My Review of the Omdev Wired Keyboard Adaptor
In the present WebTV™ world there are nineteen versions including the Laz-E-boy, ultimatetv, and two new PM MSNTV's.
These versions are divided into two types: The Classic unit and the Plus unit.
The main difference between the two types is the enhanced TV programming and the ability to make screen captures or Vid Caps from audio inputs for Plus units, which the Classic cannot. The Classic has a wired keyboard which the plus units do not have.
The Plus unit uses an infra red send/receive system for the keyboard to work. When set with the proper TV codes, the Plus user can use their keyboard to operate their TV and VCR through the same keyboard.
Ah, great concept! Except the actual typing often had skipped letters, and slow typing speed. Because if you moved the keyboard slightly the sent infra red signal from the keyboard's front edge might miss the infra red receiver's "sweet spot".
For example my wtv unit sits on top of the TV (Duh, is that why they call it a set-top unit??) from 6 feet away in my Laz-E-boy rocker/recliner I had to tilt the keyboard constantly 30 to 40 degrees upward to get a good "connection".
I read in the news:webtv.users discussion group that there was a company on the internet which had an adaptor that solved these problems.
http://www.omdev.com is the company's address, and it has won many awards, it delivered the next day with the optional Airborne Express service I ordered.
In 10-1999 the total cost was $44.95.
I received the adaptor, easy installing instructions and was hooked up in 10 minutes. I purchased a standard 6-pin pc keyboard (they have an adaptor for non 6-pin keyboards, too) for under $10.00 and it is SOLID! With full size keys that make a satisfying clack when you are typing.
Now, I did receive a slight shock, nothing "plugs-in" any where to the wtv unit. So in one sense it is not a fully "wired" keyboard.
What Omdev did was to let you attach the infra red sender a paper's thickness away from the receiver with a bendable cable.
So with it, I cannot blame the keyboard anymore for typo's, and the speed is just as fast as your typing can go.
It takes a little to get used to relearn the locations of the proper keys to access mail, the go to, etc.
But with a little masking tape and a felt tip pen, you can label everything and learn the new layout quickly.
The keyboard provides a replacement for every function of the wtv keyboard except the sliding tv/webtv switch, the mute button and the volume increase and decrease buttons and the mysterious fn button.
I _really_ miss the mute button, no offense, but I HATE the noise you play at your site or in your E-Mail I listen to my music on one of three systems, the bedroom system has $1000 speakers, which do you think sounds better the 3 inch tv ones or...... but I digress......
Omdev "doubles up" on some buttons by having you use the Shift key to use one key do two things. It just seems the volume and mute buttons could have been included to this ignorant one.
Overall I would give "two thumbs up" to any Plus user who has skipping keys.
Now the "optional" wtv keyboards go for $49 to $59 and are bundled with the RCA, so if you total a keyboard with a .....milkshake or coffee that had a LOT of sugar in it and my keyboard grid cleaning site could not help you......
....imagine getting another keyboard for ?
I have bought a back up for $7 and seen others for $3 but these are pc keyboards made useable for wtv with the Omdev Adaptor.....
thats a niceadvantage to buying more "infernal red" keyboards at $49 to $59.
The proceeding is just my opinion, I am not an employee of Microsoft, WebTV, or Optimized Micro Devices, although I use their products.