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User reviews for the Sony RM-VL1000 from Sony Electronics.
Average: 3.36/5.00 Median: 4.00/5.00
Lots of capabilities at an economical price: the RM-VL1000 features control of 12 devices with 47 commands each, 24 macros, 12 timers, full learning, custom LCD-labeled buttons, a 5-way menu joystick and much more!
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 3 made on Sunday August 25, 2002 at 6:03 PM.
IMO, has all the features of the Marantz 2000 mkII at 1/3 the price
Data base corrupts easily
I just spent 4 hours programming this piece of crap. The manual states clearly that in order to erase the code on a button with an already learned code, you have to "press and release every button which has no learned signal."
Huh? Maybe the techies at Sony have two or three hours to hit all 34 hard keys and 12 soft keys every time they want to change the learned code on a button, but I sure don't.
So, again, after spending three or four hours setting up all the labels and learned codes I need, and finding a few codes that weren't working properly, I went back to relearn a few buttons. Ignoring the idiotic advice to to press and release 46 buttons every time I want to change a learned code, I have now corrupted the data in the remote. Garbage labels and codes.
What a joke, not at all what I would expect from Sony. Well live and learn, I still have my receipt.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 2 made on Sunday June 9, 2002 at 6:02 PM.
Nice size and quality feel; many features at a reasonable price
Channel selection and audio buttons located near bottom of remote, making them awkward to use one-handed. Backliting could be better. Offset between buttons and LCD took some getting use to.
I found this remote to have many nice features in a nice size. It takes some patience to program but once you get the hang of the programming scheme it goes quickly.
The manual is well-organized although there are a few English-translation flubs typical of manuals today. I strongly suggest browsing it before you start to do your programming.
First the components are coded and it had no problems at all learning un-coded products or entering them from the comprehensive lists provided. I have a combination of Yamaha, Sony, and a few oddball items and it was no problem at all.
After the components are coded, you can program macros to control your various systems. I started with the basic power up of the TV, Cable Box, and Home Theater system. The programming methods are fairly intuitive and with a bit of patience you will be rewarded with a powerful controller for your systems.
The frosting on the cake is the nice labeling feature that allows you to assign custom names to the various macro functions you programmed. The thumbpad makes this easy and it is loaded with upper/lower case alphabet and a few characters for flair.
This remote has a nice quality appearance and feel and, aside from my minor ergonomic complaint about the location of the channel and audio buttons, seems to be a fine product. I did notice that after about a month, the audio and channel buttom labels are starting to wear off. Not a big deal but I figure Sony would know about permanent ink types that would not wear off !
I've now read several forum entries and see that some are not happy at all with this remote. I see that my expectations are not as great as some and I have to say, the MX-500 layout certainly makes more sense although it looks a bit bulkier. I would like to see a side-by-side review of the VL1000 and MX-500. But regardless, I'm reasonably happy with my Sony and will keep it. The $99 price sat well with me for the features it has.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 1 made on Sunday June 2, 2002 at 11:53 AM.
It is slender without a lot of girth and capable of a lot. Any existing remote can be fully 'learned' into this remote and function using the actual Commander labeled buttons; ie..tv/video on original remote can be learned by the tv/video button on the RM-VL1000. Sony compatible right out of the box and then some.
The long skinny body cause some buttons to be somewhat hard to reach with total ease of the one hand, putting the oft used device/function buttons towards the top, less weighty end of the remote. No backlit display for hard buttons and dot-matrix screen with yellow-ish backlight makes it very hard to see in low light, with manipulations needed to view screen (though there is a visual increase and decrease function, but doesn't help that much). Somewhat complicated for the low-tech person to manuevre, but given time can be learned quite quickly. Can't get past the no-backlight for hard buttons as you will see at end of review..
