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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 Bob A. from Phoenix.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 95 made on Saturday October 16, 2004 at 10:42 PM.
Strengths:Intuative, durable, balanced, learning mode, and tons of memory.
Weaknesses:Instruction manual, limited backlighting
Review:By far, my biggest complaint has nothing to do with the remote itself, but with the poorly written instruction manual. Remember the episode of M.A.S.H. when Hawkeye is reading the Army instruction manual to Trapper John for difusing a bomb, "Cut the blue wire next, after cutting the red wire first." It's kind of like that. Several key instructions begin with something like: "After following steps 1 through 4 on page 26, perform the following..." One is left thumbing through pages and pages, trying to figure out what the heck they're talking about. On the other hand, the RM-VL900 device itself is so well engineered, I think there may actually be market out there for someone willing to rewrite the manual. I brought home both this remote and it's big bother (RM-VL1000) to do a side by side comparison. And even though big brother looks sleeker and had more to offer (LCD screen and controls up to 12 components) the RM-VL900 won out for being more intuitive and less cumbersome in "everyday" use. After all, isn't that what counts the most? Of course, if you need to drive more than 8 components, then I recommend big brother (RM-VL1000), but be warned, the manual is even worse and you will ultimately be performing more keystrokes on some basic operations. However, I can't resist saying that the RM-VL1000 has an awesome joystick button...the best bar none! It's tempting to buy the RM-VL1000 for the joystick alone. If Sony had included that joystick on this remote, the RM-VL900 would be near perfect. I think if I spoke anymore I would be rehashing all the wonderful comments contributed by others. Bottom line, it's a well developed remote worth every penny...if you can tolerate the manual.
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Written by Jason A. Melero from Austin, TX.
The reviewer has used this remote control for more than two years.
Review 94 made on Friday September 24, 2004 at 2:07 AM.
Strengths:Easy to program and learn from other remotes. Highly durable. Good battery life. Good size and ergonomics.
Weaknesses:Limited button backlighting.
Review:Absolutely the best remote I have ever owned or used. I have a Pronto NG, which I love, but mostly find myself using the RM-VL900. I didn't bother using any of the built-in codes; learning is easy enough. The girlfriend learned pretty quickly which buttons did what despite the lack of a way to label them. Macro functionality is also very good when you need to swich inputs on your receiver and TV. I've spilled various liquids on it more than once, and it has held up. I took it apart to clean it after a spill, and build quality was very good. Buttons are one solid rubber sheet, which is probably what saved it from beer poisoning. I got it a few years ago as a refurb at a Sony outlet store, and have since gotten two more on eBay for other rooms. You can pick them up pretty cheap these days. Overall, a solid A+.
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Written by Dave Lorraine from washington.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 93 made on Friday July 23, 2004 at 5:13 PM.
Strengths:Easy to use, bulletproof (have dropped with no ill effects),easy to set up.
Weaknesses:Needs a backlight as phosphor buttons don't cut it. Not enough brands pre-programmed so must manually set up (though easy enough}.
Review:A great all around good remote for up to eight units. Once programmed can be forgotten as it works to prefection.
Enough said.
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Written by Ed Slook from Texas.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 92 made on Wednesday June 16, 2004 at 2:22 PM.
Strengths:Very reliable and uses batteries quite well. Programs well, has done everything I've thrown at it, within its' stated capabilities. Nice balance to it as well. I have disparate brands and all have been accepted and programmed.
Weaknesses:Doesn't light up. Glows in the dark until around 11PM, and then it is all up to your memory or additional lighting.
Review:If this were to be lost tomorrow I'd buy another one to take its' place. The best remote I've every owned, and with a DISH/DVR/CD/VCR/AMP/DVC setup, it is a sweetie. Find on sale and you'll be very happy with the bang for buck. I think I paid 42-49 a year or so ago.
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Written by Lance from Massachusetts, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 91 made on Saturday June 5, 2004 at 12:09 PM.
Strengths:Nice size, easy to setup and program.
Weaknesses:Manual requires a couple of passes to figure things out. Needs a rewrite.
Review:Just picked this up from Sony as arefurbished item from eCost. Wanted to get from 4 remotes to 1. Also needed something simple (and familiar) enough for the wife and kids to use, otherwise, what's the point! Everything worked flawlessly but I could not get the Motorola Digital Cable box to work. I thought I was going to have to return it but then I stumbled across this forum as a last ditch attempt to find a solution. Of course! I can teach the remote each button one at a time. I thought this would be a complete pain in the ass but it turns out to be very easy and the entire process took maybe 5 minutes. Now all is well with the world, Comcast OnDemand works - now all that is left is to "teach" it a few commands about the DVD player.
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Written by David from CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for more than two years.
Review 90 made on Friday May 21, 2004 at 12:22 AM.
Strengths:Ability to competently learn my complex system in full.
Weaknesses:Buttons rub off after a short while (less than 6 months frequently used buttonsstart to fade).

Non-lighted. It has a glow in the dark system that eventually fades.
Review:This was without a doubt a fantastic remote, until it failed after 2.5 years.

It completely learned my entire system. So it's definitely has enough memory to learn!

If it hadn't failed on me (after 2-3 soffft sofa to carpet drops), I'd give it a 5/5 for quality.

Only problem is that custom buttons from my other remotes can't be tagged/labelled without an LCD screen. One would have to memorize the location of such a button on the remote. This can prove a problem for the wife or anyone else who needs to use the remote in a practical manner.

Thus, my next purchase will be the Home Theater MX500 remote.....which has the LCD and is universally very highly rated.

For $40 street, this remote is the one to own though if you can't/won't make the jump to the next level.

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Written by Dr_LHA from Riverside, Ca.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 89 made on Tuesday March 23, 2004 at 3:15 AM.
Strengths:Nice ergonomics, easy to program, very flexible.
Weaknesses:Buttons failed on it after 12 months
Review:Loved this remote, loved it to pieces. Have a semi-decent home theatre set up, DVD player, reciever, TV, Dish Network DVR, VCR, all worked flawlessly with the remote.

However, almost 12 months to the day after I bought it the remote has 1 dead button (the 30 second skip forward for the Dish PVR) and the fast forward and guide buttons are starting to die as well.

No remote I've ever owned has ever died like this before, and its very annoying that I will have to replace this remote that I love now after only 12 months of use.
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