AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Kanata, Ontario, Canada
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I think the interface is made to look "basic", kind of like a "basic remote" to give the appears of "simple" but may be that is just how it is. I don't believe there any alternatives as there have been quite a few posts with people having issues with the labelling "technique" and restrictions associated there of. I haven't played with the options but there is a "harmony graphics" method that allows one to load some form of harmony "stuff" but I think that just channel icons.
Touchsquid has a form of "stating" in that you "book keep" what units are needed for a given activity. So if "watch tv" activity needs, a tv, sat box, and audio receiver, those devices are turned on. I am not sure whether it issues the commands to always cause those actions at the start of the activity but I actually think is does not.... that is it "knows" where it was coming from and assumes some form of "state" from that time. So if now you want to watch blu, it can be made to know that you need a player is involved so it would do that (ie. power it up). Where I have my problems, is if I leave an activity go from blu ray back to sat watching for any reason, then the player would get shut down (not required for sat watching) and thus I would have to "restart" the player if I went back from sat to player. As a result, as oppose to doing activities, I just use macro buttons to navigate from device to device. So in essence, I have a "watch media" activity that basically sets the layout of the remote up with "linking" to "favorite channels and such" since sat TV is the prevalent media source. I then have a "switcher activity" which basically sets up the remote for a few specialized sequences of switching (ie. macro button to watch PC videos -> switch tv to vga, switch audio receiver to input PC audio, similarly to play games either xbox or wii using macro button to switch tv to X input, switch receiver to Y input, etc).
So my setup would be more "traditional" with the touchsquid acting like a programmable remote BUT where by the "limited" labelling off buttons can be set up kind of "activity orientated" activities being "media watching / primary sat based" and "media switching / setup" whereby most buttons and such represent audio receiver based functions. Having said that, a fully activity based setup can be readily achieved again using the "limited labeling".
I have come from a touch screen sony remote (rm av3000) so I haven't found the labelling to be an issue since it was "limited" on sony anyways. What I wanted was the "limited editability" of the labels to improve along with improved screen lighting / display (plus other things like switch apps, etc) and so touchsquid does appear to achieve that in a "step"... :-) As people have pointed out, leaving hard buttons for "soft buttons" can be an issue. I use some URC remotes (350 and 500) in other areas and don't find much improvement / advantage / disadvantages in "fingering travels" overall between sony, urc, and touchsquid/tab2. My wife tends to use a dedicated remote for the main activity of sat watching although system "startup" is done thru the samsung tab2. She has an ipad but I haven't attempted to do anything with it because of the added need for the global cache etc.
You might want to try bounce questions on the touchsquid forum (off their web site) to get a better feel of things plus they are really responsive to questions in general so that will likely help.
Further if you want / need, you could PM me and we can go from there to emails to directed questions. We both will likely learn far more without causing a lot of undue forum "clutter".... maybe... :-)