CNET First Look
HP z560 Digital Entertainment CenterThe HP z560 Digital Entertainment Center is the perfect home-theater PC for riding out the high-def format wars.
[ Music ] >> Hi, I'm Rich Brown senior editor for CNET.com. Today we're going to look at the HP Digital Entertainment Center Z560. As you can see, this is a home theater style system, designed to go into your living room and connect with your television, your stereo, and all your other regular components. Hopefully it'll replace a few of those, that's kind of the idea. It's probably best to think of this system as a home entertainment device, rather than a typical desktop computer. It does have a dual core processor as well as you know a gig of memory, a nice fat hard drive and a graphics card even. But it's a fixed config. You can't change anything in it really and although you can get inside it, a lot of the parts are custom. It's nice and sleek and pretty attractive looking, but there's actually a lot of features hidden behind these doors. Here you can see a slot for [unclear] personal media drive. That's a removable hard drive. Down here, you've got a pretty typical media card reader. There's also two USB ports. Now here you can see the DVD drive. This is actually a DVD burner and has light scribe capability. It's a little weird that its standard defs, especially considering that HP has put HD DVD drives in its regular desktops. That would definitely make this system a lot more expensive though, not to mention the fact that the standards world still hasn't really sorted itself out yet. Now below the drive you can see media control buttons. They work pretty much exactly the as you would expect. Right under the buttons, there's an LCD display that shows general information for playing your media. And over here, you can see inputs for audio as well as DV camera and microphone and headphones. Now when we look at the back, you can see where HP got really creative and added a lot of features to this system. There's cable input, FM antenna input, as well as HD over the air input. Over the air, HD is still not ideal, but that's the best you're going to get in a computer because you still can't decrypt an HD cable signal. One feature we really like is the HDMI out, the graphics card will support very high resolution. So you can expect very nice image quality from this system too. Now you can see over here that HP has given you a lot of options for audio output. You've got true analog 7 point 1, regular stereo out, as well as two kinds of optical out. Finally, HP has wireless networking on this thing. That's a very handy feature. It means you don't have to run networking cables all over your living room. Definitely creates a spousal acceptance factor and just kind of helps keep things nice and clean. For a number of reasons, we still don't think there's a perfect media center PC out there. But that definitely is not the fault of HP. It's got a lot to do with the cable companies, DRM, all kinds of issues. But for what it can do, HP has put together a pretty capable, attractive system. I'm Rich Brown and that's the HP Digital Entertainment Center Z560. ^M00:02:20 [ Music ]