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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone here have experience with this one?

I'm getting one for free from a friend who got it as a demo model for review. He's a gadget nerd, but not a home theater nerd, so he couldn't make heads or tails of it and is giving it to me for review (and to keep once I'm done).

It should be here later this week and I plan to post my review here. Just trying to get some groundwork done first.

Thanks.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Been there, read most of the threads on it. Just wondering if any Shacksters have this remote or if I'd be the first.

so far it looks like a bear to program, but very powerful. So if you put in the time to set it up, it can be rewarding.

I actually found RemoteCentral years ago when I got into X10 stuff. I don't like their formatting, but there are some great resource people there.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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Discussion Starter #4
Okay, some first thoughts. Warning, these are going to sound harsh:

This thing is a piece of junk.

It looks nice and when the wheel and screen work, it works well. It has a menu driven scroll wheel that allows you to highlight macros and execute them. For a first cut I just put my DVR/Fios box in there. The on macro worked fine, the functions for volume, channel, guide, arrows, all perfect. I put in 20 channels and added them to a "favorites" macro menu. It's nice to have the channel icons and scroll through to select one, rather than using guide (especially if you want to go through three different channels rather than just the simple jump/back).

That works well. Looks nice, definitely better than the remote that came with Fios.

Then the problems began.

First, it locks up and reboots, not necesseraily in that order. The reboots aren't so bad, you migrate back to the home screen most of the time anyway, and the reboot only takes a second or so. But you can sit there and watch the "Philips" logo flash on the screen several times in the span of a half hour. Not good.

When you are done using it, it times out. First it turns off the LCD display, then a few seconds later, it turns off the remote back lighting. However, every once in a while, the LCD turns off with the back light on, but it does not finish its dimming procedure. It stops in a holding pattern with the lights still lit up. It won't accept any functions or macros or wake up again. Cradling it, hooking up the usb both do nothing. The only thing that works is pulling the cover and battery.

This would be fine if it only locked up once a day or week or year. But it has locked up at least 4 times in the last 2 hours. I only have one component in there and very few channel macros -- so I doubt it's a memory full problem.

I then upgraded the firmware to see if that was it. First off, I had to upload my settings again -- the firmware wipes it. But that is the beauty of this type of setup -- the macros and setup are on your computer and you can restore them and change them offline and restore them when the upgrade is complete. However, the firmware did not fix the issue. This is by far the worst problem this remote has.

Also, it rattles. It has a sensor that picks up movement and lights up when you pick it up. Nice that you don't have to fumble for a specific button or accidentally hit the wrong button to trigger a "light up" option. Except that this particular sensor rattles. So much so that I thought some plastic broke off in transit and was loose inside. I carefully took it apart to look for the loose piece, only to find out that the rattle is in a little black box at the base of the remote. I assume this is the tilt/shake sensor. So I put it together and kept testing.

So . . .

Pros:
Good layout
One handed operation
Pretty
Fairly inexpensive compared to other remotes like it

Cons:
Rattle
Lockups
Reboots

At this point I'm glad this is a demo model that I didn't pay for. It may just be a manufacturing glitch, but I'd hope they check their dealer demos more thoroughly. I've read a few other people having this problem, so maybe the next firmware will fix it.

As of now, though, I wouldn't recommend this remote. Of course, all opinions subject to change. :)
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Followup -- you can reset the remote when it gets "uppity" by holding power and checkmark buttons down. So it's not that difficult to reset when it locks up. Still annoying to have to do it though.

I'm going to e-mail their tech support to see what's going on.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Okay, I tried doing stuff from scratch and am feeling better about this remote.

First, I thing I have fixed the lockup/reboot problem. By default, the LCD and backlight timeouts are 5 and 10 s. When I set them both the 10s, the problem no longer appears. It seems something goes kooky when it tries to do it's "sleep mode".

I am liking the customizable buttons and menus. Definitely not as good as the touch-screen models in that regeard, but also much easier to program.

I still have some cons, though. The programming software is buggy. It doesn't crash, but going back and forth between database (for codes) and the menu/button programs is non-intuitive. Hopefully they can streamline this in the future.

