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User reviews for the Sony RM-VL1000 from Sony Electronics.
Sony RM-VL1000
RatingsReviewsMSRP (USD)
Average: 3.36/5.00
Median: 4.00/5.00
Lots of capabilities at an economical price: the RM-VL1000 features control of 12 devices with 47 commands each, 24 macros, 12 timers, full learning, custom LCD-labeled buttons, a 5-way menu joystick and much more!
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the Sony RM-VL1000 remote.
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Written by RB from CT.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 31 made on Thursday September 4, 2003 at 5:39 PM.
Strengths:Price 39bucks at compgeeks!
Weaknesses:A little tough scrolling through labels, backlit keys, and macroo erasing wipes out labels.
Review:I bought this remote before reading most of the reviews. So I got nervous before it arrived. But once it arrived I was fine.
After 20min of reading I was ready to program. Got my Hitachi TV set up 30sec. same with Onkyo reciever and GI cable box. My Apex DVD wasn't on the list, so I hit the learn section and was up and running in 10 minutes.
The system macro's for Power on and off were easy to set up.
I set one up called Watch DVD: set TV to svideo input, set reciever to DD coax, turn on DVD an eject door. All in 1 button.
The wife likes it so were keeping it.
The joystick is a great feature. and easy to program.
The Volume override allows you to use 1 source for all volume control. In my case regardless of what component is selected,My Onkyo receiver controls vol +-.
I also upgraded to digital cable (SA400 box) the Guide button and direction keys worked from the code. nice!
Overall it wasn't as bad as some of the previous posts claimed for setup.
Quality: Features: Value:

Written by Michael Gillgannon from Saskakatchewan, Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 6-12 months.
Review 30 made on Wednesday September 3, 2003 at 4:26 PM.
Strengths:Controls 12 devices; 12 user-named keys per device; 12 macros, 12 timer slots (there seems to be a pattern here!); sharp looking; reasonably priced for all the power it has.
Weaknesses:Signal is weaker than the VL-900; scrolling required; confusing manual (as with all Sony remotes); lcd screen hard to read in some situations; inputting label names is tedious.
Review:My main point of comparison is with the VL-900, a remote I'm quite fond of but which lacks some features. No timer, for instance, and only three macros. And also I was running out of buttons, especially when using my Panasonic DVD recorder. I assigned some buttons to an unused device key but it was getting hard to remember which button did what to whom. The VL-1000 solves that problem nicely with its 12 labelled keys. To be more precise, there are four buttons and an lcd screen that scrolls keys 5-8 and 9-12 into place. It's a tidy solution to what would be a serious real estate problem. A two-handed remote would be a bit much. The macro and timer functions along with the device selections, also scroll into place.
The obvious tradeoff here is more functionality at the expense of more button presses.

I needed the timer to change channels for recording at odd hours from one of the set-top boxes. (I have two -- one for recording and one for viewing. No TIVO here, but even TIVO won't let you watch something live and record something else, as I understand it. So two boxes seems to allow the ultimate in flexibility.) The two STBs respond to the same IR signals, so getting around that proved to be a challenge. But that's another story.

I've seen a lot of complaints about how the buttons up-top don't align with their labels. That's true, but I've never seen it as a problem. Inputting characters for the labels is a pain and Sony could have made it a lot more bearable by dropping the lower case character set along with most of the symbols they threw in for no apparent reason.

This unit is definitely underpowered compared with the VL-900. It only uses two double-A's vs. four, so I suspect that's the reason. Battery life is good though. The learning function works well. It hasn't balked at any signal I've thrown its way. Here's one oddity: it has a clock where you set the time and day of the week AND standard time or daylight time. What's up with that? Since it doesn't keep track of the date or month or year, what difference does it make? Also, just to point out how verbose the manual is, it takes five pages to tell us how to set the clock!

