"Not happy with purchase, especially for the price."1.0 starson by cammanfig
Pros: Looks impressive. It can power up your entertainment center with one button.
Cons: Bulky and isn't user friendly.
Summary: After hearing from two friends about their amazement of the older model the AV3000, I was ready to purchase the current RM-AV3100 for my father-in-law and myself. Best Buy listed it at $199, however I used BH Photo Video and the base price was $99. My problem with BH is the return policy is only good for 7 days after purchase, so my father-in-law and I are stuck with them.
Reading the manual takes time. Sony doesn’t explain all the terminology in any great detail. It takes trial and error to figure out what some functions can do.
One of the first things you want to do is program the LCD display light to last longer than the default setting of ten seconds. Just when you find what you are looking for on the display, the light goes off.
First limitation is the Component Select buttons (TV, VCR, etc..) There isn’t a key for DVR on the body of the remote, you have to look for that on the LCD touch key display. It’s located in the Label Keys section at the bottom of the LCD touch key display.
Setting my Sony brand components with the Commander was simple, however, the manual states: “you can use it out of the box as a control center for your Sony AV components.” This was not the case with my Sony audio/video receiver, it wasn’t listed as a preset. There are ways to check every preset in the AV components category, all failed.
The next step was programming the AV receiver to learn each command through use of the original remote. It was very easy to program. The flashing LCD display during this process takes some getting used to.
This is where you will discover the limitations of this remote. NOT ALL COMMANDS OF YOUR ORIGINAL COMPONENT REMOTE ARE LISTED WITH THE AV3100.
Working with my Dish Network DVR I had to program PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN on the Label Keys because it wasn’t listed as an option on the LCD touch key display. That was placed on the Label Keys because you cannot change the name of the key display.
The Touch Keys that are displayed for a selected component (PLAY, STOP, INPUT etc…) are preset with basic functions. You are limited to changing the touch keys to four choices per key, such as: The INPUT button found on the TV component display can only be changed to read, INPUT. AUDIO, D.SKIP, or REPLAY. Those are the only choices for changing the name of that display button. You can keep it blank as the final option.
The only LCD display keys you are able to change the name of is the Label Keys. Only four choices at the bottom of the LCD touch key display. You have to press the Mode Display of that component, located at the top of the LCD touch key display, in order to see the next four choices and twice to display the last four, total of twelve Label Keys.
Here is what makes this remote so difficult to get used to.
Limited amount of physical buttons, so you have to look before you use the LCD touch key display.
Must hit Commander Off button after each use to preserve battery life. Even touching Volume Up requires this procedure.
Bulky, the width is twice the size of a standard remote, it takes two hands to hold and operate.
LCD touch key display, requires you to hit the button with a large area of the tip of your finger. The remote will beep as if it received the command, but you have to really smoother the key before it executes the command.
My father-in-law had problems with his remote freezing up several times, he would take out all the batteries and then reprogram everything from scratch.
The 3100 is only compatible with IR commands, it will not work with UHF commands. I called SONY customer service for help, but the poor tech supporter didn’t know what I was asking. She had me going through the basic “How To” checklist of programming the remote. I asked her to step away from the company pre-programmed responses and just answer if the 3100 is compatible with UHF signals. After thirty minutes on hold and with her, the answer was, ‘NO’.
Remote can power up several components with one button. Good for my wife, however she is still using the original remotes that came with the components. Instead of clearing our coffee table of several remotes, we now have a bigger one that sits next to the others.
Looks impressive, like a PDA or something high tech.
I’ll be looking at the Logitech Harmony 880 for my next purchase, and the 3100 will be on eBay soon.