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Sony RM-AV2100 Remote Control Review
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RM-AV2100 Undocumented User Tips:

As you may probably already know, the Sony RM-AV2100 is capable of controlling 12 components. However, with a little fiddling you can actually have it control more – 13 easily, or up to 15 with a little work. Using the other tips on this page you can hide the source commands for macros, access that troublesome [POWER] button in macros, or even reset the remote back to factory default settings.

Please note that many of these tips will also work with the RM-AV2000, though they have not been fully tested.

Planning your remote control
Download the RM-AV21000 Excel touchscreen planning template designed by Lee.

Using [DECK A/B] to its most
Since the [DECK A/B] button rotates between two LCD screens, it is possible to program signals for completely different components along with unique labels on either one. They can be used for more than just tape decks. One caveat is that the volume and channel hard buttons maintain the same functions on both screens. If you’re thinking you could add this dual screen functionality to all component buttons, you’re out of luck. Assigning the tape deck function to another component button only provides access to one screen, labeled "DECK B".

Two hidden devices
The RM-AV2100 has the capability to change the [CBL/SAT] button to support Cable Boxes or Satellite devices, and the [DVD] button to support DVD or VD (AKA LD) components. I learned, however, that all customized settings (such as preset codes, learned signals) stored on the button’s alternate – but not visible – screen are actually maintained in the background. By using the [COMMANDER OFF] and [MUTING] key combination, followed by the [DVD] or [CBL/SAT] button, you can quickly switch between these two devices. Although it sounds awkward, it actually takes no time at all and is a great place to store unused or purposefully hidden commands. Using this and the previous tip, you can control a total of 15 devices with the RM-AV2100.

Hiding the source commands for macros
Using the previous example of hidden CBL/SAT or DVD/VD screens, it is possible to hide the source commands used in any of your macros. As long as the screen with these functions is visible during macro recording, they can be played back at a later time.

For instance, say you have a Satellite but not a Cable Box and would like to store various functions on the hidden Cable screen:

  1. Press [COMMANDER OFF] and [MUTING].
  2. Press [CBL/SAT] until "CBL" is displayed.
  3. Press [COMMANDER OFF] to save.
  4. Press [COMMANDER OFF] and [CBL/SAT] to enter learning mode.
  5. Using the procedures outlined in your manual (or our programming guide), learn any signals you would like to keep hidden. Press [COMMANDER OFF] to save.
  6. Enter macro recording by pressing [COMMANDER OFF] and a [SYSTEM CONTROL] button, or [COMMANDER OFF], [VOLUME+] and a [COMPONENT SELECT] button.
  7. Record your macro, including any commands now stored on the "Cable" screen. Note that any functions you may need on the normally visible (but now hidden) component are not available.
  8. Press [COMMANDER OFF] to save.
  9. Now, return the [CBL/SAT] device to Satellite mode by pressing [COMMANDER OFF] and [MUTING], and then [CBL/SAT] until "SAT" is displayed.
  10. Each time you run your macro it will send the hidden signals, although there will be no other way to access them. Except, of course, the key combination described earlier.

Remember that by adding signals to these extra screens you may tax the available learning memory on the RM-AV2100. So, it’s possible you could run out of room if you’ve learned copious amount of commands elsewhere on the remote.

Why doesn’t my macro transmit the Power command?
This appears to be an issue only when a component has been set to the Sony specific code set (usually 001). When in macro record mode, the [POWER] button reads "POWER ON", for the Sony discrete "on" signal, and the [RESET] button reads "OFF" for the Sony discrete "off" signal. This prevents you from using the normal "toggle" power signal, or anything else that you may have learned to that specific button.

If your macro only requires learned signals or the normal power button, there is a workaround. In fact there are actually two workarounds – one for the [DSP] and [TUNER] buttons, and another for all others. We’ll first cover the one for the majority of components.

