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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 joe youngs from mi, usa.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 46 made on Monday February 4, 2002 at 11:15 AM.
Strengths:comfortable to hold, nice weight, rubber bumper on periphery and the price to be sure.
Weaknesses:no backlight. lacking the two buttons for chapter jumping, you use the channel +/- buttons for that. no eject button. no sound field button to scroll through the different surrounds.
Review:first of all thanks to this sight and to all those who participate!! this site was very helpful in deciding how to go from 4 remotes to's a component list;

tv) jvc/av-32d502
sat) echostar (dishnetwork)
vcr) hitachi/vtfx665a
cd,dvd,tuner,amp) sony dav-c700 (dreamsys)

right out of the package i had the tv and satellite programmed in less than 2 minutes. that included installing the batteries. it operated every single function of those two components right down to the seldom used menu options. so i was off to a good start.

as i recall it only had two or three codes for the vcr of which none worked. so i had two choices 'teach' it from the jenson sc-570 that i was using. yes we'd already lost the original remote. but i decided to try the code search although i was skeptical as i figured if none of the supplied codes worked this would be in vain as it had with so many other universals. not so!! within the second or third push of the channel +/- button(the ones you use to 'scroll' through the codes) it turned that vcr on. beware that it explicitly tells you whether the item should be on or off to effectively use the code search. ex: tv's should be on, vcr's off and so on. a bit weird but whatever. at this point everything seemed okay but i didn't like the fact that the channel +/- button scrolled through the vcr's menu. the orange up/dn/lt/rt buttons did all that on the tv and satellite. so on to 'teaching' the remote to use the orange ones for menu surfing from the other remote. a whopping couple minutes for this.

suprisingly, out of the package this remote only operated the dvd/cd portion of the sony dav-c700. the tuner and amp had to be programmed from the original remote. which took some time(10mins) as there were sound fields, surround controls(amp menu), menuing, volume and few other things unique to surround amplifiers. but this remote had penty of buttons logically marked to handle all the functions that i needed to use. i pretty much programmed it to behave similar in function as the other components ex: the tv/video button operates the satellite on/off air, the video input on the tv and the vcr's tv/vcr function all from universal codes. i 'taught' the tv/video button to scroll thru video1, video2, tuner and dvd on the sony. not much of stretch considering it was all remote to remote teaching.

overall i couldn't be happier. this remote did all i was hoping and expecting it to do. all told it took a couple of hours to program it. this included some practical use while i adjusted it to a logical configuration. and yes, i now have only ONE remote!!
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Dave Corrasa from Southern CA, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 45 made on Tuesday January 8, 2002 at 7:26 PM.
Strengths:Great bang-for-the-buck. Looks like your average $20 "Universal Remote", but it's not. It packs a lot of features.
Weaknesses:Glow-in-the-dark keys don't hold their glow for very long.

Not enough macro keys.

If you go by the feel, you can press the wrong button (ie. sometimes pressing the MENU button results in pressing the REC button on accident because they are the exact same size.)

Cannot program macros using other remotes. You have to program a button on the Sony first and then use that button in your macro sequence. For example, I thought I could start the recording of MACRO 1 and then aim my TV remote at it and press POWER, then aim my DVD remote at it and press POWER. Nope. You have to program both the TV and DVD Power buttons on the Sony and then when recording the macro, uses the buttons you just programmed as your macro sequence.
Review:I have owned this remote for exactly 12 months, and have been very pleased with the performance for the price. Although the manual was tough to understand at first because of the poor grammatics, it all made sense after playing around with it. I now have one remote instead of SIX! Even the fiancee has very little probs using it. I do have to keep the manual handy though because programming it is kind of awkward.

I recently replaced my Sony 27" with a new Pioneer 64" widescreen and was able to reprogram and teach my VL-900 the new codes in no time. I was debating on using the remote that came with the Pioneer, but (get this), you cannot re-program the volume controls on the Pioneer remote so that it works with your receiver/amp! It only controls the TV -- which any Home Theater geek KNOWS you NEVER use the cheap speakers that come with the TV!

So the VL-900 reigns supreme in my house and the brand new Pioneer remote ended up in the drawer with the 5 other remotes. Too bad.

When you press a button on the VL-900 a corresponding component button will light up too. On occasion, however, pressing a button on the remote results in no response from any component button. Odd, I know. So I have to press a component button (ie. TV, DVD, etc.) and then the button I want again (ie. PLAY) before it works.

You will find yourself wanting to program features for which there aren't buttons for. For example, I wish they had put an EJECT button on the remote. I instead programmed the REC button in DVD mode to eject my DVD tray. I also programmed the 1 and 2 on my keypad in the AMP mode to control what input my amp uses (so I can switch between listening to the TV/DVD/VCR on INPUT 1, or my AM/FM/CD/TAPE on INPUT 2.) I programmed the 4 and 5 in the AMP mode to control what subwoofer mode my AMP uses.

Last week, I replaced the 4 AA batteries for the first time in a year! Not bad considering it gets used daily for controlling my:
Pioneer SD-643HD 64" widescreen 16x9 HDTV
Sony DVP-S550D DVD Player
Sony Hi-Fi VHS VCR
Sony SA-VA55 Pro-Logic Surround System
Sony 5-disc CD changer
Sony AM/FM Receiver
and Sony Cassette deck.

