge.
A short time ago
I posted a brief news update regarding RCA's new touchscreen remote control, the RCU1000B
. At the time, no information was available on RCA's web site, so details had to be gleaned off of a retailer's web site and a single photograph. Even though it has been available to purchase for well over a month now, RCA has only just recently published an official press release. For clarification, note that while the release claims the remote has a "dot-matrix text layout with 40 clearly labeled key areas", the only part of the screen that is actually dot-matrix is the very top, where the device name and current time are displayed. I've included the important parts from the release below:
NEW TOUCH SCREEN RCA REMOTE FROM THOMSON MULTIMEDIA KEEPS THE VIEWER IN CONTROL
RCA "Learning" Remote with Touch Screen LCD Operates Nine Devices, Compatible with Hundreds of Home Entertainment Products
INDIANAPOLIS - For home theatre enthusiasts looking for an efficient and easy way to manage their audio and video components, Thomson multimedia has introduced the RCA Touch Screen Learning Remote Control. The RCA RCU1000B controls up to nine devices and features a learning function and nine macro keys - allowing the user to customize entertainment center settings with the touch of a button.
The RCA RCU1000B Touch Screen Learning Remote Control features a crisp, high-resolution screen that measures 4.5 inches high by 2.5 inches wide. The dot-matrix text layout has 40 clearly labeled key areas, which can be customized to display the functions the user performs most often, such as sleep timer, VCR recording or picture-in-picture.
Instead of the user having to re-program from scratch, the RCU1000B "learns" codes from an existing remote control unit by placing both of them head-to-head and pressing the "setup" key. The RCU1000B will sort through its extensive database of over 300 codes, covering hundreds of device brands, and prompts the user to choose a key on the touch screen to assign the function. The home theatre enthusiast gets "help" while going through the set-up process, via the response and action messages that notify the user when learning is "completed."
"As consumers seek solutions for managing their home entertainment systems, the market for universal remote controls continues to show healthy growth, especially in higher end products," said Bill Brown, remote control product manager, Thomson multimedia. "More elaborate home theater systems require a sophisticated remote control to manage all of the various components. The RCA Touch Screen remote meets these needs by combining advanced features packaged with a friendly user interface."
The RCU1000B controls a TV, VCR, DVD player, cable box, satellite receiver, four audio devices and auxiliary device. In addition to quickly learning codes from existing remotes, nine macro keys can be programmed to "memorize" up to 20 keystrokes, allowing TV viewers to turn on their entire home entertainment center at the touch of a button. A macro key will cause a series of actions to be performed, such as turning on the TV, DVD player and audio receiver all at once.
Other features include a built-in auto light sensor, illuminating the screen in low light, quick access keys, stylus, time and date display and timer settings. Available at Best Buy, suggested retail price of the RCA RCU1000B is $129.
Learn more about the RCU1000B:
Onkyo releases CHAD Edit
Late last week, Onkyo finally released the PC software for their new touchscreen remote, the CHAD USR-5RF. Named CHAD Edit, the software is - as you probably guessed - a custom version of Philips ProntoEdit, fully compatible with all current CCF files. Interestingly, despite being the newest released version, CHAD Edit actually appears to be more closely related to the older ProntoEdit v2.0 than it is to Yamaha's newer customized software, RAVedit. The screens for selecting database codes or learning signals are similar to ProntoEdit, yet the software lacks features added in RAVedit and ProntoProEdit such as multiple galleries, self-installing CCF files and bitmap image replacement.
The CHAD USR-5RF picks up the same feature set as the Pronto TSU2000, which means you get the aforementioned code database, timers and custom beeps to work with. Total free user memory is 697KB - somewhat less than the Pronto TSU2000's 940KB and Marantz RC5000i at 1404KB, but more than the Yamaha RAV-2000 at 444KB. Onkyo's remote also includes RF capabilities for through-the-wall control of your system, a feature previously available only on the Philips ProntoPro. I hope to review the CHAD in the near future, but for now you can download CHAD Edit v1.0.0 right here on Remote Central.
In order to fully support the new software, I have also updated my Pronto.ini Workshop utility, which you can download from this page.
Learn more about the CHAD:
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