Universal Remote Control Reviews

REVIEW / Philips Prestigo SRT9320

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Last updated: April 23, 2012  
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Régis Jehl Published on April 23, 2012
Translated by Hugh Ehreth

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Buttons 22
  • Supported devices 20
  • Dimensions 190 x 58 x 20 mm mm
  • Weight 152 g
The Philips Prestigo SRT9320 universal remote is no spring chicken (it was released last October). And yet it has some intriguing features: a large touchscreen, backlit buttons and an Activity function. So we figured what the hey, we'll do a review anyway!

Nice Handling

The back of the remote is covered with a soft touch coating. The touchscreen is 2.8 inches on the diagonal with 240 x 320 pixel resolution. The screen may not be smartphone-quality, but it still looks good and has more detail and wider viewing angles than the Logitech Harmony series.

The SRT9320 features a surface resistive touchscreen instead of the capacitive display dominating most of today's smartphones. It's ultra precise and Philips has found a nice compromise for avoiding typos: when you touch a letter on the virtual keyboard, it zooms in to allow you select the character more easily. This greatly reduces typos, but then again you have to touch the screen twice to enter any letter.

When searching for a TV channel or radio station, the channel/station logos appear on the screen. They are displayed in pages with only 4 logos per page (see below). That's the only drawback to this method. A mozaic-style page with two columns would have been more practical, especially since there's no real need to display the channel name when the logo is right next to it...

Philips prestigo srt9320 activites Philips prestigo srt9320 activites
TV channel logos and Activity selection.


The logos are stored on the device and you can also add logos manually by connecting the remote to your computer via the mini-USB cable. But first you have to download the software Philips Configo from the company's website (the version provided on the CD isn't compatible with Windows 7 and later).

Very Few Physical Buttons

The selection of physical buttons (22) is pretty meagre for a universal remote. They've been slashed to the bare essentials: menu navigation, volume, channels and a few coloured buttons. But all the classic ones you're used to on traditional remotes, like the numeric keypad, haven't been forgotten; you can find them on the touchscreen.

The Prestigo SRT9320 is rechargeable and a round tip adapter is included. That means there's no docking station like with the Logitech Harmony One, which is better-looking but takes up more space. You can activate/deactivate the backlighting for the buttons yourself, but there's no motion sensor to activate it automatically when you pick up the remote. Same thing for the touchscreen, which only turns on after you tap on it or press one of the physical buttons.

Philips prestigo srt9320 pave numerique Philips prestigo srt9320 pave numerique
The advanced functions and numeric keypad are displayed on the touchscreen.


The Settings Can Only Be Changed On The Remote

Contrary to the Prestigo SRT8215, you can't modify the settings via your computer, only directly on the remote itself. The database of supported devices is memorised on the remote. Even though it's already big (we couldn't find any devices in our labs that it didn't support), you can update the database using the Configo software we mentioned earlier. If even then you still can't find your device, you can always add it manually by teaching the Prestigo the infrared codes using the device's own remote, which you will obviously need in that case.
Activities
Similar to the Logitech Harmony series, the Philips Prestigo has two different ways of controlling devices. There's the regular method of manually selecting the device you wish to control, and then there's the automated macro-based method dubbed "Activities".

This system executes a series of commands on the remote control that activates each of the devices needed for the action you wish to perform. Let's take an example. We'll call it "Watch a Blu-ray Movie". With just one tap of a button the Prestigo SRT9320 will turn on your TV, select the video input, turn on your home cinema system and, finally, turn on your Blu-ray player.

By pressing a single button an entire series of commands chosen by you is enacted. You can also set different devices for each button on your remote. For example, you can assign the PLAY/STOP buttons on the remote to your Blu-ray player and the volume buttons to your sound system. And when you hit OFF it turns each of them off.

However, there's one impractical aspect about the system. Take two activities, "Blu-ray" and "TV". The only difference between the two is the use of the Blu-ray player (or decoder, depending on your set-up). Well, in this case you can't simply switch from one activity to the next. You have to end your current activity, turn all the devices off and then launch the second one, which turns them back on again. We prefer the Logitech Harmony when it comes to this, because the system "remembers" that some of the peripherals are already on and just switches the video inputs it needs to perform the Activity.

But let's end on a positive note by mentioning that you can also modify the length of the remote's signals (in increments of 250 ms) and set the amount of time it waits before performing each action in a given Activity.

PROS

  • Can control up to 20 devices
  • Large colour touchscreen
  • Activities (macros)
  • Supports an extensive array of IR codes

CONS

  • Settings have to be modified on the remote itself; an additional software would have been more practical
  • You can't switch Activities without turning everything off and back on again

CONCLUSION 4/5

This is an appealing universal remote that does its job almost perfectly. It would have gotten that 5th star if it weren't for the tiresome task of switching between Activities.
4 Philips Prestigo SRT9320 Digitalversus 2012-04-23 15:30:00

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