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A tradition of color.
As always, progress marches onwards. Philips has at long last returned color to the Pronto line with the release of the $999 USD MSRP ProntoPro NG TSU7000, which upgrades the TSU3000 with 32mb of memory and an active matrix LCD screen supporting 65,000 colors. The TSU7000 costs exactly the same as the former TSU6000, and is available in Europe as the SBC-RU980. The only differences between the North American and European versions are with the RF frequency (to comply with European standards), the built-in code database (different brand mix) and the default configuration (some slightly relabelled keys, such as swapping “Closed Captioning” for “Teletext”).
Although Philips no longer owns Marantz, the two companies still share close ties on the Pronto remote series, with Marantz continuing to release their own customized versions. The Marantz counterpart to the TSU7000 is the $1099 USD MSRP RC9500, which features nearly all of the same functions as the Philips version but with a redesigned case, different hard buttons and extra memory. In this review we’ll first cover the TSU7000 in-depth, followed by a section detailing the differences with the Marantz RC9500.
The ProntoPro NG TSU7000 you see here may be the direct replacement for the TSU6000, but it shares far more in common with the TSU3000, already the subject of one of our reviews. Although these two remotes are similar, instead of redirecting you to read through sections of a review for a different product, some of what follows has been summarized and updated from that material.
When in doubt, make it black.
The ProntoPro NG’s case is virtual identical as the TSU3000, except that it’s been painted metallic black to exude that high-end professional look. Compared to the TSU6000 the design is quite different, slimmer and sturdier. The TSU7000 measures 3.6” wide, 6.1” long and 1.1” thick (9.2cm by 15.6cm by 2.8cm), compared to the TSU6000’s dimensions of 3.7” by 5.5” by 1.3” (9.4cm by 14.0cm by 3.3cm). The ProntoPro NG weighs 9.0 ounces (255 grams) with the battery pack, or 7.2 ounces (203 grams) without, about 5% heavier than the TSU3000 and identical to the TSU6000.
The remote is vaguely rectangular in shape, with softly rounded corners. The bottom third of the unit is curved more than the top, while the vertical sides taper inwards by a half inch creating an easy-to-hold wedge shape. The front and back of the case along with all of the hard buttons are finished in black, with the name “Philips” embossed at the top. A wide dark charcoal grey band coated with a rubbery paint runs around three sides of the remote. A shiny dark grey bezel encircles the LCD touchscreen along with four firm-feeling multi-purpose buttons beneath the screen. The bezel is framed by a thin silver outline that completes the monochromatic theme.
Near the bottom are four slightly softer-feeling hard buttons positioned on the outer corners of a large four-way menu cursor pad. Located along the right edge of the remote are five hard buttons for [Volume Up/Down], [Channel Up/Down] and [Mute]. Additionally, near the top of the remote’s left side are three non-customizable hard buttons: one to activate the display and backlight, plus a toggle for LCD page up and down. The front of the remote is covered by a full-width glossy dark plastic shield, concealing the remote’s four powerful infrared emitters. Inset into the bottom of the shield is another smaller window for the infrared learning eye. Like the TSU3000, the TSU7000 sits flat on a table without any angle, and has two small rubber feet on the back.