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Philips ProntoProEdit Updated
Plus Sony Clié PEG-T415 with remote control capabilities announced
Posted by Daniel Tonks on October 23, 2001 at 1:00 AM
RC News Story
Philips has released a new version of ProntoProEdit - v3.4. Although actual program changes are minor, the most important reason to download this update is the firmware upgrade file, which will update the remote to SYS v1.1 and APP v1.3 (I'm aware that some remotes have been shipping with SYS v1.2 and APP v1.2 and am seeking clarification on this).

Fixes incorporated into this firmware include:

  • The file upload problem, where files larger than 1000kb would not upload from the ProntoPro,
  • Symbols are now available on all font sizes, meaning that the far left and right hard buttons can finally be labeled with anything you like, and
  • A fix to the IR/RF alias issue, where buttons aliasing other devices would not pick up the correct mode of communication. This does not include a fix for the no RF on the home page issue, however one is being worked on.
Of note, this is the third released version of ProntoProEdit so far - and for the first time ever, it is no longer considered "beta" (AKA "unsupported"). Anyone with concerns should be pleased to see that Philips is committed to supporting this platform, albeit at a slightly slower pace than some might like! You can download the new ProntoProEdit v3.4 software package from Remote Central via the link below.

Get ProntoProEdit v3.4!

Learn more about the ProntoPro:
Visit the forum: talk with others.
File area: check out other designs.
Our review: read all about it.
The FAQ: answers to your questions.
Win one: you could get a Pro free!

Sony Clié: Click to enlarge.
Sony releases a PDA with remote control capabilities
Many readers have no doubt heard of the product sold to turn any Palm PDA into a fully functional remote control (for the complete scoop visit our PDA chat forum). Typically, users must also purchase an IR booster and, even afterwards, the Palm needs to be used upside down. However, Sony's just-announced $299 Clié PEG-T415 takes this idea a step further by actually including remote control capabilities in the base package, plus a powerful IR emitter on top.

The enhanced IR emitter gives the Sony Clié a range of about 15 feet - less than almost all "real" remotes, but certainly enough for most situations. Hardware wise, the Clié weighs only 4.3 ounces and is a slim 0.41 inches thick, yet includes a backlit screen that provides a 320x320 pixel monochrome resolution - higher than any existing graphical touchscreen remote currently on the market - and comes with 8 megabytes of memory, plus a Sony Memory Stick slot for future expansion.

Sony Clié: Click to enlarge.
Currently, the included Clié Remote Commander software can only handle 20 different brands of DVD players, televisions, VCRs and A/V receivers - but Sony expects to release future updates for greater support. And, since the Sony PDA is based on the Pilot platform, one can expect that existing Palm-compatible remote control packages will be ported over to the new model to make use of its ideally suited hardware. The remote uses a Motorola VZ 33MHz processor, similar to the Philips Pronto.

However, some important questions still remain: is this a truly useful feature, or is it more of a gimmick? Do users really want their private information sitting around a home theater? Will the PDA - if actually used as a PDA - even be near the home theater for use by family members, or will it be out and about?

Although these questions can only really be answered by potential owners, the Clié's capable hardware and attractive pricing just may find a receptive audience among owners buying such a PDA to fill in a new job description - the Personal Digital Remote.

Want to learn more about the Clié?
Visit the forum: talk with others.
Web site: visit Sony's product page.

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CEDIA reports continue...
Finishing up our coverage of CEDIA 2001, you'll find reports for newly announced components from Crestron, Denon, JVC, Sharp, Sherwood Newcastle and Toshiba. View the complete report here. Also, be sure to check out the amazing amp toss!

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