Your Universal Remote Control Center
Remote Control User Reviews
Previous page Next page Up level
Up level
The following page was printed from

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.
Find universal
remotes at:

Navigation: [ < Previous|Next > ]
Now viewing user reviews page 14 of 15 for
the Sony RM-VL900 remote.
[ Go to: |<< First|9|10|11|12|13|14|15 ]

Written by Todd J. Derr from Pittsburgh, PA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 11 made on Tuesday October 24, 2000 at 10:23 AM.
Strengths:1) price/value, not much else in this price range with the same capabilities
2) every non-device button can be learned
Weaknesses:1) macros are confined to a few keys
2) no backlight
3) big (hard to use with one hand) and heavy
Review:I have been using a Cinema 7 for my bedroom, and was generally very happy with it. But, it's an older (non-learning) model and I have a TiVo to control now, so... it was time to look for a new remote. So, I bought the Sony, and a Cinema 7 learning (it was just sitting there, $20 open box special... I couldn't resist). I'm not sure which one I am going to keep. Since I'd imagine a lot of people end up considering these same 2 remotes, I'll try to compare them.

My main concern with the C7 is the limited learning capability. I might be OK here because the only thing I should have to learn is the TiVo. Regardless, it is definately a huge plus that the Sony can learn codes on any non-device key - you never have to worry about running out of memory. I have seen some people complain that the Sony doesn't allow you to remap buttons like the C7 does, but I don't think that's an issue since you can learn on every key. I guess you need another remote to learn from, but that's no big deal. Also it is _not_ like some other braindead sony remotes I've seen (and owned) which don't allow you to use certain buttons in certain modes - i.e. no transport keys in 'TV' mode.

My main gripe with the Sony is that macros can only be programmed on 3 dedicated buttons (kind of hard to reach, at the top of the remote), and on the device keys (these are sent when you hold the key down for 2 seconds). C7 wins here since you can put a macro on any key. They both suffer from the fact that you can't make a macro go back to the last device you were using - that always drives me crazy. I want to put a macro on the 'sleep' button that sets the TV sleep timer and lets me go on with what I was doing. Ah well, my 'other' remote is a pronto so I'm probably not going to be satisfied with any other remote's macro capabilities :)

I really prefer the size/shape of the C7, although perhaps some of that is due to familiarity with the C7. The Sony is definately a lot bigger and heavier, and not contoured to fit your hand like the C7. I realize the layout is a very subjective thing, and that I'm biased by my C7 experience, so I'll refrain from much commenting about it. I do think that they are both laid out pretty reasonably, although they're both difficult to use with one hand - the C7 has an advantage due to its size and the aforementioned fact that macros aren't confined to the top of the remote. I don't have much of a problem finding the keys on either one in the dark, with the possible exception of the round buttons on the left of the C7, they take a good bit of "feeling around" to get the right one. So, I would give Sony the nod in that department, the keys are easy to recognize by feel. And since there's no backlight on either, you'll need to...

Overall, I wish I could somehow combine the two into one remote - add the learning capabilities of the Sony to the programmability of the C7, and you've got a winner. As it is, it depends on your needs - if you need to learn a lot, you need the sony. Otherwise, at 1/3 to 1/2 of the price, it's hard to argue with the C7.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Yves Bélanger from Montréal (Québec) Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 10 made on Sunday October 22, 2000 at 2:07 PM.
Strengths:. Easily programmable
. Not expansive for all the features
. Well designed
. REALLY replace the other remotes
Weaknesses:. Like with almost all GOOD universal
remote controls, there are not enought
keys to program all the features :-)
Review:This remote control is very marvelous.
It is easy to use and to program. I
really like it.
Since it is learnable, I was able to replace my other remotes (6) with this one
for almost all of the basic and mid-range
function. I need it for very advance
functions thought.

+ Can't know which device is selected
. Add a side button to make the current
selected device button light

+ Missing [|<<] and [>>|] button
. Usually Ch +/- keys are use for it
with CD and DVD, but on a video there
are already used for channel setting...
. All the other visually significant
keys are used, so I programed unlogical
separated keys
. There are so many kinds of rew and FF
with modern video that are not mapped
. A solution can be a kind of "shift"
key to give two function to a single

+ Missing eject button
. Almost every device have something to
eject (except CBL/DSS/AMP/TV)

+ When AMP is selected, the Aux (3) key
is not mapped to any device selection
with factory setting (Sony)
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Robert from WA, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 9 made on Sunday October 15, 2000 at 2:34 PM.
Strengths:1) Memory capacity
2) Learning and macro ability
3) Ease of programming
Weaknesses:1) Upper part of remote is a little too wide
2) Heavier than most remotes, especially with 4 AA batteries installed!
3) Battery cover doesn't seem very solid
4) Some of the buttons are too small
Review:I've had this remote for a few days now, and overall I like it, especially since I can program EVERYTHING I have onto it, including the TiVo and Sima switch box. The weaknesses I listed I can live with, and I've already gotten used to the bigger size, weight, and the buttons.

