Sony has officially announced two brand new remote controls. First up is the RM-AV3000
, the top-of-the-line successor to their current RM-AV2100 (read review
). The RM-AV3000 sports control of more components (18 in total), more macros (45 in total), has more buttons per device and adds programmable timers into the mix. As with Sony's other recent remote, it's learning capable and has plenty of memory. Although the remote uses a similar type of LCD screen to its predecessor, where button labels are "permanent", Sony has taken the RM-AV3000 a step beyond by providing four squares at the bottom that feature custom labels of up to 8 characters in length. Each device has three pages of such labels. Those same squares are also used for access to devices, macros and timers not represented by actual hard button. Devices can also have custom names.
Ergonomically, the RM-AV3000 is much improved. Although the footprint is identical, the remote is much thinner, complimented by a nice tilt to the screen. Menu controls have been shifted from the LCD screen to quite large hard buttons. As you might have guessed I have already seen one of these, however I do not yet have one for review. Needless to say, this is a big step up from the RM-AV2100. It's expected to sell for $199 and will be available this coming March. Believe it or not, that tiny picture is the best I can come up with for now. I'll post more information as soon as it is available.
Sony's second new remote looks to be the next big "power user's value clicker". With a list price of only $99, the RM-VL1000 is a significant upgrade of the existing $59 RM-VL900 (read review). Maintaining much of the RM-AV3000's technology, the RM-VL900 is a thin, "traditionally shaped" remote that sports an LCD screen with four custom labelled buttons, control of up to 12 components, 24 macros with 32 steps each, programmable timers, full learning capabilities and a 5-way menu joystick. This one will be available in April. No photo was provided.
February 25th Update: click here for photographs of both remotes.
Below you'll find the original press release.
SONY'S UNIVERSAL REMOTES TAKE CONTROL OF HOME ENTERTAINMENT CONFUSION
Combine the Functions of 18 Remote Controls Into One
PARK RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 20, 2002 - Sony Electronics is set to liberate the media room of rapidly multiplying remote controls with its new universal Remote Commanders® controls. The new universal remotes consolidate control of up to 18 compatible, separate audio and video components, potentially freeing millions of American families from the tyranny of too many remote controls.
"We designed our universal remotes for people who want to take back control of their many entertainment components, but don't want to spend a lot of time programming a whole new device," said Jim Avato, accessory marketing manager at Sony Electronics. "Now they can control a variety of audio and video equipment with one easy to use remote."
The RM-AV3000 handles up to 18 components including: TV, DVD, CD player, VCR, tape deck, TiVo digital network recorders, and cable set-top boxes, DAT and Lutron lighting remote controls.
Updated code recognition software and the latest in remote "learning" technology puts virtually all major brands of audio/video products and infrared non-audio/video equipment at your fingertips.
This innovative remote stores 45 macro commands, each with up to 32 steps, to turn on components, select the right functions and tune to the right channel--all at the touch of a single button. It accommodates more than 1,000 additional functions, extending to non-audio and video equipment that uses compatible, infrared control signals. To make all this easier to manage, eight-character customized names can be assigned for up to 258 learned commands.
Featuring an easy-to-hold ergonomic design and a backlit, dot matrix LCD touch screen, the RM-AV3000 model enables users to create custom control keys for a variety of components. Navigation keys are positioned and sized to operate easily by touch. A convenient menu button displays TV, VCR, and other electronic program guides to simplify the conversion process.
Other features include a memory backup, a hold function to lock buttons, clock/timer function and a copy function to transfer settings and commands. Available next month, the RM-AV3000 is expected to sell for about $200.
The new RM-VL1000 "stick" remote offers many of the same features as the RM-AV3000, but in a more compact design. Recognizing up to 12 components, it is equipped with a dot-matrix LCD screen, a programmable five-way joystick controller and 24-macro control features.
The RM-VL1000 also has a clock and timer function and is compatible with Sony and most major brands. With "learning technology," the unit recognizes a variety of other remote signals. It will be available in April for approximately $100.
[ Talk about the RM-AV3000 ]
Other interesting tidbits from a slew of new Sony press releases:
Sony has announced 7 - count 'em 7 - new 16x9 widescreen projection television sets, all capable of 1080i resolution and complete with built-in DVI-HDTV ports. The new $3700 KP-57WV600 and $4200 KP-65WV600 sets include a built-in memory stick port for digital camera image viewing, Digital Reality Creation Multifunction V1 (for complete control of the level of DRC), HD MicroFocus CRT's, HD Archromatic MicroFocus lens system, CineMotion reverse 3:2 pulldown, scrolling channel index and dual tuner PIP. The step-up $4200 KP-57WV700 and $4700 KP-65WV700 add a double Anti-Reflective contrast screen and a new Uniform Brightness Screen which provides a greater vertical viewing angle and more consistent horizontal brightness from top to bottom. Three entry-level models with much of the same technology are available as the 51" KP-51WS500, 57" KP-57WS500 and 65" KP-65WS500 and range in price from $2700 to $3700.
Three new CRT televisions are being added to Sony's offerings: the 34" 16x9 KV-34XBR800
, 36" KV-36XBR800
and 40" KV-40XBR800
. All three include 1080i compatibility, DVI-HDTV interface, Digital Reality Creation Multifunction V1 circuitry (is it just me or are marketing terms starting to get really long), HD Detailer (a wideband video amp designed to enhance HD signals), ClearEdge VM (velocity scan modulation for HD), CineMotion reverse 3:2 pulldown, scrolling channel index, dual tuner PIP and a Memory Stick slot. The 36" and 40" models will be available this summer for $2500 and $3500 respectively, while the 34" model will retail in the fall for $3000.
Other television models announced include the mid-range $1800 32" KV-32HS500 and $2300 36" KV-36HS500, which include many of the XBR model's functions and will be available in August. The step-up KV-32HV600 will sell for $2000 in June. Finally, Sony has announced a complete new lineup of economical FS models, available in 13, 20, 24, 27, 32 and 36" models, and the slightly higher FV models, which range from 20 to 36". Prices range from $250 to $1700.
Sony's stylish CMT-L7HD
micro audio system features an integrated hard drive that can store the content of up to 300 CDs. It features a USB port, 50 watts of amplification and is a mere 2.5" thick. It will be available in July for $1000.
The $300 DVP-NS775V DVD player includes MP3 and SACD playback, along with a new disc resume feature that remembers the settings of the past 40 DVDs. It will be available in June. The DVP-CX875P 301-disc CD/DVD changer includes progressive scan output and 40-disc resume. It will be available in June for $500. The $170 DVP-NS415, also available in June, is a basic model but sports a new A/V Pass-Through feature that lets you wire your VCR through the DVD player for easy connectivity (and a way to get around that nasty MacroVision problem).
New $700 DVD Dream System DAV-C770
, available this June, packs in 550 watts of amplification along with progressive scan output and Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro Logic II, MP3, CDR, CDRW and SACD compatibility. The $1000 DAV-C990
, available in July, bumps power up to 600 watts and adds slim-line tower speakers. The DAV-C450
sports 500 watts of power, SACD playback, CDR and CDRW compatibility and will ship in May for $600.
Two DACs, a delay module and extender kit highlight new offerings.
Features push-to-talk voice control of Amazon Alexa and Apple TV via Siri.