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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 Gordy McKellar from Scotland.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 17 made on Sunday January 12, 2003 at 9:02 AM.
Strengths:Pretends to be a poor man's MX-500
Weaknesses:Cheap and nasty construction.
LCD buttons do not lign up with screen - DOH!
You need an enigma machine to programme it
It's horrible
Review:I have had loads of universal remotes, trying to find the Mecca of all remote controls. Unfortunately I bought this one in the process - Agghhh!

I sent it back after a couple of hours!
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Written by Adam from Tampa, FL.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 16 made on Thursday January 2, 2003 at 2:43 PM.
Strengths:Relatively straightforward setup
Weaknesses:Too many to list
Review:I am taking this piece of junk back to Best Buy. Although I was initially pleased with its ability to control my devices (Mitsubishi TV & VCR, Replay TV, Scientific Atlanta Digital Cable Box), I CANNOT BELIEVE it did not come with a code that worked more than partially with my Compact Sony Home Theatre. After using it a few days, my wife reverted to using the "old" remotes, it failed her simplicity and reliability tests. And it seems to randomly "unlearn" components. not to mention the layout is awkward and the digital display is difficult to read. I am really surprised that Sony put this on the market, it stinks. My advice to anyone considering this remote - keep your old remotes.
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Written by Dan Clarke from New England, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 15 made on Monday December 30, 2002 at 9:07 AM.
Strengths:Feels good in your hand, looks nice
Weaknesses:Hard buttons not lined up on LCD, it forgets learned buttons
Review:I was very excited to pick up this remote.

Unfortunately it does everything humanly possible to make your life a living hell.

First, the setup is atrocious. Instead of being able to label using a telephone like keypad, you instead have to use a joystick a la old arcade games to label something. You would think the label would start with "A" but no, it starts whereever it feels like starting depending on the existing label. It took hours to enter "Receiver".

None of the codes worked 100%. My series 2 Tivo would work with the Phillips code, but I still had to enter additional label codes and this is where the remote is officially a piece of junk -- it randomly forgets learned commands! It just doesn't bother to send out the IR from time to time. You relearn it and poof -- a different command doesn't work.

For $80, I expect a lot more. I'd avoid it.
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Written by Frank B from Alberta, Canada.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 14 made on Sunday December 29, 2002 at 4:05 AM.
Strengths:Good looking remote If you can get past the goofy key layout to the right of the LCD. Why can't these buttons be lined up with the LCD labels??!!
Weaknesses:Joystick has a cheap feel, after 1 week already flaky, Glitchy programming loses learned commands at random, learning one, erases another at random, poor ergonomic design.
Review:Got this remote for Xmas almost a week ago. Spent several hours programming 6 remotes (GI CableBOX, Mitsubishi TV, Pioneer DVD and LD, JVC VCR, and Yamaha Receiver) when I noticed commands I had previously programmed and tested were no longer working. Relearning these broken commands (display just flashes while sending 'something' that does not work) just makes the problem worse as other learned commands become broken at random on other pages! The SONY Manual mentioned 'data corruption' issues and describes a unusual 'prepartory operation' that 'must be' performed before erasing learned keys. I followed this procedure to the letter yet the problem re-occurred. The only fix SONY offers is to hard reset the remote, losing everything! My time is worth more than the $129-$149 CDN this remote is selling for. I'm returning it first thing Monday. I suggest you save your time and go nowwhere near this piece of junk.

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Written by Ed Scott from Orlando, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 13 made on Monday December 16, 2002 at 1:55 PM.
Strengths:Nice Shape, one handed operation, looks pretty.
Weaknesses:Cheap Construction, Buggy Software, Poor Hard Labels
Review:Well I got a RM-VL 1000

It is a nice remote...but here are some things that go from bad to worse

1) Clearing a macro also clears the label on the component...That should not happen...go figure

2) On the buttons by the LCD look like little crack lines where the machines punched it out, I checked 3 boxes at best buy and the were all the same.

3) This is the letters rubbed off where it said guide and menu, now that was something I did not expect...I guess in 6 months I wont know what any of my hard buttons mean anymore :(

4) No lighting on the hard buttons...OK I can live with that but when I use the back light buttons even that light shuts off before I am done at the longest setting.

I have a PS2, Sony Receiver, Sony DVD player and a Sony VCR, all Sony home products except my TV and am sooooo disappointed in them about this remote and the poor quality. I looked at he Sony 3000 but dont want touch screen or a big bullky remote.

I gave up last week and ordered a MX-500.

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Written by George from SC.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 12 made on Tuesday December 10, 2002 at 7:43 PM.
Strengths:Fast, powerful, ease to use, very capable.
Review:This is a great remote.
Fast, powerful, ease to use, very capable, not a single problem.
I highly recommend this remote.
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Written by David from Redmond, WA, USA.
The reviewer has used this remote control for 1-3 months.
Review 11 made on Tuesday December 3, 2002 at 11:12 PM.
Strengths:Learned all of the commands from my other remotes.
Weaknesses:Terrible layout, tedious device switching, tedious setup process, confuses guests completely.
Review:I will give it props for being able to learn all of my devices (denon amp, rca tv/vcr, xbox, pioneer cd changer). It definitely has the learning abilities done well.

Now that I'm done praising it, here's what I despise about it:

Placement of the buttons. The LCD labels are extremely poorly placed, and their associated buttons are not lined up properly with them. In fact, in low light you can't see the idiotic lines that tell you which button goes to which label. (Sure you can learn to count down which button lines up to which lcd title, but guests don't get it.) Also, the most used buttons are placed very akwardly. Volumn and channel changing are at the bottom of the remote instead of where your fingers would relax. In order to switch the context of the remote (e.g. "switch to control the vcr commands") you have to first hit the "compo" button on the left side with one hand, and then generally you'll switch to your right hand to choose the device from the lcd label associated buttons on the right. Also, if you have more than 4 devices (which is the limit of devices that the lcd screen can display at one time), you have to hit scroll (on the left, with your left hand) to go to the next page, and then hit the associated device button on the right. It's just stupid.

Setup is tedious. None of the presets worked on any of my devices, so I ended up "learning" each command into the device for every component. Tedious, but I was ok with it. However, what I REALLY got upset about was that in order to rename the LCD labels for various components and functions, there is no "clear title" function. Basically you have to cycle through the alphabet for each character to the "space" character to clear it... for each label you want to rename. It's dumb. I gave up, and I have a bunch of mislabeled macros that I will never get around to renaming.

As I mentioned before, guests get confused. If the tv is on, and they want to switch to the cd player, there isn't one button to switch amp mode and remote context in one. Yes, of course they have system macros, but guests don't understand those. My old pioneer amp remote had a single button "CD" that would both change the context of the remote as well as the amp mode. That was intuitive, and it was made 7 years ago. You'd think remotes would be down pat by now.

It took a lot of negotiation with my wife to justify paying 80 dollars for a remote. But after getting frustrated with this one, it's easier to negotiate with her to buy a more expensive one.

I would definitely NOT recommend this remote to anyone who wants simplicity. I can't imagine that Sony did ANY usability tests on this. Probably just hired a high school intern and had them design the "nextgen" k00l remote.
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