HP z555 Upgrade Project - Page 39 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1141 of 1158 Old 08-19-2014, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Close... So close...

Believe it or not, I figured out how to get the ATI HDTV Wonder recognized by Linux!

It's actually a fairly simple two-step process:

(1) First, you have to get the proper firmware downloaded. I followed the instructions here:

http://pyther.net/tag/nxt2004/

The only difference is that instead of putting the dvb-fe-nxt2004.fw file in /lib/firmware, it goes in /lib/firmware/[Linux Kernel Version]. This will be a directory such as 3.13.0-24-generic or some such.

(2) Second, you have to create the proper options file so the OS picks it up. There are several different ways to do this depending on your setup. For mine, you have to create a text file called /etc/modprobe.d/cx88xx.conf. In that file goes the following line: "options cx88xx card=34".

After doing these two steps, reboot. The card is now recognized by Ubuntu.

I've tried MythTV and TVHeadEnd, both PVR capture programs for Linux. TVHeadEnd seems to work better for this application. Once it does a channel scan and finds the OTA broadcasters in the area, those channels are presented to XBMC.

Here's where the problem comes in. If I connect to the z555 from a different computer over the network with VLC, I can view the channels from TVHeadEnd. They are gorgeous! Great playback, great sound. However, when I try to view the channels on the z555 itself, that's where the problems start. First, there's no picture. Second, the sound plays but cuts off after 10 seconds or so.

But I'm really closing in on it! Once I get those issues sorted out, then the PVR function will be licked!

I'm almost the point that I might rename it the z555buntu...

BW
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post #1142 of 1158 Old 08-22-2014, 09:57 AM
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Success!

BW, Thank You for the advice on the video card. Using the 6600 I remember the CPU pegged at 100% while trying to watch full screen OTA HDTV on our 50" Samsung Plazma and it would stutter and pixelate making it pretty much useless for the first 20-30 seconds.. For other channels that are HD conversions the CPU would run about 80% average but I could record and not have any issues.

I ordered a Nvidea GT 610 from Amazon on Tuesday, it arrived yesterday, installed in minutes, it automatically downloaded and installed the drivers (said it failed), I rebooted when it said to and all I can say is WOW!!! With this card, which comes with 1TB of DDR3 RAM, the CPU is running at less than 10%, no stutters, pixelization, etc. Absolutely fantastic!

Now, on to my next issue. The TV card sees 64 channels some with great signal strength, others with a single red bar. There are three of four channels I really care about and can't receive. The fourth channel has a red bar for signal strength and comes through great. I also cannot record that channel although I can record other channels. I'm guessing the ATI HDTV Wonder Card or Hauppaugh Cable ready & analog signal card is failing.

Does anyone have a recommendation for an OTA HDTV Card? I don't plan on using a satellite or cable provider but you never know what the future has in store...

Assuming I can make a fairly quick purchase of a new card and the install goes great, the last issue is the display that always says "Welcome to the HP Digital Entertainment System". Not a crisis but would be nice to have it working correctly.

Thanks in advance!
Charlie
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post #1143 of 1158 Old 08-22-2014, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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@ GT-Charlie,

Well done and congratulations!

If you're using Windows 7, you may want to look at the HDHomeRun. That would likely be the best choice. Otherwise, you'd be limited to an external USB device, since the likelihood of finding a PCI card that exactly fits the holes in the back is somewhere between slim and "Are you kidding?"

I might be changing out the video card on mine, as well. The EAH 4550 is a great card, but the onboard audio device doesn't support DTS, which I prefer to Dolby. So when I have a movie that has a DTS Soundtrack, that's my go-to choice. It still outputs as LPCM 48, or so my amp says, but still.

So, question: On your new GT 610, does it output the audio through the HDMI? I ask because Windows on mine had that stubborn resource conflict and wouldn't let the audio device on the EAH 4550 function. Linux has no such problem. And if so, does it support all the formats, such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, etc?

