Your Universal Remote Control Center
Sony RM-VL900 Remote Control Review
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Learning From Others
Fortunately the VL900 is also a full learning remote – meaning if no component codes are found for your device you can still teach the VL900 off of your original remote. The manual describes this as "Using unpreset remote control operations". Carrier frequencies are supported up to 500kHz and up to 250 bits in length – Sony also claims full support for Bang & Olufsen brand components. In direct contrast to previous learning models (especially those included with receivers and such), the specifications for the VL900 indicate that approximately 290 signals may be learned – that’s every button under every device. I was not able to determine whether this is actually accurate.

To learn signals you must hold the "S" button for three seconds instead of merely pressing it. Next select a component and the button to teach. Aim the VL900 nose-to-nose with another remote and hold the source button until the VL900 successfully captures the command. Learning worked fine with everything I needed to teach it, although if I wanted to control both decks of my cassette player I would need to either a) use two component buttons, or b) learn the signals on unmarked buttons. Individual buttons with taught signals must be deleted before you can learn over them. Alternatively, you may use the special "component reset" command to remove all functions in a single step.

Rear top angle.
Rear top angle.
Click to enlarge. (33kb)
You may also learn a single signal (for instance a receiver input command) to Component Select or System Control buttons during the learning process. To learn on a component button it must be held down for three seconds until the green "set" light blinks. However, unlike the AV2100 which only transmits the signals on "solid" button presses, the VL900 transmits the assigned command no matter what. So, if you do not want to send an input command each time you change components on the remote I suggest using the macro function.

System & Component Macros
As mentioned, the VL900 includes three System Control buttons at the top of the remote. These retain the same function throughout all components and may be used to power the system on or off, play a movie, or do anything else. By default, button one is configured with "power off" commands for Sony components and button three contains "power on" signals. If you wish to use these buttons for something else you will have to forfeit the default macros, though if you later change your mind you may restore them to their former state. It is also possible to add similar macros to each Component Select button that is transmitted each time the button is held down for a minimum of two seconds.

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