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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 Q from Alberta.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 32 made on Sunday June 10, 2001 at 6:32 PM.
Strengths:This product is simple to program, easy to use and has the "feel of quality".

Replaced my 5 other remotes.
Weaknesses:Needs a backlight!!!!
Review:This product is simple to program, easy to use and has the "feel of quality".

Programmed it originally in 30 minutes. Tweaked it after my wife and I couldnt agree on some key / command combinations...........
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Written by Marc Johnson from Denver, CO.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 31 made on Thursday May 17, 2001 at 1:19 AM.
Strengths:Able to learn codes from many different remotes.
The first truly "universal" remote I have ever owned.
Never runs out of memory!
Review:The $60 Sony RM-VL900 is amazing! It is clearly the best universal remote available for less than $100. I had no problems getting it to replace five remotes running the following:
Pioneer DVD
GE Big Screen TV
Motorola Cable Box
Aiwa Amp
Phillips VCR

The only poor reviews I have read about this remote seem to be written by people that probably had trouble just getting it out of the box. The majority of intelligent sounding people seemed to have absolutely no problems with it. I read five pages of reviews before I came to this conclusion. Let me save you some trouble. Go with the masses on this one. You'll be glad you did!

P.S. Those "intelligent" people did have two complaints: it doesn't light up and it's too big. Lighting up would only cause the batteries to die faster. And the buttons do glow in the dark.

As far as it being too big goes -- who cares? Wouldn't you gladly learn to use a slightly bigger remote if it would effectively replace all of your existing ones?

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Written by IeraseU from Miami, FL, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 30 made on Tuesday April 17, 2001 at 1:36 PM.
Strengths:Ergonomics, feel, build quality, price, large memory, VERY easy to program, good IR strenght, good battery life
Weaknesses:No backlight
Review:I own a MUCH higher end remote control that costs MORE then 5-TIMES as much as the Sony VL900, so I read the favorable reviews, and didn't expect too much. I thought hey, there is no way this is even going to be COMPARABLE to what I'm used to in a Universal Remote......but hey, for the price ($40), I bought it to put it outside in the media room, so when I have my wild, reckless, crazy, friends over, they won't have something too expensive to break.........boy was I wrong!....this remote is is easily comparable to remotes that cost double as much or more. I can't get over how great it friends who think I'm *crazy* for spending *hundreds* on a Universal Remote, vowed to get a VL900 of their own after just ONE DAY of use. This remote was great from the moment I got took just 15mins to fully set up, including macros......quite a contrast to the *other high end remote* I have which took HOURS on my PC to build a proper layout, and then I had to *learn* every single button from the original remotes, and finally do my final tweaking on my PC.....This remote was ready to go in under 30mins! I can't give this remote a higher recommendation........if you have system more complex then a TV and VCR, then you owe it to yourself to get a Universal Remote....and with the Sony RM-VL900 you don't have to break the bank to do it!........Ok, you're fresh out of excuses, go out and get one, you wont be sorry!!!
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Written by Adam McNeill from Vancouver, BC.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 29 made on Thursday March 29, 2001 at 2:46 PM.
Strengths:Easy to hold, great layout of volume/channel buttons (and mute/jump). Battery seems to last forever.
Weaknesses:Cannot program ALL OFF (the discreet code for componenents that turns them OFF regardless, as assposed to sending a POWER signal that will turn it ON if it is already OFF). I have only found this feature in the Pronto.
Review:I didn't do a lot of research for this product before I bought it. I usually do - but I looked at the price tag of the Pronto and figured there was no way I was spending that kind of dough on a remote. This remote does everything - macros work great, learning IR, and codes for most major components. I use it with a Sony 36S42 TV, Sony AMP, Sony 200 disc CD changer, Toshiba 2109 DVD player and an RCA 420E DirecTV receiver along with an RCA S-video switching box. Everything works flawlessly. Would highly recommend for the money, I paid $85CDN for this.
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Written by Louis from Eugene, OR, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 28 made on Friday March 23, 2001 at 11:28 AM.
Strengths:Everything this is the best remote I have ever seen. Obviously you can by better but not for the money this remote is easily worth a $100 and maybe more.
Weaknesses:Would be nice to have a few extra key and maybe a replaceable template to go around the keys that you could label. The lack of a backlight I don't find that important since in the dark I work by feel any how.
Review:This is a very advanced and smart remote. Thus it will take some reading and some rereading before you figure out how all the functions work. It's easy and intuitive though once you grasp there ideas. Allows you to very easily and quickly program it for any remote and program any button (excluding system selection keys which can each be reprogrammed for any other system function i.e. the tv key could be reprogrammed to control a dvd player etc..) for any function. I can't say enough how great it is to have eliminated all my remotes and to have a remote to control an separate tv and vcr that we no longer have a remote for I can even program the second vcr now even without the original remote to program the sony remote.
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Written by Kenneth Hall from Cary, NC.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 27 made on Wednesday March 21, 2001 at 4:04 PM.
Strengths:Good lay out - loads of "teachable" buttons (every button is teachable for every component) - fits nicely in your hand - incredible amount of functionality and flexibility - better remote than others costing more.
Weaknesses:Buttons should be backlit - although they do glow in the dark and are big enough to see what you need.
Some of the buttons that I use a lot could be just a little bit bigger - the MENU and the GUIDE buttons, for example, that I use constantly in the cable box mode.
Review:Unbelievable remote control for the money. After a good amount of research and not wanting to spend too much money for a remote control I decided on a One4All 9800. It was too much. My main problem with it was that the function assignenment for the buttons was something you would have to memorize and it was different for each component. Too much of it was just not logical.
I had done some reading up on the Sony and even though it looked good in the reviews it just didn't seem possible that this remote @ $59 could stand up to remotes that cost $99 - $199. WRONG!
There was a code number for every component I own, the layout was excellent and logical and the functions for the buttons all made sense. EVERY BUTTON is teachable for every component, so if by chance the fast-forward button doesn't work for your DVD player, you just lay it head-to-head with your DVD remote and in about 20 seconds you're good to go. Even better if you happen to own an older universal remote with the "T" symbol somewhere on it, you can teach all the codes and functions directly into the Sony.
In getting it set up I found that there were plenty of buttons to go around even for my Yamaha surround sound receiver and for my digital cable box remote, which both have tons of features. When I was through programming it was almost as if I was still using all my old remotes, however they had been robbed of their batteries and had made their way from scattered all over my coffee table to a shoe box on the top shelf of my closet.
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Written by Jeff Ashforth from Charlotte, NC.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 26 made on Monday March 19, 2001 at 6:54 PM.
Strengths:Memory, Price, Ease of setup, Macros, IR signal strength
Weaknesses:Can't say it loud enough..NO BACKLIGHT.
Could use a few more buttons, button layout.
Review:I bought this unit a few weeks ago and I am in HT heaven. I researched a lot of the other models out there and the Sony RM-VL900 was the best of the bunch. I was not ready to drop down the $$$ for a pronto so I needed something that would learn all of the functions for my 8 components. The Cinema 7 didn't have the memory (although the advanced codes make it a tempting purchase). The RS-1594 had the same memory limitations and poorly placed transport buttons(although the backlighting makes it tempting). So I was searching on this site and when I noticed that the VL900 had virtually the same learning circuitry as their LCD models, I knew I had to have it.

