Word To HP – Get Out of the Wireless Device Business

I’m a huge fan of wireless devices. I’m blogging this with a wireless keyboard connected to a computer using wireless Internet. But when the devices don’t work, it’s time to scrap them. I’ve been enjoying the fully connected experience in my living room with a Media Center Edition PC from HP, complete with HP’s own remote and branded wireless keyboard.

The remote has been a total dud since firing up the PC for the first time. Even after downloading driver updates from the HP site, it would randomly become unresponsive, requiring a reboot before I could access my TV features again.

Sorry, but I’m shouldn’t have to reboot my TV. There even seemed to be a communication conflict between the remote and the wireless mouse, to the point if the remote stopped responding, the mouse started jumping all over the screen. I couldn’t even shut the system down without holding down the power button.

Lucky for me, I have two MCE PCs; my Toshiba laptop is also a Media Center (although I rarely use it for this purpose). Toshiba quite smartly licensed the official Microsoft remote and slapped their logo on it. When I plug in the USB infrared receiver for the Toshiba remote all my remote troubles magically vanish.

Not content to simply screw up the wireless communication devices, HP needs to hog CPU time too. The wireless keyboard has an app called kdb.exe that was regularly consuming 50% of my CPU. According to the Microsoft KB, this is sometimes as high as 90%. I guess I should feel lucky.

I have no complaints about the PC itself; overall, it’s a gem. HP just needs to let someone else handle the wireless components or get a better handle on quality control.