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I'm nervous about buying a Pronto, that much for a remote? (1 Viewer)

Kyle_Y

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Messages
238
I'm nervous abotu buying a Pronto. Can some of you give me support here and tell me that I am making the right decision? My receiver is an Onkyo 797, and this remote is 30% of the cost of the Onkyo. That's so much, but it seems cool. Really, though, as I have stated in my earlier posts, I am most concerned about the reliablity of the 2000. Some words of supports....please:b
 

dpippel

Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems
Premium
Joined
Feb 24, 2000
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10,222
Location
Sonora Norte
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Doug
I was in the same boat a week ago Kyle and I ended up buying one. My advice to you is to find a retailer with a 30 day return policy, get one in your own hands and give it a try to see if you like it. You may or may not want to keep it.

The TSU-2000 that I'm currently trying is a BIG change from a hard button remote. I may not be able to get past using an LCD touchscreen. If you're used to operating your remote by feeling the buttons the Pronto will be a major shift for you. You have to actually look at the screen to work it. I've also found that most of my 6 components will require either learning sessions or some fairly extensive editing with ProntoEdit to be completely functional with the unit. In light of this I'd say that the provided remote codes seem to be pretty poor and of limited use. These are my impressions after 2 days with the TSU-2000. At this point I'd say that, for me at least, it's not worth the price. I'll work with it for another couple of weeks before I make my final decision though.
 

Kyle_Y

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Messages
238
You have a good point that I had never thought of before, but now that I think about it, I do usually look at the buttons on my remote, except for channel up down, and volume up down which Philips has smartly included as hard buttons. I will however be buying from onecall.com who does not offer a return policy unless the product is proven defective. I am pretty set though after thinking about the hard button thing. Thanks.
 

David Ely

Supporting Actor
Joined
Sep 1, 1998
Messages
753
Kyle,

You might want to download a copy of Pronto Edit and fool around with configuring the remote before making the purchase. I've seen too many people buy a Pronto and then never use it because they thought it was too much trouble to configure.

I personally believe that it's extremely easy to configure, but getting the 'perfect' configuration for your use takes time. I'm not trying to scare you away from the remote (I don't know what I'd do without my Pronto). I just want you to know exactly what you're getting in to with this purchase.
 

Kyle_Y

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Messages
238
I didn't know it was possible to download Prontoedit without having the actual pronto. Are you sure I can do this, it won't affect anything when I actually have the pronto?
 

John Sully

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Feb 25, 1999
Messages
199
I agree with David -- download PE from Remote Central. You can experiment a bit with this and decide if you think the configuration process will be too hard or time consuming. Note that the touchscreen does take a bit of getting used to, but it is not nearly as onerous a process as some would have you believe.
I also want to echo David's sentiments: I don't know what I would do w/o my Pronto (now an RC 5200, but the same idea). A well programmed Pronto will make it possible for your technophobe friends, and even your wife, to operate even the most complicated HT. The benefits of the Pronto rise in direct proportion to the complexity of your system.
 

Kyle_Y

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Messages
238
I downloaded Prontoedit4, but what am I suppossed to do with it since I have no Pronto? I don't get any of it either, does this mean that I go and download those files at remtoe central like the one for my 797 etc? Also, when I download a file like that for the 797 screens, does that mean I don't have to program thsoe buttons, or do I still have to program them?
 

Mike Matheson

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 15, 2000
Messages
416
Kyle,
Welcome to the world of Pronto. :)
What I'm trying to say (as well as congratulating you on getting your feet wet) is that getting a Pronto setup well would take a bit of work, research, and time.
Remote Central is a wealth of info to help you get started. In particular you should read any FAQs you see around, the instructions for Pronto Edit, and maybe download a full .ccf file or two to look at what someone's done already.
IF you like to tinker, enjoy playing with computers, and have some time, you'll probably REALLY enjoy a Pronto once you get used to it. If you have NO time, hate computers, or just want to buy a solution and be done with it--you might want to keep looking.
BTW, I have a Pronto and love it. Took some time to setup, but even guests can sit down now and operate my HT--usually without even asking questions. (other than "May I?" :) )
 

Mike Matheson

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 15, 2000
Messages
416
More particular to your post--

What you could do with ProntoEdit 4 is play around with other people's ccfs (to see what's possible and how they accomplished it) as well as to play around yourself at designing simple screens. Developing a full menu system for your HT usually would take a couple iterations--you could get started laying out a basic flow/hierarchy. There's also an emulation mode for you to actually simulate whatever file you've got loaded.

