can I get some remote advice, MX500, Pronto Kameleon

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by JakeMcM, Apr 11, 2003.

  1. JakeMcM

    JakeMcM Stunt Coordinator

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    I am trying to decide on a remote, I might go with a refurbed Mx500 or pronto 1000, I also think the kameleon is cool but one thing I need to consider is the fact that in my projection system the components are behind me...not very far about 4feet and to the right, they are in an open sort of closet, so they won't have to go through the walls or doors or anything. Some of my remotes (receiver some others) work even if the remote is pointed towards teh screen or anything else most of the time, but my DVD player remote has to be pointed directly at the player (xp30) so I don't know how "stong" the signal has to be. With these three remotes which one is stronger in terms of signal.

    Thanks
     
  2. John Sully

    John Sully Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, the Pronto is a real champ in terms of IR signal strength and dispersion. If you check out the reviews over at http://www.remotecentral.com you'll find that Daniel has a test he calls the MTFB (menacing thick fluffy blanket) he has reviews of a couple members of the Pronto family and the MX 500. In my experience the Home Theater Master remotes also have fairly strong IR emitters.

    --John
     
  3. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Jake: From a day-in-day-out operation standpoint, there is a big difference between the 3 you are comparing.

    The MX-500 is all button based with 5 character custom labeling available for buttons not already prelabeled. It offers 15 fully programable macros (plus 50 less flexible ones.) Setup can go reasonably quick and the remote is most functional if you learn all of your commands to it. Battery-wise, it runs several months (at least 3 for me) if you don't always use the backlight. Plus, if you go to www.irclone.com , you can now obtain software that allows you to PC interface the MX-500 for tweaking and setup backups. Finally, IMO, for 99.9% of the users out there, it will replace every remote you own. As for your last question, the 500 is very powerful with it's ir beam. Easily the strongest I've ever used in my HT.

    The Kameleon is a cool looking touchscreen. It offers a bright, fairly easy to read layout. And it does offer slightly different key labels for different components for some help in making it less confusing to use. But, in many HTs, it probably can't replace every remote. There just aren't enough keys. It can be code upgraded via telephone. Finally, it is quite battery hungry as compared to some others out there. (Rechargeables may work ok but you have to change the batteries each time you need a charge.) I've not yet tested a Kameleon in my HT so I don't know how strong it is. Most users seem pleased though...

    The Pronto 1000 is also a touchscreen that offers a highly flexible PC interface and a customizable look. It will replace every remote you own. If you want to use macros, the Pronto is probably the best unit for the money out there. It can be purchased with or without a charger docking station so batteries aren't really an issue. As for ease of setup, it would probably go fairly easy. Others have blazed the trail ahead of you over at remotecentral.com. Getting up and running, once you get past the initial software learning curve, should be fairly quick. The screen can be hard to read under some lighting conditions (this is better in later models.) I've not ran one in my HT but ir strength does not seem to be an issue.

    My point for going through some of this is that there are distinct differences between the 3. Touchscreen vs. buttons. Battery life concerns. Do it all vs. replace "most" functions. PC interface capability vs. some telephone upgradability.

    In my own HT, I have gone button-based. I tried a touchscreen Sony RM-AV2100 (which is now lying in a closet) a year or so ago and quickly learned I did not like having to look at the remote's screen so much (and it does have several hard buttons to supplement the screen.) I can run my familiar MX-500 in the dark for most of it's functions (including many such as adjustments for setup tweaks.) No touchscreen can do that.

    My best recommendation is that you try to decide whether you're going to go button or touchscreen. Then make your decision as to which model. Remotecentral.com has a "Clicker Picker" link that may help you make up your mind.

    Good Luck!
     
  4. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    I think Chuck hit the nail on the head. You really have to decide which type of remote you prefer, button or touchscreen. Few people like both equally. Just to add a few things, it sounds like you're trying to stay at $100 or less, so I don't think the IRClone would be a consideration, since it costs as much as the refurb TS1000. If you go with a touchscreen, the Pronto will give you the most flexibility of any of the remotes you mentioned. For a hard button remote, the MX-500 will be your best choice. The Kameleon is limited to the buttons it comes with, so if you have a command that's not one of those buttons, you have to either assign it to a button with a different name or forget about it.