Well, to give a bit of background..I would condsider myself to be somewhat knowledgeable when it comes to gadgets and technology with the emphasis on being the 'average consumer' who likes merely decent stuff at normal prices. Not into the pagentry of multiple components that take the visual and audio experience to quite the next levels, merely a wondered observer who likes simplicity and convenience in home entertainment. So with the recent purchase of the Sony HT-1700D, I completed any ensemble frought with all Sony components (it helps when you have sister who works for Sony corporate and gets really good deals), thus a home theater system with reciever/tuner, dvd player, & 5 satellite speakers. Combining now with an existing Sony Trinitron TV, Sony VCR, and Nintendo Gamecube console. So you see not the most extra-ordinary a/v system, but enough for a nice sized, one-bedroomed apartment.That being said, I needed a remote that could work all the stuff! I had been using and thoroughly enjoyed for the past, what decade, it must be now the many incarnations of the 'One For All' remote product line. Still keeping and holding onto for reasons I don't even fathom, the many lower level, early 90's versions. A couple years ago, as I acquired more stuff, with a little more technical features and then a dvd player, I realized the aux device button wasn't going to cut it anymore and opted for the URC-8800 Home Theater Producer. It was probably a little more advanced than I had the products for, but I figured it would last and the blue, glowy backlight was really, really cool. So over time I was able to understand and utilize my 8800 to it's fullest, working some of the many intricate functions of my dvd player, functioning for dual tv's and dual vcr's in different rooms, and using the learned functions for various things not pre-programmed; as well, as being able to operate my antiquated AIWA mini-shelf system. A very useful remote to this day and most likely beyond and I will have a tough time when I eventually let go and opt for total use of my RM-VL1000 (when I have programmed it and learned the functions completely). Therefore, with the new HT System in place and the Sony dynasty secured, I figured it was time to bring it all together and was positive the one item I needed still was a Sony branded remote control to work all the stuff. Please keep in mind, that this was only a result of many attempts to correctly program the URC-8800, with the help of this site which I have only recently come to know and highly respect and some of it's much helpful participants who I totally respect and admire for taking the time out to help a total stranger who really doesn't know what the hell he is talking about and as you may have noticed talks about not knowing what the hell he is talking about quite endlessly! So, with my limited comprehension and ability to program only 6 learned functions from the new remotes of the HT-1700 system to one device key, while also simulating the same device on a non-used function key to increase the learned functioning another 6, I became somewhat frustrated that I couldn't fully program this new system which the dedicated OneForAll support line didnt even have a listing for being so new, nor did Sony Style have the listing in their systems yet (again, the sister thing), so with much help and guidance and many ramblings on this site, I decided that perhaps only the Sony brand would work with this new system and everything else I had Sony. So through 'Remote Central' and Sony.com I discovered the new RM-VL1000. Eyeing it's slightly more sophisticated and not hugely more expensive big-brother in the RM-AV 3000, I decided that the ultimate high tech just wasn't what I needed right now and was convinced that the slender styled body and somewhat, simpler features with hard buttons and all (call me old-fashioned, but to be able to press a button by 'finger feel' memory is ideal for me)of the RM-VL1000 which touted the much appealing "will work with all Sony brand equipment right out of the box" was the right choice for me. After my limited readings on the 1000 from the few viewers who actually have one and my small bout with Crutchfield's who were determined to have the remote shipped out by 5.23.02, I discovered BestBuy.com this past Tuesday and had my constant nagging "I must have now" complex was subsided as I recieved the RM-VL1000 Thursday morning at work. Being careful not to damage packaging and ruffling contents in case I had to make a dreaded return to my local BestBuy which is some 35 miles away from me or the uncertainty of returning by post, I extracted the instruction booklet and eagerly browsed through it's numerous features and how-to's of operating fully. I was still positive it would work this Sony HT system that eluded the URC-8800 and all would be right with the world. Now I am positive a more fully detailed review will be out in no time about this product, from someone who is way more qualified to speak on the subject than I, but for those who just want to know one average consumer's first interpretations of a product used in hopes of simple convenience and desire to have ease and organization in a gadget read on...those who don't and are still here viewing my mindless ramble on an other-wise slow and truncated summer hour day at the office, just enjoy and try not to be too critical of the less technical critique. FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Taking out of its' cellophane protective covering I noticed it was sleek. Definitely slender and very easily fits in the palm of the hand. It is of a shiny silver, with