But also because it's a midtower desktop, we believe more people will use the Pavilion m7780n as a PC first, with the home entertainment capabilities perhaps becoming more like an added bonus. And if you have an HDCP-compatible monitor that supports 1,920x1,080 over a standard DVI connection (other than a 30-inch) you'll enjoy full 1080p HD DVD bliss. As we mentioned earlier, the HD DVD is not a burner, which remains an advantage to PC-based Blu-ray drives. HP includes a dual-layer DVD drive for disk-burning chores.
Aside from the lack of info about the nuances of PC-based HDCP, we have a positive view of HP's support. Its standard one-year parts-and-labor coverage meets the industry average for this class of system. It has 24-7 toll-free phone support and a generally helpful Web site. We're also big fans of HP's Total Care Advisor, a suite of support tools that comes preinstalled on the PC.
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Dell Dimension E521
Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.6GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 5000+; 2,048MB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB ATI Radeon X1300 Pro HyperMemory graphics card; 320GB Western Digital 7,200rpm hard drive
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6600; Intel P965 Express chipset; 1,024MB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7900 GT; two 250GB Hitachi 7,200rpm hard drives
HP Pavilion Media Center m7780n TV PC
Windows Vista Home Premium; 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo E6400; 2GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7600; 500GB 7,200rpm hard drive
HP Pavilion m7690n
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.13GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; Intel P965 Express chipset; 2,048MB 533MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT; two 250GB Seagate 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drives
Shuttle XPC X200M
Windows Vista Home Premium; 1.66GHz Intel T2300 Core 2 Duo; 1,024MB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 256MB (shared) Intel 950 GMA graphics chip; 250GB 7,200rpm Seagate Barracuda hard drive