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782 posts

Ultimate Geek
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# 36852 2-Jul-2009 14:34
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Hi Guys,

I just got an old PC from work to put under my TV, so I can sit at my kitchen table and browse the net/watch youtube etc via the TV without having to go to another room or set up the laptop.

It's a small Compaq 2.4GHz running XP, connected to the network with a wireless PCI card. So far so good. The screen looks fantastic and the wireless connection isn't perfect but good enough (The access point is about 20m away in a metal shed!).

I just went out and got a MS Wireless Desktop 1000 for $50 this morning (good old PriceSpy!), and I'm REALLY disappointed with the range. I'm sitting about a metre away with the keyboard on my lap and the mouse perched on the very edge of the table - not what I was hoping for by any means!

So I probably bought the wrong thing...

What do you use for your HTPCs? Is bluetooth better, or even IR? Am I going to have to spend a fortune?




HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
iPad air 2


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Uber Geek
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  # 230306 2-Jul-2009 15:03
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The tech specs for that product are here

http://download.microsoft.com/download/7/1/0/7100007f-bbb4-4e82-b911-6e295750bf0a/TDS_WirelessOpticalDesktop1000_0704A.pdf

The pertanent bit for you is:

Wireless Range: 6 feet (1.83 meters) typical

Is the wireless USB dongle on the front of the PC, or stuck round the back, if its the latter you might want to stuff it on the end of a USB cord and stick the dongle more in the open. ( or closer to where you want to use your keyboard)

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  # 230318 2-Jul-2009 15:45
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If you can find a Microsoft media centre keyboard they work very well however MS seem to have stopped making them :-(







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

 
 
 
 


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  # 230322 2-Jul-2009 15:52
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Bluetooth can give you much better range, but battery life will suffer. I use a BT laser mouse with my laptop. Range is at least 30m, but past about 10 I can't see the pointer on the screen anymore!

I only get about a months battery tho (And that is with turning it off when not in use), compared to the Microsoft Wireless Desktop I have on my desk at work, which has about a 1.5m range but the battery lasts about 4-6 months (And that is switched on all the time)

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  # 231526 6-Jul-2009 12:06
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adamj: Bluetooth can give you much better range, but battery life will suffer. I use a BT laser mouse with my laptop. Range is at least 30m, but past about 10 I can't see the pointer on the screen anymore!

I only get about a months battery tho (And that is with turning it off when not in use), compared to the Microsoft Wireless Desktop I have on my desk at work, which has about a 1.5m range but the battery lasts about 4-6 months (And that is switched on all the time)


I had an entry-level Logitech IR mouse and keyboard - the signal of which wouldn't make it from the couch to the laptop (connected to the TV), a distance of about 2 metres.

The bluetooth keyboard and mouse that came with the Mac Mini we now have connected to the TV are fantastic. The range is superb, and battery life is not an issue as I use rechargables (just keep a spare set handy).

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  # 231540 6-Jul-2009 12:15
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jonathan18:
adamj: Bluetooth can give you much better range, but battery life will suffer. I use a BT laser mouse with my laptop. Range is at least 30m, but past about 10 I can't see the pointer on the screen anymore!



I only get about a months battery tho (And that is with turning it off when not in use), compared to the Microsoft Wireless Desktop I have on my desk at work, which has about a 1.5m range but the battery lasts about 4-6 months (And that is switched on all the time)




I had an entry-level Logitech IR mouse and keyboard - the signal of which wouldn't make it from the couch to the laptop (connected to the TV), a distance of about 2 metres.



The bluetooth keyboard and mouse that came with the Mac Mini we now have connected to the TV are fantastic. The range is superb, and battery life is not an issue as I use rechargables (just keep a spare set handy).


I have a similar situation, got a cheap logitech knock off from trade me, I am less than 2m from the TV, we ended up using a longer USB cable but kind of defeted the purpose of why I brought it. I have found that the novelty of having the computer on the TV has worn off, if I want to watch any of my home video's I put them onto a usb flash drive and plug that into the home theatre system.

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  # 231769 6-Jul-2009 19:08
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I know it is perhaps a more expensive option than what you may be after.  I use one of these Adesso RF keyboards.

http://www.pbtech.co.nz/index.php?item=KEYADE4000

It works on my HTPC through 2 walls and a distance of 6 metres.  I think its gone up a bit in price since I got mine, probably because of the NZDollar.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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Master Geek
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  # 231801 6-Jul-2009 21:16
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I use an old Logitech Dinovo RF model and get about 3.5m range. It makes a big difference on where the receiver is placed though - put it on a USB extension cord and play. Mine seems to work best at the same height as the keyboard/mouse (as opposed to above)



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Ultimate Geek
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  # 231811 6-Jul-2009 21:50
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Thanks for the tips, I'll try moving the receiver around a bit. It looks like the common theme is that you need 2.4GHz.

Some products call themselves 2.4GHz but not Bluetooth. Why is that?

I see that Microsoft have a couple here:

http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/mouseandkeyboard/ProductDetails.aspx?pid=116


Might have been better to wait a coupla months ay...




HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
iPad air 2


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Master Geek


  # 232329 8-Jul-2009 11:07
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I'm using a BTC 9019URF. Works really well, even at a distance of 4m. Battery life is fine. Got it off TM for $50

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