In short, this remote does everything I want it to do. I think the three-star rating it's garnered so far is too low.
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Written by Larry from NYC.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 29 made on Wednesday August 6, 2003 at 7:36 AM.
Strengths:Look and feel, excellent signal strngth, learns everything, rock solid reliability
Weaknesses:LCD could be sharper, out of line LCD buttons (But you get used to it like anything else if you want to).
Review:I am perplexed by some of the negatives people give to this remote. One that sticks in my head is about your having to press a button first before you get to the screen to select a component. Well the much revered MX-500 reguires you to do the same thing by hitting the Main button but you don't hear many complaints about that.
And as for remotes, the MX-500 has been the most unreliable in terms of learning ability and future functionality of the learned button. That is why I went for a new remote and this Sony is remarkable. It learns anything you throw at it and never skips a beat when in use - it works as expected first time, every time.
I often don't read review boards for Sony products because there are just too many people, as with other big companies like Microsoft, who will post something viscious and negative just because they like slamming successful companies. But with some of the things thrown around on here, I just had to respond.
It's not to say this remote is perfect, but for its price point, it damn near is and I wouldn't trade it for any other remote out there. It meets all my needs and then some. Don't worry - just go out there and buy one.
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Written by James B from Alaska, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 28 made on Monday June 23, 2003 at 11:10 PM.
Strengths:Looks nice, Easy preset control,
Comfortable. Controls tons of various components with complete functionality.
Weaknesses:Does not control Sony's latest generation of A/V receivers.
Buttons are not backlit!
I was excited to get this remote. I was growing weary of finding three separate remotes to start a movie in surround sound each time my family wanted to watch one. I have the following hodgepodge of components:
General Instruments Digital Cable Box,
JVC HI-FI VCR, Panasonic Progressive Scan DVD Player, Panasonic 47" Widescreen HDTV with Twin Tuner PIP, and a Sony STR-DE 985 Receiver. The remote ran all of the components flawlessly except for the Sony Receiver. It would not even turn it on. Yes, I could program it manually, but it's the principle of the matter. The heart and soul of my entertainment system which is a Sony receiver could not be controlled by a Sony universal remote. This was complete screw up on Sony's part in my own humble opinion. I will see if Sony will offer a firmware update, but given Sony's track record for customer service lately, I seriously doubt it. I'm happy I bought it from a local retailer, so I can return it ASAP. I can honestly say it's a good remote if you do not own a newer model Sony A/V receiver.
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Written by Steve Schmidt from New Haven, CT.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 27 made on Monday March 24, 2003 at 8:21 PM.
Strengths:Good looks, nice finish, extensive programming capability, learning on virtually any button, large catalog of existing codes.
Weaknesses:Programming is tedious due to limited alphanumeric input location (no keyboard). Documentation is difficult to follow. No keypad light, only LCD lights up.
Review:I have been buying about one so-called "universal" remote per year for the last four or five years because each time I buy a new AV component, my existing remote cannot be upgraded to control my new device. This time the catalyst for my purchase of another universal remote was the addition to my system of a Sony SVR-3000 digital video recorder (TiVo, hooray!!). I bought the RM-VL1000 because of a comment on this forum stating that the remote controls the Sony SVR-3000 right out of the box!!

Bingo!! It does!! It also, with codes contained in the Owner's Manual, controls my JVC XV-523 DVD Player and my Mitsubishi CS36609 Television. Unfortunately, or so it seemed, the manual contained no code for my Mitsubishi M-VR600 AV receiver. Uh oh.

Uh oh, nothing. After five minutes decoding the manual and ten minutes more teaching the Mitsu receiver codes to the RM-VL1000 (hard buttons, by the way) I was in business.

Did I mention macros? You can have many macros--I set up a few which I use to switch between components. That is, change the TV input from receiver to DVD (you can program in multiple pushes of the same button) and turn on and open the DVD player and set the remote to control the DVD. Things like that.

The most tedious part of the setup is relabelling the buttons. The LCD (there is now a clear plastic shield, easily cleaned over the LCD) backlight, even at its longest setting, does not stay on long enough to accomplish the relabelling (but plenty long enough for most other purposes), so I wound up sitting at my desk with the remote under the desk lamp in order to be able to see the unlit LCD well enough to complete inputting the letters for the relabelling. A minor inconvenience.(And one cannot simply "erase" a label, (although one can easily clear existing macros) it is necessary to change each letter position individually and linearly. Also, macros cannot be edited. If a mistake is made in an entry sequence one must clear the entire sequence and begin again. That makes it a good idea to clearly think through and write down the macro prior to entry.

As others have commented, the balance of the remote makes using the buttons below the joystick a bit unwieldy(speaking of the joystick, I did not find the joystick particularly flimsy, but there is a bit of a learning curve to its fluent use) and the buttons below the joystick are the channel and volume buttons which some people, like me, use a lot.

The bottom line is that I was able, within two hours of arriving home with the remote, to remove the batteries from all my other remotes and put them away. I have heard this unit referred to as a "poor man's MX5000". So far I see no need to spend the extra money on the MX5000, I am extremely pleased with my RM-VL1000.
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Written by TimR from Tampa Bay, FL.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 26 made on Monday February 24, 2003 at 2:21 PM.
Strengths:-There's nothing I have that it hasn't been able to learn
-Standard remote shape=easy to hold (unlike some other, more "sophisticated" Sony Remotes)
-Macros, Macros, Macros
-One of the first Universal remotes that I've found that actually controls an Echostar (dish network) sat receiver with a code.
-nice aesthetics
Weaknesses:-Gotta say it...buttons are offset from their labels - that really sucks!
-Joystick button is very weak/not durable
-I'd rather take a beating than program the button labels on this thing!
Review:Despite some problems with this unit, I've been very pleased with its performance. After about a month of use, the joystick button failed. All I had to do was fax them my receipt, and Sony's customer service sent me a brand new unit. They didn't even ask for the old one back!

This unit quite handily learned all of my Dish Network PVR (dish's version of Tivo)receiver's codes. Being that the sat receiver is the only NON Sony device in my system, it was fairly simple to set up. I had to teach it a few macros, and voila! I'm happy, and the wife is happy to have only one remote.

If found mine for around $50 at For that price, the features and performance of this unit are fantastic!

I highly recommend it.
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Written by David L. from Northridge, CA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 25 made on Saturday February 8, 2003 at 11:37 AM.
Strengths:This remote worked fine for 3 months, until the button used to switch components failed. Now I cant use it for anything else.
Weaknesses:The combo button crapped out and now its useless.
Review:I liked the remote at first but the silver paint comes off easy ans the button are not sturdy enough, It broke after normal use after 3 months.
Quality: Features: Value:

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