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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.
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Written by Flemming Arildsen from Denmark.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 8 made on Monday September 29, 2003 at 5:56 AM.
Strengths:Bedre display 16 gråtoner
Lettere i vægt
Flere knapper

Weaknesses:Usb forbindelse virker kun den ene vej på bærbar.
Faste knapper virker en smule træge
Højt strøm forbrug.
Review:Jeg vil starte med at fortælle at jeg sendte en pronto 890 til rep. hos min forhandler. Efter 4 måneder måtte forhandleren konstatere at 890'en var blevet væk i Belgien. Storsindet gav Philips (dk) mig i stedet en pronto 950.
Det er med lidt blandede følelser jeg har modtaget den.
Softwaren eller Firmwaren til op/down load virker ikke helt efter hensigt, især ikke med min laptop, det virker som om der kun er envejs forbindelse.
Nå men editor softwaren virker også utrolig langsonm, og går ned en gang i mellem. Displayet virker til gengæld udmærket, og har en lækker lyseblå farve istedet for den grønne der var på den gamle. Nå men jeg burde ikke være utilfreds den gamle Philip 890 var næsten 2 år gammel. Og så ringe er den jo heller ikke.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Howard Long from Atlanta, GA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 7 made on Sunday September 21, 2003 at 4:49 PM.
Strengths:Very cool looking. Highly customizable. Lots of resources for customizing screens.
Weaknesses:Software is horrible. Eats batteries. Touchscreen buttons not very responsive.
Review:I was excited when I got the unit and spent a week programming it. I am in the software business so I had a leg up and there was lots of help online. The software is horrible. Communication with the remote unit while attached to the PC fails consistently. The page interfaces can be very confusing to create a navaigation that makes sense and consistently works using the thumb pad.

Ultimately I took the unit back, but not because of the software. Once your done with that your done. The LCD toucscreen did not respond properly to each button touch. Sometimes double clicking, sometimes touching two buttons, sometimes no response till the third or forth touch.

This drove me crazy. I am going to try something with more hard buttons.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Sean Ahrens from Lake Villa, Illinois.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 6 made on Monday September 1, 2003 at 10:18 PM.
Strengths:Better display, improved grayscale and we now have hard buttons.
Weaknesses:Software sucks.. It locks up, hard to Navigate, hard to program.. Save often. Plan on spending a lot of time on the computer...Can't select by dragging, have to select each individual item.. Sometimes, slow response
Review:Given the weaknesses, I still use it. The firmware is upgradeable, so hopefully Philips will get thier act together. There are a lot of things you can do with the Pronto via IR and RF. Macros, allow easy customization and allow the biggest novice to navigate your system effortlessly. Would like to see password protected sub menus... I have had some people over who really got involved into changing my settings around. Would like to see improved WYSWIG interface... Would also like to see some interface options such as a expansion port for WEB, etc.

Regardless, its still a nice unit...

Quality: Features: Value:

Written by brian mud from ca.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 5 made on Friday July 25, 2003 at 2:29 AM.
Strengths:touch screen , & some hard keys
Weaknesses:terrible response , I have to program double ons double macros because it just doesnt always send the commands , it works better with ir than rf though , I tried a MX800 remote & I am done with prontos now , my customers will all be sold mx 800's instead of tsu 3000 , the hard buttons on the tsu 3000 also have to be hit twice some times , I liked the old tsu 2000 better , off course it did not have rf though , I hope Phillips gets there act together on the next generation , because I used to be an avad pronto fan.
Review:Flawed
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Tim from Texas, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 4 made on Thursday June 26, 2003 at 5:58 PM.
Strengths:Very customizable.
Easy to personalize.
Lots of memory.
Blue backlighting.
Hard buttons - espically the navigator cursor.
Weaknesses:Editing software not so friendly.
Firmware and software combination gets a little iffy.
Contrast settings not fine enough.
Backlight not bright enough.
Battery life.
Review:After deciding that I, like so many others, had way too many remotes sitting on my table, I decided to make the forray into the world of all in one remotes.

After looking at the current offerings, I decided that the Phillips TSU3000 would meet my needs for being able to display all the functions of my OEM remote, with all of the appropriate labels. Plus the ability to add graphics and macros to make use by non-technical persons very intuitive was a big plus.

Based on the reviews here, I decided to pick up the rechargeable battery pack right from the start. Based on my usages, 4 to 5 hours a day, I got about a week per charge. However, the battery icon, even from the system page, was never really accurate - sometime showing 20% left and then a minute showing 50%. I never let the battery get all the way dead, so I don't know if it would start actring worse.

