I've been pretty harsh on universal remote controls in the past. It's not that I don't see the point of them - quite the opposite, in fact - but just that manufacturers seem to be in a race to fit as many buttons as possible in and end up with something that's more difficult to fathom than the original brace you were hoping to replace. Still, I'm nothing if not an optimist, and so I truly believe that the right remote is out there waiting for me. And so like a mildly peckish beaver I devour any reviews that I spot, that empty place in my heart just desperate to be filled.
Latest up to parade itself in front of me is Philips' Pronto Professional TSU9600, which builds on the success of the iconic original Pronto line by strapping on a few extra hard buttons and updating the screen, accompanying PC software and home-automation compatibility. And so that's how it fell into the hands of the folks over at Automated Home, who promptly spent around 12 hours tweaking it to high-heaven.