    Upcoming choices would include the One for All Kameleon (due in June) that increases the number of devices and available buttons over the Radio Shack version, or with your device location problem, the RF version of the MX-500, the MX-600 (end of the summer). The 600 will be much more expensive however. Hope that helps.
     
  5. JakeMcM

    JakeMcM Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks for the help guys
     
  6. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I've had some OneForAll remotes and they consistently have extremely powerful IRs. I can be anywhere and the damn thing will work, mostly better than the originals. I had a very bad experience with low signal strength from a Marantz RC2000MkII one time and this is a real important factor.

    Have you looked into an IR repeater?
     
  7. SeanA

    SeanA Second Unit

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    This is great... I was planning to ask the same question. I have recently found myself juggling 3 remotes just to watch TV... TV remote, HDTV receiver remote, and Antenna remote. What a pain. [​IMG] Based on above, I think I will first check out the Pronto 1000. The real key will be finding a remote that will work with my indoor antenna. It is a Jensen TV940 and the elements can be rotated and translated, and than the position can be programmed/memorized for each individual station. Do you think that there is any chance that one of these remotes would work with this type of antenna ???

    Thanks Guys !!!
     
  8. JakeMcM

    JakeMcM Stunt Coordinator

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    The remote will only be controlling a few things actually, receiver, DVD player, projector, for now so unlimited amounts of devices etc doesn't really matter but given my usage would I be missing anything if I went for the kameleon or one of the other cheaper models. Does the Mx500 or pronto still have a large advantage at this amount of usage? I realize that they do in more complicated setups, but would I realize much difference in the features between a cheaper one and the more expensives. Would I be missing anything given this usage etc...For some reason I can't seem to figure that out.
     
  9. JakeMcM

    JakeMcM Stunt Coordinator

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    I also would be like to use a feature that say I wanted to watch a movie that my projector would come on, the dvd player on, the receiver on and to the right audio input, and my switcher to the right video input (does anyone know if the inday componenent switcher w/remote can teach another one). And if I wanted to play a video game I could get the pj on, receiver to a different audio input, so on and so forth. I believe these are called macros, but are some remotes more capable of learning different devices then others, is there a chance of my remote not being able to learn some device and be stuck w/ using two remotes or something.
     
  10. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Sean: Yeah, it's likely (but not guaranteed) that one of these remotes could run your antenna. My MX-500 in my main setup runs an outdoor rotor control and the MX-500 in my smaller setup runs a 20" ventilation fan.

    Jake: Since your list is limited, it would be well worth your time to get a good view of what keys the Kameleon can deliver. And also, how much automation (via macros) it can support. It may be enough. But of the 3 remotes we're discussing here, it is clearly the most limited in ability...
     
  11. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    The Kameleon has four macro buttons (M1-4) that could perform the steps you want to do. However, you'll have to remember which macro's on which button. The MX-500 could have a macro on the DVD button that will do the same thing, but be more intuitive. The TS1000 could have a graphic that says: "Watch a DVD" with a macro on it that becomes even more intuitive.

    The problem you might find with the Kameleon's button limitation (at least until the new one comes out) is with specialized receiver or projector functions that probably aren't on the remote. Typically, surround sound settings and soundfields are not found. You can see a flash presentation on the current Kameleon here: Kameleon.

    The other thing to consider about all of them is whether you will want/need discrete on/off or input commands for your devices. This would be, for example, separate "On" and "Off" commands for your receiver or projector to use in a macro. If they're not on your original remotes, you'd have to obtain them, if available, somewhere else. The Pronto, with its large database files on Remote Central, gives you the best chance to obtain these commands. The Kameleon would be second in that regard and the MX-500 last, simply because it either needs to learn them from a remote that has them or through the use of IRClone and some code conversion.

    Now if you're not totally confused [​IMG] , my personal favorite would be the MX-500, followed by the TS1000, but then I'm a button person and the MX-500 is the easiest remote to use with multiple Tivo units.
     

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