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Sony RM-VL900 Remote Control Review
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Back of the remote.
Back of the remote.
Click to enlarge. (39kb)
The VL900 uses four AA batteries and, with them, weighs about 8 ounces. Considering the six-month battery life one can expect on the AV2100, which also uses four batteries but must power both LCD and backlighting, the VL900 should be able to go for years between changes but is conservatively rated at only five months. The overall feel of the VL900 is comfortable, with great finger ridges molded into the rubber grip. The housing allows for some twisting action when stressed, but overall feels of higher quality than most original remotes that ship with Sony components.

Pre-programmed Codes
All configuration on the VL900 is accomplished by first pressing the small "S" button on the top left of the remote. An adjacent green LED informs the user what programming state the remote is in. Plus, a light under each component button enables the user to determine which component they are working with or set various options. The first items to configure are the preset component codes. The VL900 would appear to use a slightly shortened version of the AV2100s library, which is comprised of hundreds of different brands and devices. Setting each code is a simple matter of pressing "S", selecting the component, then entering its three digit number followed by "Enter". Then you may test to see whether the code works or not. If it does not you must go back and repeat the entire procedure.

Front angle view.
Front angle view.
Click to enlarge. (27kb)
Another method for finding the right code is via "code search", which steps through all possible codes for a component. The channel up/down buttons advance through each code, while the "Power" button is used to test. Once the correct code is found you may save it by pressing "Enter". My theater components are a variety of brands and were, for the most part, well covered. However, out of three VCR codes provided for my brand, only one would work, on my "A" machine. My other VCR configured to the "B" code set was not covered, while the default DVD input command did not work with my receiver.

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