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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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Now viewing user reviews page 4 of 7 for
the Sony RM-VL1000 remote.
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Written by Brajesh from Burlington, NJ.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 24 made on Tuesday February 4, 2003 at 10:23 AM.
Strengths:Learns everything
12 timer functions (macros can be included)
Reasonable price
Upto 12 devices
Weaknesses:Labeling LCD buttons is very time consuming
LCD labels don't correspond to hard buttons
Only 4 items visible on LCD (need to scroll for rest)
Review:This is a very nice remote except for the weaknesses mentioned above. It replaced my Sony VL900, which lacked a timer (which is a necessity for me). The VL1000 can do everything the VL900 can & more. I just wish it had been designed better. For me, the perfect remote would be a Home Theater Master MX500-like remote with a timer (for a reasonable price). For now, the VL1000 will do nicely.
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Written by JJS from New Jersey.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 23 made on Tuesday January 28, 2003 at 1:15 PM.
Strengths:Fairly easy to program.
Macro capability on device buttons.
Weaknesses:Very poor LCD display contrast.

Buttons corresponding to LCD display are offset from display text.
Review:I found this unit much easier to program than earlier Sony hard button units I have owned.

Macro capability on the LCD device buttons is most useful for device switching with a home theater system.

Buttons corresponding to LCD display commands are offset making it akward to find the right button in limited light.

LCD display contrast is incredibly poor.
Even though the LCD contrast is adjustable, there is no setting that is acceptable in average lighting conditions. Unless you have exceptional eyesight don't buy this unit.

I have since purchased a Home Theater Master MX-500 and found it to be far superior in all respects.
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Written by John from New York.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 22 made on Saturday January 25, 2003 at 10:42 PM.
Weaknesses:No documentation on how to change the LCD contrast. Tried holding down the Power button as I pressed the CH-up/down buttons, this did not work.
Review:Unable to give a fair review since I can not read the LCD display. Will get a refund tomorrow. Tried Sony tech support several times but their server seems to be down.
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Written by Greg from Virginia, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 21 made on Tuesday January 21, 2003 at 7:26 PM.
Strengths:* Easy to set up
* LCD screen allows you to label unusual commands
Weaknesses:* Odd to have to hit 'comp' and then pick a component to switch components
* There is no 'light' button - the LCD has a backlight, but to activate it you have to press 'Comp' or 'Scroll' - and this switches the screen that is displayed
* Buttons don't line up
* Weak transmitter
Review:OK - why am I bothering to post another review? In part because some of the things I read here turned out not to be the case or seem like user error.

LCD Readability
Yes, I thought this would be an issue when I first put batteries in. Then I found that the contrast is adjustable - no more readability problems. Hold the Power button and press the channel up/down keys to adjust the contrast.

Clearing Learned Buttons
Someone wrote that you have to clear all learned buttons to change any learned button. This is simply not true. Perhaps sony changed the instructions, I don't know. In Learn mode, press scroll+button to clear the button. Then press the button again to indicate that it is the one you want to learn. Aim your original remote at the Sony, press the command you want learned, bingo - done.

I programmed this remote starting with it sealed in the box in less than 1 hour. It now controls our Mitsubishi projection TV very well including all PIP commands, menus, changing viewing formats, etc. It only had to learn three or four commands.

It also controls our Sony CD player, a Panasonic DVD player, and a Naim Nait 5 amplifier. The amp is a rarely seen amp from England. I used the Philips code and then learned the source switching commands.

For us, the two greatest weaknesses are:

1) can't activate the backlight without changing what's on the screen (anyone know how to do this?)

2) weak transmitter. Of the remotes we have in the house, this is the weakest, even with new batteries. When the sun comes into our room during the day, the remote becomes almost useless. Our other remotes continue to work. And this is with brand new batteries in the Sony.

3) Three??? I said only two. Well...others have written that they lost the programming when changing batteries. I haven't tried removing the batteries yet - but if it loses the programming, that would be the end for me and it would go back.

Conclusion: Assuming (3) doesn't happen, I think this remote is good considering the price. I would choose it over similarly priced or less expensive remotes that do not have the LCD display. Hey - no blinking lights and such nonsense to program it. And the LCD allows for labels that make sense to you and your family.

