Two new basic hard buttoned remotes offer an updated design and loads of buttons for DVR users.
Sony rarely creates any fanfare when the accessories division releases a new remote control... they just appear one day on Sony’s dealer site. Thanks to one reader noticing that something was new today, we can bring you details on a complete refresh of the company’s lower end universal remote controls. The entire trio sports the same new look, which builds on the most recent RM-VL610’s ideals but appears to address one of the primary areas we had criticism on – the button layout.
The first two models are basic replacement remotes, which rely on a preprogrammed code database to operate.
The RM-VZ220 is a 4-device remote that replaces the prior RM-V210. It features “centrally located main buttons”, TV and DVD menu functions, PIP function and... well, the rest of the bullet list tends to point out things I would normally expect on a universal remote, such as a rubber keypad and the fact that it “consolidates remotes into one”.
The main news here is the brand new design, which vastly upgrades the prior RM-V210 with a look more similar to the RM-VL610, while returning to the classic wedge shape that Sony has historically employed. The button layout sports a wide range of useful and advanced keys – page up/down, A/B/C/D, skip, replay, dedicated chapter skip keys and so forth – perfect for DVR owners. The number of buttons remains the same as the prior model at 55, however some changes have occurred: EXIT becomes RETURN, TOOLS becomes OPTIONS, and PIP has been dropped in favor of EJECT.
Next up is the middle-of-the-range option, the RM-VZ320. This replaces the prior RM-V310 – an older design that lacked many of the functions that even the newer and less expensive RM-V210 had. This is a 7 device remote that features DVD, VCR and TV menu compatibility, full memory backup, and what Sony’s calling “Ultra 3x Remote Signal” (or in other words, dual IR emitters). It features 59 buttons, versus 47 on the RM-V310. Over the 55 on the RM-VZ220 it adds 3 additional device keys plus what I’m guessing is a dedicated TV POWER button.
The main reason to get this over the RM-VZ220 is the additional controllable devices, as well as the resultantly expanded preprogrammed code database that adds audio devices and more advanced video devices (such as Blu-ray Disc players. But you also get a more substantial design that includes larger buttons. Dimensions were provided for this model, at 2.05” wide, 9.25” high and 1.02” deep.
Also revealed today is a new learning remote, the RM-VLZ620, which we’re covering in a separate news article.
For more visit our Sony Remotes forum.
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