BW
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post #1144 of 1158 Old 08-23-2014, 07:41 PM
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Thanks again BW,

I'll check out the site and determine what to do before tomorrow is over. My first thought is can I watch OTA TV using this box through Media Center? From what I can tell, with those devices anyone with a PC on our network could watch TV... I have two kids living at home, one with A.D.D. the other with A.D.H.D. and they both have PC's in their bedrooms for homework use. If they found out they could watch TV through the PC I might not see them again, LOL.

I looked at the specs for the GT-610 and it states "TrueHD and DTS-HD Audio Bitstreaming support" on the box. I'm pushing my audio through a Yamaha receiver and would have to reconfig to test... yuk. Again, the GT-610 did wonders for my DEC. The only thing I had to physically change was the filler plate. I removed the original from the 6600, held the new low profile plate over the top and aligned the DVI connector bolt holes and marked the HDMI hole with a pencil. I then used a small drill bit to cut the hole and filed out the rough edges. Took about 30 minutes and other than a couple of scratches from loosing control of the small file I think it looks good.

I've been reading about PCI cards and obviously can't use a PCI-e card (unless I'm all wrong about the slot where the current TV card is in) the newest one from Hauppaugh is the WinTV-HVR-1150 PCI hybrid TV tuner and looks like it just might work. Of course that means modifying or building a cover plate.
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post #1145 of 1158 Old 08-29-2014, 12:37 PM
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I replaced the Hauppauge and ATI TV tuner card combination with a single Hauppauge 1150. I did not have to alter my cover plate either. Absolutely no change as I still can't see other channels. However, using WinTV that came with the new card, all of the channels with a usable signal were available. I thought about simply using WinTV until I noticed the CPU running at 90%+ and the shows would occasionally stutter.

This morning I was walking through all of the options and figured mine out, it's simple. For those using Win 7 and Media Center give this a try, no hacking involved.


Launch Media Center, go to: Tasks, Settings, TV, Guide, Edit Channels, Auto Select. The process on my system took approximately 30 minutes so be patient.



After it finished I went back and checked the channels and they are ALL available through Media Center now. And when I click "record", it records like it should. I then went back and "unchecked" the channels I don't want showing up on the guide. Life is good again.


BTW, running the Auto Select found seven additional channels called "Internet Channels" for news, sports, drama, comedy, etc. and assigned them channels 9000 through 9006. I don't know how to access them but I'll be working on it next.


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post #1146 of 1158 Old 08-29-2014, 07:52 PM
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Oh great. Another breakdown. Tonight my HP will not output video. It sounds like it is not even booting. Has two beeps, then one long beep. That must be the BIOS code for "broken".

If it's the video card, is there (a new) one that will fit in here, and will record 2 digital channels at once?
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post #1147 of 1158 Old 09-01-2014, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
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@ Amazing DJ,

From HP's site:

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/d...22&lc=en&cc=uk

2 shorts and 1 long indicate a video card problem of some kind. (Disclaimer: Open your HTPC at your own risk!) You might want to try re-seating the video card in the PCI-E socket. It may have come loose. Other than that, if you have a spare PCI-E video card lying around, you could try putting that in place to see if you get any video output. I've never tried a full-height card in mine, so I have no idea if that would be a good idea, but it's all I can think of at the moment.

There are several video cards available that will fit. I use an ATI EAH 4550, others use the GeForce GT 610, I'm considering upgrading to the ATI 6450 series, etc. Look at the low-profile video cards, you should be able to find one that will work for you if you want to upgrade.

However, I am puzzled by your requirement that it "record 2 digital channels at once." That's the function of the video capture cards, not the video card itself. Am I misreading your question?

BW
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post #1148 of 1158 Old 09-02-2014, 06:31 AM
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I remember viewing this thread a while back as I was considering what to do with my HP z545 ... ultimately, I've decided that I have too many projects going on, so I'm going to part it out to help keep someone else's going.

