Two Outstanding HTPC Values

Unfortunately the first HTPC has been sold out. But the second one here is still a very good deal.

 

In the market for a HTPC?  Amazon.com has this sweet unit on sale for a really great price as shown.  It comes with a Intel Pentium 4 630 (3.0 GHz) processor with HT technology, 512 MB PC3200 DDR SDRAM that is expandable to 2 GB.  Also included is a 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi adapter with antenna and 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet, wireless keyboard, remote control and much more to allow you to just add a HDTV to be up and running with a very nice HTPC. 

From the Amazon.com Product Description:
Includes: wireless Keyboard w/ Integrated trackball, remote control, DVI-D cable, S-Video cable, L/R RCA Audio cable, 2 Infrared blasters, 2 RF Coaxial Video cables, 1 Coaxial Video Splitter, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Update Roll-up 2, Norton AntiVirus w/ 1 year subscription, WinDVD Player, & more. HP z556 Digital Entertainment Center - The z556 is a computer that has been specifically designed to integrate seamlessly with your home theater setup - without sacrificing your computing experience! It provides the best of all worlds - a powerful computer system that’s powered by an Intel Pentium 4 Processor 630, a built-in PVR that provides TV viewing, pausing and recording, a DVD player and recorder, an FM tuner, and much more.

Storage 250GB 7200RPM SATA
DVD SuperMulti Drive - (write) 8x DL DVD+R, 16x DVD+R, 8x DVD+RW, 16x DVD-R, 6x DVD-RW, 40x CD-R, 32x CD-RW / (read) 16x DVD-ROM & 40x CD-ROM Lightscribe Direct Disc Labeling TV & Video
2 NTSC TV Tuners
1 ATSC TV HD TV Tuner
14-Day Programming Guide
NVIDIA GeForce 6600 x16 PCI Express Graphics Card with 128MB of DDR Memory
Audio Intel High Definition Audio with 7.1 Surround Sound Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Supports playback of MP3, AAC, WMA, & WAV files
FM Tuner
External Ports Rear A/V - 1 DVI-D, 1 VGA, 1 Component (YPbPr), 1 S-Video, 1 Composite, 8 RCA Audio, 1 Toslink Optical Digital, & 1 Coaxial Digital TV Inputs - 1 RF Coaxial for Standard TV, 1 RF Coaxial for Digital TV, 2 S-Video, 1 Composite, 2 Sets of RCA Front Headphone, L/R RCA & Microphone In
6 USB 2.0 (2 front) / 2 FireWire (4-pin front / 6-pin rear) Front
9-in-1 Media Card Reader - supports Secure Digital, xD, Smart Media, MultiMedia Card, Compact Flash Types I/II, Microdrive, Memory Stick, & Memory Stick Pro Monitor is not included

 

For a step up check out this baby! It has a larger hard drive, dual core processor and HDMI output. Just about all you would ever need for a great HTPC. 

From the Amazon.com Product Description:
Revolutionize the way you watch TV, plus upgrade your home entertainment options! The z560 Digital Entertainment Center connects to your TV or projector through HDMI, VGA, component video, S-Video, or composite video, and lets you control everything with a remote, right from the couch.The HP Digital Entertainment Center will make friends fast with the rest of your home theater equipment. Enjoy digital or analog surround sound output through your A/V receiver. The black, brushed-aluminum finish looks at home in your living room or home theater. An ultraquiet design keeps your focus on your entertainment experience, not on your system.A single remote control gives you instant access to all your digital entertainment - TV, DVD movies, home videos, music, photos and FM radio. Three high-performance TV tuners and a personal video recorder (PVR) let you pause, replay and record from cable, digital cable, digital satellite, or over-the-air TV. Record up to three TV programs simultaneously. You can capture single episodes or entire series onto the HP Digital Entertainment Center. You’ll never miss another episode of your favorite show!Make your own CDs or enjoy the ones you already have. You can even select individual songs, create play lists, or search for music by title, artist and album. It’s like having a jukebox right in your living room! Play your favorites or download new ones and get ready for crisp, clear images and unbeatable surround sound from your big-screen TV.

 

 

Add this sweet drive for Blu-ray and Hd DVD playback plus play and record DVDs and for about a grand you have one sweet HTPC!

Product Description from Amazon:
LG’s GGC-H20L Blu-ray Disc Rewriter. Read Speed: BD-ROM 6x, BD-R 6x, BD-RE 2x, BDMV 4.8x CAV, HD DVD-ROM 3x, HD DVD-Video 3x CAV, DVD-ROM 16x, DVD-R 12x, DVD-RW 10x, DVD+R 12x, DVD+RW 10x, DVD-RAM 2x, DVD-Video 8x CAV, CD-R/Rw/ROM 40x CAV, CD-DA 40x CAV, 8cm CD 10x CAV. CD Write speed 8x CD-R 10x CD-RW DVD Write speed: 12x DVD+R 8x DVD+RW 6x DVD-RW 5x DVD-RAM. Up to 50GB of storage per disc. Large buffer memory 4MB

One issue I found after swapping the DVD drive for the above unit in the z560 is the eject button will no longer work. The drive tha comes with the z560 uses an external eject push-button switch that is on the front panel. The GGC-H20L does not have the connection for an external switch. I used a small program called ejectcd.exe to get around this. Basically I downloaded the ejectcd.exe from here:

Download Eject CD.

Then I created a shortcut to the ejectcd.exe program. In the shortcut properties I used the F10 key as the hotkey. Now whenever I press the F10 key, the tray will open. It won’t close the tray, but that can be done manually after placing the disc in the tray.

4 Responses to “Two Outstanding HTPC Values”

  1. Complete Noob, in need of assistance - High Def Forum - Your High Definition Community & High Definition Resource Says:

    [...] up via the wireless remote keyboard (recommended) or the IR remote. For more info on the z560 see: Two Outstanding HTPC Values For a wireless keyboard see: Wireless Keyboard and Trackball. If your HDTV is set up to work as a [...]

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  3. Finley Mitchell Says:

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