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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 Tom S from Denver, CO.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 60 made on Tuesday August 27, 2002 at 2:42 PM.
Strengths:Macros, system macros and the ability to re-learn any button.
Weaknesses:I constantly confuse the GUIDE/MENU buttons and the REC/PAUSE buttons (always in the dark). This is a real pain when you are watching DVDs in the dark. One of these pairs should be the size of the MUTE/RECALL.
Review:I bought this remote about a year ago strictly on a whim. My Sony TV remote was failing and I needed a replacement. So I thought for the extra $20 or $30 more I'll check this one out.

I have never liked any remote that I have ever owned, but this one is a pleasant exception. It does all that I need to do and more. I really like the system and component macros. I have the system macros to control power to my TV, RX and DVD (the three things I use the most). The video selection on the TV is a toggle through function so it took me a bit to figure out how to set it to different inputs, but not too much of a hassle thanks to macros. They are so many steps in these macros that I am not even close to using them all. I like the volume programming settings. I use only the amp so it was a breaze to set that up.

The programming instructions and manual are a bit terse and poorly written, but I managed and if you ever programmed a universal remote, it's not too much more difficult.

One weakness that has caught me more than once is you need to "clear" a learned button before you reprogram it. It took me awhile to figure that one out. Some of the buttons on the pre-set codes did not work, but no problem, just made them learned functions.

I did have to program the CD keypad numbers, and that was even a Sony CD player. Bothersome, but at least it worked. I did have one learned button that did not give the OK that it was learned, but it worked anyway. I keep a cheat-sheet handy to remember all the learned functions and the macro sequences, very valuable.

It is not clear which buttons can be programmed and which cannot, i.e. RECORD for a DVD player. The manual is no help there either. I did figure out how tofind out, press the button your curious about and if the COMPONENT button lights up, you can program it. I found several buttons that the manual implies cannot be programmed, in reality can.

This had got to be the best $60 remote around. Strongly recommended. So much so, I bought and programmed one for my parents HT system and they love it too. Now that's saying a lot.

Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Peter Mescher from Raleigh, NC.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 59 made on Monday July 1, 2002 at 5:22 PM.
Strengths:This remote was able to control every single component I own, with only a few difficulties. All this for a measly $60.
Weaknesses:This thing could really use a backlight. The built in code database was extremely sparse. It could use more macro buttons.
Review:It took me hours to locate a suitable universal remote that was capable of controlling my system. It consists of:

H/K AVR40 Receiver
Sony CD Changer
Sony VCR
Panasonic TV
Samsung DVD
Pioneer Cable Box
and the real stinker, a TiVo.

After looking at a great many remotes, this was the only one (short of a Pronto-like unit, which my wife would have killed me over) that had all the necessary buttons to control my TiVo without picking random unused buttons to handle some of the controls. I sat down with the web, and my pile of remotes, and this was the only unit that could fill the bill.

Once getting it home, I found that the code database was really quite pathetic. It didn't cover the numeric keypad for my Sony CD changer. It had most of the buttons confused for the H/K remote. It had no idea Samsung made DVD players or that Pioneer made cable boxes. It didn't know what a TiVo was, but this was expected. The only thing that did not need learning was the VCR.

However, the learning functions made up for the lousy built-ins. Except for some difficulties with the H/K remote, the learning went flawlessly. The process couldn't have been easier for a remote without a LCD. It is a good thing that this romote can accept a learned button for every single button on every component, because the VCR was the only component that did not require most, or all, of the buttons to be learned.

In retrospect, I could have actually gotten away with the VL-700. After all, I never really use the CBL button, as the TiVo, programmed into the TV button, does all the cable box controlling. I don't really need a numeric keypad for the CD player, so I could have programmed that into the AMP component. However, I suppose the macros do save three button presses each to get the system on and off. (When wanting to watch TV.)
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Peder from Copenhagen/Denmark.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 58 made on Saturday June 22, 2002 at 8:13 AM.
Strengths:Cheap , looks good , versatile with all my equipment
Weaknesses:Looks like the printing on the rubber buttons will fade out before the remote!
Review:It took only 15minutes to control my complete surround system - including input of the codes which was not already pre-programmed - have only had it now for 2 days! Seems that its gonna give me great pleasure instead of my
Marantz MK2000,which was too heavy and too big!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Chris Yuhas from Ohio.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 57 made on Monday June 17, 2002 at 12:29 PM.
Strengths:The Price, Ease of Use, The Price
Weaknesses:Not enough buttons, Silver Case (prefer black)
Review:I researched alot of Remotes within my price range of under $70.00. My main concern was not losing alot of the certain functions from my DVD and Cable Remotes. Well I didnt with this great remote. Now I know you can get alot more for more money, but I cant justify spending as much if not more for a remote than my DVD player cost. Sure I think with just a few more buttons, like eject it would of been perfect. I'm more than happy and would recommend this remote highly.
I didnt care too much about backlit buttons since none of my other remotes had it. So oh well.

My Equip,
JVC 32in TV
Panasonic DVD
Pioneer Stereo Rec.
Pioneer 100 CD changer
Phillips VCR
Scientific Altanta Cable Box

All codes worked except the Cable Box. I just went ahead and programmed it myself.

9 out of 10. it would have gotten a 10 if it had a dedicated Eject button.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Rael Blair from MI, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 56 made on Monday May 6, 2002 at 6:33 PM.
Strengths:1. Easy to program
2. Controls everything I've asked of it
3. Button layout
4. Full learning on almost every key
Weaknesses:1. Supplied codes didn't work with my Comcast GI cable box (I could learn from the remote however).
Review:Just got this remote last week. I ordered from AV Smarts over 2 months ago, but its been on backorder. I ended up finding a couple at Best Buy - thinking of getting one spare.

Here is what I'm controling with no problems:

Sony Amp
Sampo DVD
Panasonic TV
Onoko CD player

I was worried that a off name product like Sampo would be a problem, but it learned from the remote immediatly. If you want a hard button remote for a good price this is perfect.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Alan from Rochester, NY.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 55 made on Sunday April 28, 2002 at 1:41 PM.
Strengths:Transmits signal very easily.
Well laid out keys and design.
Fairly easy to program.
Overall very easy to use.
Weaknesses:Owner's manual is somewhat confusing.
Keys are starting to fail after repeated use ... see below.
Review:I purchased this in Dec./2000 and have used it consistently for 15 or 16 months now. I was extremely satisfied with it up until a month or two ago, when the most frequent keys are starting to fail and no longer work when I press them. The Fast Forward button is completely shot and now the Play button is starting to fail. Not sure if any other users for over a year have experienced this also?
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Written by Michael from houston, tx.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 3-6 months.
Review 54 made on Saturday April 27, 2002 at 8:34 PM.
Strengths:all keys programmable, nice key layout, ease of use
Weaknesses:no backlight, programming volume key
Review:All in all, this is a great remote. Backlighting would be a major plus I would be willing to pay extra for- of course, this is not needed when using frequently used keys as this can be done by feel. The only problem I've encountered is programming the volume key. When I watch TV, I want to use the TV volume control. When I watch DVDs, I want the volume key to operate the AMPs volume. No problem... just use the learning function. This technically works, but the volume key must be pressed repeatedly to lower the volume of the AMP (rather than pressing and holding the volume down button down as you would normally do). If anyone knows how to correct this, let me know. I have found no other flaws in this remote... for this price, it reigns supreme.
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