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The Last Word
When people visit and start shuffling through the remote collection that’s beginning to engulf my home theater, they’re inexorably drawn to the high-end touchscreen ones. But when the inevitable question “how much?” comes up, few are prepared for the answers. Naturally, remotes like the TSU7000 and RC9500 are expensive compared to the freebies that come with equipment or the $10 universal specials hanging next to the checkout counter. Nevertheless everything is relative. If you’re only controlling a TV and cable box, something like the Philips ProntoPro NG would be overkill. But if you’ve put considerable time and effort into assembling a capable home theater system, it just wouldn’t be complete without an advanced, fully customizable remote like the ProntoPro NG to tie it all together.
Side-by-side, the color TSU7000 easily sells itself over the black and white TSU3000 – its screen really is that much better. But rest assured that the TSU7000 is not just the TSU3000 with a new screen. It’s faster, has substantially more memory, better graphical capabilities and comes with the recharging station. Of course, nothing is perfect. I would like to see more defined hard buttons, stronger button backlighting, longer battery life, refined software and additional layout options, but as it stands the TSU7000 is an excellent, incredibly capable remote. I’m also encouraged by Philips’ continuing development of ProntoProEdit NG, demonstrating that they are truly listening to what users want.
Like its TSU7000 cousin, the Marantz RC9500 is also a top-notch remote, but with a slightly different set of considerations. On one side it has two fewer hard buttons, no preprogrammed database and may be updated less frequently, but there’s also stronger hard button backlighting, better feeling buttons and 50% more memory to ensure that even those with ambitious programming plans won’t run out of space. And that 3 year warranty will help give piece of mind for your financial investment.
If you’re looking for a reason to get a touchscreen remote over a hard buttoned one, I have three words for you: customize, customize, customize! The possibilities truly are endless with the TSU7000 and RC9500, and there’s nothing quite like having a remote that’s been entirely optimized to your specific needs and equipment. Philips invented the whole mid-range customizable touchscreen remote control market, and although the Pronto is no longer the only color remote available in this price range, it continues to rank as one of the best.
- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)