It's fun, once you get the basics.

You could play with ccf's that are relevant to the equipment you have, but you don't have to. Myself, I may download such just to pull the remote codes & screens/buttons out for that one device and merge them into my primary ccf. Download four or five files (your devices or not) and just play with them.

BTW--some of the ccf's you might download are VERY fancy. Figuring out how something was done or even trying to make changes might be difficult at first. If you come across one of these ccf's as you're getting started, maybe try emulation mode to witness what can be done, but don't try to kill too much time editing/changing. Until I'd worked with things myself a bit, these types of files just confused me.
 

Michael Lee

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 7, 1998
Messages
652
Mike offered, as well as others here, solid advice. Remote Central provides a massive library, amongst its other vast resources. The Pronto can appear to be a daunting, intimidating project. However, the end result(if you ever get there) is extremely gratifying. I have had much help in putting a file together for myself, and I am getting more and more proficient at it all the time. It is an obsessive project, if you allow it to be. It sounds like budget is a constraint here...otherwise I would recommend looking for someone to program it for you. That would be the easiest solution.

On the tactile vs. panel buttons issue, I have found using looking at the Pronto display to access some buttons to not be a problem. As long as I can channel surf by going up and down, and adjust the volume without looking...I am fine. All the other conveniences; complete configurability, ability to make your own buttons and images, virtually unlimited macros, make up for it. People love when you have all the station logos on your surf list, and you just press the icon, and it goes to that station.
 

KyleS

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 24, 2000
Messages
1,232
Great advice from all of the people above. The TSU 2000 is a lot easier to setup then the 1000 since a lot of the screens can be setup on the remote itself. Of course for full manipulation and customization you should use Pronto edit. Think of it as looking at a full working remote just virtually. Then you take your finished virtual ccf and upload it to your remote.
When I first got my feet wet with my Pronto I was thinking Holy Shit what the hell have I got myself into. I was sitting their asking myself the same exact questions you are asking now and most people that own a Pronto, at one time or another, have asked the same questions you are asking right now. Mainly because at the time we didn’t know how everything worked. To get your feet wet I would recommend downloading a ccf file and opening that with Pronto edit. Play around with the buttons. Move them, change them, and delete them. This will give you an idea of how things work. Next start a blank CCF and just put in all the buttons you want for 1 controller (don’t worry about the IR commands yet for the buttons) get all the buttons worked out and then download the IR codes for the remote that you can insert into each button. Next repeat this on the next control you want to do on the same ccf on a fresh screen. When you are all done with the remotes you want you can go back and setup multiple commands. (Like setting up 1 button to turn on all your equipment, set them up for a movie, and start a movie) Then by the time you are all done with that I guarantee you are going to want to start over or at least edit the final ccf completely. Since you will have a much better understanding when you get done of what is possible you will want to start playing and from there you never can stop :laugh: and then the Pronto remote owns you ;)
Don’t feel embarrassed about asking questions. Heck if it wasn’t for the people here and over at remote central It would have taken me 3 or 4 times as long to figure out how to get my Pronto running.
Best of luck,
the buttons you want for 1 controller (dont worry about the IR commands yet for the buttons) Get all the buttons worked out and then download the IR codes for the remote which you can insert into each button. Next repeat this on the next control you want to do on the same ccf on a fresh screen. When you are all done with the remotes you want you can go back and setup multiple commands. (like setting up 1 button to turn on all your equipment, set them up for a movie, and start a movie) Then by the time you are all done with that I guarantee you are going to want to start over or at least edit the final ccf completely. Since you will have a much better understanding when you get done of what is possible you will want to start playing and from there you never can stop :laughing: and then the Pronto remote owns you ;)
Dont feel embarrassed about asking questions. Heck if it wasnt for the people here and over at remotecentral It would have taken me 3 or 4 times as long to figure out how to get my Pronto running.
Best of luck,
KyleS
 

Kyle_Y

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 9, 2001
Messages
238
When I download one of those system CCF's, does it come with the IR codes already programmed to the buttons? Also, I can't seem to find a system CCF with all of my components, I can't even find one with my receiver, can I just use a system CCF from some other components and jsut rename them to Onkyo etc? Also, when you say download the IR codes, where would I download them? Does downloading the IR codes eliminate the need to have the Pronto learn all my other codes? Or do I also have the option of creating a system CCF(or borrowing someoen else's) and just teaching the Pronto the old fasion way?