a protective glass type material over the function buttons at top that surround the matix-dot or whatever it says lcd screen, assumably to make it glow in the dark. The lcd screen was somewhat difficult to read with my blinds being open and some filtered sunlight penetrating through, while having some low lamp produced lighting also available. The backlight also didn't stay on very long and made it even more difficult to read (though I knew I could increase that setting from my casual reading). So it looked pretty and fit neatly and had some, though minor drawbacks already. But, I wanted to know if it would work my new Sony HT system. Of course I was eager to get started right away with my new remote, with the URC-8800 now a mere onlooker, but I wanted to be as learned as the buttons, so I did some more light reading, not even pressing a button as yet. When I got tired of that.. I played. I quickly realized that the remote "right out of the box" fully operated my Sony tv, Sony vcr, Sony dvd player attached to the Sony HT-1700, and even my non-Sony, General Instrument analog cable box (though not fully functional). I had to see if it would work the tuner/reciever portion of the HT and anticipated being able to toggle with ease the different functionality that makes a home theater system just that. The ability to go from tuner to video 1 to video 2 to dvd/ld with the intended device button was my hope. As well as, simply using it for the basics like volume and dvd fast forward and tuner channel presets. I didn't want much, just that the one 'AMP' labeled device would be able to do all of it. Being labeled 'AMP' I was a little put off, but realized that is the common name given to what I like to call a tuner or reciever and not an amplifier, but whatever. It was not to be realized off the bat. It didn't work. It didn't toggle, it didn't volume up or down in 'AMP' device mode. It didn't turn off when it was on or turn on when it was off. I wasn't that concerned. I saw there were still some codes for Sony devices, a mini-hifi component being a coded device and was still certain, if at first....I read the instructions and quickly programmed in the first code...it was to no avail. I tried the 3rd and last code and still nothing! I became a little disheartened as if you have read prior you might understand, but was in no way that caring because after all it is only a thing and I knew if worse comes to worse I would return it and make due with my much beloved Home Producer, which is really not such a bad trade-off. I liked it, I was used to the size and feel and it was able to do what I wanted in a little bit of a convuluted, non-labeled sort of way...plus the blue, glowy backlight is really, really cool! But time for bigger and better and this is supposed to be it, so I truck on with the initial set-up and figuring out how to work the damn HT system. I go through the 'Search For a Code' feature and scroll using the channel up button to what is just a continuous progression of numbers increased by 1 each time up through 100 or so and then back to the beginning, preset code of 4001. I find the device buttons a little cumbersome and out of easy reach of fingers with one hand and fumble and squint to read the display, but also I am tired from a long day and that plays a factor. I continue all that I know and have read in order to operate with the 'AMP' device and nothing happens. So what do I do? give up! I decided to utilize the other device keys and scroll features and learn the other intricacies of the new remote in hopes of sorting out the other mess another day or perhaps later. So I played.... THE REVIEW: Since I haven't had the remote for days and days, I am not going to speculate and foresee, just want to share the little bit known for those who are considering the purchase in the immediate future. It has everything. Everything you could want in the functionality of a remote. Copious amounts of hard buttons, without the clutter and copious amounts of other functions which is the whole point of an lcd screen. From reading and what will later be explained as ultimately enjoying this remote, I know it can do all the macros you could possible want, run them at specific times with the timer function and control just about any component device, including a garage door. So why initially it doesn't work my HT system made by Sony might be a question left to the ages and become one of those less important travails in life. It will operate your AC if it indeed is controlled by a remote itself, mine is not and I must manually turn on and set it's comfortableness (oh the dread..not really). Playing around with the many functions I came across a mode where it was labeled on the lcd screen as "Sony System Off". I haven't read to much on this feature or the others associated with it, but I do know that when I pressed the option...everything turned off simulataneously...the tv, the vcr, dvd player and yes! even shut off the tuner/reciever of the HT system. Turning it back on was still a whole other beast, but a glimmer of hope was felt. I like this remote and know I will like it more given time. I know it can do so much and seems up to the challenge. I am not saying it can do more than others or less, I am saying this based on having 1 decent remote prior in the URC-8800 and knowing through little research whatelse is out there and using the simple notion of what I need or want a remote control to do. So if you have had a similar experience or are looking for a really functional remote I have no choice than to recommend this remote. The RM-VL1000 seems to be just as capable if