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As has already been pointed out, the RM-AV3000 comes with a significant number of macros. Macros are essentially recorded sequences of commands that can be played back at any time. So, powering on your system, dimming the lights, switching over to the DVD input and starting the movie could all be automated from a single button. The remote includes three main types of macros.
The first type of macros are referred to as "System Control". These include 3 dedicated hard buttons that remain the same no matter which device is selected, with an additional 12 accessible on the LCD screen through the [More] button. The second type are "Component Macros". These are assigned to a component itself, so each time that component is selected the macro will play back. Useful for keeping inputs in sync. The third type are "Timer Macros", which are an entirely new category for the RM-AV3000.
Macro recording carries over nearly unchanged from the RM-AV2100. Enter the setup menu, select [System], choose the button to store the macro on – either System or Component – then start recording up to 32 commands from any of the RM-AV3000’s nearly 1000 possible device functions. Device switches count as a step. Pressing [Commander Off] saves the macro and plays back the recorded commands visually. No further editing is possible, so if a macro isn’t quite right it will need to be re-recorded from scratch.
The Interval between steps is quite snappy on the RM-AV3000, defaulting to 100ms delays. Too fast for your components? No problem, the time can be adjusted between 100 and 900 milliseconds, calibrated in 50 millisecond increments. When recording it's also possible to add a firm "one command" delay by pressing the [Timer] button, although that will count as a step.
Component Select macros contain a "delayed transmission" feature. That allows users to switch components on the remote without sending the attached macro, which may contain input and power commands. The normal hold time is two seconds before the macro is sent, however this can now be customized to one second or even no seconds - macros would always be broadcast instantly.
Another first for the RM-AV3000, macros can now reference other macros, but only in the case of Component (and Timer) macros pointing to System macros. Whenever a System macro is played back it will set the remote to the device where the macro was originally saved, while Component macros always jump back to the proper component. The old capability of learning a single infrared command onto Component Select or System Control buttons still exists, but with the capability to set macro transmission delay times down to nil it's essentially obsolete.
Another minor type of macros are "Channel Macros". These are a hangover from the RM-AV2100 that aren't implemented effectively enough to be of much benefit. With television, cable box and set top box component types, any of the customizable LCD keys can contain a short 4-step macro. Sound minimalistically good? Not really, because the only commands they can contain are the digits from 0 through 10 and [Enter], from that device. Since these can be custom labelled they're of slightly more use than the RM-AV2100, where the occupied squares could not be made to display anything even remotely appropriate, but the next logical step for Sony would have been to allow true macros on any of the LCD label keys.