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User reviews for the Sony RM-AX4000 from Sony Electronics.
Sony RM-AX4000
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 2.90/5.00
Median: 2.83/5.00
10$199
Sony's RM-AX4000 upgrades the RM-AV3100 by offering PC programming via a USB port and AX Remote Editor software. It features a large backlit LCD touchscreen, control of 16 devices, 24 macros, a preprogrammed database, plus code learning and timers. It also features a more activity-based operational concept.
Get it
at:
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Written by khallman from Los Angeles, CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 10 made on Tuesday April 22, 2008 at 11:43 AM.
Strengths:Configurable through USB using PC software. Firmware can be upgraded. Sturdy. Hard to lose. LCD panel has strong backlight and good contrast. LCD touchscreen holds up well to dirty fingers and a lot of tapping. IR transmitter has good range and angle. Battery life using 4 AAs: approx 4-6 month under regular use. Can learn IR codes from any remote. Supports complex/long macros.
Weaknesses:Some of the few physical buttons have labels that aren't universally useful (1,2,3,4,Tools,etc). Configuration software is functional, but has a significant learning curve. Some features are too complex or not worth using (Xpress) and consume extra hard buttons which would be nice to have for something more useful. Only 4 segments (per page) on the LCD can have custom labels, the rest must be selected from 2-3 labels/positions for each button on the panel.
Review:This remote is great if the person who is configuring it is fairly technical. I am an expert-level technical user and it took me maybe 1-2 hours to iron-out the setup to my specifications using the included desktop software. So, configuration is a project. That's what I wanted. If you don't want to spend time configuring it, testing your configuration, fixing your "bugs" and adding new buttons--this remote may not be for you. You don't necessarily need to be a technical expert to do this, but it may be more frustrating or time-consuming if you are not.

Once it's configured well, anyone can use it. Indeed, the less technical people may appreciate it the most, as it sure beats a pile of remotes and button sequences to do something simple like "Watch TV."

The "All Off" button is a novel idea. It worked for me a couple of times at first but now it doesn't do anything. Maybe it works with certain configurations, but it cannot be directly programmed. That's the biggest hard button on the front; fairly useless. The "Xpress" features sound nice, but can only be configured through a wizard that is so confusing you'll hit cancel within a few screens into the process. That's the second-largest button, also pretty useless. So some features are not as useful as Sony wished, and some other things require creative workarounds (for example, if you want a hard button to rewind, you could map it to "1").

Another quirk of the software; although it can backup and restore the raw data in the remote via USB, it cannot "load" the configuration that is currently in the remote (e.g. it can only "save" to the remote). This means you must either start with a new configuration in the software, or have your configuration files from the last time you programmed it. The software does warn you that writing the configuration will overwrite any setup you've done directly on the remote. It doesn't warn you to keep your configuration files handy/safe. I reinstalled Windows and if I wasn't able to get my config files off the old drive, I would have had to completely start over to program it--augh!

This remote would be a lot better if they dropped the Xpress feature (or made it usable), made the All Off button configurable (or got rid of it), and added some hard buttons for play, stop, ffw, rewind, etc. The software and documentation could also use a lot of improvement.

Still, after getting the configuration the way you want it, it's a joy to use.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Andrew Crookshank from Australia.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 9 made on Thursday February 14, 2008 at 4:31 AM.
Also owned:Older 1980s learning remotes. Cant even remember them.
Yamaha AV amp remote that did all TV functions except AV input.
Strengths:Robust - I havn't broken it yet, so thats something.

Frightens/impresses visitors and relatives.

Backlit screen helps me see to leave the room and go to the bathroom, like an ushers torch.
Weaknesses:Quirky software, to say the least, but impossible to configure without it. 99% functional on Vista.

No hard keys for Play,RW,FF,Stop - but see remedy below.

Fixed display icons/buttons are a bit wierd and dated. Maybe focused on Sony functions.
Review:First of all, strap yourself in when you go to set up the remote for the first time. You are going to need the time to get your head around some bizzare logic before you are confortable with it.
2 years on and Im just begining to get fluent with it, at least the parts that need to understand.

Basically...
The remote is in either Xpress mode or Component mode.

You will be tempted to play around with the Xpress button but in my opinion, its simply too complicated, and from what Ive read already and tried, doesnt work reliably anyway. (firmware update?) In short Xpress allows you to combine functions from all components onto single screens with macros and all sorts of jiggery pokery.

Component mode however, I have found to be exactly what I want, just a shame its a not as fancy a button.

