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That thick fluffy thing!
After the hours, days, weeks or months you may spend configuring the TSU7000, it’ll be nice to finally use it! So how well does the ProntoPro NG perform in the real world? We’ll begin answering that with our exclusive Menacing Thick Fluffy Blanket (MTFB) infrared strength test. In this, the bane of every infrared operated device’s existence, we nonchalantly place ever-thicker layers of a specially selected blue polyester blanket over the remote’s emitters, until it can finally emit no more.
We’ve seen a wide range of performances so far, scoring everything from a meagre 0.5 to an extraordinary “that’s not a remote, that’s an invisible flashlight” 5.0. Previously, various models of the Pronto have scored between 2.5 and 3.0. Will the TSU7000’s four widely spaced infrared emitters be able to improve on those past results?
The test starts at level one – child’s play for most clickers. The TSU7000 was no exception, providing full and unfettered control. Next we come to level 2, where we double the obstruction. Most remotes that pass level 1 also get by level 2, so it was no surprise that once again the TSU7000 came through with flying colors. Level 3... where many a remote has met its match and succumbed to the sheer force of the blanket’s unbearable fluffocity, once again, the TSU7000 rose to the challenge and experienced success! Although its horizontal range was reduced, the remote still offered reliable control.
Faced with level 4, which only a handful of remotes have ever passed, the ProntoPro NG finally admitted defeat. Although I was able to send out a signal at half the standard distance, the remote failed to transmit anything usable from the normal testing point, giving it a finally tally of 3.0. Although it didn’t score higher than previous Pronto models, including the TSU3000, as any Pronto owner will tell you the remote has fantastic range and “bounce effect”. The TSU7000 should control your components with ease, while pointing almost anywhere!
As the “Next Generation” of Pronto remote, the TSU3000 broke away from the older Motorola Dragonball CPUs used in the first Prontos and used a Renesas (formerly Mitsubishi) M16C/80 CPU running at 20MHz. The TSU7000 uses a similar but higher performance CPU: the Renesas M32C/83 operating at 32MHz. The Renesas processor may not sound particularly fast, but it provides plenty of horsepower for the ProntoPro NG’s more sophisticated graphical capabilities, with 32 MIPS (Millions of Instructions Per Second). Compare that to the TSU6000’s 33MHz CPU at just 5 MIPS (or the TS-1000’s at 2.7 MIPS)!
When the TSU3000 first came out, its performance was inconsistent. In terms of navigating the remote’s screens it felt much quicker to use than the original Pronto, but in responsiveness to button presses and the speed at which macros transmitted it lagged behind – literally.
Button lag, or the amount of time between pushing the button and having the command transmitted, was approximately one quarter to one half second in length when we reviewed the TSU3000, very noticeable. Since then, Philips has worked hard to improve the remote’s performance and I’m please to report that the lag is all but eliminated on the TSU7000 – certainly it was not a concern during testing.