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User reviews for the Philips Pronto NG TSU3000 & TSU3500 from Philips Electronics.
Philips Pronto NG TSU3000 & TSU3500
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 3.45/5.00
Median: 3.67/5.00
29$399
The Philips Pronto "Next Generation" TSU3000 sports 4mb of memory, a 16 greyshade LCD touchscreen, USB interface, plus a total of 20 hard buttons. With the ProntoEdit NG software package, the remote's interface can be completely customized. The TSU3500 adds improved backlighting.
Get it
at:
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the Philips Pronto NG TSU3000 & TSU3500 remote.
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Written by Phillip Deackes from Market Harborough, UK.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 15 made on Wednesday February 18, 2004 at 5:42 AM.
Strengths:Completely programmable.
Weaknesses:Feels weak and flimsy. Very complicated to program. Hard to see the LCD screen, poor contrast.
Review:I have a Pronto RU890 (TS1000) and decided to buy the RU950 (TSU3000) when I upgraded my home cinema setup with a plasma screen. I got the TSU3000 in October of 2003 and tried programming it through November, December, January and February. I found the experience very tedious and the IR signals did not work reliably with all my equipment. All this time I kept returning to my Pronto TSU1000 which never failed me. In the end I just left the TSU3000 on the charging cradle - it hardly got used at all. I kept thinking 'Why have I bought this thing?'.

This week I decided to recoup some of my losses and sell it on. The new owner has a bargain and he is pleased. I am now looking for a new TSU1000, or Marantz RC5000i to replace my ageing model.

If you too are looking to upgrade, beware. I work with computers and networking and I found the programming to be quite mind-numbing. It is not as easy to download a pre-compiled setup and change things to suit your setup as it is with the older Prontos since with the TSU3000 the user can use the entire LCD screen and the setup is very specific to one particular home cinema installation.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Jed from Las Vegas, NV.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 14 made on Monday February 2, 2004 at 12:24 AM.
Strengths:Unlimited potential. Great problem solver, does things "universal remotes" can't do.
Weaknesses:CAs mentioned by others:
Cost (I got mine for $240 new) but worth it.
Battery life (I went ahead and got the charger)
Review:If you're proficient with a PC, then you'll love the TSU3000. This isn't a turn it on and it works kind of device. But I don't think most of the folks who read this site or buy Prontos expect that.

The TSU3000 replaced the 6 separate remotes of my home theater system, and I only recreated only the buttons that I regularly use, greatly simplifying complexity and ease of use (e.g. Yamaha amp remote).

I control a Yamaha DSP-A2 Amp, Sony SAT HD200 DTV tuner, Sony KV 36XBR450 TV, a Philips DSR6000 Tivo/DTV receiver, as well as Philips CDR,DVD, and CD changer, and Sony VCR.

I was able to easily create macros that turn on every component and input needed (e.g. amp, HD DTV tuner, and TV, and select the correct input for both the amp and the TV) for each function - HD, Tivo, DVD, CDs etc. It is now quite simple and foolproof for my girlfriend or a housesitter to watch tv or listen to CDs. Inspired by others, I also imported photos and personalized my page displays.

I had the TSU3000 working in a couple hours using the tools and features native to the unit, but creating my custom interface, using pronto edit NG, took quite awhile. But this is the reason to get a pronto in my opinion. I had read all the reviews and cautions, but had confidence that I was computer savvy enough to succeed . . . and I did.

It took around 20 hours, working on my PC, and trying out the codes using the PC's USB port and attached Pronto to successfully design and install my custom interface. I was helped alot by importing pcf files for devices similar to my own, as well as using the templates provided on the EditNG software CD.

I didn't experience any real problems others reported; my Pronto learned device actions easily, the software didn't crash, and the device operated very well, every time.

So if you've been looking for a simple way to integrate your multi component stereo/home theater, and you're willing to spend some time doing the programming, this will work perfectly.

Finally, I should note that my Pronto was made in Portugal, nice as I try to avoid buying products made in China.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Allen from New Jersy.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 13 made on Monday December 29, 2003 at 4:17 PM.
Strengths:Fully customizable.
Ability to program full screen
Relatively good IR Hex code library
Weaknesses:Software
Communication (USB) speed
Philips customer service
IR Learning
Review:Conceptually, the Philips Pronto TSU3000 is a terrific product. Unfortunately, I have found the TSU3000s bugs and glitches to be more of a nuisance than I could stomach.

The good

Philips supports its platform with relatively frequent firmware and software upgrades that are available for free on their corporate website. Updating the units firmware is as easy as unzipping the self-executing file. This is a really nice touch that many other companies should follow.

For the many users the pronto should be usable right out of the box. Customizing the default ccf file is a snap – and can be completed without assistance of the PNEG software. Although I am not a big supporter of pre-programmed hex codes, I did notice that the Pronto’s internal Hex Code database was relatively adequate for the majority of users.

The Pronto has a pretty dedicated user base that is willing to share ideas, programs and information. This community is an asset that you will come to appreciate as you get into the more advanced features of the Pronto.

The Bad

The instruction manual that is supplied with the TSU3000 is completely inadequate – particularly related to the PNEG software. The real value proposition of this unit is derived from the PNEG software – lets face it, take away the software and you basically have a paperweight. Philips should listen to its customers (and the review written by Remote’s own people) and provide a more comprehensive user guide.

