123Macmini.com
FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   GalleryPhoto Gallery   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Mac Mini vs HP Z556 vs Dell E1705 Laptop For HTPC

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> Mac Mini HTPC
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
PJER
New Member
New Member


Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:35 pm    Post subject: Mac Mini vs HP Z556 vs Dell E1705 Laptop For HTPC Reply with quote

I am in the market for a HTPC I currently own a Sony VAIO A290 laptop with the following: Pentium M 1.7 1GB RAM, 100GB HD (4,500rpm), ATI 9700 graphics with 64MB RAM, TV tuner, bluetooth and WiFi,DVD burner, and a 17" WUXGA screen with the X-Brite technology. I mainly use my computer for Photoshop, File Maker Pro database, downloading and watching TV programs using Bit Torrent, ripping my CD's to iTunes, internet radio, and occasionally recording and watching cable TV. I was thinking of purchasing the HP Z556 Media Center PC, or the Dell Inspiron E1705 Media Center laptop. The Z556 has a P4 3.0 processor, 512 RAM, a 250GB HD (7,200rpm) a GForce 6600 graphics card with 128MB RAM, and a TV tuner. The price is $1,500 The Dell Inspiron E1705 laptop has a Dual Core 1.66 processor, 1GB RAM, 100GB HD (5,400rpm) ATI X1400 graphics with 256MB RAM, TV tuner and a 17" WUXGA screen. The price is $1,900 I am also considering the Mac Mini Dual Core with 1GB RAM and the 100GB HD I own a La Cie Porsche Design 250GB HD, a Kensington bluetooth mouse, an Apple Airport Express, and an In Focus X1 LCD projector. I do not own a LCD monitor or TV just a Sony 27" CRT
What would be my best option for a HTPC I have used OS X and like it very much but have had no problems with Windows XP. If I purchase the Z556 or Mac Mini, I was thinking of buying a Dell 2405FPW LCD which sells for around $850. What do you think of this combination. Thanks in advance
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ShaneHale
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 366
Location: San Diego, CA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you will need to assess what you want to accomplish.

I really can't speak on the hardware side of the PC stuff, without digging into researching the hardware etc. So I'm going to stick with the software.

Windows Media Center is nice. It has a lot of bonus features already incorporated into the basic installation. These include streaming video from major networks, internet radio and other plug-in's can incorporate cable cards, third party devices and a lot more.

Saddly to say the Macintosh Software side doesn't come close to the features of XP Media Center. Its a few years behind. Sure FrontRow can play TVshows, movies, dvd's photos, and music stored on your system, but there is no seemless integration with internet video feeds (exception of Movie Trailers) MediaCentral does have EyeTV integration from my undertanding and CenterStage will have it in the future, but these applications are not as polished and are still buggy.

So figure out what you want to do. I assume your main source for TV shows and Video are torrents so TV integration might not be a major advantage, but you do mention it in the Dell build. It also appears that you hav a lot of the extras (ie Hard Drive, Airport) and you are familiar with iTunes.

When I when to buy a HTPC.. I looked at a Mini (acutally waited a few months for the intel mini's) and a PC w/ media center. I went with the mini, becuase FrontRow handles everything I want it to... for now. It suited my needs on price and with its form factor.
Shane
_________________
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
PJER
New Member
New Member


Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shane, thanks for the reply to my post. My main objective is to get the best computer for the money. My main needs for the computer will be music, and downloaded TV programs from Bit Torrent. I will very seldom watch TV on my computer or record TV from cable. I do not have any HD channels on my cable as I live in Mexico. I would have to get Dish Network for that. Since I already have an external HD and bluetooth mouse all I would need to buy would be a keyboard, and an LCD monitor that I can use as a TV. Due to cost I would not want to spend more than $1,000 on the LCD I will be able to sell my VAIO laptop for around $1,400 here which will help. Any other comments will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> Mac Mini HTPC All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



      

Shop:  Apple Store  |  Refurbished Macs  |  Refurbished iPads  |  MacConnection  |  Mac Mini Vault  |  Other World Computing

MK 1 Studio Mac mini Racks  |  Crucial Mac Memory  |  Top Free Mac Apps  |  Top Paid Mac Apps



123Macmini.com is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or approved by Apple Computer, Inc.
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners.
Copyright © 2011 123Macmini.com. All Rights Reserved.