Section A1: Hardware Questions
A1-01 What is the Pronto NG, and how does it differ from the regular Pronto?
The Pronto NG is a universal remote control that offers a large, high resolution LCD touchscreen display along with a goodly number of hard buttons. Although configurable without a computer, the Pronto NG really only comes into its own when used with the ProntoEdit NG software package. With a freeform, completely open architecture, the Pronto NG lends itself to amazing designs where only your imagination is the limit.
Although directly related to the original Pronto, the Pronto NG is not based on its predecessor’s hardware or software and has been redesigned from the ground up. It features a new case design, faster processor, more memory, additional colors or greyshades and additional operational capabilities.
A1-02 How many models are there?
There are currently five remote models based on the Pronto NG platform:
North American 4mb Philips Pronto NG TSU3000
North American 32mb Philips ProntoPro NG TSU7000
European 4mb Philips Pronto NG SBC-RU950
European 32mb Philips ProntoPro NG SBC-RU980
Worldwide 8mb Marantz RC5400
Worldwide 48mb Marantz RC9500
A1-03 Approximately, how much does it cost?
Different models of the Pronto NG come with different capabilities, and thus cost different amounts of money.
The basic black and white TSU3000 has a retail price of $399, plus $79 for the docking station and $149 for the RF extender. The black and white Marantz RC5400 has a retail price of $649, but comes with double the memory and includes the dock. The deluxe color ProntoPro NG TSU700 costs $999 with docking station.
A1-04 What’s the difference between European and North American models?
The remote’s firmware has had minor changes made to it depending on the intended region. European firmware versions include a code database covering many European-only brands, while the North American version similarly has US-centric brands. The default configurations files are also modified to include regional functions (such as TeleText in the UK and Closed Captioning in the USA).
The only hardware change is with the RF transmitting frequency – 433MHz in Europe and 418MHz in North America. You will need to own a European model to use the European RF Extender, and vice versa for North American models.
Note that you cannot change the RF frequency of the Pronto NG and you cannot cross-load firmware versions.
A1-05 Is the docking station worth it?
This was a perennial question for the original Pronto remote control. The general consensus then was that purchasing the docking station would not, in the end, save money. However, it was nearly priceless as a convenience item – no more needing to replace batteries, even rechargeable ones. And no worrying about how long the backlight was on, eating battery power.
The Pronto NG has so far proven to be less frugal with its power consumption than the original Pronto, while the batteries have shrunk– down to AAA size. Thus, while the docking station is still an expensive item, it just may end up paying its cost in saved alkaline batteries. In addition, as of the writing of this FAQ the Pronto NG does not work correctly with end-user supplied NiCad or NiMH AAA batteries, incorrectly reading the lower voltage as a low battery condition – sometimes resulting in mere days of use.