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User reviews for the Sony RM-AV3000 from Sony Electronics.
Sony RM-AV3000
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 3.72/5.00
Median: 4.00/5.00
102$199
As Sony's top-of-the-line remote control, the powerful RM-AV3000 features control of 18 devices, 45 macros, full learning capabilities, timers, a large LCD touchscreen and a good complement of hard buttons.
Get it
at:
Amazon.com


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the Sony RM-AV3000 remote.
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Written by Felipe from Caceres, Spain.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 81 made on Friday February 13, 2004 at 8:04 AM.
Strengths:Great design-High WAF (wife approval factor)
Very powerful and reliable learning mode
Enough-lenght macros for all you can imagine


Weaknesses:Manual poorly written
Annoying flashing-keys interface
No PC connection
Too many non-customizable keys


Review:I received my AV3000 from US (I live in Spain and I saved more than 100 EUR -128 USD- by purchasing it overseas). After owning it for a week, I'm very happy with it. I dedicated several hours to investigate what this thing is capable of, so I'm familiarized with it.

First, out-of-the-box the remote is beautiful, great design which will be easily welcome by your wife. Maybe a bit big, but the wide, clear LCD display needs big dimensions to be read easily. I love the blue LCD lighting, which can be adjusted in several ways (i.e., light-on when touching a key, light-off after x seconds, etc).

The RC come with pre-programmed Sony components codes, which I don't use (except for the TV). To set preset codes is very easy, and you can preset all your A/V equipment in a few minutes. Unfortunately, some basic controls and many of the advanced ones won't work until you program them via learning mode.

I have to say the interface used by Sony is really crap. Keys do flashing when you are setting them or creating a macro, making a bit difficult to select. This is not a problem when you get familiar with the remote, but it could be way better and may confuse newbies. The remote doesn't have a PC-connector like the Pronto has.

Learn mode is VERY easy and powerful. I teached almost all the controls in less than 1 hour, and even customize many of the label on-screen keys in a while. The remote accepted ALL the commands from the original remotes I have and did perform all of them perfectly.

Label customization is great, but only component labels are fully customizable (up to 8 letters/digits). Operational soft keys aren't, or are only partially (3 or 4 labels elegible for each), which is kinda annoying if you need a key to perform a command and none of the predefined labels don't match what you want. Luckily, there are 4 customizable labels per page, with 3 pages for each component, so you'll have up to 12 fully customizable soft-keys per component, which is enough for me.

Up-to-32-steps macros are easy to create and run by using "system" keys (up to 18 available, I think). I found particulary interesting to create macros when pressing and holding component keys for 2 seconds, which will help you to power-on and get your TV volume, DVD and AMP ready to go with a single keypress: Just load the disc and play! I had some trouble with preprogrammed system 1 and system 3 hard keys (user's manual is wrong at this point), but after reading the forums at remotecentral.com I reset and deleted them, being able to load my own macros on these hard keys.

Execution of macros is also customizable. You can enter delays whenever you want (use TIMER key for it) and even adjust the time between the performing of commands. Remember that some components, like TVs, need to warm-up before accepting another command!

Other noticiable things are the 4-way directional keys, which seems to work in every component that uses them for menu navigation, and the TIMER key that allows you to timer macros to be performed at the time/day you want.

Now the bad things. Operating may be a bit tricky only if you are a newcomer and follow the poorly-written user's manual. A Spanish version of it came in the box, and I found it's better than the English one.

The remote seems to have problems with certain components (Marantz among them, and I have a SR5200 Rcvr): An incorrect learning (not always by user's mistake) could make the AV3000 to become stuck, entering in an endless transmitting loop which can be stopped only by removing a battery (losing clock setting, by the way). If you suffer it, teach the remote correctly waiting for a beep before releasing the original remote key being teached (that's what is called "long burst" in the forums).

Finally, I want to say that although the box says it's "for NTSC", it worked fine with all mi Euro (PAL) components.

