Finding the right code.
If youíd rather not go blind working through the rather lengthy code sheet or trying numbers at random in the hope of finding a match, the RM-VL610 also offers a code search routine. When programming, instead of entering a number on the keypad press [Channel +] to enter search mode, followed by [Power] to test the current code. Keep alternating between those two keys, and when the device responds to the [Power] command press [Enter] to save the code. The remote has a blink sequence to indicate when all codes have been searched through, although itís extremely easy to miss. Also note that the search process only looks through one code category at a time, so youíll have to assign the correct type of device to a button using any other brandís code number before starting a search.
Historically, the Achillesí heel of Sonyís preprogrammed code database is that itís less complete than others. There are fewer brands covered, and often less functions provided per brand. Sony has made tangible efforts to improve this, beginning with a significant upgrade to the databaseís size on the RM-VL600. Although the RM-VL610 doesnít show any other large changes in this area, there are new codes and as a whole itís been arranged better. This also marks the first Sony remote Iíve seen to specifically include codes for Dish Network receivers (previously users had to ďaccidentallyĒ find the Express Vu code).
Filling in the holes.
No matter how large a code database is, they still arenít a magic bullet for home theater control and donít come with guarantees of perfection. Omitted commands, new devices, obscure brands Ė thereís almost always something thatís going to be missing.
Fortunately, the RM-VL610 has you covered with full infrared learning capabilities. As is the case with Sonyís other high-end models the RM-VL610 includes enough memory for a learned command on every possible button Ė and in this case thatís up to 412 different commands. Plenty of space for sure!
To learn commands from other remotes, hold the [Set] button for three seconds or until the LED begins to blink slowly. Select the device to learn a code on, which will cause the LED under the component button to stay illuminated. Then, press the button on which to capture the command. The [Set] LED will begin flashing quicker as the remote waits for a signal. Aim the original remote at the front of the RM-VL610, and hold the button to learn. As the command is analyzed the device LED goes out and the [Set] LED stays illuminated. As soon as the device LED lights up again Ė usually within a second Ė the capture is completed and you can move on to the next key.
Learning on the RM-VL610 proved quick and accurate. Although some users tend to think that learning an entire device is a lot of work, itís really not as bad as it sounds. Youíll quickly develop a rhythm and it only takes perhaps 5 minutes per device. Code learning not only allows you to fully customize where each function goes, but as long as you have the original remote to learn from itís also the easiest way to ensure that the device will work as expected.