Radio Shack Kameleon or Cheap PDA as the best touchscreen remote option?

Discussion in 'Accessories, Cables, and Remotes' started by Alex_Santos, Aug 17, 2003.

  1. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Hello again boys and girls. Been doing some research on remotes here and AVS and Remote Central. Narrowed my choices down to 2: Radio Shack Kameleon or a cheap PDA like an Axim to use PDAWin's software. Kameleon is only $60 which is its biggest advantage. Its been getting pretty good user reviews over at RC. The Axim idea would give me color and much more flexibility but the idea of touching the PDA all the time doesn't sound right to me. Those screens aren't really made to be touched. I guess you could put a protector on it but that might dampen the sensitivity. I was hoping some of you could shed your insights with me.
     
  2. Chuck Kent

    Chuck Kent Supporting Actor

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    Alex: I'm a button kind of guy. Since you've indicated that you're going touchscreen, you might wonder why I'm posting...

    Well, since I have no particular attachments, I feel like I'm fairly non-biased comparing touchscreens (note I didn't say totally [​IMG] ). I own a RS Kameleon, a Palm PDA (not using it as a remote though) and, until recently, a Sony AV2100 touchscreen. I have also looked a Pronto's from time to time.

    Some random, rambling thoughts...

    Of your choices, I was very disappointed in the Kameleon. It can accomodate several devices and is somewhat upgradeable by phone (device codes only, no additional keys.) But it doesn't always light up when you pick it up (a fairly common issue.) And it requires finding the right keys by looking at it every single time you want to use it. The number of keys are quite limited too.
    The PDA solution also requires constant looking similar to the Kameleon. The Axiom appears to have decent IR output but many PDAs don't. I'd still be willing to bet it's IR output doesn't come near many decent standalone remotes.

    If touchscreen is what you're after, I advocate that you consider the Sony AV3000 or a version of the Pronto. The Sony is pretty darn flexible. Much more so than the RS Kameleon. Many more key label choices. It is a bit bigger though...
    There is a new Kameleon http://www.surfremotecontrol.com/OFA-9960.html that is MUCH better than the RS version. If the Kameleon family is what you're after, this is going to be a much better direction to go. (I may buy one of these just to look at and tinker with. It sure looks a whole lot better than the RS version.)
    Finally, Pronto's are the ultimate in affordable touchscreens. PC connectivity and the largest code database for any remote...period.

    I hope this helps a little. I know it's not exactly what you were looking for...
     
  3. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    Most PDA's are not designed with IR emitters to cross a room. A few feet at best. It's also very easy to change the screen on a PDA by accident, or even have it auto shut-down during a long movie so you have to double-tap it to wake it up.

    So while it is possible to use a PDA, it really does not fit the need.
     
  4. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Well I know that there's a company online, electric dog or something like that, that sells IR extenders for PDA's. I was reading reviews on them and most people seem pretty happy with the product although shipping seems to be a problem and so does communication.

    I didn't even know about the one-for-all version. Im going to check into that right away.

    As far as the Sony and Pronto's go, they are a bit out of my price range. Even a new Axim would cost me less than a Sony touchscreen. Pronto is way too expensive.
     
  5. MikeSRC

    MikeSRC Second Unit

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    The Sony AV3000 is only a little over a $100, which is quite a bit less than an Axim X5 ($200), especially after you add on the IR extender. However, it's also rather large and does not have the customizability of a PDA or Pronto. There are still some TSU2000s available for less than $200 if you look around a little. That would be your best bet in a sub-$200 touchscreen.
     
  6. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    My wife and I absolutely love our Kameleon. Got it last October (replaced Sony 2100).

    It does everything I need. Controls every aspect of my Directivo, my S-VHS VCR, Pioneer 811 (everthing runs thru it), Panny A110, and Sony Jukebox CD.

    I don't ask for a bunch when it comes to universal remotes like some folk. Some people want every single function on display on the universal..Me, as long as I can hit one MACRO to power everything on then off, use one Macro to switch to DVD mode, and one to switch me to TIVO mode, one for VCR, then I'm happy..and the Kameleon does that.

    If you think about it, 99% of the time all you need is power on/off, volume, channel changing, and some DVD or VCR functions etc..

    My vote is for the Kameleon. [​IMG]

    Alfer
     
  7. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    But does the Kameleon have the skip forward/back for the Tivo?

    This is the big lack in most remotes. They seem to not be designed for DVR (Digital Video Recorders) and the frequently-used skipping buttons. Sure, you can program a macro button or two, but these are usually in odd places.

    When I last looked at the Kameleon, I could not see where the forward/back buttons would be.
     
  8. Alex_Santos

    Alex_Santos Second Unit

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    Good call Bob. This is definately important to me because Ive got a ReplayTV that Id like to control.
     
  9. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Yes the Kameleon has the exact same buttons as the Tivo remote..even the ones you mentioned. NO macro's needed.

    Alfer
     
  10. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    You can buy used pronto's well under $100 now (I just got another one for $80 shipped for my second zone). Why bother messing around trying to turn a PDA into a pronto when you can get the real thing for less.
     

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