Is there a market for the $1.5k remote?

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.

Philips DCM270

Philips has a new docking tower called the Philips Docking Entertainment System DCM270 that will really bring your iPod to new heights. The exact height and dimensions are not clear but judging from the picture it is runway tall and runway thin, sure to fit any stylish abode. The tower will allow you to dock your iPod or your GoGear or enjoy music from CDs and radio. No information yet on pricing and availability.

Philips DCM270 the skyscraper of iPod docks [Via: Newlaunches]

Philips CD5351S DECT Cordless Color Phone

We all know that most of the cell phone in the market now come in color, so why not the home phone!? If you like something fancy, you’d like this white babe from Philips. The CD5351S DECT is a cordless phone with a color screen: 4096 display color with 98x67 pixel and CSTN display technology. The phone can play games, store 50 numbers, and send and log SMS texts. This cordless phone has a base that also works as an answering machine, and that can accommodate up to five handsets.

Philips CD5351S DECT features digital answering machine with 15-minute recording time and illuminated message-counter on base, icon-driven color menu, selectable wallpapers, games, SMS, identify call ID by the ringtone, and hands-free speakerphone. This Philips phone costs $89.

Welcome to the color world [via Philips]

Philips Cordless VOIP Phones Reviewed

The market for VOIP phones is growing steadily, as more and more people learn to say "no, I don't want you to touch me there" to their local telco when the big greedy reaches for their wallet.  Philips has a few on the market already, and Geekzone took it upon themselves to try out two of them - the 433, which works with Windows Live Messenger, and the 321, which works with Skype.  Despite the shared manufacturer, the handsets look pretty different and have some different features; for instance, the 433 has a colour screen, albeit a crap one.  My own view is that these just aren't as useful as proper WiFi phones - they both require your PC to be on whenever you want to use VOIP. 

Philip’s amBX Enhances Gaming Experience

The Philip’s amBX system is an attempt to create a more immersive gaming experience by tackling multiple senses via ambient effects such as lighting and wind. The amBX is intentionally simple in design, consisting of four surround speakers, each with lights on top that simulate lighting effects in relation to conditions within your game. Four mini fans are also part of the system to give bursts of wind when called for in your game. More a showcase item for the Simplicity Event 2006, the amBX is not yet being marketed to consumers.

Philips amBX system upgrades your game room [Via: SciFi]

New Philips Digital Photo Display

Got a bunch of digital photos trapped inside your computer? You can now display them with this very cool looking Mac-like digital picture frame, the 7FF1AW from Philips. It accepts SD and Compact Flash, stores up to 50 photos, and hooks up with your digital camera or computer to transfer files.

Peep Show: Philips 7” Photo Display [Via: Gadgetell]

Philips Pronto Professional TSU9600 Flash Presentation and New Pronto Line

Philips Pronto Professional TSU9600 Flash Presentation and New Pronto Line

Look at what the cat dragged in! As you’ll see in the flash presentation below, there’s a stylus that lives behind the right hand side of the TSU9600. Other than that, there isn’t much more info other than a really sweet looking presentation. Here’s a quick run features of the Pronto: a 3.7-inch VGA (640×480 pixel) touch screen display, PC macro downloads, voice recognition, IR and wireless extenders. Trust me, this one is going to put a dent in your wallet considering the TSU7500 is already priced at $1,199.99!

View the next piece of the puzzle... [via Philips]

In related news, Philips Electronics Ltd. has announced the Pronto family of customizable remote controls, consisting of the TSU7500, TSU3500, and RFX6500.

The touch-screen TSU7500 features an LCD with 65k colors, and 48 MB of memory. It has backward compatible RF capabilities, and IR learning for its database of codes. The TSU7500 is currently available for an SRP of $1,199.99.

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Philips says “touch me & I’ll organise your family”

We've all been there: you're just about to leave the house and your great aunt Jessica calls to remind your uncle Horace (who has been living with you since the accident) that they're going out for a joint haircut and Pimms morning at the church hall.  There's no paper to hand, no pen either, and your taxi driver already has the meter ticking.  All you can do is attempt to chew open a minor vein and scrawl a basic message on the wall, hoping that you've enough time to call by the hospital for a quick suturing.  Bloody inconvenient.

