Our October 2000 contest is now closed. We had a fantastic mix of prizes, sponsored by AVsmarts.com
. Want to know who won the TheaterTouch T2, One For All Director, Henry Kloss Model 88 radio, VTech cordless phone, Sony RM-AV2100, Cambridge M500 or UCommand 515 remote? Check out this page
for full details!
In addition, our second interim "win a speaker stand" contest has also just finished. The 10 winners are: James Bender, Matthew Bookspan, Philip Davis, John Dobmeier, Robert Elrod, Sarah Hawk, Gary Mansfeldt, Scott Moore, Scott Stieferman and Al Whorley. Thanks to everyone who entered!
New contest: Yes, you guessed it! Our brand new contest for November is now up – and there’s a ton of remote controls to be won! This month we’re offering a Philips Pronto, two UCommand 616s, a Sony RM-AV2100, two UCommand 515s, a Zenith remote extender, and two Terk S-Video A/V switchers! We know you came here looking for remote controls – so why not enter to win one right now?
UCommand price cut: Don’t forget to check out our brand new review of the Crisp Solutions UCommand 616 touchscreen learning remote control, which was added this past Friday! Please note that Crisp has changed the price of the remote and docking station to $199 MSRP and $99, respectively. Both are now just available in stores – be sure to read all about it!
[Talk about the UCommand...]
New Philips Pronto updates: I’ve obtained new information on both the Pronto TSU2000 and ProntoPro that should hopefully clear up a few of the rumors that have recently popped up. First, the 2 megabyte TSU2000 is expected to ship sometime around the beginning of December (for more information please see this news article). Which is barely in time for Christmas – and since most products start off with limited supply (PS2 anyone?), chances are that the TSU2000 will most likely be something on your 2001 shopping list.
The ProntoEdit package will finally ship on a CD in the remote’s box – which, to me, makes it sound like the "beta" will be officially ending. ProntoEdit v2.0 will begin to display the usability enhancements slated to be fully incorporated for the color ProntoPro’s software version, out next year. For example, a button will now only have four screens of properties, rather than the current nine.
Although I’ve yet to see the new software, I did get a description of how the code database will work – which has been licensed from Universal Electronics (AKA "One For All"). Once you click on the database button you’ll be asked to pick the device, then brand, then code set, then a specific function. This means that you should be able to access the huge list of preprogrammed codes that have made the One For All Cinema 7 and Radio Shack 15-1994 such popular accessory items to the Pronto (and, of course, as remotes themselves). A brief over-the-phone test with Philips indicated that discrete and other interesting codes may be completely indexed and ready-for-use – however I should warn you that we could not fully support that, nor did we have enough time to cover a wide range of products to see what the extent of code offerings were. But, I have been told that Philips has purchased rights to the entire database, so we can only hope!
The hex codes assigned to buttons by the database will only reference the TSU2000’s internal remote database. So, any button in a CCF that employs the new database, and is then loaded into a different model remote, will not do anything. This will make managing a library of component CCF files all the more difficult (grrr). Want to take an advanced code from the database and add it to your original TS-1000? Better also have a TSU2000 handy! At this point I’m not yet certain how ProntoEdit v2.0 will work with older model remotes, but I’m expecting a TSU2000 within the next week along with a preview of the new ProntoEdit version which will be formally released around the same time as the remote.
For those overseas, I have been informed that a 2 megabyte version of the Pronto will indeed be sold in Europe sometime next year – however it will not include the built-in code database. How this will work on firmware upgrades is anyone’s guess.
The color ProntoPro is still on schedule for release during the first quarter of 2001, however I was unable to obtain much new information. I do know that it will include an RF basestation with outputs for wired infrared emitters, and that all four buttons along the bottom will be user configurable with labels on-screen. The default remote template will also let you select background and button colors in a snap. For other information on the ProntoPro, please see this past news article.
[Talk about the Pronto...]