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  HP Media Centre m7160n and m7170n Photosmart PCs
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Product Review - by Paul Tansey

HP Media Centre m7160n and m7170n Photosmart PCs

Anyone who loves TV, video, photos and music appreciates the control and flexibility a versatile Media Centre PC affords them. The HP Media Centre m7160n and m7170m Photosmart PCs, the latest in HP's Media Centre line-up, sport even more processing power and flexibility than previous models.

Building on a Successful Model
Each of these finely-tuned multimedia machines has a massive 250GB 7200RPM hard drive, 2MB of level 2 cache, 1GB of RAM (expandable to 4GB) and an 800MHz front side bus, all key elements for handling multimedia tasks, especially video recording and playback.

Included is a built-in tuner - compatible with over-the-air (OTA) broadcasts, cable, digital cable and satellite TV – for personal video recorder (PVR) operation. You can freeze, rewind and replay live TV or radio, skipping ahead to rejoin the live feed, and can record with more control and flexibility than ever before.

You get six high-speed USB 2.0 ports, two FireWire® ports and a 9-in-1 memory card reader. The m7170n includes composite video, S-Video and audio inputs. These computers run Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Centre Edition (MCE) 2005, fully optimized for multimedia performance.

In addition to a DVD-ROM drive, there is a dual-layer 16x DVD+/-RW drive featuring LightScribe, which lets you add professional-looking labels directly to the surface of your discs. While the m7170n has an extra 5.25" drive bay for additional storage options, both the m7160n and m7170n can accommodate a removable HP Personal Media Drive, great for backups or taking your media with you.

A Media Centre to the Core(s)
The key feature that sets this latest generation of Media Centre PCs apart from their predecessors is the dual-core Intel® Pentium® D processor. In truth, the m7160n's 2.8GHz D820 and the m7170n's 3.0GHz D830 are each actually two processors in one.

The dual-core processors each have two separate execution cores, which work like two individual processors, with their own cache and other operational resources. What this means to you is blazing speed for everyday functions, with little if any performance hit when you multitask. The dual cores also make it possible for multiple users to simultaneously access data or functionality (via remote login) when your PC is connected to a network.

The Heart of Your Wireless Home
You can make the most of the new generation of Media Centre PCs by linking your PC with other devices around your house. Add one or more Media Centre Extenders to your network to connect any displays, TVs or even your Xbox through your wired or wireless network. Then you can enjoy your music, photos, recorded TV shows and more throughout your home.