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User reviews for the Philips ProntoNEO TSU500 from Philips Electronics.
Philips ProntoNEO TSU500
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 3.29/5.00
Median: 3.67/5.00
The ProntoNEO TSU500 is a lower-cost addition to the Pronto Family. But with a graphical LCD touchscreen, full code learning, macros on any button and complete PC editing software with custom bitmaps, the ProntoNEO itself is no lightweight.
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the Philips ProntoNEO TSU500 remote.
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Written by Nick Kanakakorn from San Jose, CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 31 made on Friday August 16, 2002 at 6:05 AM.
Strengths:Has hard buttons. Customization.
Weaknesses:Does not learn well.
NeoEdit software 2.05 is still not mature.
Review:Mine has latest firmware version 1.4.3 with neoedit 2.0.5.

The remote does not learn well at all. I have a JVC TV and Panasonic DVD-A110 remote control. Both remotes have certain buttons this Pronto Neo can't learn no matter how many times I tried. I have to put the code in with neohacker instead. If you are not computer literate, do not buy this remote control.

The NeoEdit itself can't deal with long macro sequences well. It does not let you insert macro you missed in the middle.

Do not buy this product if you expect it to work right out of the box.
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Written by Walter from Virginia, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 30 made on Thursday August 15, 2002 at 3:20 PM.
Strengths:It's incredibly flexible. You can layout the pages of buttons in practically any way imaginable (selected controls for multiple devices on one page, etc.), you can customize the look-and-feel by creating your own bitmaps for the buttons, and you can create a seemingly limitless number of macros to do whatever you want.
Weaknesses:I haven't encountered any weaknesses. It's learned the commands for all of my devices and I've got it configured exactly the way I want. There are some things I'd like to see enhanced, and I have had a couple of minor quality issues, but no showstoppers. The benefits FAR outweigh any little glitches (of which there are very few).
Review:Now, first let me qualify this right off the bat by saying that when I got the Neo I immediately installed the latest firmware upgrade and the very latest version of NeoEdit (the PC-based configuration software). So I have no experience with the issues people had with the original firmware and the older versions of the configuration software.

Second, let me give you some perspective on where I'm coming from. My number one goal for a good universal remote is simple unification. That is, I want ONE remote that controls ALL FOUR of my primary video components. And its operation must be simple enough for my wife to use. Not that she wouldn't be capable of learning a complicated interface (she's a hell of a lot smarter than I), but she has no patience for unnecessary complexity.

So I don't have any intrinsically convoluted macro requirements, and my equipment is pretty basic. In fact, here's what I use the Neo to control:

TV: JVC AV-32D302 32"
DVD/VCR: Panasonic PV-D4742 DVD/VCR combo
Cable: AT&T Digital, General Instruments (model?)

[All of this is hooked into a Bose Lifestyle 25, but that doesn't support IR (RF only), so I just leave that at a fixed level and control volume and whatnot via the TV.]

But what's so cool is that I've set up two main screens: one that has all the essential controls for all the devices (all on/off, cable menu stuff, volume, channels, play, stop, pause, etc.), and it's laid out nice and simple.

And then I've got a second screen that's even simpler. 3 buttons: Watch TV, Watch DVD, Watch VCR. And one hard button always takes you back to the main screen. The dumbest babysitter can run the system now with only 30 seconds of instruction.

And then there are the cool channel logos I downloaded and put on buttons that I categorized. From the main screen you hit Channels, then pick a category: kids, movies, networks, news, etc. Then you press a cool looking channel logo. Excellent.

I've only had two minor little problems with the thing. It was a little difficult for the Neo to learn one of the commands on my DVD player's remote. But it just required about 15 minutes of experimentation. No big deal. Additionally, the unit has locked up (the screen has frozen) twice. But re-downloading the configuration fixed this completely both times. Other than that, it has operated flawlessly.