Step forward into the slightly milky light Philips, who have come up with a solution that will save all those annoying self-harm hospital bills as well as organise your home.  The "In Touch" concept is a message board with a difference - it's a huge LCD touchscreen.  In the above scenario all you'd have to do is touch the blue light at the bottom right on the screen and record a quick video message, which would be saved in uncle Horace's personal inbox.  If Horace is afraid of moving images (they steal your soul, don't you know) you can write directly onto the screen with a stylus and store that virtual Post-It instead.  MMS and SMS compatible, "In Touch" will alert people when there's a new message.

Sadly it's just a concept at the moment, but if we all threaten to hold our breath until our faces go blue then Philips might just agree to manufacture it.

Philips IN Touch Concept Message Board [via OhGizmo!]

Micro MCE Marvel from Philips

In Medieval times, forces laying siege to a city would catapult rotting horse carcasses over the city walls.  Anybody splashed with this equine warfare would be pretty much guaranteed of dying.  Well, Philips must be hoping its competitors will meet a similar fate when it drops its slinky LX1000 Media Centre PC, a £999 slice of compact loveliness based on the Korea-only Little Lluon.

Boasting a 1.8GHz AMD Turion 64, 1GB of RAM and a 120GB drive, Windows Media Centre can go to town with the LX1000's integrated analogue/digital TV tuner, WiFi and a dual-layer DVD burner ideal for archiving old shows.  Graphics are taken care of by the NVIDIA GeForce 6600 graphics; all this in a 195 x 58 x 212mm box.

It's available in the UK now.  Manufacturers of bulky media centres... look to the skies!

PC World product page [via Engadget]

GoGear SA9200 Going After the Nano

GoGear SA9200 Going After the Nano

The Nano is one of the sexiest DAP around, hands down. If I had to pick a runner up at gunpoint, I’d pick Philip’s GoGear SA9200. It’s every bit as appealing as the Nano. Aside from its stunning 9cm long, and weighs next to nothing at 48g; it’s packed with features to rival the Nano. The interface displays rich icons, and easy control via Sensory Touchpad SuperScroll for tapping, dragging or swiping a finger on the smooth surface for navigating through menus and to select titles. The buttons glow a soothing blue color that compliments the 1.7-inch color screen, that also display photos. The battery will last upwards of 14-hours of continuous playtime. There’s support for MP3, WMA, and compatible with PlaysForSure.

An optional docking station is also available and will work with the newly upgraded Streamium, WiFi HiFi. When docked, the GoGear will list tracks on the Streamium and stream music through it.

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Philips and Netgear bring Skype to your router

I've never really been all that impressed by Skype phones that connect via USB.  My feeling is that, if VOIP is to properly take off with non-techie people, the proviso that "it'll only work if your PC is turned on" just isn't acceptable.  So I'm pleased to see that the small group of ethernet phones - that plug directly into your router - has been joined by the Philips VOIP841.

Looking like a straightforward DECT phone, albeit one with a gorgeous colour display, the 841 gives the full Skype experience - contacts are displayed on-screen with obvious status indicators - only with the convenience and familiarity average users should feel comfortable with.

It'll be interesting to read the first reviews to see whether ease of setup can be added to the list of features.  The VOIP841 is due for release later this year.

Press Release [via Gadgetell]

Philips READUS Prototype Flexible E-Paper Reader

Philips READUS Prototype Flexible E-Paper Reader

Get ready to be impressed because this is the first ever real working prototype of an electronic reader based on a flexible e-paper. The READUS is essentially a 5-inch screen that runs at 320x240 pixels that rolls up just like a scroll. The screen is by E-Ink Corporation, and basically uses power to change the state. The display uses very little power and is easy to read at night or even bright daylight. When you’re done reading, just roll it up.

[flv][/flv]Philips READUS Prototype Flexible E-Paper Reader

Philips READUS [TechEBlog]