Right now I have "macros" for each of my components separately (Receiver, DVD, Fios box, lights, VCR) and am learning the process. Once I find most of the discrete codes, I'll start making macros for one touch operation.

If the thing doesn't flake on me for a couple of weeks, I'll get the RF to IR extender and see if I can do some more advanced installations.

Bottom line, better than my original post would indicate, but steep learning curve. I'm at 6 hours plus now and just got the basics working. Frustrating, but hopefully worth it.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Another update:
Got an Xbox 360 for Christmas and installed it into the theater. I now have 5 IR targets with only four outputs on the Extender. I had an old IR emmitter that had two heads. That worked fine, meaning the voltages and plug were standard for most IR distribution stuff (and why wouldn't they be).

But I also had to modify the software to add the Xbox and add a macro to play (set the projector and receiver to the right modes). This is where the software shines. I simply loaded the last configuration, added the xbox, a few controls, and uploaded it to the remote. Done.

Whole modification took me 10 minutes total.

A couple of "errata" items:
When it tells you the database is not syncronized, just ignore it. Hasn't been a problem.
If you get a lot of "command failed" errors, try a different channel (there are 3). I pick up errant signals on all three, but one is significantly less noisy than the others. Thankfully it establishes communication before sending the macro, so it either sends or it doesn't, so you don't get stuck halfway through a macro.
 

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Plain ole user
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11,121 Posts
The flashers do not need to be attached to a single component. One can often see more than one component if you can place them appropriately to flood and area. If you have an enclosed cabinet, one trick that I have used is to put reflective aluminum tape that is used for ducts on the inside of the door and let the flashers face the door to flood the area inside the cabinet. I have done entire stacks in a cabinet with a single two LED flod flasher. Several singles can work as well.
 

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2 Posts
I have owned a TSU7000 for years now and I also can say that it is troublesome with the reboots/crashes however I made my own screens and customized it for each of my rigs as they evolved.

I joined this site just to say that I am willing to share my mods with you if you would like it. It will allow you a nice base to start from in the custom setup - no strings - no catches - just opensource joy. And believe me when I say that I spent over 50 hours moding this thing. If I wasn't such a newb here I would share a pic or two...

let me know...
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Hey there, welcome to the Shack! We always welcome people willing to share their knowledge here.

Back on topic:
I found a channel that seems to work (albeit with the occasional "Command Failed"). I simplified many of my macros to just the basics. I think I would recommend this remote for someone using it as IR only, though. I fixed the reboot problem pretty easily (changing the timeout delays) -- it's just the RF functionality that is so frustrating.

Other than the occasional not-working, I actually like this remote. :)
 

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well...it seems you have worked your way through the learning curve that is taught in a level one pronto training course ... :)

now look at your first review post ....big difference from then to now huh?

having a proper program in a remote like this makes a world of difference. Having someone who knows how to program the remote properly makes a big difference for the end user. The programming determines whether it is a piece of junk, an enjoyable experience or even a GREAT remote when done by an experienced programmer.

glad you took the time to fight your way through it....haha
 

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Plain ole user
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11,121 Posts
Just don't drop it. We get these things back with cracked screens all the time.
 

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Hey - while we are on the subject of the TSU - does anyone have a link to a battery replacement for this thing? I have tried the RadioShack version but it turns out not to work... would love to replace this thing for new one.

thanks!
 

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I'm using this remote now, in my opinion, it's not convenient if many extended options used, there's not much programming for them, they all mixed in the list, no dedicated buttons can be made.
 

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Elite Shackster , HTS Moderator Emeritus
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2,216 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Okay, I rescind my criticism of this remote. A new firmware was just released for both this remote and the RFX9200 IR repeating station.

I only upgraded the remote. I will need to cobble together a special serial cable to update the RFX9200 (serial to tip-ring-sleeve 1/8"). So far, it fixed almost all the "Command Failed" errors I was having. It seems like all the buttons take about a half second longer to engage (at least the macros). I imagine the remote is verifying connectivity to the base station, frequency hopping if necessary, then transmitting the IR codes.

Before I think it was simply trying to send the codes and if that failed it just aborted.

So it took a year for me to approve of this remote, but at least they fixed it. Better late than never :D
 
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