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Final things to tweak.
Although almost anything can be accomplished using the setup procedures as described above, Sony does offer a few additional items that can be modified:
First, there is only one “punchthrough” concept on the remote, the option to change which device controls the volume. By default the television’s volume commands will propagate to all volume keys unless new commands are learned to supersede them. This alternative option allows you to make the amplifier’s volume controls the default. The RM-VL710 is smart enough to use learned volume commands from the TV or Amp devices, not just preprogrammed ones as was the case in previous models. In addition, when using the remote’s volume buttons either the [TV], [Amp] or current device’s LED will flash to indicate exactly which volume commands are being sent.
Next up is the “Sony Power On” feature, which sends an appropriate discrete power on command whenever a new component is selected on the remote. Unfortunately this only works with Sony branded devices, and cannot be further combined with a macro or learned signal on the same button. Also available is a “hold” function, which locks the remote from use until a special key combination is entered. Finally, entire components can be copied from one device position to another if needed, and the remote can also be reset to factory defaults.
The RM-VL710 includes a 44 page manual that’s surprisingly well written, especially compared to remotes such as the RM-AV3100 where a clear manual is even more essential. It includes plenty of diagrams, tips, a troubleshooting section and more. Instead of incorporating the programmed code list into the booklet it’s been bundled as a small yellow folded piece of paper, likely making it one of the first things that will get lost. A standard 90 day warranty is provided.
We now turn to the patriarch of polyester, that flaunter of fluff... that’s right, it’s the menacing thick fluffy blanket! Better known as the MTFB, our industry leading benchmark of highly questionable scientific methodology dares to put a numerical value on the infrared performance of every remote that makes its way through our labs, by pitting them against ever increasing thicknesses of an ominous blue blanket that only a cold winter’s night could love.
Will the RM-VL710’s dual infrared emitters fare better than the 2.0 score racked up by both the RM-VL700 and RM-VL900? To check we begin at level one – a single layer of blanket versus the “mute” command for a reference Sony receiver. As is the case with most remotes, the RM-VL710 passed with flying colors, hardly noticing the obstruction. Based on the performance of previous models I approached level two with more trepidation, but again the RM-VL710 continued to blast its way through. Some reduction in off angle performance was noticeable, but overall it operated admirably.