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Sony RM-AV3000 Remote Control Review
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In fact, many of the hard buttons on the RM-AV3000 are huge - the menu directional cluster measures a full 1.5" in diameter (3.8cm). The plastic is also ridged between [OK] and the four surrounding directional keys, making it quick and reliable in use. The volume and channel buttons continue the "big remote: big buttons" theme and are equally easy to pick out in complete darkness. That's a good thing, since they aren't backlit. (Incidentally, the [Volume] and [Channel] button positions are reversed to the RM-AV2100 and now match the informal industry standard.) Despite this, a few of the RM-AV3000's buttons, including [Commander Off] and [Light], are less generous and could be tricky to quickly separate by feel alone. Less space could have been devoted to the three System Control macro keys.

The overall button styling is pleasing, employing a mix of circles and rounded rectangles. The white circular device buttons are distinctive and, by default, cover TV, STB (Cable, HDTV or DSS), VCR, DVD, CD and Amp devices. It's a good thing those components have short names!

Sony RM-AV3000
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Semi-flexible
Since the RM-AV1000, the RM-AV line of remote controls has employed a "fixed" LCD design. What that means is every possible label is worked out in advance and permanently etched into the glass. Although the RM-AV2100 permitted some button label selection, that was only between those already assigned to a square: so if one button had "Recall", "Clear" and "Mode" options, there was no way to make it say "Guide". The new RM-AV3000 still uses the same sort of LCD display for most of its buttons, but supplements it with customizable Label buttons along the bottom. A similar space at the top is provided for editable device names. To the left of that region is a clock (yet another to change on daylight savings), new to the RM-AV series.

The touchscreen remains the same physical size, measuring 3.9" by 2.0" (9.9cm by 5.1cm) with a 4.4" diagonal (11.2cm) dimension, but includes 28 fixed squares instead of the previous number of 33. In those missing squares' stead, four double-width buttons have been added along the bottom that can each support an 8-character customized label. Each device gets three pages of those, rotated by pressing the device name at the top.

It's via these customizable buttons that users can access those 12 secondary devices and 12 other System macros. An [Other] button, located right next to the six direct-access component buttons, displays an additional four devices on the LCD screen each time it's pressed - totalling up 18 devices. This works identically for system macros with a [More] key, located to the right of the three direct-access macro buttons.

These new customizable buttons are used to display more than controls, devices and macros. The RM-AV3000 has finally abandoned complicated programming button combinations in favor of a proper on-screen setup menu, accessed by holding [Commander Off] and [Muting] (at least there's only one to remember). This is a significant improvement that goes a long way towards enhancing the OOB ("out of box") experience for first-time universal remote owners.

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