The one thorn in my side is that the TSU3000 does not interface well with my computer. Apparently, there is some glitch in either Philips programming or hardware because I am not the only person who has had this problem. If you are considering purchasing this unit be prepared to spend a lot of time reading strings on remotecentral.com before you can figure out how to get the PNEG software to properly communicate with your Pronto. Philips is aware of this problem but does not have a simple solution.

Using the Pronto to learn various IR codes proved to be very frustrating. For some reason my pronto often learned “dirty hex codes.” Basically, the remote would only learn a piece of the entire hex code. As a result, it took hours to learn a couple of buttons – many buttons had to be learned 20+ times before the “clean” code was learned. I spoke to Philips about this multiple times and was informed that the joke around the office was that the best was to learn codes is locked in a closet with all the lights out. Philips means this literally – if you experience this issue sit in your basement with almost no light. Don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t seem to have this problem when programming my $15 learning remote.

Lastly, the TSU3000 runs through batteries extremely quickly. I ended up purchasing the docking station and found this worked rather well assuming you return the remote to the cradle after use.

Summary

Should you have the time and patience to deal with the TSU3000s technical bugs then this remote is the one for you. To get the most out of this remote you will need to spend a significant amount of time with it (and potentially Philips Tech support), which is great if you want a new hobby.
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Written by Jay Cohen from Pa., USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 12 made on Monday December 15, 2003 at 1:52 PM.
Weaknesses:Response time has gone from quick to 10 seconds to react to a command. Backlight has disappeared. Sometimes need to hit command button 3 or 4 times. Goes to places it shouldn't go to.
Review:When it was working properly, it could replace almost all my remotes. ( Tivo remote worth using )
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Written by Ryan from Cincinnati, OH .
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 11 made on Thursday December 4, 2003 at 3:44 PM.
Strengths:Extremely flexible. Unlimited range of options and strong userbase support equals endless design options with a minimum of serious fuss. 17 hard buttons which are fully programmable (in the current generation of the editing software) really clear up a lot of unnecessary clutter on the face of the remote control and reduce the number of pages I have to leaf through to find the appropriate function. Looks cool. No battery issues at all if you purchase the docking station. Endlessly customizable.
Weaknesses:First edition of firmware and editing software were absolutely, positively abysmal- so bad, in fact, I seriously contemplated returning the unit. Fortunately, I stuck with it and the subsequent upgrades have made the unit much more manageable and responsive. Still has trouble learning codes when attached to computer by USB cable, but fortunatley I can copy hex codes straight from my old TSU1000. Not the most *responsive* remote in the world- there is an infintesimal delay between a button press and an action. This delay has also been significantly reduced by firmware upgrades but is still there enough to notice. Battery life with non-rechargeable batteries is horrible, battery life with rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries is miserable. Add another $60 or so bucks onto the price, because this unit is terribly impracticle without the docking station. Volume and channel buttons lack the "feel" of the the old unit- a minor complaint, but there nonetheless.
Review:This is a remote that was absolutely, positively NOT ready for prime time upon its release. If I had let anger get the better of me and reviewed it when I purchased it in the spring of this year, I would have been tremendously hostile. The editing software Philips shipped with the unit was buggy and unpredictable, the firmware on the unit made it seem like you had to wait a half of a second between a button press and an actual action- the list goes on and on. However, subsequent fixes have made this the remote control for me. It should be noted that I covet the TSU7000, but at an MSRP of close to $1000, the remote control will be just out of my reach for the foreseeable future. But outside of that remote, I can't think of a more open, flexible or accomodation remote. Should they upgrade the firmware at any point in the future, add another half point for faster response.
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Written by Adrian Richards from Manchester Engalnd.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 10 made on Tuesday November 25, 2003 at 9:40 AM.
Strengths:So customisable, so sturdy and I th9ink it looks cool
Weaknesses:Would have loved a colour screen (I know they do one) but too expensive for me
Review:Finally a remote that can turn on my whole AV set up in a wife friendly way so she can easily watch TV or a DVD. I had considered Microsoft Media Centre ecition until I read about the pronto and similar devices. I ahd a programable sony remote up to now but it had too many buttons and the wife hated it. I (and she) find the Pronto easy to use, easy to program and (so far) very reliable. I may be a remote control newbie, but right now, I rate this as one of the best buys I have made in the last 2 years.
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Written by Drew Armstrong from Utah, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 9 made on Monday October 20, 2003 at 10:54 PM.
Strengths:I Love this thing... Had it for 3 or 4 months and yea there are some quirks and bugs. But all in all I love it. Never used a Pronto before but tried one of those Sony TSU2000??? things and it was harder to make work than this is. I have even (with the help of this site) learned to make my Sony DVD Jukebox work and uploaded lots of DVD covers (hundreds) of the covers to the remote corresponding with each video. I set up Macros so my 4 year old can play her videos (turn on and run the entire home theater) from the remote. I never used any other Pronto but this thing ROCKS! Make sure you have Photoshop and access to Remotecentral.com and you will have a ball.
Weaknesses:No instruction manual (well there may as well not be any) It was hard but after a lot of fiddling around it really makes sense. I would download some ccfs to start with and just start messing with things. It is possible to learn and make work (Well) with a little foolin around.
Review:BUY One... I got the charger and the rechargable batteries so thats not a problem. I really like the screen and the automatic backlight but usually use it in a dark room...
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