More details here:
Parting Out: HP z545 HTPC, all original
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post #1149 of 1158 Old 10-05-2014, 08:46 PM
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I sort of "upgraded" my unit's wireless antenna. This upgrade would apply to any of these models Z545, Z555, Z556, Z558, Z560, Z565. The original wireless antenna was a black plastic antenna with an extension wire as part of the assembly. I would often need to relocate the antenna due to frequent bouts with low signal. One day, my antenna failed altogether with NO bars of signal strength showing on the display. In fact, I could get one bar if I totally removed the stock antenna from the back of my HPZ560. That meant my antenna (or the integrated long length of wire) was broken.

I simply replaced the stock antenna with an antenna off an old D-Link router. Now I have consistently good wireless signal strength. And this little white antenna doesn't seem to care which direction I point it. It just WORKS.
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post #1150 of 1158 Old 10-08-2014, 11:37 PM
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My stock video card died on my HP Z560. It made no video and just gave the beep codes for "bad video". On the advice of this forum, I purchased a new video card from a seller on Ebay. I got an MSI Geforce GT 610. It worked out GREAT in my XP Media Center Edition 2002 computer. This new video card has 2GB memory, an improvement over the stock card which had only 256MB.

Here are the minor steps you have to do to make it fit:
(1) Grab the new video card. Unscrew the full-height connector plate on the back.
(2) Modify the half-height connector plate that ships with the new card a little bit.

Photo shows a half-height video card connector plate after some simple modifications, ready to install.
The procedure is SMASH, DRILL, BEND.


(a) SMASH Take the top edge of the half-height plate. Don't put it on the new card yet. Stick the plate in a workbench vise and smash the 90-degree angled tab flat.
(b) DRILL The yellow arrows indicate screw holes which we will be concerned with to make the new card line up. Borrow the black plate off the old dead stock card and hold it up against the new half-height plate. Mark the place where the top screw should be. Punch it with a punch. Drill out a little screw hole.
(c) BEND Put the plate back in the vise and bend some of the top of it AWAY so it will fit the computer case. Bend the plate towards the card as shown in the photo.
(d) Put the modified plate on the new video card.
(3) Install the video card in the computer, power it up, and notice no more beeps for "bad video" on bootup. Yay!
(a) Install a screw in the top hole you made. This screw holds the top of the card to the case so it doesn't shift.

Next, install the driver. But HOLD UP if you are running the good old Windows XP MCE 2002. The MSI website driver requires the installation of .NET Framework 4.0 which is NOT compatible with XP MCE. Instead, I located a driver program on the NVIDIA website. During install, pick CUSTOM and UN-check the installation of .NET Framework 4.0. You never want that .NET Framework 4.0 on an XP MCE computer unless you want it to hang during installation, corrupt your XP installation, break your Media Center's Channel Program Guide and generally make your hair fall out.

The NVIDIA "custom" choice will install the driver and a few other elements. Then Windows will detect an NVIDIA audio driver followed by an NVIDIA video driver. Install and reboot.

This video card upgrade is ideal if you use HDMI with a projector. You will have video out the HDMI jack, and the audio will still come out the LEFT/RIGHT RCA jacks on the back of the computer. Nice. However, I understand that if you take the audio off the HDMI connector, this video card upgrade will not serve you well. There will be no sound.

What I noticed after doing this upgrade:
* video works again
* the fan on this video card is quiet
* the video looks really good
* the computer's sound connector wires on the top edge of the old card have nowhere to plug in on this new card. I just laid them in the computer case, don't need them
* the VGA connector on the new card has nowhere to go. I just laid that inside the computer case too. If I wanted to, I could Dremel out a D-shaped hole in the back of the computer case for it. But hey, who wants to fill their computer innards with random bits of metal shavings. Not me, not today.
* During installation, I did not think to look for a driver CD in the box under the packing material. I ended up getting a driver off the NVIDIA website anyway, rather than use an MSI driver.
* this new video card did not heal my machine's problems with DVD playback. I still suffer with choppy video playback and clicking audio on audio peaks. But no problem. I gave up on the internal DVD drive a long time ago. I play BLU-RAYS through an external player to my projector, through an external HDMI switcher.

If you do this upgrade, let me know how it went!
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post #1151 of 1158 Old 11-24-2014, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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@ Amazing DJ,

Sounds like some fun times. Glad it worked out for you. So, the GT610 has no audio out on the HDMI channel? Bummer.