not more than capable than the other top of the line or $100 or so priced remotes out there. Now, again, I have not used an extensive amount of remotes or have the best component system than others to utilize all the functionality, but if I did I know whole-heartedly that this remote will work. It can do so much with simple key-strokes that after multiple uses become easier and easier, even for the hour or so I spent with it. The sleek and slender body and sturdy construction, makes it highly attractive and by testing the scope of the infa-red I was able to discern that it could power my devices from anywhere in the room, pointed away, over and down from the intended devices. it has a wide infa-red capacity at the tip which is most likely the reason for the great range. I am sure others out there are as equally equipped. Unlike, the 8800 this remote beeps. Most keys when pressed chirp like and annoying bird about to end his days. But this too is a feature that is adjustable and I have since turned it off, but may opt to turn it back on in the future. By and by, this thing is a feat of wonder. I can see it can do so much and has the capacity for so much, but disclaimer...I don't have vast experience in this realm. For the casual buyer and high tech gadget persons, I think this remote is more than up to the task of anything you want it to give it. It has an extensive code list for non-Sony products and like 12 maybe more possible learned functions to each device. Of course you can reset a device and duplicate if necessary. Set up macros to work and set everything the way you want with one button and a handy feature that lets you label each new, learned function with the words of your choice. Neat considering the problem I had with the URC-8800 learning the HT functions is I had to remember which functions I programmed into the 6 learning keys for each device! The RM-VL1000 lets you label to your hearts content and not worry if the one learning key you press will mute your soundsystem or turn it off completely. The other learning capabilites of the RM-VL1000 which I discovered through a seemingly endless phone call to tech support for this device, who re-iterated just about word for word the instruction booklet and went through every step I originally took to try and set up the remote to work the HT system. Also, having a supervisor standing over her needlessto say a little bothersome considering i would have prefered a more experienced tech guru who actually knew the product and didnt just see an ad in the paper saying no experience required. but i digress, she ended up becoming my savior and the one re-deeming factor with this whole experience thus far. after, we went through the first few steps of the manual verbatim, put me on hold a half a dozen times, and just as i am ready to give up on her and hang up after about 20 minutes with my unknowledgeable friend, she touched on something that i must have glossed over in my reading. she was able to give me the easy details of how i can use the new RM-VL1000 and each of its buttons to learn each of the buttons of my original Sony remotes. So button for button is was now so simple. it was like a load had been lifted and the secrets of remote controls were reaveled. i must admit i didnt thank her profusely and merely said bye, being i was on with her for now 20 minutes and i guess that it is something that she didnt hang up on me and i really didnt give her enough credit and to this day i regret, but whatever it happened and i deal. so with that..i was off to program every single button into the 1000 from every single button on the many other remotes. and it all worked. every button that was labeled on the original remotes was now programmed into the 1000 label for label. it was unbelieveable. it turned on my tuner through the new and improved 'AMP' device key and video 1 actually meant video 1. it was something i hadn't known before and merely knew the power of 6 learning butons, non-labeled on the URC-8800. Of course, beside the hard buttons being programmed there is also a slew of others that can be learned and specially labeled to your hearts content on top. scroll thru 3 pages of these buttons for those buttons that dont quite match up. well, this is as far as i got. really, there was nothing else for me. it worked my audio reciever perfectly because all the buttons were exactly like the original and i was a happy campr. Now, I know I sound a bit giddy and those out there have probably known about this gimmick for years and years, but it is fascinating to me, so let me be. This learning feature is a true feat and quite a step up from the URC-8800. So knowing all this and still a being a little less than wild about the no-backlighting and hard to read lcd display and because of so many at remote central and being that i did love the back-light of the URC, i bought the Universal Remote Control MX-500 and it is coming on Tuesday..end of story! i guess it is poetic irony that i am to recieve my new fully learning remote bought from RRDeals.com (and they didnt pay for the plug, just everybody else gave the shout out) on Tuesday, exactly one week after ordering, recieving and ultimately returning my RM-VL1000. Now, keep in mind this RM-VL1000 is a great remote and really did floor me, but since there are others out there like it, maybe not as fully Sony compatible which is yet to be determined anyway, but being that the others can learn each and every function just as the 1000 can, i just couldn't get past the lack of spotlight glory that the MX-500 features, plus its' blue, glowy backlight looks really, really cool!!