The original Philips Pronto universal remote, introduced way back in 1998, offered a level of programmability and customization totally unheard of at its $399 price, and it instantly became a smash with installers and do-it-yourselfers alike. But over the years, love for the Pronto has waned as other companies created smartly designed models of their own.
When historians mark time, there are always pivotal technologies that clearly define watershed changes in how society functions: the printing press, the automobile, the airplane. And quite possibly, for future historians to consider, the iPod.
With all the press that monster flat-panel TVs and high-def discs have been getting, it's possible to forget that video is only half the experience. (After all, this magazine isn't called Sight & Vision.) Without great sound to back it up, your home theater is just a bunch of fancy images.
With all the press that wireless technologies like Wi-Fi have been getting, it's easy to forget that hard-wired systems make the A/V world go round. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, adding a component to your system means running at least one wire.
My experience, nay, love affair, with Harmony remote controls began four years ago when I reviewed one of the first, the 768 (that remote is no longer available, even though the review still is, at soundandvisionmag.com). The marching orders for developing the Harmony remotes were simple yet groundbreaking, then and now.
Adding wiring to an existing home can seem as daunting as building the pyramids. How do you run cable from one side of the room to the other, let alone from one side of the house to the other? If it were as simple as draping wires across the floor or stapling them to the wall, you'd do it yourself.