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bluetooth vs rf keyboards

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am just wondering if RF vs Bluetooth makes a difference. I know bluetooth seems to have better range but which is more reliable? I just want to make sure that my I don't need to keep resyncing my device.
I am looking for a new keyboard/mosue combo, distance doesnt really matter. I just don't know if one is more reliable than the other.
post #2 of 17
I have the Logitech DiNove mini which is blue tooth as I remember. I use this for maintenance on the HTPCs when necessary. It is solid and works all the way across the room.
post #3 of 17
I am a fan of bluetooth mainly for the reason that it is a standard, and is aware of other bluetooth and wifi devices. As such, it behaves fairly well in an environment with those devices. Start adding in other 2.4 GHZ RF devices like phones and RF keyboards and you stand a greater chance of experiencing interference problems.

Unfortunately, many manufacturers have avoided addressing (or allowing the customers to address) Bluetooth's 'problems' by switching to proprietary 2.4 GHz RF transmission protocols. Logitech is one mfg who has done this.

The sad thing is, Bluetooth is actually a good format for mice and keyboards. The update rate can be up to 125 Hz, which, while below insane gamer standards, actually still works very well for gaming. I know, I use two different bluetooth mice for gaming.

The problem is most bluetooth dongles don't come with a connector for a real dipole antenna, and are often not mounted in a proper location to receive the signal. Apparently most people don't recognize that plugging their BT dongle into the back of a steel computer will reduce the signal. Hence, people get cranky because their mouse doesn't work right. So the mfg's simply brute-forced the solution with a high-power proprietary dongle.

Well, guess what? High-power bluetooth dongles with antenna are available, and work absolutely perfect. You just have to know that buying one will make your bluetooth devices work like a dream.
post #4 of 17
Given the few options available for Bluetooth, I like the Razer Orochi mouse and Logitech MX5500 keyboard with Revolution laser mouse.
post #5 of 17
I prefer bt because I have other bt devices and they can all use the same doggle.
post #6 of 17
I use both, and both work fine together.

One, a Bluetooth Logitech DiNovo Edge keyboard, which includes a built-in mouse. I have used this keyboard since it first appeared on the market without problems.

Two, I use a RF Dell Gryration mouse for most functions, 90 % of the time I use an HTPC. My monitor being a 50 inch LG LCD can be controlled without wires, and from up to 10 M away from the PC.

Sometimes, due to sheer convenience, I only use the DiNovo Edge keyboard: Typing long documents, for example.

As wisely mentioned above, Bluetooth is a communication standard, more recognized in Europe than in North America. Yes, you can add more devices ( Printers, cameras, cellphones, hands-free earpieces, home phones, etc. ) and yes, you can distingush more features such as improved stereo, or security enhancements such as device passwords, as needed.

RF is not quite at that level, as yet.
post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
So either one should be fine reliabilty wise for waking and working. Thanks.
post #8 of 17
I hate to bump such an old thread but I couldn't find any recent posts discussing this. Even within this thread my question isn't answered: Is RF unidirectional and/or is bluetooth omnidirectional? I bought the Logitech K400 wireless keyboard under the assumption that RF works in all directions, like a "cordless phone" or so many other devices. Problem is that my HTPC is behind and to the left of me, but still less than 4 feet away, and that keyboard has to be pointed at the USB dongle to work!!! It's funny to watch it too, because when I'm not pointing the front of the keyboard at the dongle but continue to type, I can tell the pressed keys are being buffered because as I turn the keyboard they quickly all get "sent" and the system "catches up" with what I typed.

I can't use this keyboard in this awkward position, and need a truly wireless "omnidirectional" wireless keyboard / mouse. I presume Bluetooth is truly that, seeing as how ear piece bluetooth devices work with my cell phone through walls! However I was wrong once...

What's going on w/ this K400? Is RF truly not RF? Infrared was the only line of sight type of wireless connection in common electronic devices i thought...
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by a8s0lut0 View Post

I hate to bump such an old thread but I couldn't find any recent posts discussing this.
What's going on w/ this K400? Is RF truly not RF? Infrared was the only line of sight type of wireless connection in common electronic devices i thought...

Bumping an old thread is not prohibited, however queries have a better chance of being answered if they are specific and have their separate thread.

The problem with RF KB/M is that the frequency it runs on is the same frequency that is used by every other consumer device: 2.4 GHz
As such, there is a possibility that there is something else in the vicinity that is interfering with the Logitech signal. There is of course, the possibility that something might be wrong with your KB. I would suggest to take your KB and use it with another computer in different locations and see if you have varying experience. If it works fine with another computer then the current location is probably the culprit.

BT runs on the same 2.4 GHz frequency, however it uses a different modulation scheme which doesn't interfere with other devices.

FWIW; I prefer BT over RF.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bighick View Post

I am just wondering if RF vs Bluetooth makes a difference. I know bluetooth seems to have better range but which is more reliable? I just want to make sure that my I don't need to keep resyncing my device.
I am looking for a new keyboard/mosue combo, distance doesnt really matter. I just don't know if one is more reliable than the other.