The battery cover didn't seem very solid to me, and would move slightly when pushing certain buttons. To fix the problem I cut off a couple pieces of some packing foam and put them inside the cover near the front and back, now it feels very solid.

Just a word to prospective buyers, the remote is pretty large near the top compared to other remotes I've used, making it a little hard to push some buttons at the top with one hand...luckily with a TiVo I'm not pushing those very often. Also the remote feels fairly "hefty" when its cocked and loaded with 4 AA batteries.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Kit from San Diego.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 8 made on Thursday October 5, 2000 at 10:21 AM.
Strengths:Learning capacity, macros, key layout, aesthetics.
Weaknesses:No backlight, trasport keys a little cramped
Review:I received my VL-900 yesterday and was able to quickly configure it for my Sony TV and CD player adn my Yamaha receiver.

Codes for my Echostar DSS receiver and Samsung DVD had to be taught, and this was pretty straight forward. I'm not sure if it is mentioned in the programming guide here, but once you enter learning mode you can continue learning onto keys until you exit the mode.

I also own a Cinema 7 learning, adn the VL900 is in most ways superior. It lacks the Cinema 7's discrete code ability (via the Magic key), cannot stack commands, and is missing some keys that I used on my Cinema 7.

With a few Macros, I think it is going to do everything I need.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Marty from Houston, TX.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 7 made on Monday September 11, 2000 at 11:12 PM.
Strengths:Separate Transport and cursor buttons
Layout is fantastic
Learned all my remotes easily
Preprogrammed codes simply setup
Such a low price for this much functionality
Weaknesses:No backlight, no backlight, no backlight!
Hard to remember programmed keys
IR not quite as good as the Pronto
Review:I basically love this remote. After having my Pronto for a year or so, I really missed the hard buttons. This remote has BOTH transport and cursor buttons. This is almost a necessity if it has any chance of replacing my Tivo remote. The Tivo remote is *VERY* good but I think I'm actually starting to like this Sony even more. I just like the layout a little better. One problem though is that it was just a couple buttons short of duplicating the Tivo remote entirely. I had to be creative with the "thumbs up/down" keys on the Tivo.

Programming was somewhat easy, but I don't like the fact that you really need to return to the manual if you've got a memory like mine. I actually just wrote an abridged version of the Sony remote programming instructions into my Pronto.

I REALLY, REALLY wish the Sony had a backlight. I just can't understand why Sony would leave this out unless it is to get you to upgrade to a future remote with a backlight. I have what I consider a cheaper remote (no learning) in the One For all 8080. It has a great backlight. The Sony's "glow in the dark" feature is useless for me. I guess it never gets enough light to make it glow.

The IR doesn't seem to be as good as the Pronto's but admittedly the Pronto's IR is fantastic. The Sony is a little pickier about the angle, but it is still very good.

My only other problem is remembering how I programmed some of the keys. I tend to forget. But this is a problem with any "all button" learning remote. Fortunately, I think Sony did a great job in including most of the most commonly used keys (especially the seperate cursor/transport keys as I mentioned before).

Quality: Features: Value:

Written by AirFrame from Burnaby, BC, Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 6 made on Wednesday August 30, 2000 at 1:54 PM.
Strengths:1. Simplicity
2. Functionality
3. Ergonomics
Weaknesses:1. No indication of current device
2. No backlight for keys
Review:After playing around with at least a dozen different remotes over the last year, this is by far the best $99 (Canadian) i've spent in a long time. Within half an hour of taking it out of the package, I had all five of my components working with basic to advanced functionality, and within another hour or two (while I was watching TV and having dinner, so it could have been faster) I was able to completely control every device in my rack with just the Sony (with two small exceptions).

My components:

- Toshiba CN27V71 TV
- Toshiba 1200 DVD
- Yamaha Receiver
- Yamaha 5-disc CD Player
- Quasar VHS

The Quasar VHS is the only unit to cause any trouble that I can't find a remedy for. The remote for the Quasar has this little 'jog wheel' on it that is used when programming/setting up the unit to control the cursor. Unfortunately, there was no preset key on the Sony remote that would mimic the 'stroll up' or 'scroll down' signals, and the remote won't learn them when I try to 'beam' the signal over.