Overall it's a very good remote, too expensive if you buy in Spain but it's worth the price if you can get it by 120-140 EUR. So, i give 4 stars out of 5.

Regards from Spain,
Felipe
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by altgrr from UK.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 80 made on Monday February 9, 2004 at 7:20 PM.
Strengths:Holds enough codes to deal with most devices; very good build quality, ability to switch off, timer functions
Weaknesses:Hard buttons not backlit, manual not great, doesn't always learn properly, occasionally crashes (!)
Review:I bought this remote to replace an E-pilot SRC-9200 remote control, as that didn't have enough buttons for most of my devices. As the E-pilot is the only previous experience I have of universal remotes, I'll mainly compare to that. It's a little unfair comparing a 90 remote to a 30 remote, I'll admit, but it should lead to a conclusion as to whether it's worth the money.

Firstly, replying to John Smith from Toronto: I found that, with this remote, programming in codes from my satellite receiver could occasionally cause the problem where the remote would lock in transmitting one button and stop responding, either if you held a button down, or if you pressed it twice. The remedy for this was to program the button into the E-pilot remote, and use that to program the RM-AV3000! A pain in the arse, but it solves the problem.

The above should hint that this remote has a few problems learning commands. No point in shying away from this: it does - with my Beko television and Telestar satellite receiver. The problems would vary from not learning the command such that you could not press the same key twice and have it register on the target device, to the remote crashing if you press a key twice, to the remote crashing if you hold a key down. The remedy to this is either lots of careful reprogramming, or getting a cheap learning remote to teach the Sony with.

That's probably the main flaw with this remote. Other than that, I have yet to find a remote as flexible that shows as many keys on one screen - I don't think any remote can claim to have 45 keys accessible all at once. I was considering buying a One For All Mosaic (it would have been 10 less), but went for the Sony on the grounds that it could provide access to most features for each device on a single screen.

The customisable display works a treat - it works around some of the shortcomings of my E-pilot primarily by having more keys, but also by having the four programmable buttons along the bottom. It's amazing how many LCD remotes don't have the facility for the Red, Green, Yellow and Blue buttons as found on my TV, satellite receiver and Freeview box (The Sony is *entirely* lacking in Teletext features), but they can at least be programmed in along the bottom of the Sony's display.

A further feature I felt lacking from the E-pilot, but present on the Sony, is the ability to program macros to the component buttons, so, when switching the remote to, say, DVD, it switches the amplifier over as well. (An automatic SCART switch handles the video, but that could be taken care of by the remote if need be.)

Unbelieveable that a cheap universal remote control could provide a feature that the Sony lacks that I actually want, but this is it: a sensor for the backlight. It's a waste of your batteries to have the backlight come on every time you touch the remote, but it's a pain to have to switch it on in the dark. The E-pilot had a sensor that would switch the backlight on when it was dark. Also, it's only the display that's backlit - the hard buttons aren't, though the component buttons do glow in the dark, and, to be fair, the backlight gives off enough light to see all the buttons anyway. Also, the channel and volume buttons are contoured differently, so you can tell the difference between them.

Overall, the remote drops a mark on quality, as the learning isn't brilliant; it also drops one on features for not having full backlighting and for the backlight not being immensely configurable.

Paying 90 for a remote control may seem a little excessive, but when you think that it replaces every single remote that you'll have in your living room (and probably your house), and replicates their features perfectly, it's hard to complain. The only thing it can't do that I'd want it to is program my old Sony VCR - but, as with all VCRs where you program the video on the remote and zap it over to the VCR in one press of 'Transmit', no learning remote can do that. The RM-AV3000 does, however, replicate the functionality using its timers. That's got to be a good thing.

Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Geoff from NH.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 79 made on Wednesday February 4, 2004 at 10:43 AM.
Strengths:Lots of control functions
Weaknesses:Extremely poor manual, Hard to program, doesnt always learn, Expensive, Lost programing when batteries are replaced.
Review:The purpose of a control like this is to make your life easier. Once it is programmed correctly it does that task adequately. The problem is getting there. I have spent many hours learning how to program this unit. I have found that it has trouble learning when the batteries are weak. I just changed the batteries in my unit today and lost all the programing (Macros, Presets) and spent an hour or two getting back to normal. This is a poor buy. Life gets harder with this remote - not easier.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Martin from UK.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 78 made on Sunday February 1, 2004 at 4:30 AM.
Strengths:Ability to set up sytem configuration.
Weaknesses:Extremely poor manual and doesn't always respond to correctly entered learn instructions. It's bulky and has a very poor display. Doesn't even support all Sony products with Sony Unit IDs and has limited functionality even if it does recognise them.
Review:I have a complete Sony system and am very dissapointed that a Sony control unit seems incapable of controlling Sony STR-KSL 50 amp unit, IDs 4001 / 4002, without the need to use learn mode. A 200.00 unit worth 20.00.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Cole from South Carolina.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 77 made on Friday January 30, 2004 at 2:44 PM.
Strengths:Macros, Hard Buttons, Custom Button Labels.
Weaknesses:Screen Contrast, The Manual Is Terrible.
Review:Have owned an entry-level Pronto (the small one) and a One-For-All Chameleon prior to buying the AV300. This is by far the best out of the lot. The Pronto had terrible component support and all sorts of problems learning IR codes. The Chameleon was great but it ate batteries like candy. I've had the AV3000 for a month now and it's great!

It's easy to program and learns IR codes with ease, I like the array of hard buttons and the layout of the screen.

I've seen a lot of complaints about the screen, but I've got mine set to turn on the back-light whenever a button is pressed and to turn it off within 10 seconds so it shouldn't be a battery hog. This makes the screen very legible in all lighting conditions.

I had it up and running within an hour and have gradually tweaked it to a point that it's really the perfect remote for my system.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by John Smith from Toronto.
The reviewer has used this remote control for more than two years.
Review 76 made on Tuesday January 27, 2004 at 7:49 PM.
Strengths:nice design, great colour, controls everything.
Weaknesses:Locks up... a lot!

Instruction manaul tough...and not always accurate.
Review:I was in heaven when I first bought this remote. It controls my TV, my satellite system, my VCR and my DVD. I even programed the macros in no time at all. It was great that you could program it so that when you touch the screen, the light comes on. You could even change some of the wording of the functions at the bottom of the screen, which I did (I wish you could do it on more icons).

Occasionally it would lock up - the transmission icon would keep flashing. Sometimes just taking the battery out and putting it back in right away solved the problem. But now...I'm always losing the preprogrammed information. It takes over an hour to program everything back in! And, of course, for days your reprogramming the odd button you forgot to reprogram in!. It's not worth the frustration anymore.

Don't buy it. I emailed Sony about this problem a year ago. I'm still waiting to hear back. Apparently, they could care less. So could I...and will not be buying their next genertion of remote. It could operate my dishwasher too, but I still won't buy it, not after the money I've wasted.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Tai from Los Angeles, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 75 made on Thursday January 22, 2004 at 9:01 PM.
Strengths:Easy to program. Not too expensive. Makes you feel like Capt Kirk.
Weaknesses:In dim light, difficult to see w/out backlight. Doesnt make my bed in the morning.
Review:Wow. Talk about power at your fingertips. Very simple to use. We had five remotes, including one "self learning" and they're all in the remote graveyard. This puppy does it all - I especially like having a remote that can manage all of the settings on my receiver. Great for when you want to switch from one device to another quickly. Also manages my lighting. When company comes over, I fire this thing up & watch jaws drop when they see how many devices it can control at the touch of a button. My wife LOVES it because its one switch to turn on the TV, Cable box, DVD machine, and receiver (and it dims the lights, too!) A++++++++
Quality: Features: Value:


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