You can get RF keyboards and mice (for the presenter market, for example) that work reliably over distances in excess of 100 feet, different rooms, etc.

I don't know if BT can match that.
post #11 of 17
BT is a standard, there are many advantages of sticking with it. There is even class 1 bluetooth with 100mW of output power allowing long range.

Unfortunately, there are few, if any, keyboards supporting this standard.

For some reason most keyboard and mouse mfg's have steered away from bluetooth. I have insisted on sticking with it (I have a class 1 v2.1 bluetooth adapter with antenna) and it works great.

Good luck finding supporting keyboards/mice.

To the OP, RF is not line of sight through metal or the human body. Is this what you are doing with you or your computer chassis in the way?
post #12 of 17
BT is digital standard with proven resilience to interference. Many cheap RF keyboard does not even mention if its protocol is digital, not to mentioned it is proprietary. My experience is that BT devices works much more reliably over a longer range, e.g. 15+ ft.

BT is also much more secure, if you are concerned when entering password. The connection is encrypted.

Some PCs and many laptops have BT built in. So you don't need to add additional dongle.

However, a limitation with BT is that it requires OS driver and it does not work before the OS boots. If you need to access the BIOS or debug an OS. The BT keyboard won't don't jack. I am not sure if DiNovo solved the problem or not.

Another annoying fact is that BT requires pairing. Sometimes when I replace battery, I need to pair my keyboard again. This maybe limited to certain models but it is annoying enough that I should mention it.
post #13 of 17
Quote:


Many cheap RF keyboard does not even mention if its protocol is digital

I don't thnk analog keyboards have been made for decades....i assure you, it's digital.


Quote:


BT is also much more secure, if you are concerned when entering password. The connection is encrypted.

..which is why it requires pairing.

Quote:


Another annoying fact is that BT requires pairing
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifespeed View Post

To the OP, RF is not line of sight through metal or the human body. Is this what you are doing with you or your computer chassis in the way?

The keyboard is facing away from the computer, but there's nothing in the way; it's just at an odd angle. I have trouble believing that RF is not directional / line of sight given the fact that I get immediate and quantifiably better results when I point the thing at the dongle. I'll post pictures in my other post An open floor plan mid-range build in a little bit so you can see what I'm working with. Also, @lifespeed, what products (adapter / antenna) are you talking about? Amazon can't seem to tell me what's "class 1" etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

However, a limitation with BT is that it requires OS driver and it does not work before the OS boots. If you need to access the BIOS or debug an OS. The BT keyboard won't don't jack. I am not sure if DiNovo solved the problem or not.

Amazon reviews for the Logitech MX5500 seem to contradict each other, with some people saying you can't use it pre-OS, and others say they do. I have a mobo with UEFI, which I'd imagine is much more feature rich than standard BIOS; could this be a distinction?
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by a8s0lut0 View Post

I have trouble believing that RF is not directional / line of sight given the fact that I get immediate and quantifiably better results when I point the thing at the dongle.

Amazon reviews for the Logitech MX5500 seem to contradict each other, with some people saying you can't use it pre-OS, and others say they do. I have a mobo with UEFI, which I'd imagine is much more feature rich than standard BIOS; could this be a distinction?

RF is not line-of-sight but its spread depends on multiple factors; primary being design & antenna. The problem might be with the receiver design in the keyboard, it may not be the best for omnidirectional performance.

Bluetooth support before OS boot would depend on the board. If the board has BT support in the BIOS itself, I imagine the 5500 would work just fine.
post #16 of 17
I have an older Logitech DiNovo bluetooth keyboard and mouse, the keyboard works fine since its so simple but the mouse was the worst mouse ever made and they should have been sued for stealing peoples money.

Logitech RF has always worked flawlessly and the drivers arent insane like the Bluetooth ones.

My Logitech bluetooth stuff does not use standard bluetooth, it has a proprietary dongle with horrific drivers that only install properly half the time and dont accept other bluetooth devices. I dont know if that has changed but I will absolutely NEVER touch another Logitech bluetooth device. Logitech bluetooth is easily one of the worst things I have ever used on the computer in my life.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by a8s0lut0 View Post

Also, @lifespeed, what products (adapter / antenna) are you talking about? Amazon can't seem to tell me what's "class 1" etc

Get a Sena Parani UD100 for class 1 performance. Sena recommends Toshiba BT drivers, but I have had better results with Windows 7. I would recommend the optional 5 dBi gain antenna as well.

I would recommend the Razer Orochi as the best bluetooth mouse on the market. Logitech MX5500 is a good keyboard, just don't install their software. Use all the above (except for the Orochi, their drivers are OK) with windows 7 drivers. Might not support every single bluetooth profile available, but does OK with the vast majority.

Kind of sad you are limited to the specific pieces of hardware listed above, but they work fantastic.

Try it, you'll like it.

Edit: and, unless your UEFI BIOS supports bluetooth (haven't seen this yet), you will just need to live with the reality that BIOS tweaks are made by plugging in USB keyboard. Really not that big of a deal, how often do you do that?
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