Similar to Xpress in this mode the bottom section of the display is dot-matrix and can have text to represent each piece of equipment you control. There are 4 pages of components, each page having 4 devices to choose from. Total of 16 devices.
These include in my case..
Page1 AMP STB TV XBOX
Page2 PROJ ........ ........ ........
Page3 ........ ........ ........ ........
Page4 ........ ........ ........ ........
Obviously I have a small setup with just 5 essential components but plenty of room to grow or play havok with the neibours gear if I wanted to.
Once you touch the screen on the component of choice the display changes to how you have configured that particular component.
Some of the fixed display icons are a bit useless while other modern functions are missing showing the lack of imagination of those at Sony, but if there is no symbol for a function the text sections a the bottom are available.
For instance, there are no coloured hard keys, just grey, so for Teletext red-green-yellow-blue I simply wrote the colours on the matrix keys at the bottom for the TV component...
eg: Red Green Yellow Blue
There are 3 pages of text giving a total of 12 text buttons for each component. None of the other screen icons are editiable but most have more than 1 icon or symbal within the box (2 or 3).

There are some rubber buttons missing from this remote that should be on EVERY remote as hard keys. All touch-screen remotes are rubbish if they dont have at least Stop, FF, Play, RW.
Its nearly impossible to fast-forward commercial breaks without the tactile feedback of hard buttons, otherwise you press the wrong function while youre not looking, its a nightmare. I nearly bought a pronto thinking the screen was so cool, but in hindsight and with the trick Im going to share next, Im glad I got the Sony.
6 months after purchase I did some investagations & discovered 4 rubber buttons across the bottom of the remote called "system control", there is also a "more" key but its not programmable as such. OK, they had been there all along, and I realise this but never took any notice with "system control" 1,2,3,4 plastered on them.
Forget what Sony call them.
These buttons work as programmed by you no matter what component or Xpress mode you are in.
Thank heavens because I made them the Stop,RW,Play,FF of my PVR, and its cured my impending baldness, seriously!
Without those poorly labeled 1,2,3,4 keys I probably would have thrown the thing away, but they totally redeemed the whole product for me.
Prontos, at the time had no such hard keys, and I only chose the Sony instead because the Pronto was just too expensive. Just luck really.

What else can I say...
I realise that most people will find the remote and its PC programming software bogglingly stupid and complex. Others who have had the patience to dig deeper into the Xpress functions allowing you to instruct your dog to meow like a cat and dance the can-can with the push of just 1 button might say Ive wasted its power. I salute you and your dog.
Ive learnt to make it do just what I need.
My wife now likes the remote too.
Most of my relatives back off without some assistance.
With all its limitations Im happy now.
If I ever need a new universal remote I am better equipped to assess if they will suite me.
After the confusion passes, you might find it suites you too.

Highly recommend a screen protector, but you will have to make it yourself.


Something else to try with your remote...
Universal remote as WMD. (now theres a key word)
Laser Tag - (remember Laser Tag?)
Smuggle in the remote control and first run to a quite part of the game arena and copy your gun code into a button on your remote.
Now you can shoot your opponents like you are releasing a swarm of bees at them. And if you do get shot, unlike your gun which is turned off for 10 seconds, the remote keeps shooting. You can get some seriously high scores and confidently storm the enemy Swarzenegger style. It really works, unitl the batteries go flat, then you are toast.

A more discrete size remote might be more appropriate than the Sony RM-AX4000 and a laptop with USB.

AC
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by jeff89129 from Las Vegas, NV.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 8 made on Saturday December 2, 2006 at 4:09 PM.
Strengths:Really can't think of any. I like the $12 universal remote I have better than this one.
Weaknesses:Poor software, hard (or maybe impossible) to configure the way you want it, really really bad customer support!
Review:I bought 2 of these remotes because I trusted the Sony name to be of superior quality. That's the last time I'll make that mistake. I have tried both ways to program the remotes, and I found the computer software is the better way to go. After several attempts at configuring the remote the way I wanted it, I was almost done when I discovered that I could not configure the remote's power button to power my receiver's power on AND off. Even though the Sony's on-screen button is labelled power on /off, it was not possible to program it that way because my receiver has a separate power on button, and power off button. After calling Sony support in India, and speaking with Johnny (yeah, right) for 73 minutes, I was informed there was no solution for this problem.

Another problem; because of the very poorly designed software, you CANNOT go back at all once in the wizard, so if you make a mistake, you must abort and start over. Also, as stated in other reviews, you cannot re-label, or move on-screen button functions. After spending the next few days learning the remote's programming by trial and error, I was able to get almost everything the way I wanted it except for a few details. Once again I called Sony support for help. After explaining what the problem was, I was transferred to someone else. Repeat. Repeat again. Then after explaining the situation a fouth time, I was instructed to install the remote's software on my computer! THESE PEOPLE JUST DON'T LISTEN!!!!!! Another 76 minutes of my time wasted talking to the trained monkeys at Sony support. All they do is read off computer monitors. I'm certain I know more about programming this remote than anyone I spoke with at Sony support!
Finally, after programming several express functions, and having them work perfectly in the "emulate" function, I downloaded the data to my remote, unplugged it from the computer, and it worked great, ONCE. After that it was hit or miss. Sometimes one or two components would power-up, sometimes nothing would happen. I have no idea how that is even possible. But when I reconnected to the computer in emulate mode it worked fine. That's just bad product quality! I will not waste another minute of my time trying to get help from Sony India. I will use the remote as best I can, which isn't much better than using multiple remotes, as I did before. Don't waste your money on this beta version of a remote!
BTW, has anyone figured out how to program the "all off" button? It doesn't show up anywhere in the programming.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by sedat_sony from Turkey.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 7 made on Sunday September 24, 2006 at 3:15 PM.
Also owned:Philips Pronto Neo
Strengths:Easy to use
Weaknesses:Support, software, documentation, customisation
Review:I have bought this item instead of my old Pronto. This remote have problem while setting up remote. Lack of preset devices, it does not now any device from pioneer to denon I though which are very common devices.

