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A brief review
This thread has 3 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Monday February 17, 2003 at 13:02
John Sully
Founding Member
January 2002
Now that I've finally got my TSU 3000 up and running, I thought I would share some thoughts and observations about the newest member of the Pronto family.

I immediately noticed that the TSU 3000 seems to be less well sealed against liquids than the original 1000. Since I've already lost an RC 5200 to a spilled beer (boy was that an expensive mistake!) this certainly gives me some pause; my 1000 has survived several years of spilled beers w/o a hiccup. Similarly the rest of the build quality seems to be a step down from the 1000, it just doesn't have the heft and balance of the 1000. Part of this is probably due to the change from AA to AAA batteries. I never ended up getting the charger for my 1000 because it would last for 6 months or so on a single set of batteries, after having my 3000 for about 2 weeks it is already about 3/4 of the way through its first set of AAAs. This may be due to the fact that I have been doing a lot of upload/download, testing of IR codes, etc. while getting my PCF together - I certainly hope so.

The screen on the 3000 is much easier to read than that on the 1000 and requires much less pressure to register a press once the newest version of the firmware ( is installed. Page swaps are snappy and overall operational speed is much improved from the 1000. The hard buttons are quite firm and need a good punch to make them work. Fortunately they have good tactile feedback so there is never a question as to whether you have hit them or not. This aspect of the remote will take a bit of getting used to.

On to the new interface. I have noticed a few gripes about not being able to control access to pages as easily as could be done on the 1000, but I find the rocker button on the side quite pleasant to use and it makes scrolling through pages much easier than it was on the 1000. I don't think that you'll be seeing as many tab based interfaces on the 3000 as you did on the 1000. It is possible to limit access to additional devices and the system page via ProntoEdit NG which make controlling access easier, but it is never quite as clean as it is on the 1000. Overall I give two thumbs up, the default interface is much easier to use than the old one.

On the downside, ProntoEdit NG is much less stable than the versions of ProntoEdit for the 1000/2000. Because of a bug in PENG it took me a couple of weeks worth of trying before I finally was able to get a working PCF file downloaded into my remote. Apparently this has to do with trying to save a PCF file with grouped buttons in it, but a simple test indicated that this was not necessarily the case. Once the bug is encountered, it is impossible to restart PENG and load your PCF, so frequent saving and copying of the file while you are working is recommended. However, I found that PENG was much faster to work with than ProntoEdit 1.0.4 or TouchScreen Setup. I especially liked the ability to group items together for moving them around the screen, as long as I remembered to ungroup them afterwards I did not encounter the bug alluded to above. Assigning IR codes to buttons was especially easy since the button properties dialog box does not have to be closed to move from button to button. I did find that the database was somewhat lacking in coverage for my own components, missing lots of fundamental IR codes for my DVD, receiver, LD, and VCR. Luckily it was easy to cut and paste codes from existing CCF files and the IR code learning finally works properly, which makes all of this much easier.

Besides the catastrophic bug mentioned above, there are lots of little niggling irritations and inconsistencies in the PENG interface. For example, you can't drag grouped buttons, you have to move them with the cursor buttons and snap to grid doesn't work with grouped buttons either. The snap to grid feature lacks the ability to choose where the snap occurs: upper right, upper left or center. I liked this feature on the old PE. I didn't like the fact that a stray tap of the delete key would edit the gallery if it was open and a button selected, especially since the result of this operation did not go into the undo stack. Overall though I have to give PENG at least one thumb up just for the improvement in editing speed it provides.

One thing I have seen people asking questions about is home pages. AFAIK the best way to handle home pages is via the device overview page. Set one up with the bitmaps and buttons of your choice and then put your device macros into the device actions section of the device properties page. This works very nicely if you do not have an elaborate opening page, otherwise you can set up a home page under the Home section of your PCF and disable the device overview system object in the system properties page. This will prevent people from accessing the device overview page until the system is rebooted again.

Well, that's about all I have to say for now. Overall I like the remote. It has a better, more sensitive screen, responds faster and has the all important cursor navigation pad which was so sorely missed on previous generations of the Pronto. Once the bugs in PENG are worked out it will be a much nicer editor than PE. I look forward to some of the interface ideas the people on this forum come up with - I am neither a graphic artist nor a UI designer so my first PCF is pretty minimalist, but it works nicely and looks good.
Post 2 made on Monday February 17, 2003 at 13:18
Sam Scamardo
Long Time Member
February 2003
Thanks for the report. I'm just starting to tackle PENG and running into difficulty, but this is likely a result of my inexperience with Pronto-based software.

I hope to report back in a few weeks on my progress.
Post 3 made on Monday February 17, 2003 at 14:35
Tony Prince
Long Time Member
July 2002

How does it compare with the RC5200 which has most of the TSU 3000 features except 16 greyscale. I have the former which is a big improvement on original pronto 2000

Sadly the 5200 has never been reviewed herewith even though the screen size, xtra hard keys and other aspects made it so much better than its' predecessor.

OP | Post 4 made on Monday February 17, 2003 at 15:13
John Sully
Founding Member
January 2002
The build quality is about the same. The screen on the 3000 is better. I like the fact that all four buttons around the cursor pad are programmable. Have four hard buttons along the bottom of the screen will be nice once they get a software/firmware fix out for the current problems which prevent all four buttons from being programmed (currently only the middle two are available). The backlighting on the 3000 is nicer than on the 5200.

I like the way the 3000 feels in my hand better than the 5200. The case has a slight taper that helps it nestle down in your palm. Neither the 3000 nor the 5200 sit on your leg as well as the originals.

Both the 5200 and 3000 are major improments on the original formula. Both have larger screens. Both have default user interfaces which can be overridden easily. Both allow you to edit the entire screen. Both make me worry about the cup of coffee sitting next to it on my coffee table right now.


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