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User reviews for the Palm: OmniRemote Software from Pacific Neo-Tek.
Palm: OmniRemote Software
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 4.43/5.00
Median: 4.67/5.00
The OmniRemote software package and companion ORDesktop program allows you to turn your Palm Pilot PDA into a full-functioned remote control.
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Written by dave hollfelder from Houston, Tx, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 7 made on Tuesday October 1, 2002 at 7:05 PM.
Strengths: Along with the "Pronto", this is THE best way to copy and translate (aka reverse engineer) the IR coding for programming other UEI remotes (All In One, Radio Shack). JP-1ers can atest.
You can to design and layout your own remote from scratch if you want to.
Weaknesses: The software doesn't offer pre-programmed set-ups, or translations "directly". You have to use Palm Desktop/Memopad, ProntoEdit, & the JP-1 Utilities to translate.
As seen before the next 2 issues are not the fault of OmniRemote (but worth noting)
As a remote? Unfortunately the Palm screen is just too small (and dark, even when backlit) to be a mainstream "pedal to the metal" remote. Maybe this is chance for one of you techies to come up with a "big screen" Palm.
As for IR range, I'm using a Handspring Visor Neo, and luckily (it was my replacement for the Palm IIIxe I ran over with the car), it has "quite acceptable" range (MUCH better than than the Palm IIIxe had).
Review:1)The product certainly works as advertised.
2)If you use an 8Mb Palm device (my recommendation), it has virtually unlimited memory (unless you have lots of "memory hog" apps also installed).
3) The software offers Excellent IR copying and translation (raw data) capabilities (beyond imagination) when used with Pronto edit, & all the JP-1 utilities. You can use OmniRemote as a database backup for your "real" remotes (that you've reverse engineered the programming on). You get practically unlimited access any IR coded data, and opportunity to be inventive (or dangerous) with the JP-1 utilities.
4)Using OmniRemote, you pretty much "have to" use your stylus - you can only get a few buttons on the screen if you make them big enough for your fingers. Remoting with your Palm device with the stylus is "wiz-bang", but it will, more likely than not, take 2 hands (one to hold the remote close enough to read the buttons, and the other to work the stylus). You need a reasonable amount of light too (if you watch TV in the dark, it's almost impossible to read).
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Written by Trey allen from Fl.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 6 made on Tuesday March 27, 2001 at 3:23 AM.
Weaknesses:IR range wasn't as good as my RM-AV2100 and I was far away from my receiver (about 20' and it was angled weird) so I had to aim it just right... it was a pain... Would probably work for most people though.
Review:works great just as everyone says. I personally like the RM-AV2100 better but only cause of the better IR range... plus I was using an old Palm Personal and there is a small punch hole in the middle of the screen so you can't see whats in the dead middle...
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Written by Darren Cook from San Jose (dotcomville).
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 5 made on Monday March 5, 2001 at 2:43 PM.
Strengths:Very inexpensive considering its flexibility. I haven't found a remote this inexpensive that allows key programming -- all of the ones I've seen for under $30 have pre-defined schemes that are set by entering the program codes. This is frustrating when you have a home theater component that isn't supported by the remote.
Weaknesses:The biggest weakness is the screen-size - the screen is too small to put all of the buttons that you may want at one time. Now of course this isn't a Omni-Remote problem, but it is something to keep in mind.
Review:Although I no longer use the Omni Remote, I still feel that its the best solution in its price range. Because I hae an older Palm Pilot Professional (with no built in IR), I also picked up one of OmniRemote's IR add-on doo-hikeys... There were several annoyances with the OmniRemote: The add-on IR module required very precise aiming, and my Pilot is not very ergonomic -- particularly when held upside-down. Another annoyance was the grid snapping inherrent to button layout. You're not able to put your buttons EXACTLY where you want them -- you're controlled by the grid-snap - I couldn't figure out a way to disable it. On the plus-side, I've had several hard-button universal remotes, and all of them only did about 85% of what I wanted them to do. Either they didn't have the right buttons; didn't have enough buttons; weren't layed out the way I wanted; didn't have programmable buttons; or didn't support all of my equipment...

I've long since upgraded to a Philips Pronto (which is the Holy Grail of universal remotes), but I'd recommend the Omni Remote if ya don't wanna pay $300ish for a remote -- AND -- if you can live with its slight annoyances.
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Written by Bob from Tulsa, Ok.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 4 made on Wednesday January 17, 2001 at 5:40 PM.
Strengths:Fast, easy and affordable
Weaknesses:doesn't allow you to alter size of a button once the button is made.
Review:Well, I was a bit skeptical about using my palm as a remote but didn't want to drop $400 on a pronto so for $20 I decided to try Onmiremote software. I had heard that the IR emiter was weak and you needed add on devices for proper operation. My skepticism quickly ended when I programmed in my tv codes and tried the unit out. It worked perfectly. It took about 5 minutes to figure out the software and then I was off and running.