When I originally purchased my unit, I was running the pre June firmware and software, and I almost took the remote back in the first couple of days. It got so bad that I actually locked up the unit and couldn't do anything but reinstall the firmware - probably the result of copying and pasting discrte hex codes. That remote went back for a new one.
The next one seemed to work better with the same software and firmware, but after playing with the setup for about 15 hours, I was starting to get frustrated with the whole deal.
But I persisted on based on the word of impending updates to SW and FW.

Installing the new SW and FW (post June 3), I was pleased with the results. Uploading and downloading were more reliable, if no faster. Plus the ability to move system components around and use all 4 hot keys really made my life easier.

So I set up my own home page with some nice graphics. Got all my components functions input and labeled. Add someother nice touches and then really started to use the remote.

In all, the remote did what I wanted, but the more I used it the more I became dissatisfied with the everyday things.
Having to double select some hard keys (around the cursor pad) and not other (Ch up and down) seemed a little stupid. Having the screen on long enough to get to your buttons, but not drain the battery, means that you have to keep turning it on, which means you have to plan ahead for pausing or whatnot while the screen comes to life.
Then there's the contrast control. It's great that's it is digital, but you can go from absolute black to absolute white, but the sweet spot can't ever be found. It's either a hint to white or a hint to dark, which results in graphics that don't look nearly as good as all the screen shots you see, or while you're editing for that matter.
Plus, if you use the default system bar to tell you which component your on, it's alwats black text on grey background - very hard to read unless you're just at the right angle.
Backlighting - blue is a great color, but it's just not bright enough. In a totally dark room, it looks cool and works good. And in a very bright room, the light stays off and you can read the screen. But for all of those in between times (which is 90%), either you can't see the screen becasue it's not lit, or the backlight is just enough to force you to tilt the remote to get a better angle.
The fact that the light sensor only has 3 settings and doesn't seem to function all that well just contributes to the issue.

Also, sinc this is a touch screen, make sure you build in a wipe option, becasue if seeing your smudged prints all over the screen during the day drives you nuts, like me, you're going to need it.

Wear of the silver coating may also be an issue. With care, it'll probably last for a while, but it's not to hard to scratch it.

Overall, the remote went back on it's 29th day and I saved my $400.

I think this is a great remote, so long as you can live with it's minor imperfections while awaiting newer and better software and firmware.
Plus, unless you have a previous remote or are willing to live with someone else's setup, be prepared to spend many hours perched in front of the computer in the quest for your perfet setup.

Me - I'm still looking.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Paul Cozza from Concord, MA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 3 made on Friday June 20, 2003 at 3:56 PM.
Strengths:Look and feel
Powerful programmability
Weaknesses:Hard button "peculiarities"
Flawed firmware

Review:I previously owned a TSU-2000. It was returned to Philips last fall after I had repeated warranty repair problems. Rather than get another TSU-2000, I decided to wait for the new model Pronto. I held off purchasing a TSU-3000 until last week, until I felt the firmware was stable enough to use (and not give me agita!).

I should also mention that I began programming computers in 1968 and have quite a bit of experience in this field. In short, I know well-designed and well-coded software.

First, I would like to comment on the hardware. Generally, I like it. The remote feels good in my hand. It has a good weight, seems solid enough, and has a good size screen. I like the blue-colored screen (much better than the TSU-2000’s green screen). It could be a tad brighter, but it is otherwise nice. The back is not easy to remove to change the batteries, and takes some getting used to. But this is minor. Some have commented that they feel the quality of the hardware, especially the plastic, feels cheap. At this point in time I wouldn’t say that. I would like to see how the remote holds up over the next months and years. The decision as to whether it is of cheap construction or not will have to wait for the test of time.

My sole dislike about the hardware is the hard buttons. The 5 side buttons (channel =/-, mute, and volume =/-) and the 4 hard buttons under the screen make a click when pressed. Normally that’s not a problem. However, if you are channel surfing, the constant clicking can become annoying. And the cursor control arrows with the 4 surrounding buttons take too much pressure to activate. They feel as if they have been pressed, but no code is sent. It takes extra pressure to actually activate the buttons. This is misleading and also annoying. Whoever at Philips made the design decision to choose these buttons made a rather big blunder in my opinion. It is my hope that over time all these hard buttons will “mellow out” so to speak, but we’ll see. Overall, at this point in time I would give the hardware an A-.

