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Sony RM-AV2500 Remote Control Review
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Sony RM-AV2500 Remote Control

Sony's latest 12-device touchscreen offers plenty of
features, but is it really better than the RM-AV2100?

Sony RM-AV2500
Enlarge this photo.
A surprising thing happened when Sony’s RM-AV3000 remote control was released as the successor to the RM-AV2100: sales of both models thrived! In spite of the RM-AV3000’s fresh exterior and considerably more powerful capabilities, a new market had abruptly materialized – one that wouldn’t ordinarily have given the latest super-remote a second glance, but was perfectly comfortable with the more modest and now discounted RM-AV2100. A hypothesis: was there call for a model priced somewhere between the $79 RM-VL1000 and $199 RM-AV3000?

That question was answered when electronics retailer giant Best Buy commissioned a special batch of the RM-AV2100 (read our review) to market at $149 alongside the $199 RM-AV3000 (read our review), and was ultimately successful at selling both. One possible explanation is that the RM-AV2100 was already capable enough, and the RM-AV3000’s further upgrades significant enough, that the two models could be considered complementary, rather than competing.

Recognizing a golden opportunity, Sony has formally adopted the $149 price point with the introduction of their RM-AV2500 touchscreen remote control. Also released at the same time, an upgraded $199 RM-AV3100 (read our review) boosts Sony’s deluxe offering to new heights. Although the RM-AV2500 may look as if the RM-AV2100’s level of functionality has simply been wrapped in RM-AV3100 style clothing, rest assured that it is, in fact, a brand new model. Different screen, redesigned case, new button layout, more capabilities!

The Next Generation
Sony’s RM-AV series of touchscreen remotes have a lengthy history dating back to the mid 1990s when the RM-AV1000 was first sold in Japan. Despite being a breakthrough product in both form and function, the endearingly chunky remote didn’t catch on. Perhaps the RM-AV1000 was too advanced, too complicated, too big, or just too far ahead of its time.

Sony RM-AV2500
Enlarge this photo.
Whatever the reason, Sony wisely held on to the concept for a few years, eventually giving it another try at the end of 1997 in the more home theater oriented USA. This time the market responded quite favorably and the second-generation RM-AV2000 (read our review) became the very first product reviewed on Remote Central. Finally, a high-technology customizable remote that could control almost anything – and it didn’t cost an arm and a leg!

Today’s RM-AV2500 represents the fifth generation and third physical design of Sony’s proprietary and unquestionably unique “armrest-sized” form factor. Although the shape and size can be an acquired taste for some, big, powerful and simple-to-operate universal remotes like the RM-AV2500 answer the call for a customizable control that’s able to operate many components with all functions displayed simultaneously. Everything you need, when you need it.

Sony does not use a fancy marketing or series name for the RM-AV2500 model, unless you count “Integrated Remote Commander”... and as my fingers don’t feel like typing that over and over, let’s stick to calling it the “RM-AV2500”. In addition, as this model is intended as a functional replacement for the RM-AV2100, comparisons will be made primarily to that unit, with references to other models where appropriate.

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