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Philips Pronto NG TSU3000 Review
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Philips Pronto NG TSU3000
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Learning the best way.
Although most users tend to avoid code learning like the plague and rely solely on the preset database – even going to extremes to find a functional code before digging out the original remote – I’ve always found databases to be more trouble than they’re worth. That’s because preprogrammed databases aren’t configured to work with specific models. Instead, they’re intended to function with the widest possible range of equipment. In a word, be as “generic” as possible... and if the Pronto is meant to be anything, generic isn’t it.

Database-configured devices are typically littered with numerous missing model-specific features, completely non-operational buttons and many buttons that work but don’t match their label. This isn’t really a problem with the Pronto’s database per se, but a limitation on the quantity of information that can be stored and the amount of time that can be dedicated to its creation. So, provided that factory original remotes are available for teaching, I generally recommend that users take an extra few minutes and try capturing the codes manually. It’s really not that hard, and you’ll end up with a remote that has what you want exactly where you want it.

The [Learn] setup option jumps right into code capture mode. Select the device, page and button and the remote will show “Learning” at the top of the screen. Face the TSU3000 and the original remote head-to-head a couple of inches apart and immediately press the source button. If the Pronto successfully captures the code, it will beep pleasantly and wait for you to make another selection. If there was a problem the remote will buzz crossly and flash “Failed”. Tsk, tsk!

In addition to the non-editable [Backlight] and [Page Up/Down] buttons, the default configuration will also not allow you to place a command on the far left soft-labelled button, the [Toggle] button, or the [Home] button. However, a single learned command can be assigned to each device that, during normal use, will be transmitted whenever the component is selected. There is no way to avoid sending this code, save placing your hand over the IR emitters.

Philips Pronto NG TSU3000
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When more isn’t needed.
The Pronto is capable of capturing infrared frequencies up to 78kHz, plus 455kHz for nonconformist brands such as Bang & Olufsen. Although many other remotes specify that they can go higher than 78kHz, there’s really no critical reason to do so as the vast majority of equipment operates around the 40kHz range. Codes generally captured accurately, although the TSU3000 seemed picky on how close the source remote was to the learning eye. It also appeared to require a two second delay before it was ready to capture the next code – pushing another button before then had no effect. When capturing codes it is important that the source remote’s button be held down until the TSU3000 finishes capturing. Otherwise, the Pronto may record a dirty or non-repeating code.

Although there’s no automated stepping from one button to the next, I can see where the programmers may have felt that could be a potential problem with some customized layouts. Certain on-screen buttons aren’t intended to hold device functions, so you really wouldn’t want the remote to try to put learned command on them. Still, for a remote with the Pronto’s processing power it should have been possible to add a way to mark such system buttons for exclusion from automated learning, or merely skip buttons that contain a link, jump, macro or advanced function unless specifically selected.

The relocation of the learning eye from the bottom to the top of the Pronto means that the two remotes now need to be placed head-to-head for learning. Previously it was possible to keep both units vertical and read their buttons labels without getting a crick in the neck. Now, one remote is either upside down or both remotes are sideways.

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