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User reviews for the Sony RM-VL900 from Sony Electronics.
Sony RM-VL900
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 4.51/5.00
Median: 4.67/5.00
The Sony RM-VL900 is an economical all-button universal remote that can control up to 8 devices. It has multiple macros, full learning capability on every key, plus a great ergonomic design.
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Written by Marc Rochkind from Colorado.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 39 made on Tuesday December 18, 2001 at 10:32 AM.
Strengths:Hard buttons, great flexibility
Weaknesses:No backlighting
Review:I agree with most of the other comments here, especially about the supriority of hard buttons over LCD remotes. The VL900 replaces an AV2100, which, while very cool, was never convenient to operate.
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Written by Kevin from Labrador, Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 38 made on Friday December 14, 2001 at 12:30 PM.
Strengths:- Full learning remote
- Solid build quality
- Easy setup
- Good value
Weaknesses:- Not enough buttons
- Pre-programmed codes are sparse and do not necessarily provide full control (not really an issue - see below)
Review:I'm not going to add anything groundbreaking - my review will basically just reinforce what the majority have already said.

I had the remote up and running with all my components set-up and macros created in a bit more than an hour.

I found that some pre-programmed codes only provided partial functionality, but this was generally not a problem since I just "learned" the missing functions to the remote. I could not get any codes to work for my Motorola Digital Cable box, but again, I just "learned" everything to the remote.

My biggest complaint is not enough buttons to provide full functionality for some of my components - namely my receiver and my DVD player. I can get around this because I am only using 6 components on the remote, and have two full components open for extra buttons, but this is a pain in the butt to have to use buttons under different components.

Otherwise, I am very impressed with the features and functionality of this remote, considering the price.

My system:

Marantz SR5200 Receiver
Motorola DCT2000 Digital Cable Receiver
Panasonic VCR (older model)
RCA 32" TV (older model)
Philips 5-disc CD player (older model)
Mirage 6 channel speaker system (FRS series)
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Mike from Michigan.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 37 made on Tuesday December 4, 2001 at 1:22 PM.
Strengths:Very versatile
almost any button can be reprogrammed
Great Macro capability
great IR beam
Great Price!! $49 at ABC Warehouse
Weaknesses:I would like more quick macro buttons
Review:I did spend about 4 hours teaching it every concievable button from my other remotes but the extensive capabilities were quickly recognized. This remote did everything I wanted it to. Even my wife can now use it to watch a VHS tape or quickly use a macro key and watch a DVD and then use another macro key to switch back to TV viewing. It does exactly what I need it to do and at the right price!
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Written by Brad from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 36 made on Monday November 5, 2001 at 10:12 AM.
Strengths:True learning remote, has actual keys that you can feel. Ability to control a single audio source no matter what component you are currently controlling.
Weaknesses:None that I can think of.
Review:I bought this remote after already owning a Sony AV-2100, and a Pronto, and this is the last one I am going to purchase! Now, before you say wonder why I think it is better than more expensive remotes, it is very simple. I can feel the keys. With the touch screen remotes, you have to look at the keys to find them, I link finding keys by touch, so I can "flip" without having to stop watching TV. Yes, it is a very basic remote compared to the Pronto, but that is all I need.
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Written by Mike from Singapore.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 35 made on Saturday October 27, 2001 at 5:12 AM.
Strengths:Extensive programmability for such a simple looking remote.
Nice color. Long battery life. Buttons are easy to feel & press.
Weaknesses:A little heavy & large (compared to regular remotes).
"Glow-in-the-dark" buttons don't last long enough to be useful. Not enough special function buttons. Cannot customise button labels.
Review:I bought this based on reviews on the internet, and I haven't got a single bit of regret cos it is as good as all the praises claim. I had been aware of the downsides of it, but still bought it for its extensive functionalities w/o the frills of LCD remotes operation.

Most buttons provided are quite standard with today's remote controls, so it was a no-brainer to know which button should carry what basic functions. That is until you want to program special functions like picture-in picture, surround modes on your amp, teletext funtions, etc. It would be better if Sony added a few more buttons to cater for such odd functions. But that would probably make it bigger in size than it already is.

To overcome memorising the different functions programmed for each buttons, I used scratch-on decals to put addtional names beside the buttons. Then I stuck transparent laminate over them to proctect them from wear. It was tedious work and the result is not very neat (still worth it & after 9 months of using they're still intact!... anyone interested to see what I've done, I'll send you a pic). So I thought it would be a good idea for Sony to provide similar labels for users to cutomise the buttons' name.

Programming was also a little difficult to grasp at first, & the manual wasn't too detailed about it. Fortunately, this site provides comprehensive support for it.

I'm using it to control all sorts of appliances, including my JDO wall switches & electric fan. And the battery hasn't gone flat yet since the first time I used it 9 months ago!

Overall a great product well worth the price!
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Written by Jeff from Australia.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 34 made on Tuesday October 2, 2001 at 7:11 PM.
Strengths:I picked up this Sony beauty whilst in Singapore during September for a reasonable S$93 including batteries. The RRP was over S$100, as compare to AUS$189 on import in Australia.

The learning function is just sensational. My only other experience has been with cheaper universal remotes that take countless efforts to get working with various components. I run a Sony TV, Sony Video Recorder, Sony Amp, Pioneer DVD amd FOXTEL Pay Television all through the remote and have found no problems at all.
Weaknesses:My only ilk - so to speak, is the positioning of the volume and program buttons. These should be located a little higher.

I am yet to work out how to know which component is currently running via the remote. For instance if someone else has been using it before me, I have no way of knowing what component the remote is currently set to.
Review:Overall, I must say that I am extremely satisfied with the remote. If anyone from Sony Australia is reading this, why on earth havn't you released this locally ? It is a must have for anyone with 2 or more components and is excellent for use with ALL the major Pay Television providers in Australia.
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Written by Rich B from NC, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 33 made on Tuesday June 26, 2001 at 12:03 PM.
Strengths:I bought several Universal Remotes to control all of my Sony components. I was amazed as how many "learning" remotes could not learn or run the feature of my Sony equipment. I bought the Sony remote and it was pre-programmed for all of my components. The only thing I had to "teach" it was to switch to my DVD sound field on my receiver. It was easy to program and really does control everything as advertised!
Weaknesses:The design is not the greatest. It is large to hold and rather rectangular with no formed hand grips. Also, the volume and channel buttons are located at the bottom of the remote while all of the number keys are located at the top which is kind of an annoyance when flipping TV channels...
Review:Overall I was completely satisfied with this remote. It was economical, it is well made and sturdy with rubber shock absorbers built around the edges in case of accidental drops. It does, for once, what it says it will do and controls all of my components. Also, the keys are easily identifiable making it easy for anyone to understand. Overall this was the best $55 I spent on my system!
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