I have been receiving requests for information on the new MSNTV-2 Internet Receiver from WebTV users considering purchasing the new unit.  I have recently been in contact with one person who did buy one and feel I should pass this information along to any of you who are considering the purchase.  Millie's comments are followed by 8 reviews from other users who purchased units from Amazon.com and left their comments on the website.  Caution; be sure you read this information before considering a purchase.  For example, no copy & paste, and the email light doesn't work.  Tech Support is nearly non-existent.  Millie is a long time user of Webtv and has been able to do everything with the older units.  You be the judge. 

SUBJECT:  msntv-2
I don't mean to fixate on you in particular, but since you were nice enough to respond to my emails the past few days, I thought I'd let you know some things: First of all, I called a million (seems like) numbers and sent a couple of emails to msn addys you gave me and asked some questions and here are the answers I got from different "experts":
Expert #1. No, you can't c/c/p with msntv-2
Expert #2. Sure ya can but need to hook up a mouse to the back of it to do it (a USB mouse)
Expert #3. Ya just need to do a few steps with your ctl button (but then I found out you have to have a mouse in order to highlight certain areas....but they didnít tell me that.)
(msntv-2 doesn't have a "Cmd" button as the older units did.  That "Cmd" button was the one you used to copy and paste, eg; Cmd+A, Cmd+C, Cmd+V, Cmd+X.  It was also used with the "Find" function, eg; Cmd+F, Cmd+G, Cmd+B)

Regarding getting my rebate which they offered, each person at MSN passed me from one to another to another, also gave me websites to fill out forms (didnít work)
and finally passed me on to someone who said I'll connect you to someone else, then dropped me. Regarding getting my two months of free msn service coupon which they said was enclosed with my msn 2 (because I was transferring from one webtv to another webtv ), Iím finding out that they seem not to enclose these at all (though the receipt they sent with the items distinctly says "Coupon for free 2 months of msn service enclosed"...seems like I'm not the only one who is complaining about this. And the websites they give you to fill out a form for this, also just leave you hanging or just shut down instead of accepting it.

Just want to say that in talking to msn people, they were nice to me (because I am nice to talk to and respectful plus I speak well)...but someone else, on Amazon.com....says they will make you sorry if they don't like you and will screw around with your service if you're not careful (it's possible that this person was rude to them, however that's not really an excuse for them to do that).

Let's see, anything else you'd like to know....hmmmm......Oh yes, there seemed to be some things you can't find on your home page "Help" and "Settings" listings, but I learned that when you turn your on button on, but BEFORE you do your sign in thing, up at the top there is another "settings" listing that I bet most people won't notice, click on it and you can set up your call waiting and do some other stuff which I havenít checked into yet. Oh, and there is going to be an update (upgrade, I call it) tomorrow so maybe things will get better. Also, no one has a working email alert light to let you know you have mail waiting. Seems they somehow neglected that little item though it is supposed to be there (in their advertisement). That will become a working reality in the spring of 2005 so they say. Man oh man, do not buy these things til the bugs are ironed out or you'll be swatting flies and roaches til the cows come home.

Reviews from Amazon.com

1.  Just purchased this item and had my local cable hook up broadband and it works excellent.  None of the below mentioned keyboard skips in other reviews.
I have noticed computer snobs have gone out of there way to trash this product and Iím confused....  I wanted to email and use the internet sitting on the coach with no worries of viruses etc. I hooked my canon sd 110 digital camera up to the box and it works great also.
This product was made for entertainment and im entertained,

2.  The keyboard interface does not function well. As most of the buyers have reported here, it skips letters, and is impossible to use for writing emails or other text (like this) without constant fixing.

As a multimedia unit it has severe limitations as well, not being able to access many popular video and audio files if they are not Microsoft.

No ability to do CCP from web pages, though if you buy a mouse you can do it...sometimes. Scroll feature on mouse not enabled.
The MSN TV 2 does surf faster than the old Web TV did, even on dial up, though display of some webpages is eccentric.
Photo features a scrapbook which is limited to 100 low resolution pictures. With the addition of a card reader, digital memory cards can be read and images printed.
BTW, I am on my second unit, the first one was so faulty I couldn't even register it.
In summary, this unit is not at all ready for market. Caveat emptor.

