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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 Tom Macy from Abilene, TX.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 18 made on Friday January 5, 2001 at 10:36 AM.
Ease of programmability.
Number of macros.
Weaknesses:No backlight.
Lack of transport buttons.
Review:For the last year I have been using the One for All Cinema 7 and was very pleased with it. When I upgraded to a new Sony STR-DE845 Dolby Digital Receiver the Cinema 7 no longer met my needs. A universal remote comes with the receiver but it is really only works well if you have all Sony components. Plus, it is the most complicated remote I have ever seen.

I purchased the Sony RM-VL900 with hopes that it could do everything my Cinema 7 did plus make it easier to switch between components and allow me to program individual remote keys beyond the L1-4 keys on the C7. The RM-VL900 has done all of this and much more.

Within an hour I was able to have the remote operating all of my components including:

Sony STR-DE845 receiver
Hughes DirecTV receiver
Panasonic TV
Older Sony 5 disk CD player
Sony VCR
Toshiba DVD player

Within two hours, I had system macros programmed for one button off and on for the components I use most (TV, D-TV & receiver). In addition, I had programmed the component keys to allow for one-button changes between components. This includes changing the receiver input as well as the video selection on the TV. Beyond that I was also able to teach the RM-VL900 to perform functions that some of my other remotes did that it did not. So, I have now put every function that I regularly use on any of my other remotes into the RM-VL900 including:

DVD & CD disk change
All PIP functions for my TV
Access to on-screen menus for TV, VCR and DVD
…and the list goes on.

I am sure that I will discover other functions that I might be missing, but it is so easy to program that I will just add them as needed.

The programmability of this remote has made it such that my entire family can use this remote without a cheat sheet or any frustration.

There are really only two negative things I can say about this remote. The first is no backlight. The keys do glow in the dark and the component buttons light up, but this could be one easy improvement Sony could make in future models. Since my Cinema 7 did not have backlighting, I think I will probably be able to survive without it. The only other negative is a need for more transport buttons and perhaps just more buttons in general. In controlling the D-TV receiver and DVD I found that I was wishing for a button that I was used to. I have since programmed other buttons to take on these functions. I really don’t see either of these as big negatives compared to the other remotes I have looked at.

I would recommend the RM-VL900 to anyone. Unless you have more than 8 components you need to control, this remote can more than meet your needs. Plus, for $59 (or less) it is outstanding.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by HT from Los Angeles, CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 17 made on Sunday December 31, 2000 at 10:51 PM.
Strengths:I HAVE BOUGHT THEM ALL!!!!! AND THE SONY VL900 IS PROBABLY THE BEST ONE JUST BECAUSE OF THE RELATIVELY LOW PRICE. But it not that great ... more like it's "not as terrible as the other ones"
Weaknesses:There just are NOT ENOUGH buttons. Who ever uses the number buttons 1-9 & 0?
Everything is menu driven these days (up-down-left-right-enter) and a separate button to call up the correct menu with a quik 'clear' button for accidental wrong pushes etc.... There are some, but not enough. You can program the number pad for anything, but then you have to remember what each number button is used for ... keeping in mind it will be different for whatever device you need to control.

FINALLY,YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT DEVICE YOU ARE CONTROLING UNLESS YOU REMEMBER WHAT THE LAST ONE YOU WERE USING THE LAST TIME YOU WERE ADJUSTING WITH THE REMOTE (kind of distracts you from your movie or DVD if you are constantly having to remember what device is active.

e.g. "Cool ..... the Titanic is going down and you want to pause then watch in slow motion .... but ooops, you forgot you were fiddling with the amp's 3D surrround sound about a half an hour ago and suddenly the mood of the movie is gone as you sit there very surprised and pissed off to be watching some crazy-old-vegi-nut's public access show REALLY, REALLY LOUD!

It doesn't happen all that often, but it's like being in a car crash .... once is enough to last a lifetime.
Review:I have bought the Harmon/Kardon, the Sony with the big touch screen, the X-10/Radio Shack's various models plus a slew of new cheap remotes that keep coming out that all swear upside-down they work with all major brands and for all new technology.

"One For All" should have been called NONE FOR ANY since I have only the big name brands Sony, RCA, Magnavox, Sharp, Sanyo, Samsung & Quasar ..... but some how they never have the code for my particular model, or the one most crucial button or they don't have any codes for DVD's or whatever ....

The expensive TouchScreen remotes (Sony, Harmon, Palm etc..) SUCK! and are WAY TOO EXPENSIVE (especially if you've bought a couple of different ones, which you would return if you hadn't spent 40-60 hours of your life getting it 'just right' only to find out it will never even be close to what you need.

There has to be a joystick type of operation that you can use without having to always find it on the screen and then carefully push the correct button (which are usually too small and in odd positions and just lack certain vital buttons)

MY OPINION IN SUM: The new Sony VL900 is the best option based on it's: low price; ease to find in almost any electronic's store and even places like Sav-on; NO STUPID BACKLIT TOUCHSCREENS, relatively easy to learn just the codes you really need, fairly good and common layout with real buttons (though not enough and some are a bit too small - Also, for some reason, it's not weighted very well and I drop it more often than I usually do with remotes and I wish the buttons could be lit up before you press them down)

Why can't they make a wireless Learning Universal Remote Controls just like all the new Gameboy/PS2 etc... game controllers with a big joystick or two, egronomic and cool looking?

