Philips is well known for their Pronto line of remote control products, but they also make a rather large lineup of handheld universal remote controls. The new Prestigo line represents Philips foray into the consumer remote realm where PC-based programming is discarded in favor of preset codes and on-screen prompts. Where the new SRU8015 remote deviates is in its ability to guide the user through programming with a full color LCD screen - and without the aid of a real instruction manual. This remote will be a godsend for some, especially given its oddly low street price (in comparison to retail) and a cumbersome, less-useful adventure for others.
LCD remote controls seem to be all the rage, however most come with accompanying hard buttons or touch-panels to aid users in selecting and activating functions. With the SRU8015, all of that is cast aside for a “rotary wheel.” At first this seemed like a nifty concept… but I eventually realized it was an idea that “could” have been great but was instead beaten to death by bad user interface design. In fact, the entire remote seemed to be very quirky in many areas - so much that I began to see why it was now available for less than half its original retail price - and, oddly enough, was no where to be found on the Philips website.
Build Quality & Ergonomics
The remote comes in a retail package that hangs easily from a hook and shows off the remote’s basic capabilities. You instantly get attracted to the unit’s piano black finish and ample-sized LCD screen. The presence of a rotary wheel gave me the impression that I’d be able to control this unit much like an iPod - something that made me start to salivate with thoughts of a new way of navigating through menu systems.
The packaging touted “Fast, intuitive IR learning” and “Effortless setup and operation.” It also listed off 15 types of components the Prestigo SRU8015 could control. The LCD screen had a removable sticker over it that simulated navigation of the Favorites menu systems - one of the highlights and strengths of this remote control. To say that the packing motivates consumers to want to take the product home and try it out would be an understatement. Except for the $180 retail price, I could see these flying off the shelves simply on looks alone.
When I opened it up, the contents included the SRU8015, a Quick Start Guide, a multi-language user manual, and 3 AA Philips alkaline batteries. The remote control itself is very nice looking. It features a gloss black control surface that sits within an aluminum-colored shell. The front is tapered down like a futuristic sports car and the remote weighs nearly a pound - making it a substantial, but not uncomfortable, piece of hardware.
Philips opted to hide the dual IR emitters in the front of the remote to maintain its smooth lines. The SRU8015 is relatively thin throughout most of the body, save the emitter end and the battery compartment (which needs to squeeze in three AA alkaline cells). About the only negative about the feel of the remote was its almost ultra-smooth bottom. At times it actually slid around in my hand, rather than maintaining its position or form-fitting the contours of my natural grip.
Read the complete review at Audioholics.com
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