I bought the Sony without seeing the remote, and I'm happy with it - seems a lot better than the hideous controls with the equivalent Yamaha's etc.
It also functions as sort of system remote. You can't train it, but it has codes for most common AV kit. I've got mine controlling the basic functions on my Toshiba TV/DVD and a Panasonic VHS desk without problems. Haven't managed to get my Cambridge Audio CD player or my NTL digital box working yet. It would probly work best with Sony AV equipment.
If does DTS ES, DPL2, DD EX. I can only compare it to my old YamahaRXV396(?), and a mates Sherwood and the difference is night and day. The remote only really does basic functions. I took the Pronto route after getting wound up by a Mosaic and then the Sony Remote Commander - what a name!
/Edit - Oh he did, just replied to an existing topic after....
Anyway, Dolby Digital/DTS etc need a digital input configured as a bitstream. The Sony automatically detects the sound format when in AFD mode. There's a button for it on the remote and the front panel. If that doesn't work checkyour DVD player (or whatever) is set to output digital audio as a bitstream. PCM will only give 2 channel output.