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Philips' intimidating uber-remote

The price alone is enough to scare us off--$1,836


We have a love-hate relationship with that ultimate object of masculine obsession, the remote control. On one hand, it's risen to a deified status; on the other, we're sick and tired of having so many of them hiding under every cushion in the house.

Yes, we've tried all kinds of universal models, including the very first version of that brick-like Sony remote whose size was matched only by its price. The best part, of course, is that it was so complicated we never learned how to use it. So as tempting as they may sound, we can't help but be skeptical about uber-remotes like the latest one from Philips.

The "Pronto NX PowerLite" is so sophisticated that, at first glance, we thought it was a media player. And in a way, it is: With a VGA interface that organizes entertainment into activities on dynamic Web pages, there's control of not only audio and visual sources but a built-in Escient Fireball music server and Lutron RadioRa lighting control with complete on-screen feedback," SlashGear says. We'll take their word for it.

If all that weren't enough to scare us to death (and it is), we're terrified by the price: $1,836. It's almost enough to make a potato leave his couch.