While it may not do everything a Pronto can do, since I don't own one I don't really know but it does exactly what it says it will do. It will learn all your remote functions including macros and do it without batting an eye. Everything is easy to set up and configure. If you can press your old remote buttons you can program your palm. It's just that easy.

I programmed a macro menu funtion last night that took me all of a minute to do. In changing the aspect ratio on my tv I had to go to the menu, cursor up, cursor across, cursor up, cursor up, cursor across then cursor down. All of these steps to change my ratio. Now I hit one button and the aspect ratio is changed. Perfectly every time.

Now for the real kicker. My palm III doesn't need any adapters or extenders or anything like that it works fine just the way it is. I did have to learn a frequency difference between Sony and RCA but once I knew the difference it worked perfectly.

Granted it may not take advantage of the graphic capabilities a Pronto but for $380 less I can do without graphics....

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Written by Holly S. from Tampa, FL.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 3 made on Monday December 11, 2000 at 11:00 PM.
Strengths:It does absolutely everything I want and need it to do--which is quite a bit.
Weaknesses:I find the touchscreen difficult to use while watching TV, especially when it comes to FF through commercials, finding the right button, etc.
Review:The setup was really pretty quick and easy; The software was great. I had to learn a few codes, but this is no biggie. The best part was setting up the macros and naming the buttons to accurately reflect what the buttons were doing.

However, I've pretty much stopped using my Palm as my remote for two reasons:
I use my Palm as my organizer, and don't like keeping it next to the TV. And I don't like the lack of hard buttons. This may seem picky, but I need the buttons to push.
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Written by Chris Hudak from Ohio, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 2 made on Thursday November 9, 2000 at 1:43 PM.
Strengths:Fully programable on the remote and on a PC, check out for the Palm Software and for the Desktop programming software.
You have a full Palm Computer as well as a remote, you can play games, manage your checkbook, etc. for the same price as most LCD remotes, the PalmIIIe is supposed to be available for $125, +$20for Omniremote +$20 for ORDesktop is $165, pretty cheap compared to other propritary products. The Palm OS ia an open platform with tons of other software.
Weaknesses:Palm IR output is weak, get a Terk Leapfrog or similar IR/RF/IR blaster product. Can only assign Palm Hard buttons to one remote catagory, supposed to be fixed in next release.
Review:This combination is a great solution to the remote Dilemma, it Provides a fully programmable remote both on the Palm(remote) and on the Desktop PC.
You can program any button to any screen and you get 15 categories(remotes) you can link one remote screen to another, you can do full macros to turn on/off multiple components.

Here is a partial list of OmniRemote's features:

Support for Palm III internal IR, 3Com's OS3.0 upgrade card IR or OmniRemote external IR module

Completely configurable UI means you can draw your own buttons wherever you want

Create an unlimited number of buttons

Buttons can be labeled with text and familiar "tape deck style" icons

Learning feature lets you train an unlimited number of remotes

Up to 15 different screens of buttons

An unlimited number of macros let you perform a sequence of actions with a single keypress

32 timers let you schedule macros for unattended operation

Timers can repeat daily, weekly, or every weekday

Screen can be operated right-side-up or in upside-down "flip screen mode"

Any of the bottom function keys (hard keys) can be re-defined
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Written by Tom Hoots from Oregon, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for more than two years.
Review 1 made on Saturday August 26, 2000 at 3:01 AM.
Strengths:Inexpensive, powerful, easy to set up and program.
Weaknesses:Limited to 15 screens, very limited infrared range (actually both are limitations of the Palm device itself)
Review:This is actually a very cool little program. It works very well, and it's quite easy to just draw the buttons you want on the screen, and then teach commands to those buttons from your various remote controls.

The main drawback is the meager infrared performance from most Palm devices -- you can really only count on a few feet of beaming distance. That's usually not enough from wherever you're sitting to get to your home theater system. Several "booster" devices are available, though, so it CAN be made to work.

I've got a web page on the 'net that details the setup I built for OmniRemote, so cruise on over if you'd like more details and a bunch of screen shots:

If you've already got a Palm device, this is worth checking out. And, if you'd like something similar to the Philips Pronto that isn't so huge in size and expensive to the wallet, this MIGHT be valid alternative for you. Certainly, when you start drawing buttons on the screen, you might start thinking, "Gosh, why can't the Pronto be this easy?" So, it's worth checking out, at the least!

Tom Hoots
[email protected]
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