In summary, for about $150 the Neo provides unbelievable functionality and can definitely make a positive impact on your home entertainment experience. Definitely get the latest firmaware and the latest software, and be prepared to spend at least a few hours getting it the way you want, but if you've got the same basic requirements as I, it'll be worth it. Plus it looks cool as crap.

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Written by Cameron from Washington State, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 29 made on Monday August 12, 2002 at 11:39 PM.
Strengths: CUSTOMIZABILITY!!! You can group buttons together, relating to how often they are used (on a single product), or by tasks, like "Watch TV", "Watch a movie", or "Record the Simpsons"... you can program a single button to preform astonishing feats, and to have a screen of equally powerful buttons, followed perhaps by another equally powerful screen of buttons, then another!! Ungh!! POWER IN YOUR FIST, BABY!!
Weaknesses: A true techie can bring this reasonably priced product to fruition! Much like romancing a woman to behave, but I digress...
Review: A lesser man could never acheive the goal.. a completely co-ordinated entertainment SYSTEM! If you do not think spending SEVERAL hours co-ordinating the various products in your system, then an hour-a-day a number of days (well less than 10) during the next month rulentlessly configuring the thing, you can do well for half-the-price with the RCA . You will never acheive the focus & singularity of our mission, but if it ain't important to you, such is life! As for MY system... I can now go from complex setup to another SEAMLESSLY!!!. ONE BUTTON!! I can go from watching the Mariners (TV on, VCR off, Stereo on @ vol 30, CBL box on ch 30 @ vol 15), to "Watch a Movie" (TV on, VCR on & play, Stereo on & to video @ 35, TV vol to 0), to "Delayed Recording" which kills the TV & Stereo, and sets the VCR to Sleep, while tuning the cable box to channel 13 & wake @ 17:30. This is not yet territory for the average mortal... yet for those willing to COMMIT for the duration... you can see victory from here!! This product is capable far beyond its price. The software CAN be buggy... it is cutting edge, but A) Philips SUPPORTS its products like no other & B) They release updates, not only of the software, but the FIRMWARE.
We ARE on the bleeding-edge here, men. Great achievements will be won, even if a battle here & there may be lost!
Just think... 1 button sets the whole system to "Watch the football game", the VERY BEST way it can be configured. Your buddies drop to thier butts in seeming sincronicity at your achievement...
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Written by Eric Zinn from New York.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 28 made on Monday August 12, 2002 at 9:44 PM.
Strengths:Nice looks, and fancy box
Weaknesses:Software is terrible. It has no explanations. U have to figure it out yourself.After ist download (of sample file) my unit stopped working Said incorrect CF or flash memory failure. I tried the reset button - that did nothing. I beleive they have a problem with the serial connection on Windows xp
Review:ASll said above.
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Written by KRomeleoN from L.I., NY.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 27 made on Saturday August 10, 2002 at 4:03 PM.
Strengths:Shit is hot. Looks nice. Learned almost every command.
Weaknesses:Wont learn my Sharp Air Conditioner buttons. Software is booty cheeks.
Review:Ive been searching endlessly for a remote thatll work with my Sony Digital Cable Box. None come with a code for it, so itd have to be 100% manual. Every remote i tried prior to this would not learn the Digi Cable buttons. This one does! Wooooo!

I got the whole thing set up in about 20 minutes. The learning is the easiest ive tried on a remote. Wanna tyeach it "chan up"? Under learning hit the Prontos "chan up" and hold the chan up on the old remote. No pressing "set" then learn" or any bull shit.

