Philips Shuts Down Pronto Universal Remote Line - HotHardware
Philips Shuts Down Pronto Universal Remote Line

Philips Shuts Down Pronto Universal Remote Line

Logitech, you're on your own now. Philips, which has been a major competitor in the home theater space for years, has just shut down a prominent part of that division: Pronto. Any home cinema buff would be familiar with that name, as that's the name of the company's universal remote control line. It was widely viewed as the main rival to Logitech's Harmony remote line, and with Pronto gone, there's a huge gap in that sector that now needs filled.


Insiders would know that Philips has actually been struggling to find a buyer for the Pronto remote line since 2009. They haven't been successful in the search, so they're simply shutting it down and saying that Pronto "no longer fits with the Philips strategy." Here's the official line: "In December 2009, Philips announced the intention to relocate some of its existing remote control activities in Leuven, Belgium to Asia. At the same time, the intention was communicated to investigate alternative strategic options for the Pronto business, as this activity no longer fits with the Philips strategy. Following thorough research, no suitable partner was found for the acquisition of these activities. As such, Philips confirms today that it will discontinue the Pronto product line and related activities."


This is definitely a big loss for home theater buffs. It's hard to imagine a remote landscape without the Pronto, and by the sound of it, existing owners may not be catered for much longer. After-purchase support is critical in a market where universal remotes need new codes to handle new equipment, so it will be interesting to see how Philips responds to service requests from here on out. If you're thinking of starting a remote business to challenge Logitech, now looks like a great time.
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Without any competition, prices may go up now. That's too bad.

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Hi Ray,

Re your statement, "Logitech, you're on your own now," that is completely inaccurate. Many Philips Pronto controls were programmed by custom installers (i.e., not DIY)… and that market is DOMINATED by URC (Universal Remote Control, http://www.universalremote.com). In fact, according to CE Pro magazine’s June 2010 brand analysis of the top 100 residential custom installation companies, URC was installed by 88 percent of them, Logitech by only 8 percent, and Philips had fallen out of the top 5 entirely (the others were Crestron, RTI and Control4). In addition, URC offers a full line of DIY remotes at retail, including the Digital R50, which can hold its own against any Logitech remote. URC lapped the field against Pronto a long time ago. We had to chuckle when you wrote, "If you're thinking of starting a remote business to challenge Logitech, now looks like a great time." We've sold over 50 million remotes over the last decade, and we show no signs of slowing down. We encourage you and your readers (like realneil) who don’t know about us to check us out!

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