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New Marantz Software Released
Posted by Daniel Tonks on July 21, 2000 at 1:00 AM
RC News Story
Scoop: Remote Central is pleased to announce complete details on the new Marantz RC5000i remote control, the new RC5000 Setup software page and firmware upgrade and new remote features. Due to the size of this update it has been moved to it's own section. Before downloading and installing the new software, please be sure to read the notes contained in this article.

As an exclusive, Remote Central has obtained details on Marantz's new and improved touchscreen LCD remote control, the RC5000i. It will first be available as the standard remote control shipping with the new Marantz SR-14EX receiver, but will be available as a separate item this coming August at a suggested retail price of $549. Physically identical to the current $499 RC5000, the RC5000i concentrates its upgrades in memory, software features and the default CCF file.

First, the memory. Upgraded to 2 megabytes over the existing 1 megabyte model, it would be easy to assume that a doubling of physical memory would provide twice as much user space. But the reality is much more – 269 percent more. The first 1mb is shared on both models with the operating system, applications, and compressed factory default CCF, leaving only 380kb free for user files. The second megabyte on the RC5000i can be used wholly for user files – meaning the remote can hold a CCF totaling an impressive 1404kb in size.

Since the average user doesn’t even come close to utilizing the entire 380kb of the base model, why upgrade? Well, many owners want to be able to incorporate screens upon screens of favorite channel icons or CD jukebox title listings. 300 or 400 discs can take a lot of room. With the amount of memory now available, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for users to even expect jacket artwork thumbnails for each disc!

As an example of what can be done with 1.4 megabytes of space, the new default CCF file included with the RC5000i features 75 devices with over 550 panels packed solid with buttons, IR codes and macros. With all of that, there’s still more room available for user programming than the original RC5000 featured in total!

But it’s not only raw memory which has been upgraded. Both the RC5000i and original RC5000 have had a number of exciting new software functions added. RC5000 Setup v2.0 includes firmware upgrades to SYS v4.2 and APP v5.0, which add five new functions – many of which I’ve heard will be Marantz exclusives.

  • Configure left and right buttons in the Macro Menu. An oft requested feature, the lower physical buttons in the Macro Menu will no longer permanently read "Open" and "Close", macro functions which most users feel are duplicated and thus unimportant. Just as on the Home and Device sections, you’ll now be able to customize them in any way you see fit.

  • Custom scroll arrows. You may now customize the "scroll up" and "down" button icons in the exact same way you can the Home button. Many users may not see a reason for this change, but it is now possible to "hide" the scroll buttons without removing their functionality for users who know they exist.

  • Shut down the Device and Macro bars. Now I’m really not certain why anyone felt this was an important feature, but the Device and Macro bars can now be individually configured inactive from the remote’s setup screens. This does not completely remove them or provide more customizable screen space, but rather makes it possible to allow navigation of the remote only through hard or soft buttons.

  • Page memory. Probably the most requested feature incorporated in this release, users will now have the ability to jump backwards to the last five pages viewed, and forward the same number of times again. This can be incorporated on any hard or soft button, but due to a minor bug in the early software release they do not work properly on soft buttons.

  • Jumps in macros. Instead of only allowing one page jump per button, the jump feature can now be inserted anywhere in a macro, as many times as you like. This can be used for crude animation, informing users what’s happening during long macros, or simply for entertainment’s sake.

For more information see tomorrow's news.

FAQ updated: Now available is a new printable version of The Unofficial Philips Pronto and Marantz RC5000 FAQ in MS Word 95 format, which was created from the 1.07b HTML source by Robert Wallace. The Pronto/RC5000 FAQ has since been upgraded to version 1.07c, with new questions and answers and lots of updates. I've modified the MS Word version to match. In addition, the RC5000 specific FAQ has also been added to and we've finally had time to take a proper photograph of the RC5000 -- which you can find in the RC5000i announcement.
[Talk about all Pronto/RC5000 matters...]

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