The main problem, when I setup with Pc software it deletes learn and most set up functionality from the device including reset. The software is not easy to configure and use.

The main problem, Sony think instead of me and preset all the buttons and set up the screen. This is so difficult to think as Sony. For example my receiver has two buttons for power on and off. I can not easily programmed for this functionality. It says that, the key can learn 4 codes, but it does not explain why and how to use it.

Every remote control has color coded keys and in this remote it is not easy to code this, too.
So, if your need is very simple and you dont want use so many systems, do not buy it.
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Written by luengas from Fort Worth, TX.
The reviewer has used this remote control for under 1 month.
Review 6 made on Wednesday July 26, 2006 at 1:25 PM.
Also owned:SONY RM-AV2000
Strengths:Very powerful IR transmitter.
Looks like a very expensive remote.
Can keep multiple configurations in my computer.
Firmware can be upgraded via USB cable.
Software updates available from SONY support web site.
Macros can be very long.
Nice button layout for most current remote features.
Blue LCD touchscreen is clear with high brightness.
Love "ALL OFF" button.
Weaknesses:Software is not very intuitive.
Wish it had more device direct access buttons.
Wish it also had RF capabilities.
Software emulation mode doesn't always reflect the remote's behavior.
Review:Yes, programming this remote for the "first" can be intimidating but if you read the directions and get past the initial programming wizard, you'll be happy. If you are not comfortable uploading and downloading stuff to and from your computer, you need to learn as you'll be doing that with this remote.

Be sure to download the latest firmware and application software from the SONY web site. The latest versions seem to have corrected most of the bugs in the original release.

Enjoy it!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by PDT816 from Oklahoma, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 5 made on Wednesday June 14, 2006 at 2:39 PM.
Strengths:Very user friendly for the non-techies in the house. Canít beat the functionality for the price. Exceptional IR transmission performance.
Weaknesses:Itís heavier than Iíd like it. For some reason, the set-up wizard is more difficult to use than the advanced programming option. Fixed labels for LCD buttons can be frustrating on a few occasions.
Review:Design

My house is split between technophiles and those that wonít even touch a remote with more than 10 buttons. I had hoped that the design of this unit would be more appealing for the non-techies and decided to go against many of the reviews here an on other sites and pick one up.

Itís been everything I hoped for and more. Thereís just the right number of hard buttons so the family members that want to keep things simple will actually use it and the implementation of user-defined macros on the LCD make people screaming for help across the house a thing of the past.

A couple of drawbacks to the design are 1) itís a lot heavier than I anticipated; and, 2) itís definitely a two-handed device.

Setup

Like the detractors have already stated, the setup wizard is awkward and can be frustrating. Oddly enough, the advanced setup option is fantastically simple and functional. Although I use a HDTV/cable box PVR on the TV the remote controls, I have two TiVo brand units in the house and can confirm that it works just fine and setup is painless.

The printed documentation is definitely lacking and would be of no assistance if you planned to set up the unit without the use of a computer. Iíd steer clear of this remote if these were your intentions.

One minor inconvenience is that Iíve had to remap some of the buttons on the included preset components. Things like the directional pad for panning/scrolling through my Scientific Atlanta cable box/DVR menu guide seemed to be inverted for some reason. Simple fix and may just be a personal preference on my part, but a little annoying nonetheless.


Performance

The IR transmitter works extremely well from extended distances and I donít find myself having to point the unit directly at the components to operate them. (all of my components are exposed)

The touch sensitivity and response time of the LCD screen is exceptional, so using it with DVRs or other devices which you timeshift remains a pleasant experience.
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Written by lemmiwinks from ME.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 4 made on Tuesday February 28, 2006 at 2:22 PM.
Strengths:nothing good about this one sorry
Weaknesses:the software does not work. the remote is not configureable. sony cant support this product.
Review:I have spent the past 2 days trying to program this remote controll. I have found all sorts of bugs in the software and I have been working with sony's top person on the product. I am a computer programer with 15 years of exp and I can't program this remote even with the help of a top sony rep.
Quality: Features: Value:


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