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Sony RM-VL700 Remote Control Review
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Sony RM-VL700
Click to enlarge. (53kb)
Now, by dividing 250-bits by 20-bits, you might be lead to believe that the remote ought to be able to capture about a dozen such codes in sequence. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Only a perfectly clean code occupies the minimum possible number of bits. By teaching signals in this "unofficial" manner, the remote is capturing very dirty codes that last for as long as your finger holds them down - which may be 2, 2.5 or 3 times their normal length, never mind the "blank" bit between each code that nonetheless occupies recording space. As a reference, the VL900 repeats clean codes three times for reliability when it plays back a macro, so capturing a perfect single repetition may not even work on your devices in the end. After much hands-on experimentation, the VL700 should be able to record between 3 and 5 signals in sequence, depending on circumstances.

Although this unpublished feature is certainly not a guaranteed deal - what you're controlling and how you learn has everything to do with success - this could be a valuable tweak for anyone trying to get the most out of Sony's VL700.

Advanced features? Naturally!
The VL700 includes the same basic advanced functions as other Sony remote controls. First, is volume lock. This allows you to configure the remote so that the amplifier controls the volume on all devices, or only audio devices, leaving the rest to the television. One catch is that this will only work on preprogrammed audio codes - if you learn signals to the AMP device, only the underlying preprogrammed code will punch through. Instead, you will need to learn those commands under each device.
Sony RM-VL700
Click to enlarge. (31kb)

Next, if you have a few Sony devices, you can configure the component select button for that device to send out a "power on" command when it is selected. Unfortunately, this only works for the Sony brand and may not even work for all Sony devices - some DVD players, DSS receivers and VCRs have been known to lack that command. No comparable "off" feature is included on the VL700, plus this cannot be used in combination with a learned signal. Other common "punch throughs", such as for transport controls, are not included since the VL700 usually assigns other device-specific functions to those buttons.

In addition to being able to assign another type of device to any of the VL700's five component select buttons, the remote can also copy the settings of one component button to another - although this is less of a concern on a 5-device remote than, say, the 12-device RM-AV2100 where devices are more likely to be shuffled about. The final advanced feature allows you to lock the remote so that it cannot be used - an effective tool for parents.

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