Thanks, you all have been a great help!
 

Mike Matheson

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 15, 2000
Messages
416
Also, when you say download the IR codes, where would I download them? Does downloading the IR codes eliminate the need to have the Pronto learn all my other codes? Or do I also have the option of creating a system CCF(or borrowing someoen else's) and just teaching the Pronto the old fasion way?
I can think of three ways to wind up with the appropriate IR codes present in your ccf.

1. Learn them all (and label them appropriately) via the Pronto itself (not easy with a Windows 2000 system--ProntoEdit tends to crash, in my experience, when learning--instead I go to the original default Pronto setup, use the on-Pronto features to learn IR commands to whatever buttons are present, then upload the CCF to ProntoEdit and pull the IR codes out (copy and paste) into my buttons).

2. Get the IR codes by merging a piece of someone else's CCF with the CCF you're building.

3. Find out the exact IR code and program the pronto yourself (My Theta Casablanca manual lists the IR codes in the back).

95% of your IR codes will be easy (and relatively fast), however you do them. A couple may be tough--certain power on/power off discrete functions, volume or +/- controls that repeat when held down, etc., may take some time to get working.
 

Marc Rochkind

Second Unit
Joined
Aug 26, 2000
Messages
381
These expensive remotes are great if you have extra money, but bear in mind that they are an upgrade that will not improve the picture or the sound.
So, for most people, if there is a budget, then money allocated to the remote has to come from somewhere else.
If there is no budget, then, of course, by all means get the fancy remote.
There are some sensational remotes for less than one tenth the cost.
 

Mike Matheson

Second Unit
Joined
Jul 15, 2000
Messages
416
May not improve sound/video, but they can score BIG points with the spouse:

- hides all those darn remotes (so they don't litter the nicely arranged table, etc.)

- the system can actually be operated by someone without a PHD in HT (on some systems and/or with some wives, this can be a deal breaker/maker)

BTW--I've heard of the B&W Philips Pronto TS1000 models (which is what I use) going for as little as $150 these days. . .
 

Mike OConnell

Second Unit
Joined
Jun 14, 1999
Messages
489
Location
Overland Park KS
Real Name
Mike
Kyle:

I recently purchased a used Pronto TSU2000 and set up the following items in about three hours of research (reading the manuals and advice on remote central) and five hours of downloading from Remote Central and programming:

Denon AVR-5800 (all functions plus tuner)

Sony DVP-660

Lutron Remote Dimmer

Studio Experience SE 13-HD projector

Velodyne Subwoofer

JVC SVHS VCR

For all equipment I used CCF's of individual pieces of equipment out of system CCF's and added buttons (or functions) that were not included that I used.

No - all the screens do not match cosmetically, but all the functions are there!

I also set up the following macros:

"Turn on system" - turns on VCR, Receiver, Projector, and lights.

"VCR to DVD" - shuts off VCR, sets the receiver to the proper settings, turns on VCR, sets the correct aspect ratio for the projector.

"DVD to VCR" - opposite of previous.

"System off VCR" - turns off system from VCR settings.

"System off DVD" - changes setting from DVD to VCR and shuts off system.

In addition, I set up the volume and channels to always control the receiver volume and VCR channels.

I had never used the editing software before i tried the above.

I am not a computer programmer and I think the Pronto is a great piece of equipment.

Mike

Mike
 

Dave Miller

Supporting Actor
Joined
May 9, 1999
Messages
859
I've seen too many people buy a Pronto and then never use it because they thought it was too much trouble to configure.
Yep Kyle, that's me. Bought my Pronto a year and a half ago and spent an extended weekend trying to figure it and pronto edit out. It is still hooked up to my computer and I've not ever consistently used it. Some things in life just aren't worth getting through a learning curve that steep. I'm an intelligent person and a gadget freak, but there is something about the Pronto that was not worth it for me to figure it out. I don't have that much free time.

Consider your purchase carefully.

Peace,

DM
 

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