Saturday, May 21, 2011

Esoteric And Specific, My Sony RM-YD002 Remote Control Is Essential To My Bravia HDTV!

The Good: Durable, It works, Energy efficient, Easy to clean
The Bad: Expensive to replace
The Basics: The RM-YD002 remote control is essential to Bravia HDTV users and if one needs a replacement, it remains the best option.

It is rare that we think about how vital some of our electronic components are until we no longer have them. My Sony Bravia HDTV (reviewed here!) came with a single RM-YD002 remote control. However, in a recent move, I lost the one that came with my television and I had to order a new one. After four years, I discovered just how few functions on the Bravia worked without the remote control! But with the replacement RM-YD002 I was reunited with my television and I was pleased to discover this remote was available to review.

Operating on two AA batteries, the Sony RM-YD002 is a remote control that works on every Bravia HDTV, but if it works on other Sony televisions, I have no experience with that. I know that testing this remote on non-HD televisions around the house - other Sonys - it does not work. As near as I can tell (even my replacement came with no documentation, despite coming directly from Sony) this is a specialized remote for Bravia HDTVs. In other words, this is not a universal remote. For over four years, I operated my RM-YD002 on the same two AA batteries the remote came with and I suspect that the new one will be similarly energy efficient.

The RM-YD002 is very much a no-frills remote control. Like most remote controls, one end has an infrared emitter which sends the signal to the television. With an unobstructed view of the Bravia, the RM-YD002 has an effective range of about fifty feet (which is both pretty impressive and likely unnecessary for anyone other than pranksters who want to stand outside their friends' window and change their television on them). On a day-to-day basis, I use my RM-YD002 at about twenty feet away and I've never had a problem with the television reading the remote control.

When I write that the RM-YD002 is a no-frills remote control, I mean that it is not bogged down by any functions or features that do not directly control the Bravia HDTV. So, for example, it does not have a self-lighting function. To compensate for this, most of the keys are glow-in-the-dark when the remote is left in direct sunlight. However, the power button and the central controls that operate the higher functions on the Bravia are not lit even for the twenty minutes the controls tend to glow for when "charged."

Outside the controls in the middle of this ten-inch long remote control, the controls are obvious and intuitive and seem pretty generic for all televisions, even if the remote only works on Sony Bravia televisions. At the bottom, near where the remote is ribbed for easy gripping are the channel and volume controls and they act as simple toggle buttons (+ and -). Having had a Sony DVD player with the Bravia before, some of the controls seem redundant. The lower half of the remote appears to be controls for a DVD player, but our Sony DVD players do not recognize the newer Bravia-designed RM-YD002.

That said, the reason the RM-YD002 remote control is essential to the Bravia HDTV is for all of the controls in the center and above it. In addition to having power controls which actually turn the television on, the upper half of the remote allows the user to input channel numbers directly to go to the station they want to see without having to go through all of the stations one has on their television. This is exceptionally useful for those who have cable or satellite providers that have hundreds of stations.

The real boon of the RM-YD002 is the "video" button. As stupid as it sounds, the Bravia does not have a TV/Video button on the actual television, so it becomes impossible to access things like DVD players and gaming systems connected to the Bravia through the Video or HD inputs without the remote. While the RM-YD002 has direct ways to swap between cable and antenna controls, like the actual television does, the ability to get to higher level video options connected through the back of the Bravia (which are more discreet and look better), the remote is essential.

In addition to being easy to use (all of the controls make sense and synergize with on-screen directions on the Bravia HDTV, the RM-YD002 is very durable. The four year-old remote often had juice and coffee spilled on it (my partner and I are klutzes from time to time) and it continued to function perfectly. The remote control was easy to clean off with a damp cloth and its functioning was never impaired by either the spills or the removal of spilled matter. This has durability down perfectly!

But, because it is a no-frills remote, if one loses it, there is no function that allows the remote to be found by pressing a button and causing the remote to emit a noise. This may be indestructible and essential to the Bravia, but it is not impossible to lose and as an essential piece, Sony makes consumers pay for the device. But given that it is intuitive to use - each button is clearly labeled for the function of the button in black text below each control - the RM-YD002 is worth shelling out for if one has a Bravia and they manage to misplace their original one.

For other small pieces of electronics or television related devices, please check out my reviews of:
SONY RMT-D148A remote
Sanyo 19" DP19648 HD-television
Sony DVP-NS57P DVD Player


For other electronic devices, please click here to visit my index page!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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