Too bad my Sony turntable lacks IR capabilities! :-)
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by M. Keys from detroit, mi.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 44 made on Monday January 7, 2002 at 10:37 PM.
Strengths:Comfortable in the hand, good selection of pre-programmed codes, multi-function programmable buttons come in handy, good price.
Weaknesses:This product would benefit from 2 or 3 more multi function programmable buttons, all button backlighting, and a simple side squeeze button or motion detection (i.e. lights up when you pick it up) to activate the back lights. Even if it meant the remote had to be physically larger, bigger buttons would be appreciated by people with poorer eyesight and unsteady hands!
Review:My elderly neighbor just bought a Surround sound system, and wanted to control his VCR, Cable, TV, receiver, and DVD with a single remote. For the price, this remote has everything that my Denon RC-8000 and Pronto T1000 has - learning ability and macros. It could use a few more macro buttons as we were only able to program the 3 buttons for "power on/off", "switch to tv", and "switch to DVD". We had to write down manual instructions for switching to VCR and Tuner, which could have been programmed in, if buttons were available. Overall this remote is a great deal for $59 (Circuit City - Troy, Michigan)
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Written by NHTlover from Southern CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 43 made on Monday January 7, 2002 at 12:12 AM.
Strengths:Learning, Learning, Learning... oh and memory.
Not enough preprogrammed codes
Review:I purchased an RCA RCU810 and the Sony VL-900 at the same time. The RCA went back to the store the next day. While I REALLY liked the backlighting on the RCA, the button for it was really small and poorly placed anyway. The RCA has very little memory/learning capacity, so it just wasn't going to work, since it didn't have the codes for my Receiver, TV, or Hughes Direct TV / Tivo boxes.

Now the Sony didn't have those codes either, but it has the learning capacity needed to take all of the functions I want to use and more. I'm still tweaking the thing, and still haven't bumped up against the end of it's memory.

With the four batteries in it, it's WAY heavier than any remote I've ever had to use, and with the volume and channel up/down buttons on the very bottom, it gets just a tad unwieldy if you're a chronic channel flipper.

The glow-in-the-dark aspect of the Sony is pretty bright, at least it's better than the remote that came with my Yamaha receiver.

Value for the dollar is VERY VERY important to me, and I am VERY proud of my whole system. I am also very happy with the Sony RM-VL900 remote. It does everything I want it to, and I didn't spend $900 (or even A TENTH of that!) for it.
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Written by Brad from Chicago.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 42 made on Monday December 31, 2001 at 3:31 AM.
Strengths:Great button count. Excellent memory capability for every learnable button. Very good button layout.

Nice special features as punch through and macro capabilities.

Excellent bargain for $60 when you consider there is enough memory to add a learned function to "EVERY" button!

Weaknesses:No back lighting.

Wish I would had bought this previous to the RCA RCU810, but wanted back lighting. Live and learn.
Review:Out of my universal remote experience, here's my list from best to worst.

1)Philips Pronto TSU2000('I own', simply the best remote out there. There's simply to many positives to list here.)
2)Sony RM-VL900( 'I own', great button count, great memory capability, great special features.)
3)Gemini MAC15('I own', Made by Zenith for Gemini. 40 learnable buttons for each of the 3 remote devices making for a total memory of 120 learnable buttons. Unfortunately this excellent remote only allowed for replacing or controlling 3 original remotes. This remote was popular back in 1992.)
4)RCA RCU810('I own',limited learning memory but decent preset code database and great button count. Great back lighting feature.)
5)Yamaha RAV180('I own', remote for the Yamaha RX-V2095 home theater receiver. This remote is decent, but has a very limited button count for devices. Excellent memory capacity for every button, but simply doesn't have enough buttons for the most basic functions. Has excellent back lighting feature.)
6)One for All "LEARNING" Cinema 7('Did own', piece of garbage. Remote broke with very careful handling. Very poor code data base and very limited learning memory. Did have a good button count.
7) RCA RCU1000B(great button count, very poor learning capability, decent preset code database, very poor automatic back lighting. Very expensive for such limited capabilities. Far worse than it's cheaper hard button sibling, the RCU810.)
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Written by hoopdaaron from USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 41 made on Sunday December 23, 2001 at 7:39 PM.
Strengths:Learning capability on every single button is worth its weight in gold!!

Codes worked well even for all my old gear, very little manual programing.

Weaknesses:backlight would have been nice

an extra set of buttons to use as scroll, I had to program my channel up and down buttons to do this (no big loss, but would have been nice)
Review:Considering my equipment is varied by make model and age.....

Receiver HK AVR30 1994
TV Mitsubishi 1991
VCR Mitsubishi 1991
DVD Proscan 1997
CD Sony 2000
Tape HK 1994
Sat Sony w/Ult TV 2001
DSR (digital Satellite Radio)
Sony 2001

This remote was a shear joy to program and to operate. I was fed up with my Home Producer 8 (I have two of them actually). Never used the RF function of them, the backlight quit working on both, and getting new codes into it is a pain(either send it on or go the JP1 much work for me). the OFA remote wont learn many codes, so the fact that the Sony was nearly unlimited was a selling point for me.

I went to Circuit City and bought both the Sony RMVL900 and the RCA RCU810 to take home and play with, the Sony was first...and needless to say the RCA is going back without even being opened. From what I understand of the RCA my need to program the DSR unit as well as the Ultimate TV unit would have been more than the memory could handle.

Great remote....

All Hail SONY!

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Written by Sam from Rochester NY.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 40 made on Sunday December 23, 2001 at 10:43 AM.
Strengths:Easy to set up
Does Tivo
Does DirecTivo
Weaknesses:No Backlighting
Review:Bought this after reading the reviews and many recommendations. Woke up this morning, and with a cup of coffee in hand sat in front of my system, and took one hour out of my life. Result? Replaced 6 remote controls! My Denon, Pioneer, Philips x 2 (Tivo), Sony and Toshiba all work fantastically! Too easy to set up. My only dilema, what to do for the rest of the day? :) To bad the value rating didn't have a "Out of This World" button.
Quality: Features: Value:

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