It also looks cool and supplies a nice wow feature for people that come over. If it controlled my A/C id give it a 5 for features but since it dont, it gets a 4. The software knocks the quality to a 4. Value gets a 5. 200$ at best buy for all these features? Great deal. 200$ is alot of money to me, but its worth it.
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Written by Carl E. Johnson from Norton, Ohio.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 26 made on Saturday August 10, 2002 at 11:00 AM.
Strengths:1. Convenient physical layout and sufficient number of hard buttons.
2. Ability to update and customize unit with PC.
3. Macros.
Weaknesses:1. Woefully inadequate "built in" device functions for at least the Go-Video model GV-4060 Dual Deck VCR.
2. Positioning of the remotes was extremely critical in order to learn IR codes from the Go-Video remote, and more importantly, NOT ONE of the learned IR codes would work.
3. No easy way to "brute force" IR codes into the unit.
3. Backlight does not come on automatically.
Review:This review maybe somewhat unfair, because one of the mandatory requirements for any univeral remote control that I will keep is that it can control all of the critical functions of my Go-Video Model GV-4060 Dual Deck VCR. In this respect, the performance of the TSU500 was abysmal.

There were two device codes for Go Video - 0459 and 0553. Code 0553 would perform no functions whatsoever. Code 0459 would operate the basic functions such as Power, Channel Up/Down, Volume Up/Down, the Number Keys, Play, and Rewind. However, the provided Display soft button did not work, and there wasn't even a MENU key. I then tried to learn the "missing" functions. The positioning of the remotes was so critical that I drew a template for the positions of the remotes on the back of a pad of paper after 10 minutes of trying to get the TSU500 to learn IR codes so that I would have a starting point for susequent learning sessions. It usually took the TSU500 2 to 8 trys before it would give an OK when learning codes. However, not even one single learned code would work. I Learned the MENU IR code into each button on page 5 and none of them worked. The same was true for the Power and Number Keys even though those provoded keys worked. However, I was able to successfully learn and use codes for a JVC television. I had previously tried an RCA RCU100B and it was successful in Learing and Using the IR codes from my Go-Video remote. I returned it because of its inability to control more than one VCR.

I really liked the idea of this remote and wish I could have made it work in a reasonable ammount of time. I don't presently have time to try NEOhacker, especially since the SonicBlue (Go-Video) Web site FAQs state they will only supply the IR codes to manufacturers. I have a Service Manual for the GV-4060 but there is no IR code documentation in that manual.

I may in the future try a TSU2000, but I'm not sure I like its physical layout as well as the TSU500 and there is no local store that I know of where I can "hold it in my hand" to see how it feels. I may also just wait for a while to see if something better comes along.

I had sent an e-mail to Phillips Technical Support but I never received a response. I then called them and talked to a technician who said there was currently no problems with Go Video listed in their data base, and could offer no solution to my problem.

After about 4 days of experimenting I gave up and returned the TSU500 to Best Buy. Best Buy is a good place to deal with and they gave me no grief when I returned the unit.

Finally, I would like to say that if I had gotten the TSU500 to successfully operate the functions of my GV-4060 I would have kept it and given it a 5-Star rating in all categories.
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Written by Clay from Ohio,usa.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 25 made on Tuesday August 6, 2002 at 12:53 PM.
Strengths:One-Handed, lots of hard buttons, price point and durablility. Oh and MACROS
Weaknesses:buggy software, difficult to teach commands. loses date/time when uploading
Review:OK let's face it this thing is difficult to setup. BUT once you do get it.. it very nice. My girlfriend HATES haveing 6 remotes on the coffee table. This is only one. It does 90% of the things the real remote can do. It could do all of it but alas I didn't spend the time. Macros are ALWAYS nice and this thing is unlimited in them. Phillips worked quite well with me, in learning how to learn IR from the OEM remotes. support was nice and friendly albeit they were VERY candid and prone to joking at my expense In Short... If you want it to work right out of the box, don't get this or any other Pronto device. they just simply don't work that way. The Neo is a nice remote that has potential but it needs the user base to support it. The Pronto almost got canned by Philips at one point, but it is alive and strong. And remember guys that like to gripe that the PRonto is easier. There wasn't always a place to come and d/l the ccf's for your equipment from and the pronto used to be a PAIN to programme. The Neo will evolve too, give it a chance.
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