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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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the Sony RM-VL900 remote.
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Written by Allan from BC, Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 25 made on Monday February 26, 2001 at 4:45 PM.
Strengths:Ease of use, learning ability, price
Weaknesses:Backlight would be nice. Also, would like device currently in use to stay lit.
Review:I did a lot of research on the internet before I bought this unit. Considered the OneforAll 9800, but the learning capability is really limited.

If you have equipment for which there are no setup codes, this remote is simply terrific once you get the hang of programming it. I have a Mark Levinson pre-amp and a Proceed CD transport and I don't know any affordable remote that has keys for these. I bought the unit last night and got all the desired functions of these two products working.

The preprogrammed setup for some devices with a code does not include all the functions of the original remote. However, once again, I was able to teach the Sony all the features that I wanted, including setup menu for my TV, programming of my VCR, etc.

This is a great product at this price.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Stephen Marquez from Texas, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 24 made on Monday February 26, 2001 at 9:23 AM.
Strengths:Easy-to-learn - thanks to!
Sleek design
Excellent value
Review:Let me join the chorus of well-wishers for this remote. First, my equipment:

11-year old Mits 26" TV
Technics Amp
Toshiba 2109 DVD
Sony VCR
Hughes DSS

All of them have had their remotes retired as the RM-VL900 has replaced all of them. The learning is as simple as could be. I can now see the benefit of touchscreens over a remote like the VL900 - mainly, customizable buttons. For example, my DISPLAY button now has three different functions assigned to it, depending on the component - meaning I need to remember what is where on this remote. But then, again, at a mere $50, this remote is a terrific value.

My only complaint is the same one others have - backlighting would have made this remote almost perfect. Otherwise, I find nothing to fault on the VL-900 and recommened it highly to all!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by rod from usa.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 23 made on Tuesday February 13, 2001 at 2:02 PM.
Weaknesses:Kinda Heavey
Review:Execellent, has unlimited memory, or I can't fill it up!
Bought mine for $39.99 at:
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Jean DeMeskliers from Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 22 made on Wednesday February 7, 2001 at 10:35 AM.
Weaknesses:Weight: too heavy with 4 AA batteries
Review:One of the best remotes I've used. One comment: there is no easy way to program a macro containing sony "ON" or "OFF" commands, as well as direct component selection (such as put a Sony TV in VIDEO 3 mode directly). I got around this by getting another VL-900 remote and using it to generate the required codes and learned them on my VL-900. I then used the learned buttons in the macros, and it worked perfectly!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Hu Nu from Kentucky.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 21 made on Monday February 5, 2001 at 10:50 PM.
Weaknesses:No backlight.
Review:Easy to assign keys to any function (for example, DVD mode can control volume on receiver, TV video selector, plus all DVD functions). Flexible macros are easy to program. Variable delay times supported. Excellent value.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Dale from CA, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 20 made on Monday January 22, 2001 at 6:40 PM.
Robust design
Reasonable price
Weaknesses:Not enough buttons and not the best layout
No backlight
Great remote! The ability to program almost any button into a 16 step macro is nirvana! That's besides the 3 already
allocated as macros.
The setup could be a bit easier, and a more clear manual would help the most.
Learning other remotes is works well and fast.
Range is excellent, but the lack of a backlight is a little bother. I am used to just glancing now to find a button, and even in the dark, that is good enough.
The buttons could have been laid out better also. I can not fault it otherwise, especially for the price.
It's a little intimidating to other remotes you may still have on your coffee table. But it's not easy to lose either!
No touch screens to mess with, or fancy programs to load. It just gets the job done!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Donald from Arden Hills, Minnesota, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 19 made on Tuesday January 16, 2001 at 11:43 PM.
Strengths:Never runs out of memory.

ALL the buttons except setup are learnable.

Has nearly enough buttons to control everything I own pretty well. Pioneer Receiver, Technics DD/DTS decoder, Tivo, Sony TV, RCA VCR, Mitsubishi VCR, Sony DSS Receiver, Apex DVD.

Has separate menu / transport buttons.

Has 3 global macro buttons and each device selection button holds up 16-step macros.

The built-in remote codes are pretty good. I did not have to make many changes.

It is not too hard to control everything with one hand in the dark w/o looking at the keys. (The touch screen remotes are too big and clunky and hard to use without looking at them.)

Pretty cheap at $50 mailorder.

Good IR dispersion. You don't have to be careful where you aim.

Easy to program.

You can usually learn multi-button commands to any key even though the manual says you can't.

You can backup all the settings to another RM-VL900.
Weaknesses:Poor layout with seldom used numeric keys widely space at the top and frequently used volume/channel keys inconviently placed at the botton and menu/transport keys too close together.

Some keys are labeled with light blue writing on a silver background which is very hard to read dim lighting. I had to relabel some key so I could read them.

It's heavy and its non-ergonomic shape makes it easy to drop if you don't hold it tightly.

Not enough keys to fully replace all functions of my TV, VCR or DVD remote. So I have to keep the old remotes around for some of the really obscure functions. It really needs a shift key to double the keys available for obscure functions.

The >, >>, << buttons are shaped identically to the Display, TV/Video, and Sleep buttons above them. So they are easy to get mixed up in the dark sometimes. I may have to reshape some buttons with a razor blade.

It's missing common keys for >>|, |<<, slow mo, clear, eject.

I'd like to have TV volume control keys in addition to the master volume control in case I am watching the TV w/o using the receiver.

PIP functions are mapped to the transport keys (<<, >>, >,||, etc), but the keys are not labelled, so you can never remember what they do (I applied my own labels).

It is missing non-Sony built-in codes for discrete power-on which you need for setting up the device selection macros properly. You need to buy or borrow a Radio Shack 15-1994 / One-for-all Cinema-7 type remote to get the power on codes.

The built-in remote codes for Sony TV's are missing a code for turning off the PIP. That is easily fixed by learning the code.

The manual is confusing and incomplete but
that is OK because the programming info on is excellent.
Review:The fundamental problem with this remote is that it only has 34 programmable buttons. That makes it impossible to completely replace my 40-button TV remote, my 52 button DVD remote, my 39 and 37 button VCR remotes. It really needs a shift key and a few generic
L1 through L4 learning keys.

What makes this a great remote is the low price and its large learning memory. This is the first learning remote I have used where I did not run out of memory.
In theory it has enough memory for all
the keys in all the devices. And each
key's memory can usually learn multiple commands. I have buttons that bring up
the TiVo "Now Showing" and "To Do List"
screens which each require two button presses on the TiVo remote.

The device selection keys can have 16-step
macros. The macro for my VCR key turns on the Receiver, puts it in VCR mode, puts the Dolby Digital adapter in passthrough mode, turns on the TV, puts it in Receiver mode, and turns on the VCR. I never have to change the mode of the receiver or TV any more. They remote's device selection take care of it.

It is far from perfect, but it does a good job of controlling all my equipment.
Quality: Features: Value:

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