When PC Mag says that a product should top our shopping list, we take the recommendation seriously, so their recent review of the HP Digital Entertainment Center z556 Media Center PC should be helpful to anyone looking for a Windows MCE solution. You'll recall that the z556 is a home theater component-styled PC with a 3.0GHz Pentium 4, 512MB of RAM, 250GB hard drive (and not 500GB, as we reported earlier), nVidia GeForce 6600 video card, ATI HD ATSC OTA and dual analog tuners, and a dual-layer DVD /-RW burner with Lightscribe. At $1500, the z556 is $500 cheaper than its predecessor, the z555, even though it adds Media Center Edition Update Rollout 2 and offers quieter performance. PC Mag found that this model did a fine job for gaming and multimedia, features a good wireless keyboard and plenty of inputs/outputs, and will make a fine choice for those folks who can't wait for dual-core Media PCs to hit the shelves.

Anyone else checking out NBA TV's "Silent Game"?