I suspect the problem is that the Sony is expecting me to *hold down* the button on the remote so it can sample more than one signal, but the jog wheel only sends one signal per click when you roll it, and I can't roll it fast enough or smooth enough to send a signal that the Sony will recognize. Anyone have any suggestions?


The remote is *very* solid. It feels like a piece of equipment that will stand up to the abuse it's likely to receive (dropping, sitting on, etc).


Very nice. Comfortable, well balanced, and easy to reach the most common controls. Despite the location of the Volume and Channel surfing buttons at the bottom end of the unit, it's surprisingly easy to hit them one-handed.


Unfortunately, almost every time you pick up the unit you have to hit the device key before the desired function key, unless you remember what the last you used was. I don't see a way around this, short of leaving the light on (bad for batteries), or adding a button for a light switch (which means you have to hit two buttons anyway).

I like the idea of the non-battery-guzzling glow-in-the-dark buttons for the rest of the remote, but unfortunately when you're half-way into The Matrix and want a bathroom break, the lights have been off for an hour and the 'glow' has all but worn off. At least it did for me last night. Would it be that much harder to add (switchable) backlighting for the rest of the buttons? It would solve the previous problem of the device key being unmarked as well...


Overall, I think this is an excellent remote, which (despite my crappy VCR) will 100% replace my other five remotes.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Harry Park from Delaware, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 5 made on Friday August 25, 2000 at 10:34 PM.
Strengths:1. Price per value.
2. There is no other remotes with this kind of learning capability at this price range. $42-$60
3. Physical keys, not LCD touch screen.
4. Well-made, and buttons layout is pretty well thought out.
5. Enormous memory size, according to the brochure, upwards of 250 keys can be learned.
6. Separate Channel and Volume and Transport keys.
Weaknesses:1. too few buttons - well, maybe you can never have enough. :)
2. Can not learn to the device key.
3. No back light on all keys.
4. Transport keys are rather too close and small...
5. no easy way of labeling - most physical buttoned remote suffers from this.
6. no way of telling which device is currently active without pressing a button.
7. Very heavy (I can not tell how heavy, but very heavy)
8. Bug in macro playback?
Review:Well, I guess strengths and weaknesses that I have outlined above really sums it up. Don't be scared of the weaknesses that I have outlined above, overall, this remote is a good and sturdy and will be able to replace most if not all your remotes that are cluttering your coffee table. And it looks VERY VERY good.

I purchased the above remote from local BestBuy for $60 since cheapest that I could find in Internet was $42 + $9 shipping and I have decided that spending extra $9 for returnability was worth it since I had to return the cinema 7 because of the fact that it did not have enough memory to learn all the functions that I needed.

It takes 4 AA batteries which adds to the weight. Also, I have noticed that volume and channel controls were far too below but overall I was satisfied with the button layout.

The remote does not have backlights for all the keys so you will need to have some lights in the beginning, but as soon as you get used to it, who will want to look at remotes while all the action is on the screen..

Programming this thing is a breeze, once you decide on which button should be mapped to which other buttons, then getting it programmed will probably take all but 5 minutes or less, which was not the case with Cinema 7. Also, if you get few of these remotes, you can transfer the learned keys between each other which makes the programming 2,3 or 4 remotes a breeze.. (All you AV2100 users outthere, you can just transfer the data over to VL900 according to the manual) And also, if you decide to upgrade to AV2100 later, you can just transfer the data over to AV2100 from VL900.

If you take out the battery, memory back up will keep your settings for approximately 1 hr according to the manual.

Also, unlike few of the other learning remotes outthere (UR326, RR969, etc..) this one comes with tons of pre-programmed codes so if you happen to have lost your remote, it probably will perform basic functions without learning.. I had TEAC Tape deck which did not come with the remote (remote supposedly integraded with TEAC receiver) had a code which will do play and stop which even cinema 7 could not do.

The remote, for its price is very well made and looks very good also. If it is made as sturdy as other cheap SONY universal remotes which I had (non-learning) then it will probably last you forever, since the other remote is still working after being abused by 1 and 2 year olds for last 2 years...
Quality: Features: Value:

Navigation: [ < Previous|Next > ]
Now viewing user reviews page 14 of 15 for
the Sony RM-VL900 remote.
[ Go to: |<< First|9|10|11|12|13|14|15 ]

Previous PageReturn to the user reviews index...
Add your reviewAdd Your Review

Hosting Services by ipHouse