Once I had it home, it took me 30 minutes to get everything programmed and up and running. The manual was OK, but a bit cryptic. After I set the device codes I began learning the functions that were not there. This remote has some weaknesses and the first I will point out here. It needs a few more buttons, about four to be precise: For DVD- Audio, Subtitle and Angle buttons would be nice as these are used quite frequently by me.
and a Open/Close button would be useful as well. Having said that I learned these functions to the TV/Video, Sleep and ENT buttons respectively. I Programmed the number one key to perform open/close and eject to my DVD player, LD player and VCR respectively. After that I played around with some less common functions for other components so that I was able to take all the batteries out of all of my other remotes and throw them in a drawer. That's how much memory this baby has.

Next I moved on to the macros. I used the component buttons for system power up and the system 1,2 & 3 buttons for power down. Now when I press DVD for 3 seconds my DVD player, Amp, and TV all turn on and my Amp changes input to DVD and my TV switches to Video... all in less than 3 seconds! I assigned my Pioneer laserdisc player the Tape component button and programmed a similar power up function, as well as a VCR power up macro. Then I programmed system button 1 to power down DVD, system button 2 to power down LD and system button 3 to power down VCR.

Here's where discrete codes would have come in handy, I had to program similar start up macros to three other component buttons to handle start up for when my TV was already on. A discrete power on code for my components would make only one series necessary. Oh well, it's a small price to pay for so much learning memory.

The last thing I'll cover are two things that would make this the perfect remote.

1. Add a backlight. There is no excuse to not have this on a $60 remote.

2. Add the four buttons I mentioned above and change the button layout a bit. Move the number keypads to the bottom of the remote and place volume and channel buttons near the middle like the 1594.

All in all I am very satisfied with the VL-900 and would recomend it highly to anyone in the market for a remote under $80.

Quality: Features: Value:

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