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Section B8: Working With ProntoEdit:
Macros

B8-01   What are macros? How are they different from regular commands?

    In the remote industry, macros are a series of commands sent from only one button. For instance, a macro could turn on your television and receiver, set the receiver to the "TV" input and then switch the TV to channel 25. Whatever you want to automate, a Macro can do it.

    The way the Pronto is designed, there is no difference between a regular command and a macro. Every button on the Pronto is a macro, it's just the most only have one command.


B8-02   What would a macro for a system on/off button look like?
    As always, the exact appearance of a macro will of course be dependant on your exact equipment. However, for an example, a System On macro for a system with discrete codes may look like:

    [B] TV - Main - On
    [B] Receiver - Main - On
    [D] Delay 0.5
    [B] TV - Keypad - Tuner
    [B] Receiver - Inputs - TV
    Jump: TV - Keypad

    An example with the same components, but for "System Off":

    [B] Receiver - Main - Off
    [B] TV - Main - Off

    Of course, if one of your commonly used devices does not have discrete codes your macros will either be much simpler, or much more difficult. Experimentation is the key to successful macros.


B8-03   How can I get the Pronto to "hold" a button for several seconds in a macro?
    Basically, there is no particularly easy way. However, a workaround is available that involves splitting the signal up (thanks to Eric Johnson):

  1. Learn the desired button by briefly tapping it on the original remote. Do not hold down the button as is generally recommended.

  2. Learn the same signal a second time but this time start pressing the button on your original remote before pointing it at the Pronto/RC5000. Then, while continuing to hold the button, have the Pronto to learn the signal and wait until it is finished. I recommend the "duck blind" method for this. That way, the Pronto will learn the repeat portion of the signal, but not the preamble.

  3. Create a macro that looks like this:

    [C] Signal Beginning
    [C] Signal Repeat
    [C] Signal Repeat
    [C] Signal Repeat
    [xxx]
    [C] Signal Repeat

    Add the signal repeat command as many time as is required to reach the desired transmission time. Quite a few repeats may be required.


B8-04   How can I enter multiple digits on a single button, say for a favorite channel icon?
    It seems that when people encounter this problem they immediately forget that the Pronto is a macro-based remote. Which means more than one command per button. The majority of users attempt to learn the sequence of numbers off of the original remote -- say "53" in one shot. You can't do that as the Pronto is only able to learn one command at a time.

    Instead, you need to create a macro to duplicate the exact steps you yourself would take to enter that channel in. While you could re-learn each digit over and over again for each icon, that is both a waste of time and space. Now that we know what aliases are (see previous question) we can instead use that function to create the macro. So, what you basically need to do is alias to each button on your TV/VCR/SAT keypad. For instance, a macro in ProntoEdit to select channel 255 using aliases may look like this:

    [B] DSS - Keypad - 2
    [B] DSS - Keypad - 5
    [D] 0.1 sec
    [B] DSS - Keypad - 5
    [B] DSS - Keypad - Enter

    It's that simple. But what, you may ask, is that 0.1 second delay doing in there? Well, depending on the specific device you're controlling, it may require a short pause between each digit before it can sense them as individual commands. More often (and shown above), a delay may be required between digits that are the same. If the delay were removed from the above sample, the DSS may only sense that you entered channel "25".


B8-05   Can I use more than one page jump in a macro?
    Currently for the Pronto, the answer is no. You can only have one page jump, which is performed after all other commands. Note that aliases to a button with a page jump will not perform the jump.

    However, the new RC5000 software allows for any number of jumps in a macro. These can be used to create crude animation, provide status updates on what's happening in long macros, or anything else you can think of. Note that if you alias to a button containing jumps, all page jumps will be performed. This means that macro will now end on the last page specified in the source button. If you would like to return to the page you called the alias from, follow the alias in the action list with a jump back to your starting screen.


B8-06   Can I have delays shorter than 0.1 seconds?
    This tip does not apply to RC5000 Setup:

    If you're using the Philips Pronto, the answer is yes. Using the "beep" function you can essentially create delays as short as 0.001 seconds. Add a new beep where you would like to assign the delay, making sure the duty cycle is set to 0 (no sound). Since the Marantz RC5000 does not support custom beeps you will be limited to a minimum delay time of 0.1 seconds.


B8-07   Can I change the default delay time from 0.1 seconds?
    For ProntoEdit v1.05 or earlier and all versions of RC5000 Setup, yes! You can change the default delay time from 0.1 seconds to anything you like by holding down the SHIFT key as you click on the "DELAY" button. Enter in a new number, then hit ENTER to set.

    For all newer versions of the software, you must edit the system registry. This is not very easy, so I've modified Pronto.ini Workshop so that it lets you change the default delay under all newer software versions.


B8-08   Why aren't the commands I assigned to each device being sent when I use my custom Home panel?
    When you create your own Home Panel icons, it is not enough to merely jump to a page if you want to also transmit the commands you assigned to each device for each time you select that device from the Device Menu. You must also create an alias to the device on your home panel icons to transmit any assigned signals.

B8-09   Why are some of my macro commands not being received?
    The most likely reason is these is too little space between your commands. Some devices may require a delay of 0.1 seconds to 0.5 seconds between each consecutive command. In addition, many devices are "blind" to signals for the first few seconds after powering on, especially televisions. You may want to turn the television on first, then have the macro address the rest of your devices, and finally go back to the television to change inputs.

B8-10   How can I handle switching Video Inputs?
    The best solution is to find an IR code that switches you directly to the input you are interested in using (these are called "discrete" codes and are explained later). Some devices respond to these codes even though the remote they shipped with only had an input toggle button. You should search the file area at http://www.remotecentral.com to see if your device has these IR codes, or if other special tips are available.

    Unfortunately, many devices do not have direct input codes. For these devices you will need a different workaround.

    One trick is to find something that changes the TV (or other device) to a known state. On some TVs, entering a channel number (e.g. '2','enter' or 'channel+') always takes you to the tuner input ('TV'), even when you have a video input selected. This means you can create action lists (macros) to take you to specific inputs. For example, create a button with just '2','enter' on it, and call it 'TV'. Create another with '2','enter','input' and label it 'Video 1'. Create another which contains '2','enter','input','input' and call it 'Video 2'.

    For devices that do not have discrete codes and also have no workarounds there is no way to fully automate your system.

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