Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Next upgrade of my Entertainment PC

My Z565 Entertainment system PC took another step today towards being a greater part of the whole home theater experience. Awhile back I had bought an HD-DVD player, and of course we all now know, unless you just came out of a cave where you've been for the past few months, that HD-DVD lost the format war to Blu-ray.

While this distressed me it had the benefit that the price of HD-DVD's plunged and I picked up some good ones at decent prices including dome good collections at 50-70% off!!

With the price of good Blu-ray players still over $300 I was in no hurry to get one though I realized with my passion for video I would need to at some point. I really did not want two DVD players in the entertainment system.

Ideally, a combination unit that played HD-DVD and Blu-ray would have been the best way to go but these are very costly and not 100% compatible with all features on both formats.

What to do going forward was the question which I have been pondering for three months or so.

For $120 with shipping, my HD-DVD and Blu-Ray DVD question has been answered. One of those sale of the moment sites had an LG GGC-H20L Blu-Ray/HD-DVD-ROM & 16x DVD Burner - Sata, Lightscribe drive on sale, and with shipping it came to $120. Newegg has the drive for $165 right now so that's a decent deal!

If you've read about the Z series of systems on my blog before you know what a nightmare it is upgrading these. Space inside the case is extremely tight!

I had to crack the entertainment system since the internal pics I had taken did not show any accessible SATA connectors, plus I had to totally remove the front panel so the old DVD drive could be removed and the length measured and compared to the new drive's dimensions. The new drive is about half an inch deeper which fits with maybe another half inch to spare and there are easily accessible SATA and power connectors for the new drive as well! The old DVD drive was an IDE interface so I knew I would not be able to use the current interface.

That video card upgrade I got is HD compatible so I should be all set; we shall see! I can then continue to stock up on discounted HD-DVD's and also procure any Blu-ray titles that catch my eye (Best Buy is having a 2 for $30 sale right now in fact with some decent titles.

The Entertainment PC waits anxiously, in pieces, on the dining room table for the arrival of the new drive. I could not see putting it all back together and back in the entertainment system cabinet just to do it all over again in a few days; the office PC will just have to suffice!


David Louis Harter said...


That will be an excellent upgrade to your Z565! That is a great price. Enjoy!

- David

Chris said...

David - It was a totally unplanned purchase; these sale of the day sites often get me into trouble!

HOWEVER, as you say it is a good price and my way forward into Blu-ray was a very inexpensive one, plus I have two devices now for the defunct HD-DVD format, which is great because I have no intention of replacing any of those with Blu-ray discs!

UPS says the scheduled delivery date is tomorrow, yet, their status also shows it has not even been picked up yet so I am most anxious; it would be great to have the PC in the living room available again, though it is cooler down here in my subterranean office!