I've been busy with mine as well. A local fellow on Craigslist was selling an Asus ATI HD 5450 for $10, so I snapped that up quick! I installed it, and reloaded the z555 with the Windows 10 Technical Preview, 32-bit edition. Results so far:

1. Boot time is quick! I replaced the hard drive with an IDE drive, and even with that it comes up from cold start relatively fast.

2. No media center trials yet (Still to come), so the front panel just displays the standard boot message.

3. I installed XBMC for Windows. Playback of ripped DVD, Blu Ray, and 3D Blu Ray is very smooth

4. I installed Stereoscopic Player. It will play the 3D rips in 3D over-and-under mode, but playback is VERY choppy.

And the following big disappointment:

Even with a different graphics card and a different OS, I still get the dreaded Code 12 - Not enough free resources for the video card's on-board audio device. So, no audio over HDMI. I have the motherboard audio disabled, and am sure that it would work over S/PDIF optical if I enabled it, but I so much want audio over HDMI. But so far, only XBMC for Linux will allow this to function.

I'm going to go device by device down the entire list and disable EVERYTHING until I find out which device is causing this. It's unconscionable that it's this difficult to trace.

Next: NetFlix and DVR integration under Win10.

BW
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post #1152 of 1158 Old 01-02-2015, 02:57 PM
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So......Windows 10?

Over the holidays I tried installing Windows 10 Tech Preview on a Z565 I recently purchased - but it would hang and not allow me to install the OS (I would get the blue Windows splash screen - but nothing further). My intention was to try it along with some Media Center alternatives (Kodi - which used to be XBMC for example)....but never got it working.

How did you install it, BigWorm? Did you boot into Windows and install/upgrade or from DVD/USB?


The system I'm running has an ATI 6450 video card, 3gb RAM, SATA Blu-Ray Drive and an upgraded 2TB HD....components all working perfectly with Windows 7 x86.


With Arcsoft ending support of TMT, what is the best thing to use for Blu-Ray playback? I never really had good results with PowerDVD....

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post #1153 of 1158 Old 02-06-2015, 06:37 PM
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Man! I've been following this thread here and there but I'm very glad that it is still alive.

I have had my z556 for a few years now and have recently been able to make it usable. When I picked it up it was stock with about 1GB of ram and no tuner cards.

What I have done in the last few months:
-Upgraded to 2GB of ram
-Windows 7
-EVGA Nvidia GT 430 video card
-2 Asus PS3-110 tuner cards

Works great!! Love it!!

It has been fun! I'll have to take some pictures of the build. I am going to ditch the original PCI card plate and make my own to accomodate my two tuner cards and some unknown card. Also I made my own plate to mount the new video card with HDMI.

My Problem: The Nvidia GT 430 has audio on the HDMI port. Has anyone gotten audio to work on the HDMI port on any card? I can't figure it out for the life of me. Windows recognizes it in the device manager but the sounds menu doesn't show anything but the Realtek audio. Anyone have a clue?
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post #1154 of 1158 Old 02-07-2015, 04:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazardsneon View Post
Man! I've been following this thread here and there but I'm very glad that it is still alive.

I have had my z556 for a few years now and have recently been able to make it usable. When I picked it up it was stock with about 1GB of ram and no tuner cards.

What I have done in the last few months:
-Upgraded to 2GB of ram
-Windows 7
-EVGA Nvidia GT 430 video card
-2 Asus PS3-110 tuner cards

Works great!! Love it!!

It has been fun! I'll have to take some pictures of the build. I am going to ditch the original PCI card plate and make my own to accomodate my two tuner cards and some unknown card. Also I made my own plate to mount the new video card with HDMI.

My Problem: The Nvidia GT 430 has audio on the HDMI port. Has anyone gotten audio to work on the HDMI port on any card? I can't figure it out for the life of me. Windows recognizes it in the device manager but the sounds menu doesn't show anything but the Realtek audio. Anyone have a clue?
I don't use mine very much these days but it still works well.


