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Permalink to this day Thursday, April 21, 2005

NY Times takes a look at Media Center PCs, With a PC's Power, That's Entertainment:
All these features on the living room screen can make other household TV's seem dull in comparison

4:46:23 PM  Permalink to this item []

HP has introduced some new Media Centers. Check out the z555 and the z557.

I've actually been fortunate enough to have a z555 for the past several weeks in addition to my Silverstone box, and I certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a Media Center for their living room.


  • Great specs. Triple tuner - Dual NTSC tuner plus an ATSC tuner!
  • Great case. When I get home tonight I'll put some pictures online but lots of attention to detail has been paid on both the front and back. The front has a front panel display, hides connections nicely, looks clean. And the back panel looks like the back of my receiver and not a computer. Everything is clearly labeled and makes sense.
  • Great out of box experience. HP really put a lot of work into this and it shows. Great quick start documents. Nearly every cable imaginable (the only one I feel they need to add is a optical SPDIF cable) is included.
  • Great keyboard. Works better than my Gyration. No external receiver required, it's all built into the unit.


  • Some of HP's included Media Center specific software needs polishing
  • Norton Anti Virus pops up annoying 10' dialogs too frequently telling you to go to 2'.
  • I've fallen in love with my custom MCE remote and wish other remotes included it's features. So I wish the HP one had backlighting and the ability to control my TV power and receiver volume.

12:52:50 PM  Permalink to this item []

The Onion, Tivo Wishlist Roulette (via PVR Blog):
To test our luck, The Onion A.V. Club entered the keyword "war" into a TiVo WishList and examined the first 14 programs that came up

Did you know MCE has the same functionality?

Go to My TV > Recorded TV > Add Recording > Keyword and you can setup keyword recordings based on:

  • Actor name
  • Direcotr name
  • Movie title
  • Program title
  • Generic keyword

Yeah, I know, this feature is pretty buried in our UI. ...You probably wouldn't believe how many times in meetings someone on our team says, 'who designed this thing!?' :).

(Okay, I need to stop working and go to bed. Good night).
12:47:02 AM  Permalink to this item []

© Copyright 2005 Matt Goyer.
I work at Microsoft in the eHome division on the Windows XP Media Center Edition team as a Program Manager.

Disclaimer: The posts on this weblog are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confer no rights. The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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Updated: 5/5/2005; 8:47:56 AM.