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New ProntoNEO TSU500 Preview
Plus an update to Marantz RC5000 Setup
Posted by Daniel Tonks on October 16, 2001 at 1:00 AM
RC News Story
Judging from the emails I received on Sunday and Monday, folks are not content to merely sit and wait for information on the new Philips ProntoNEO TSU500! Although I'll ultimately be posting a full review of the remote, here are a few details to whet your appetite.

ProntoNEO: Click to enlarge.
The TSU500 is based on the same platform as the Marantz RC3200 and uses a 3" 160x100 pixel 4-grayshade LCD touchscreen supported by electronic contrast control and aqua-colored electroluminescent (EL) backlighting. All user hard buttons, of which there are 15 including a 5-way menu control, are also backlit. Three other hard buttons on the side are for activating the backlight and scrolling through pages. The remote includes 1mb of memory shared between the operating software, a built-in database of device codes and user configuration. In addition, the remote is capable of learning infrared signals up to 56kHz and 455kHz.

Instead of the current Pronto's three "Main", "Device" and "Macro" sections, the ProntoNEO will only include two: a device menu and the devices themselves. Despite a clock with day/month/year information, the remote does not support timers. However, much like the current Pronto, every button can hold a preprogrammed code, learned signal or macro. Think of it as "Pronto Lite"!

However, despite being branded with the well-known "Pronto" name, the new Philips model (and Marantz counterpart) are not actually compatible with existing Pronto CCF files or infrared codes - they use their own .NCF file format. As far as I've heard, no provisions for importing existing CCF files or hex codes have been considered. Although the Philips NEOedit PC software looks and feels like existing ProntoEdit versions, it has in fact been totally rewritten. The problem is that my preproduction remote did not include a software CD, so I cannot comment further on exactly how it will work. I do know that the remote will fully support customized labels and bitmaps, just like existing Prontos.

I'd like to have the software before I review the ProntoNEO. After I finish the CEDIA 2001 report, I'll be moving on to the new Crisp Solutions UCommand 525 touchscreen remote control.
[Talk about the ProntoNEO TSU500...]

New RC5000 Setup released...
Also released this week is a new version of Marantz's software for your PC, RC5000 Setup v2.3. The main difference between this version and the older v2.2 is that it now more closely resembles ProntoEdit v2.0 (though it still can't load ProntoEdit v2.0's files). Now, whether this change is a good thing or not depends on your point of view. The revamped interface mainly results in fewer tabs under the "Button Properties" screen, however as a result it's now much slower to work with button actions. In addition, some of the new screens are too large to fit vertically at some resolutions.

Also included with the new software is upgraded firmware, which steps SYS up to v4.91 (from v4.80) and corrects the "too short code" issue (which previously required you to turn a button into a macro for it to work reliably). If you'd like to download the new version, visit our RC5000 Setup download page.
[Talk about RC5000 Setup...]

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