2005-06-30, 08:02 PM
Just wondering if anybody here has any thoughts on the HP Z555 Digital Entertainment Centre?
I've been contemplating an LG or Samsung ATSC tuner for a while now and then my home built PVR PC started fighting me when I upgraded my sound card. I've had it with ATI and their crummy software. So this all-in-one HP unit with an ATSC tuner caught my attention. The sticker price is a bit of a shocker ($2700) but when you add up all the components and the lower stress of buying a single package that has been (hopefully) designed to work together and I don't think it's that unreasonable.
Unless somebody can talk me out of it, I'll probably buy one next week.
2005-07-01, 06:05 AM
My opinion is that it is way over priced and having owned HP PC's in the past you are locking yourself into a most likely non upgradeable platform.
Having the patience to diagnose the problems of your current set up is what I'd pursue.
2005-07-01, 12:43 PM
I own the HP z552 (3.0GHz/512MB/250GB/Dual Tuners) and I love it. I'm not a fan of OEM software that PC makers always put on their PC's so I reformatted it to slim everything down. It runs nice and smooth. I dont think the tuners are upgradable in this system but I believe the video card is. In my opinion you can't beat the sexy look of this case without spending at least $500 on some Italian-design HTPC case. The VFD on the front is awesome, it gives you tons of media-related info. Setup's a breeze to and what really tops it off is the HP tech support. I've called in their a few times asking some pretty insane questions and they're usually willing to dig pretty deep to find answers. Its 24/7 too. Mine doesnt have the high-def ATSC tuner so I cant speak for that, but the two standard-def tuners I have do a beatuiful job with my standard Shaw cable. DVD playback is nice too. I hear they can run a little hot although I dont find that mine does. I dont have the HP Personal Media drive in so perhaps that allows mine to run a little cooler. I would think the hard drive and memory in there would be incredibly easy to upgrade. I havent opened mine up to take a look around.
Anywyas have fun decipering that paragraph of random stuck-together sentances. ;)
Oh and PS, the reason I bought it over building my own, was I spent about 10 minutes putting together (on paper) an HTPC with comparable specs and the price difference wasnt enough to justify researching all that hardware and then buying it all. For some people thats the point, but I'm more of a networking kind of guy so I enjoyed just plunking down some bones and getting a working system handed over. I really do like being able to call tech support for once and have them solve my problems, usually I'm tech support with my mom on the other end because she cant right-click or something.
2005-07-01, 10:01 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. Good to hear a positive story about a similar model. I hear ya Crispy but my patience has run out. I've had some success using the ATI MMC PVR but it seems if I look sideways at the damn thing it craps out. I currently can record shows one at a time but I can't set up a daily or weekly recurring schedule. The job looks fine but it just doesn't record. I was close to wiping it clean and starting over with fresh installs all around but then I started thinking is it really worth it. I'm going to take a closer look at the Z555 in a couple days and try and figure that out. I've found bit torrent sites for the shows I was recording anyways and it's easier right now to download than record. Thanks again.
2006-03-06, 10:56 PM
I found some information about this product at this page :
And downloaded all product books at :
It is quite interesting to consider this Digital Entertainment Center could replace my actual computer with a Windows XP Media Center Edition and that I could use my XBR Wega HD television as a huge monitor! Since my TV is not equipped with an ATSC Tuner, I could record OTA in Montreal.
But the big question would be if I could link it to my Illico HD Recorder to expand its recording capacities and for now, I don't thing they could easily answer that question yet.
Is there anyone experimenting out there about that issue with either Videotron or Rogers?
Not ready to buy yet, expensive, but attractive when you see all the features!