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Philips SRM7500 SideShow Remote: ‘Soooo Close,’ But Not Quite There

Media Center expert Derek Flickinger finds a Philips SRM7500 SideShow Remote for $68, says the product is flawed but has potential; SideShow still alive

It seems that the Windows SideShow remote is not dead after all, even after Ricavision ceased development of such a product.

Our resident Media Center geek Derek Flickinger stumbled across a SideShow remote on – the Philips SRM7500 Windows Media Center remote.

He paid $68 (free shipping) for the device, which was originally supposed to sell for $199.

SideShow technology allows little bits of data from a Windows Vista PC to be accessed from a lightweight display, even while the computer is hibernating. Many gadgets have been written for Sideshow, allowing users to access RSS feeds, weather reports, home automation, playlists and the like.

The Philips SRM7500 is a SideShow-enabled bi-directional IR/RF remote (it comes with a USB receiver). It's universal, with support for up to six devices, and has IR learning capabilities.

And, it's a Windows Media Center remote with "some promising extra capabilities," Flickinger reports.

A small screen at the top of the remote displays music that is loaded on a (nearby) Vista PC.

Flickinger, who has written a white paper on SideShow technology, was surprised to learn from the user manual (really?!) that the metadata technology in the Philips remote is in fact SideShow.

"I loaded up the Windows SideShow Gadgets for Windows Media Center and Voila!" Flickinger says.

Here's Flickinger's take on the product:

They do have a GAME device available in their codes and Microsoft is listed as one of them.

It does turn off the Xbox via IR when you add the device using their "auto code find" process.

However, several of the buttons are not functioning correctly, especially the BACK button, which is crucial.

The color buttons at the bottom do not work either, but I think they can be learned individually and I will try doing that from the 360 remote.

Unfortunately, it does not look like you can save the configuration out to the PC, so one would need to go through the whole process for each new remote.

The [Media Center] Green Button does not load the Windows Media Center experience when in the GAME mode. It drops you back into the PC mode (and it cannot be changed).

There also is not a MENU button available for the SideShow implementation, which limits some of the navigation a little bit.

Flickinger, the perennial SideShow maven, laments, "Oh sooooo close…."


So is SideShow dead? Crestron, Interlink, Lagotek and others have touted the technology over the past couple of years.

Ikanos even created technology to turn an iPhone into a SideShow-enabled device.

But none of those solutions has gained traction.

The Future of SideShow

So is SideShow dead?

"Actually, quite the opposite," says Flickinger. "The strategy seems unclear to me, but their message is pretty strong."

He points to the recent Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) in November, where SideShow had a session of its own (Windows SideShow: Building Better Devices and PCs; 1.2 MB). It appears that Microsoft is gearing up for SideShow to be incorporated into settop boxes. Also, SideShow is getting support for touchscreens and IP (versus just Bluetooth).

"With the inclusion of touch and IP now, I think we are going to see the proliferation start to happen," Flickinger says.

In the WinHEC presentation, Microsoft's Dan Polivy noted that there currently are 146 gadgets written for SideShow, including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and eBay auction watcher.

Microsoft now offers white papers on building SideShow devices for televisions/settop boxes, PC gaming displays, cordless phones and home automation devices.

According to Microsoft, the top "usage scenarios" for SideShow are viewing email, receiving calendar reminders and viewing contacts (see below).

Chart courtesy of Microsoft

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Article Topics

News · Product News · Universal Remotes · Media Center · Universal Remote · All topics

About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

2 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  12/18  at  09:41 AM

oops, too late. Today’s amazon price for the remote is $109.

Posted by Jeromy Stites  on  12/29  at  06:15 PM

I’ve had my Philips SRM7500 for just over a year now, having bought it from some Remote retailer on the internet for like $179 when I couldn’t find it anywhere else.

I can tell you that this remote is utter crap.  It loses connection all of the time, the software is terrible, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to get the sideshow implementation to work correctly, or even display at all.  The software, oh my - as a professional developer I can tell you that if I released updated software without bothering to increment the version number it would be end of the line for my job.  Also, prior to this new version of software (is it?  I can’t tell by the version numbers) all it would ever say when I try to configure it was that the software was in the middle of an operation - the new software fixes that (90% of the time), but now introduces a new error that essentially shuts off the Media Center remote functionality - it crashes at startup with an intermittent dialog box with a “TODO: <>” descriptor.  I will be replacing this remote with a different model as soon as a new bluetooth “Green Button” enabled MCE remote appears on the market.  You have to get up and remove the USB dongle and plug it in again and pray that Windows re-initializes it for it to work again.

I’ve had this thing for almost 14 months now, and completely and wholeheartedly suggest that you DO NOT purchase this remote.

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