As I recall when I upgraded my video card to HDMI I had to take the PCM audio off the motherboard and run the cable directly to the video card.
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post #1155 of 1158 Old 02-08-2015, 08:34 PM
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So, I am having resource issues also. Under System Devices in the Device Manager, I have an HD audio controller that is in error state with code 12 and it is in the same location as the video card. Using this HWinfo program confirmed that it is the HD audio controller on the video card.

Did you have any luck on this BigWorm?

I would really like to get to the bottom of this issue. If you have had this issue can you please PM me your version of Windows OS, model, and RAM?

I'm not sure if the z565 or z560 were able to have more than 2GB of RAM but has anyone had a one with more than the 2GB and had this same issue in Windows?
I ask because I was told on sevenforums.com that it could be because of the lack of RAM. Also, I was told that the PSU doesn't supply enough power. However, watching task manager, I haven't seen the memory max out and I'm doubtful of the RAM or PSU being the issue.
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post #1156 of 1158 Old 03-20-2015, 01:30 AM
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Z5xx power supply / converting videos / trackball

Hello Z5xx Diehards,


I have followed everyone's posts here for several years, as a reference source of sorts whenever I am perplexed looking for solutions with each generation of Z's I have (Z555, Z558, Z560, & Z565). Thank-You all for your trial & error to solution details which improve our z's performance & longevity. Now I need to reach out to you Gurus for some fine tuning.


Power Supply-
In post 1119, Amazing DJ in reply to Arden Prinz in reply to Sean denotes the wiring to the front panel display. I have purchased a 300 Watt power supply and am wondering if the color coded values are industry standard voltages, meaning just pair up like color wires & tap / splice together. What throws me off is the "Grey=> Power Good", as what does power good mean? Is this connection to check for power, just like if a fan is disconnected or memory not secure in place, the Z will not start up? And after some thought, I believe connecting the P-6 wires to a 24 pin wire motherboard extension is better than directly onto the new power supply, as you do this once and it's always ready to go instead of soldering or crimping with each new power supply. The store (Fry's) had both an 6" & 12" extension for under $10 each. I also purchased T connectors, which will crimp in line with the 24 pin wire extension with the P-6 parallel together (sold in package of 6 / had to buy 2 packages @ $3 each / everything under $60). Please excuse my novice terminology & computer know how, however, I've swapped out these Hipro power supplies so many times, I've got it down to about 15 minutes each transplant (might have done well on an assembly line somewhere ... no, forget that!). I plan on improvising anchoring the power supply down with cable ties, secure, yet a snip will free it if need be. I also like the AC power connector is where the Hipro exhaust fan was, so easy to connect. The new power supply exhaust fan positioning looks best pointed toward inside of cabinet, however, if the cover is left off or a section above the power supply is cut open, up with the exhaust & out of the interior is best, as heat is the number 1 enemy with boards, overheating & blowing out capacitors as I have experienced on a Z555. I found leaving the cabinet cover off and using a 6 inch stand-up office desk fan attached to a Craftsman automatic power switch (model #24031 ) which circulates cooler air over the entire open cabinet works very well versus the high end internal fan noise within a closed cabinet. So just match up wire colors & splice together?


Originally Posted by ArdenPrinz View Post
Hi Sean,
You:
After replacing the power supply 3 times in my z558, I followed your lead and bought a larger power supply with a higher wattage rating and located it outside of the cabinet (behind my z558). Moving the power supply out of the cabinet opens up some space where the old power supply was located... perhaps room for another internal hard disk drive?
I salvaged the connector and wires from the old failed power supply and spliced it into the wires leading to the 24-pin main motherboard connector.
The wire colors / signals for that other connector (which is labeled P6) are:
Purple => +5 VDC Standby
Black => Ground
Red => +5VDC
Black => Ground
Yellow => +12 VDC
Black => Ground
Grey => Power Good

Thanks ArdenPrinz. You nailed the power supply swap. A stock HIPRO power supply now costs about $200. My HP Z560 has gone through 2 of them already, even though I am plugged into a good UPS. The last one failed while I was doing a normal power-up of the HP Z560. So I went for the $35 Seasonic power supply as a replacement.
Here is a video showing the Seasonic's relative size, and how to splice the daughterboard "P6" wire pigtail into the Seasonic.
As you can see, I didn't purchase or use an extender pigtail. I spliced directly into the big connector wires, using the color scheme you indicated. There are only 7 wires to solder. Simply "T" the P6 pigtail wires into the existing power supply wires. Done! My unit is back up and running. It is quieter and cooler than ever.


