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If an appropriate code isn’t in the manual or you simply don’t feel like messing about with numbers, instead of entering a code it’s possible to step through the database with the search mode by alternating between pressing [Channel +] or [Channel -] and [Power]. When the device in question turns on or off, press [Ent] to save. A new feature, the RM-VL710 will now indicate when it has searched through all available codes by flashing the LED three times.
It is no longer necessary to reconfigure device buttons to control particular types of devices – for instance make the Cable button control a DVD player. Instead, the beginning of the code number automatically assigns the device type. Every device button except for [TV] can operate any type of component, so unique setups such as three VCRs will not be a problem.
Capturing copious codes!
As mentioned earlier the RM-VL710 has exceptional infrared code learning capabilities. Not only is there room for a learned command on every possible button – that’s 204 commands in total – but the remote also features Sony’s robust learning recipe. Instead of controls that can only capture frequencies of perhaps 32-50KHz and code lengths of 20 or 30 bits, the RM-VL710 works with signals all the way up to 500KHz and lengths of 250 bits. This makes it ideal for brands that stray from the norm such as Bang & Olufsen, as well as other specialty applications like micro macros (which will be covered shortly).
As long as you have the original remotes to learn from, you’ll be able to put any command from any device onto any button, even merge the controls for multiple devices under a single component mode. The packaging acknowledges that use by calling it a “5+” device remote.
Overall my test codes captured quickly and reliably, with good feedback given during the entire process. After selecting a button on which to learn, both the component LED and [Set] LED start to flash. As a signal is being captured the component LED goes out and the [Set] LED remains lit, and when successfully captured the component LED turns back on. Otherwise the [Set] LED will flash five times to indicate a problem. Sony still uses a system where learned commands must be manually erased before capturing a new one, but even here adequate feedback is given.
Macros for the masses.
The RM-VL710’s new macro feature, borrowed from the more expensive RM-VL900, exemplifies trickle-down theory at its best. Macros are ways to record and then automatically play back chains of commands. So, if you always use the same sequence to power on your system or start playing a DVD movie, you could easily automate these tasks via a macro. A total of 9 macros are available, subcategorized into two different types. There are 5 “Component Select” macros, one assigned to each device button, plus a further 4 “System Control” macros located at the bottom of the remote.