  1. After you’ve finished setting up your device with any learned signals, change the troublesome device to a different component code – anything but Sony. Do this by pressing [COMMANDER OFF] and [MUTE], then selecting the component button. Enter in a new three digit code – look to the code sheet for a list of different brands.
  2. Now, record your macro according to the directions in the manual. You’ll notice the power button reads "POWER" – as it should. Even though the power signal may not work right now, don’t worry – it will later. Due to the differences between component codes, all preset buttons may not be visible. However, if you wish to incorporate those that can be seen, they will work later.
  3. After you’ve finished recording the macro you may now change the device code back to Sony (typically 001), using the directions in step number 1.
  4. Each time you play the macro it will now use the desired "POWER" command, either pre-programmed or learned. Note that if you try to record the macro again without following the directions above you will again be presented with the separate "POWER ON" and "POWER OFF" buttons.

Since Sony is the only code set available for the DSP and Tuner components, the workaround is much more difficult. For this reason I suggest merely storing the power signal elsewhere. But for all you die-hard users I’ve included full instructions on how to accomplish it. Although I reference the [DSP] button, you may substitute [TUNER].

  1. First, you must change the DSP device to a different component type. Note that the component cannot contain any learned signals for this to work – so you must first remove them (press [COMMANDER OFF] and [DSP], then [RESET] and the [BUTTON] you want to clear). Press [COMMANDER OFF], [CHANNEL-] and [DSP] all at once. Then, enter in a number (I suggest "1") followed by [ENTER].
  2. Since the new device uses the Sony code set by default, you must change it in order to access the "real" power button. Press [COMMANDER OFF] and [MUTE], then [DSP]. Enter in a new three digit code – look to the code sheet for a list of different brands.
  3. If you want you may now learn any signals that you want incorporated in your finished macro. However, as long as the preprogrammed button is visible this step is not necessary. The button doesn’t have to work or be labeled correctly, just visible. For those that are no longer visible you can learn a temporary signal to use as a placeholder.
  4. You may now record your macro according to the directions in the manual, using the POWER button when you want it.
  5. As mentioned earlier, you can’t change component types if the existing component contains any learned signals – so if you learned something in step number 3, clear it off. Press [COMMANDER OFF] and [DSP], then [RESET] and the [BUTTON] you want to clear. Don’t worry – your macro will still work later!
  6. Now the [DSP] button needs to be changed so it once again controls DSP devices. Press [COMMANDER OFF], [CHANNEL-] and [DSP] all at once. Then press "B", followed by [ENTER].
  7. Finally, you must relearn any learned commands you incorporated in the macro (but had to delete). Your reward for doing all this? When the macro plays, it uses the correct signals!

Learning multiple codes on a single button without macros
The extra-long learning buffer on the RM-AV2100 (and RM-VL900) allows you to learn multiple signals on a single button without resorting to programming a macro. This is convenient for component select buttons, when you may not want to hold them down for two seconds, or for regular buttons where regular macros are simply not possible. To learn them, you may either program the macro sequence into another remote control – which will need to have very short delays between each command – and then learn the sequence from it, or the more difficult method where you line up all the remotes you need and enter in the proper sequence really quickly.

The codes you enter don’t need to be from the same brand – the Sony remote will correctly change code formats and frequencies after each command. Note that the learning space is still limited, so don’t expect "macros" longer than a few commands. Finally, if you pause too long between commands the remote will figure you’re done and stop learning.

Resetting the remote to factory default settings
Here are the undocumented steps to reset the RM-AV2100 – or RM-AV2000 – back to its factory default settings:

  1. Remove at least one battery from the remote. In case of the RM-AV2000, remove the bottom battery.
  2. While holding the [VOLUME-] and [CHANNEL-] buttons, replace the batteries.
  3. When "LEARN" and "1" appear on the LCD, stop holding [VOLUME-] and [CHANNEL-].
  4. The "IR SENDING" graphic appears at the top of the screen. Press any hard button, and the remote is reset.

- Daniel Tonks (Remote Central)

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