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The RM-AV2100 and RM-AV3100’s touch layers are finished in a matte texture that helps to obscure fingerprints, but also slightly blurs the small text labels. The new, perfectly smooth layer on the RM-AV2500 does exhibit fingerprints more readily, but the improvement in clarity and crispness is commendable. Contrast levels on 2-color LCD screens are typically quite good to start with, but this remote finally matches the best I’ve seen. No contrast adjustment is provided and none is really needed. Also enhanced is the screen’s viewing angle, particularly when viewed straight on.
Back to the basics.
The RM-AV2500 picks up the classical method of programming remote controls – namely many, many button combinations! Since there is no master setup menu like the one on the RM-AV3000 series, you’ll need the manual for instructions and a couple of nimble fingers ready for the contortionist key combinations. Fortunately, the remote does make practical use of its screen for adjustments, indicating such things as which keys have what type of command, and using the keypad to set and display assorted values and codes.
Like any good remote, the RM-AV2500 is both preprogrammed and learning. This means it has a selection of built-in infrared commands and can capture new ones from existing remotes.
Sony is one of the few remaining companies to make use of their own code database. However, that database isn’t as complete as some others. What codes are included tend to lean towards the essential, generally skipping anything that might be considered “advanced functionality”. If you’ve lost one or more of your original remote controls (for any brand besides Sony), the RM-AV2500 might not make an ideal replacement. However, its industry-leading code learning capabilities make it an almost perfect integration remote for crafting nearly any layout you like – as long as you have the original equipment remotes around.
Partial to preprogramming...
All setup procedures are initiated by holding [Commander Off] and pressing one or two other buttons at the same time. To configure a device’s code number, press [Commander Off] and [Muting]. The names of all devices that can be programmed blink on the top of the screen – any device with a learned command, alias or other previously customized feature will appear solid and can’t have its code changed, so finding the correct code number should always be the first operation. Now, select the device to program. A new screen will appear with a numeric keypad, [Enter], [Power] and [Display] buttons flashing at the top.
Sony uses a special 4-digit code number that makes programming a piece of cake, as the first digit indicates the type of device the code is for. So, unlike remotes where you must go through a whole operation just to change a device button to the type of device you want it to control, with the RM-AV2500 that change occurs automatically. Make the [CD] button a second VCR simply by typing in the VCR’s 4-digit code – even the LCD labels will adjust to appropriate ones. Note that the device name shown at the top of the screen will always remain the same as the hard button’s printed label.