Connecting analog VHS & 8mm video to inputs-


I have video tapes I would like to convert to digital via inputs on cabinet. How do I enable to recognize real time video & record it on the hard drive? I can't get the RCA or S-video input function to work, but I can get the RF input to work when tuned to channel 3/4; what gives? I believe changing the signal around degrades it with each translation. Also, if I play my tapes directly on my tv, they fill the screen vs through the Z's RF input, the resolution or scaling has the right and left areas on the screen black. If a direct RCA / S-video solution is not known here, how would I go about adjusting what I have with RF input in the control panel display settings to have full screen image the same as when connected directly to the tv? I would love to upload videos onto YouTube or at least DVD 'em for future use.


Keyboard & Trackball-


Who else has trackball problems? I've taken the ring off & cleaned the contacts, roughened up the ball with fine sandpaper, even found exact size metal bearings & eventually roughened them up with short lived results. I'm ready to dab some STP oil treatment on the rollers to have them stick as an experiment, as in my youth, dabbing slot car wheels with STP would have them grip the track quite well. Any thoughts on this or STP stickiness equivalent? How wonderful these keyboards would be if the ball area was replaced with a touchpad, or left/right click buttons & touchpad areas were interchangeable snap-in controls between left & right sides for left or right handed (or handicapped) people's choice of which side tracking & clicking more comfortable with. And why not have a built in keyboard recharging cradle on top of cabinet, where the keyboard is always at 100% ready for use, perhaps USB to update if necessary. Likewise, hand held remote


I'm not yet going to "jump ship" & abandon this fine design, but I do have my eyes on Channel Master DVR+ in it's 1st generation & reviews thereof (mixed with positive bias). Perhaps 2nd generation will lure me, but there is nothing I am aware of that can beat this family of Z's all around usefulness.


Regards All,
Dave
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post #1157 of 1158 Old 04-17-2015, 07:17 AM
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BUMP. Keeping this glorious thread alive. Anyone doing anything fun with their Zxxx units?

Fun fact: I had a motherboard replacement done on mine about 5 years ago, and I saved the dead mobo. I ended up repairing the motherboard, and now it's running as the guts of my MAME cabinet in my arcade.

I loved these units. I sold my last one and built my own HTPC out of a larger case about 3 years ago, and have since moved it to a new location where I could use a smaller form-factor PC. I should start looking around for one of these again. Such great units, these are.
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post #1158 of 1158 Old 04-17-2015, 07:46 AM
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I'm still trying to live the dream and keep my z556 alive and update it.

My place of work was going through their computer stuff and came across 4 1GB sticks of DDR. So, boom, I found that I can put 4GB of ram in my z556. I don't remember the exact amount that is actually recognizes but it was around 3.5GB.

Using the XP drivers for the Front panel display has been kind of flaky lately so I have also been looking into different displays and software like the LCD Smartie:
http://forums.lcdsmartie.org/

I am debating a few different avenues to upgrade it.

1 - Buy a z565 MOBO. This allows DDR2 memory vs. DDR and a 64 bit OS because it supports Core2Duo. Also, there are Windows Vista drivers for the front panel and hopefully it might fix the pesky resource issue that doesn't allow audio to be available on the HDMI port on the video card.

2 - Carve out the back of the case/modify the back of the case to allow the standard uATX form MOBO to be installed. This would allow for upgrade ability for a while as long as the PCIe for the video card lines up and the PCI slot for the riser card lines up. I have already found some MOBOs that would work I just haven't popped on any yet.

I'm sure that is more than you wanted to know but you guys are the only ones who understand

Only time will tell what I will actually be able to get done.
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