3.  They are NOT going to transfer your existing MSNTV subscription if you paid by check, rather than credit card. I cannot as yet rate the product, only the service. Zero stars on that one.

4.  I had the Philips Webtv/plus unit before I "upgraded" to this piece of junk. The keyboard is the biggest problem,it misses keystrokes ALOT, The new OK button is in the same spot the scroll down button used to be in. Websites download a little faster, but not fast enough to bother changing if you have a classic webtv unit. And you can acsess a few more sites that you could'nt before, also not worth changing over. You can watch wmv files now, but you lose the ability to download zip files. It took me 10 times as long as it should have to type this review, I have to go back and add all of the letters the keyboard missed. Don't buy unless you have excessive amount of patience.

5.  I have owned the RCA Msntv2 receiver for all of one week, and must say that compared to the Webtv classic receiver & service, it is very dissapointing.

The only good points I can find are more memory/storage space, and the log-in music is more pleasing.

The cordless keyboard misses just as many keystrokes as the old one, page loading is just as slow as before, and the changes to the keyboard are definitely not for the better.

Someone decided not only to remove the command key, making highlighting text a thing of the past, but also moved he escape key to the bottom left-hand corner, the power button to top center, and added a redundant 'OK' key less than an inch frm the enter key, which does the same thing. This key is now in the position formerly occupied by the page down key.

Navigation usualy requires two to three keystrokes & page changes to accomplish the same task as one keystroke did before.

Making something more complicated does NOT make it better. All in all, I would reccomend that you stay with your trusty classic receiver, if you have one. For simplicity and convenience, it is still better than buying a PC, and better than the MSNTV2 receiver, too.

I would be surprised if this review remains viewable. After all, this site's job is to sell you this stuff, good or bad. And be advised, critical complaints to MSN support techs can result in your account being sabotaged. I speak from personal experience.

6.  As a longtime Webtv customer with a Classic receiver, I'm not adapting well to the new MSNTV 2. The keyboard, the onscreen images, the features are all different, but not particularly improved. Even though the unit goes on immediately, you have to sign in, then "OK" connection, then wait while it checks your "Passport Credentials" before you get the home page. Then (because the blue message light isn't functioning yet)you have to check the "mail" and wait, only to (perhaps) find out that there are no emails. The customer support person said there is no way to bypass the "Passport" check. I'm a hunt-and-peck typer, so I hit each key slowly and solidly, but still, lots of letters are skipped and I'm constantly going back to fill in missing letters. The onscreen images are totally changed and, to me, not in any logical manner. Just to check, read, save and/or delete mail is a confusing ordeal. When printing, there is no "Print Screen" feature. I will miss this very much. Also, most of the compatible printers are no longer available in the stores. I'm finding out that I still cannot access my bank and other accounts. OK, so there are many great new features but I personally will never use them. So far, I'm not sure I'll keep the new MSNTV 2. I might just unpack my old Webtv Classic.

7.  I have many PCs in my house and I also have broadband access. I decided to get this box for two main reasons:

1) Quick and rich access to email and internet on my bedroom TV, either through a remote control and/or with a wireless keyboard, how cool is that?
2) So that I could access all my MP3s and digital photographs from my MediaCenter PC which is in another room.

The experience has been amazing, the hardware and the setup was a breeze and quite a pleasure. I enjoy the one button quick access to music, photos, the internet and email!

You can access pretty much any website, quickly page down and read all the content, you could even be browsing while listening to you favorite internet radio station or MP3 music.

I can't say enough about how great this product is, well done MSNTV!!

8.  MSN TV 2 turns on instantly and can connect via broadband or modem to the internet. No viruses, popup ads, or spyware to worry about. It's as easy to setup as a VCR.

It's great as a 2nd Internet access device (who wants the expense and hassle of a 2nd PC?) and can act as a media hub that can share photos, music, and video from your PC to your TV.

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