- Greg
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Written by Dave from Orlando.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 20 made on Monday January 20, 2003 at 1:48 PM.
Strengths:Easy to set up.
Handles everything I need it to.
Weaknesses:Buttons don't line up with display.
Tedious label process.
Hard to see LCD in certain lighting.
Review:I'm not an extreme audiophile, just an average guy with an average system. Wanted something to take the place of my other four remotes. This remote was easy to set up. It's easy to use. And I haven't found anything yet that I need it to do that it can't. True, the labeling is tedious. But once it's done, it's done. The LCD could be better, but it wasn't worth it to me to spend an extra 50-75 bucks for that. And the buttons don't line up. Once you realize that and get used to it, is it really a problem? I'm not sure why it's got some bad reviews other than the fact that those people may be big-time into it whereas like I said, I'm just looking for it to replace my other remotes and maybe add a feature or two that I couldn't do before. Overall, I would recommend this to just about anyone.
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Written by Patrick from Nashvile, TN.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 19 made on Tuesday January 14, 2003 at 5:23 PM.
Strengths:TIVO CONTROL BUILT IN!!! Can I just say that this is the overriding factor in why I bought this remote??

Also, it learned my equipment that is too new for it's database.
Weaknesses:Impossible to read LCD screen and... the most often remarked problem... the soft buttons don't line up with the LCD labels! C'mon Sony, what were you thinking?
Review:Okay, I've got to admit it... I'm a Sony-phile from a while back. But, I'm also a cheapskate... and you know that those two things don't go together. As a result, my current main room setup is as follows:

- Advent 32" TV (yes, Advent... but they tell me the tube was made by Toshiba...)
- Tivo Series 2
- Apex DVD Player
- Sony Receiver (older)

90% of the time here's the situation:
1. Watching the Tivo
2. Listening through the Receiver

This of course, requires turning on both the TV and the Amp at the same time... something that we wanted to be able to do with a macro. BTW, if you are tempted to purchase an Advent... be ready to listen through another source... the internal speakers are THE ABSOLUTE WORST I HAVE EVER HEARD on any TV of any size... even hand held! I think the Advent folks knew this though... they included line outs on the TV, a very nice feature indeed.

The Advent TV is so new, it's not on any universal remote! I had to completely learn it. However, I didn't have to learn every button, because most of the time, we watch through the Tivo anyway.

The Tivo just required a bit of relearning... mainly to get functions onto hard buttons instead of the soft ones. Creatively, I chose "sleep" for the "slow" feature and "recall" for the "instant replay" feature (since the "Enter" key also performs recall on a Tivo.) Button layout is not a problem since most Tivo functions are done with the joystick.

The Receiver was almost completely covered by the default AMP setting, but interestingly, the 5.1 input was not available... had to be learned.

The selection of DVD codes on this remote seems to be very limited, but that may be because manufacturers are getting smart and standardizing their DVD controls. I had to completely learn the Apex remote and am still stuck with some of its inadeqacies... you have to toggle between menu arrows and shuttle controls... that are just part of having an Apex player.

In Macro world, I have created two macros - one is a Power toggle for the TV and Amp so that we have a two-button on/off switch and one is a "toggle between Tivo and DVD" that sends two source change commands to the TV, hits the 5.1 button on the receiver and power on the DVD player. Whenever you create a macro on this remote, whatever component you used last is what ends up at the end of the macro... so that's why the DVD power command is last. The cool thing about this second macro is that it works the other way around too! The Advent inputs are set up as S-Video -> Video 2 -> Component -> Tuner so that the double command gets you back the other direction! In addition... Sony had the foresight that when its receiver gets another "5.1" command, it switches back to the previous input... in this case the TV! The power command shuts down the DVD player and the only user interaction required is to switch back to the Tivo for control.

What would I change?
1. Line up the durn buttons!
2. Shell out for a better LCD.
3. Allow you to pick a component to end a macro on without having to send a button command.
and... the biggie...
4. Let me re-code a hard button to be a macro without having to press "system" first. I would love to reprogram the power button to be my power macro... but alas... it cannot be done (as far as I know.)

All in all, this remote serves my purposes well. And, at $57 online from, it didn't damage my pocket too much. It's replacing four remotes and doing it well.
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Written by J from caribbean.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-2 years.
Review 18 made on Sunday January 12, 2003 at 1:14 PM.
Strengths:- Excellent design
- Easy to use
- Powerful Learning Capability
Weaknesses:- Ink comes off too easily
- Rapidly consumes battery power
Review:It is an excellent choice and bears the trusted Sony name well.
Quality: Features: Value:

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