Second, let me comment on PENG (Pronto Edit Next Generation). I have been using this software to port my old TSU-2000 files since it’s first release. It is somewhat stable, but not stable enough. There are still not infrequent crashes of the software. Many features are yet to be added. In some ways the old Pronto Edit software had more power. The emulator is still flaky. I will only use it briefly before closing it, as I don’t trust it – it has too frequently tied my system up in knots while it is caught in some sort of system resource-sucking loop. Nevertheless, with a little persistence (and the help of a good macro program which can automate repetitive tasks such as changing the icons on buttons) PENG is useable. Hopefully it will improve and mature. At this point in time I would give it a C+ or perhaps a B- in a stretch.

Finally, let me address the firmware. It runs, but has serious problems. It is still much too slow. I have to consciously wait for a brief moment between button presses when entering a channel number, as the remote firmware can’t keep up. Macros are executed slowly. The firmware is slow, slow, slow… Also, this thing uses an enormous amount of power. I am shocked at how quickly my rechargeable batteries run down. In 2-3 hours, they have to be recharged. In addition, while I have not really had any problems to speak of downloading to the remote from my computer (a Compaq laptop), I have not been able to once get it to upload.

Furthermore, In some cases, the remote simply will not learn. No matter what I have tried, it won’t learn or will only learn with difficulty from certain other remotes. Now the code to learn IR signals from other remotes has been around a long time. And, I had no such problems with the TSU-2000 – so Philips has the know-how for this in-house. To me it is inexcusable that there should be such problems with this remote and learning. I have had to resort to a hodge-podge of sources (built-in codes, translated TSU-2000 codes, learned codes, and codes from Remote Central uploads – thanks to those who have uploaded) to get what I needed into the remote. All in all I can give the firmware no better than a D+ at this time. It needs a lot of improvement and optimization.

Now, the bottom line question is this: would I recommend the remote to others. The best way to answer is this. I can return the remote within 30 days of purchase. Having used it for a week+, and knowing of the problems it currently has, I have decided to keep it. I believe the firmware should improve over the next 6-10 months, and the firmware is the major problem with what otherwise would be a very good product.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Christopher from Great Britian.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 2 made on Monday May 12, 2003 at 5:05 AM.
Strengths:Completly programmable screen - no annoying Philips fixed graphics.
Navigator and 8 more programmable hard buttons.
4MB Memory
Better Screen clarity and 16 shades of grey.
Weaknesses:Some buttons not programmable - yet!
OK button not in middle of navigator
Cannot move Time
Cheap plastic
Time to save / download using PENG
Knowing that a colour version is just around the corner but you can't buy it yet.
Review:I have just received a present of the Pronto ‘New Generation’ RU950 [not the TSU3000 version as I live in the UK] and I am absolutely delighted.

I brought a Pronto RU890 [TSU1000] a couple of years ago and I dutifully spent the next 6 months visiting this site and using ProntoEdit to cram every conceivable software trick into the 1MB of memory that the original Pronto was shipped with.

My dislikes of the TSU1000 were as follows :

I am a programmer and I was frustrated by the fact that Philips decided to make about 25% of the screen unreachable with Philips’ confusing 3 section graphics (‘hey where did that page go’ shrieked regularly from friends)

Although one of the joys of the screen is the fact that it is completely customisable, for regularly pressed buttons, the feeling of ‘feeling for’ and ‘clicking’ a button cannot be emulated with a squidgy screen. The two buttons (along with the fixed vol+/- & ch+/-) fell short of doing everything I wanted.

One of the most common graphics on my screens was the up/down/left/right navigator. On a screen, the buttons are difficult to press (requiring an up down ‘poking’ movement rather than the intuitive thumb rolling as would be completed on a ‘hard’ navigator button) it would be great to have a ‘real’ hard navigator.

The light sensor technology used in the TSU1000 is illegal in Europe so I had a function on Pronto that I could not use.

Then finally, my TSU1000 caught the well documented ‘my Pronto keeps rebooting’ bug, which progressed to the ‘my Pronto keeps crashing requiring me to reset every *&^%£^%! 5 minutes’. I tried all the options suggested on RemoteCentral but it looked like this was a ‘back to Philips, probably dropped too many times’ bug !

After months of fraustration, my wife bought me the ‘Pronto NG’ and I am delighted, all the above problems are solved and more.