Probably for the same reason any new computer you buy is obsolete before you even get to unpack it. :-)

TIP: Most people like to buy all one brand. But if you buy a different brand for each component, when your airhead old mother comes by to annoy you, you just tell her: "See the TV is a Sony ... so use the remote with the Sony name on it. The VCR is a Sharp so use the Sharp remote if you want to watch a tape and if you want to watch a DVD, guess what, you use the Toshiba remote control just like the way the DVD player has the name Toshiba printed right on the front of the machine.

Finally, don't forget to tell her that your cell phone just got cloned and you have a new number which you don't remember yet, so if she needs anything .... she will have to call someone else for help!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Bob Ladig from Suisun City... Calif.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 16 made on Sunday December 31, 2000 at 9:48 PM.
Strengths:Almost all user keys are learnable from another remote on a same key basis.
Fits in the hand and feels good.
Price is very good,
I couldnt find another remote with these features for twice the price.
$59.95 at BestBuy, Cheaper on the web.
Uses 4 AA rather than AAA batteries. Batteries should last longer
Weaknesses:No lcd display...Would be nice
No way to blink back codes...Would be nice
glow keys, would love to have the 15-994 RS keys and illumination.
I always have a lite on while watching tv anyway. Not a biggie for me
Review:Who ever said that the VL900 is the best remote under $100.00 was right on. I have 2 Dishnet echostar 7200 recievers.Nobody has the right code as of yet to make this workable.(At least remotes that I can afford) I used the learning keys and programed the keyboard on the remote to work exactly as the oem remote.I also programed in 2 vcrs and a Toshiba cinema 27" tv with full controls.Being able to learn keys to almost any key really make this remote rock.I also have a tv antenna for the local channels which sits upon a Radio Shack HD rotor $99.00. This particular rotor comes with a red led display and is controlled by a (you guessed it)a remote control. I was also able to learn all the keys for this remote, under the tape control button. I got all this in there and still have memory for more.
If you have a late model window air conditioner with a remote you can also add it too.
I was able to remove 7(Yes 7)remotes off of the coffee table. This thing is a breeze to program. The only thing I miss is being able to blink back the code numbers, but what the heck.
Would I recommend this remote?? you betcha
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Matt Nosal from Connecticut.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 15 made on Saturday December 30, 2000 at 9:44 PM.
Strengths:Ease of Programming
Number of component buttons
Weaknesses:4 AAs + remote = HEAVY!
IR reciever
Review:Before this remote I had the Sony RM-V18A, which fails in comparison to the VL900. Setting it up went fast, but hit a snag with my cable box remote. I had to teach the VL900 commands for that remote, which went relatively smooth. Since my HT has only 3 components, I changed the remaining component buttons to suit the needs of other components outside my HT. Now with this one remote, I control all A/V equipment in the house. I think Sony did a terrific job with the RM-VL900, and they deserve a job well done.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Mike Borja from California,USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 14 made on Wednesday December 20, 2000 at 4:23 PM.
Strengths:Alot of features. Able to learn.
Weaknesses:Can not program my cable box (Pioneer) nor my dvd player (Denon dvd-1500).
Review:If you own a Denon dvd player, this remote WILL NOT program it. The remote came with a code list and it did have a code for Denon dvd player, but it will not program it. There is a feature with this remote to search for the code and it could not find it. I called Sony for help on this matter and they show no code for any Denon dvd player, even though the remote came with a list of codes that had a Denon code . They couldn't explain why there is such a list with this remote that has a code for Denon. Bottom line, this remote sucks!!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Jack Ryan from Baltimore, MD.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 13 made on Thursday December 7, 2000 at 1:29 PM.
Most Functions of Original Remotes
Review:I'm a Big Sony fan, I have a Sony DSS, Sony TV, Sony Reciever, Sony VCR, Sony CD and a Pioneer DVD (Sony's won't play CDR's so screw'em) Anyway - even all thier remotes are supposed to work all thier systems - they don't provide all the necessary functions - Bring in the RM900 and you get 95% of all funtions (especially needed DSS buttons) and the ability to teach the functions it doesn't allready have. That and the macros functions allow me to program complex tasks (Master Station Guide for DSS is a 12 step procedure) and simple everything on/off with one key (Home theater necessity). This in an inexpensive package, with out that worthless touch screen of more expenseve remotes)
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Carl Farwell from Knoxville, TN, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 12 made on Thursday November 16, 2000 at 12:43 PM.
Strengths:~Ease of programming
~Ability to perform complex macros
~Simple instructions
Weaknesses:~Lack of backlit function buttons
Review:Awsome! After purchasing a professionally installed high end system which came with a Pronto programmed by the installer on site, I returned to $500 pronto and began a search for something that better fit my needs, assuming that "simpler is better"! For the past year I used a Radio Shack 15-1994, which was a basic 6-in-one, and did a great job, but lacked macro functions, which are necessary to simplify my Tohsiba HDTV/AV/VCR/DVD/Satellite setup.

Other units failled my test because they didn't readily understand my system components, including the Sony AV2100, which was also too clumbsy and difficult to read and follow.

I had RM-VL900 set-up within the hour, doing some pretty awsome macros, and my wife just did the strat-up on her own for the first time in a year!

I love this thing! I originally passed this up on the comparrison because it was only $59, and I thought that it would be a waste of time, but boy was I wrong!
Quality: Features: Value:

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