** What is Good **

SCREEN SIZE
First of all, the Navigator is a joy to my fingers. I have more space on the screen as I have removed the fiddly on-screen navigator and I can press up/down/left/right with confidence without checking which button I am pressing.

Philips has at last allowed us to do away with all the fixed graphics at the top of the screen giving us a blank canvas (or screen) to programme in the way that we want to. Not only does this make a programmer happy, but it frees up more screen so that buttons can be bigger and more spaced out.

HARD BUTTONS
14 more customisable hard buttons are available for us, which will free up even more screen and make common commands easier.

MEMORY
As this remote is in black and white the 4MB or memory will take quite a while to fill and it gives Pronto a breather from the cramped 1MB is the TSU1000.

SCREEN CLARITY
The screen in the Pronto NG is much clearer than the TSU1000 and more sensitive to the touch. Also the introduction of the 16 rather than 4 shades of grey make detailed graphics (such as photos) much more pleasing to the eye.

Although debated in this site, the ‘blue’ is a more dramatic colour when compared to the ‘green’ on the TSU1000

BATTERIES
Great that the Pronto NG has moved to AAA batteries. This obviously make the remote lighter.


** What is Not good **

I WANT TO CUSTOMISE *ALL* BUTTONS
Although it appears that we can customise all buttons, the left/right buttons below the screen and the ‘Contrast’ and +/- buttons are not. I rarely used the contrast dial on my TSU1000 so as far as I am concerned, this could be completed using the settings screens, freeing up an extra button. I hear that the other buttons will be customisable in future software upgrades. But it is strange that they are not available now.

OK IS NOT IN THE MIDDLE
Did Philips not check out other remotes when designing the navigator ? The OK button is always in the middle of the navigator, in hard and soft (i.e. ccfs) remotes. Why then did Philips not do this for the Pronto NG ? It is not a big deal, but it would be more intuitive if the OK button was a central click on the navigator.

TIME IS IN THE MIDDLE
It is great to be able to remove all Philips’ own on-screen graphics however, if you do want to use them then they have a fixed position. It would be better if Philips allowed us to move say the ‘date and time’ to anywhere on the screen and even be able to change the font size.

DESIGN FAULTS(?)
It is great that the European models now have a working light sensor but the way that it is exposed is a bit clumsy. It looks as if the screen is not fixed properly at the top with the small exposed bit of circuitboard, letting down the presentation of the remote.

The shape of the TSU1000 was a joy to hold and the curved base meant that it sat on your sofa arm and in your hand with ease. Strange that Philips has moved to the, somewhat awkward, square block with a groove in the base.

Pronto NG aims at your system with a sleek black stripe covering the IR bulbs. Again, the black plastic ‘dropped’ square that interlocks with the battery cover looks a bit clumsy.

In theory the remote should not be regularly re-programmed so it would have been prettier to have the connection sockets covered or hidden so that the remote looks more friendly and in fitting with a lounge rather than an office. The 4 metal strips that connected to the docking station on the TSU1000 looked sleeker than the plastic connector on the NG.

CHEAP PLASTIC
Although a remote should be light, when paying this sort of money you want it to ooze quality. Philips should have a look at designed mobile phones and PDAs to see what people want. A titanium casing would be good or at least a plastic that is as solid as in the TSU1000. B&O’s remotes are metal and heavy but they feel like quality.


SOFTWARE
ProntoEdit New Generation [PENG] is very similar but also very different from the original ProntoEdit but one thing that could do with improving is the time ‘saving’ and ‘downloading’ takes – about a minute for each.

*** SUMMARY ***

OK, the Pronto NG has some niggles that I have already spotted and some design changes that I would have made were I designing it however it is a tremendous step up from the TSU1000 and TSU2000.

When choosing between the ‘Pronto Pro TSU6000’ (i.e. the colour Pronto) and the ‘Pronto NG TSU3000’ -- Colour screen OR hard buttons and latest technology, the decision is tough.

I am pleased that I went with the new ‘VHS’ [NG] of remotes rather than the sooped up ‘Betamax’ [Pro] as I believe that the NG will be supported further in the future and the NG is the way forward. When the colour NG comes out [which is an obvious step as the software supports colour whilst the screen does not] there will be no decision, NG will win hands down – I wonder if I will be able to do a simple screen upgrade when that time comes ?

Finally, my wife thinks that the new Pronto NG is a lot better than the TSU1000 – so there you have it !

Quality: Features: Value:


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