Powermac 9600 TV Tuner?

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Joined: May 11 2007
Posts: 74

I have a pretty stock 9600 sitting in my closet. I need to order an ADB mouse before I start to use it.
I think it only had 32megabytes of ram, and it was running 8.1.

My question, as you may surmise, is how can I turn it into a tv tuner that can record a few tv shows? What kind of card for TV should I get, how much ram, how big a hard drive, and what OS should I run?

I know this thing is pretty upgradeable, but I will be on a budget.

Thanks!

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
Posts: 1434
OS and RAM would depend on wh

OS and RAM would depend on what else you want to do with it besides watch TV. Hard drive would depend on how much recording you'll be doing. First, we're talking about cable input, not across the now HDTV airways, right? Options I'm familiar with for TV: ATI XClaimVR video card (Rage Pro or Rage 128) plus the purple (don't get the older white) Xclaim TV tuner box, the Formac PCI tv tuner card, or the Formac Studio TV box. Some other manufacturers made PCI cards and boxes too. I don't remember which earliest OS they work with, but all of them work with OS 9. The Rage Pro should work with OS 8.1. You might even get away with 32mb RAM with just 8.1 and the Rage Pro. If you go for the XclaimVR video card with the Xclaim tv box, make sure you get the special S-video cable that comes with the tv box. Without it, the box is useless.

But my suggestion, kick it up to OS 9.2, 128mb RAM (but more the merrier, and much more the better, interleaved), maybe a 10GB hard drive, and a PCI USB 1 card, and then actually enjoy that old machine. And, of course, a G4 daughter card--but when you start investing this much, the question of "why not just buying a better machine" begins.

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Joined: Jan 14 2007
Posts: 208
My experience

Hey,

I have a Beige G3 upped to 400Mhz G4, 184MB of RAM and an 80 gig HD. It has the AV card and I run a VCR into the Mac. I don't have cable service but I do have a cable and that makes a wonderful antenna. So I can watch TV and VHS tapes on the Beige. All that's on it in terms of software is the stock Apple video player app. Frankly it's not good enough to tape shows off TV. The quality is very iffy. VLC is a good program and I have it on my G5 iMac but it don't hunt in OS 9. So before you spend all the time on getting the hardware ready, make sure you have software that will allow capturing a decent image.

William
www.williamahearn.com

Hokusai's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 256
ixTV

I don't know about any of the other alternatives, but I have some personal experience using an ixMicro TV tune card. I think it was called an ixTV or something. I don't have it now but it seemed to work pretty good for watching TV on my Mac of the time.

I did record some TV every now and then. It was tough finding a codec to record with that would balance my limited hard drive space with it not dropping any frames or anything. I think this was on my B&W G3 when I only had a 450MHz G3 in it. I don't know how good recording would fare in a 9600, though.

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Joined: May 11 2007
Posts: 74
Thanks!

Fantastic info to get started. Thanks!

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DrBunsen's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 946
Processor speed is not so muc

Processor speed is not so much a problem as hard drive size and speed. If you want cheap, fast and large hard drives, I'd recommend getting a PCI IDE/ATA or SATA card and the largest, fastest hard drive you can afford. This will also let you add an ATAPI or SATA DVD burner if you want.

Definitely some more RAM wouldn't hurt.

http://eshop.macsales.com has consistently had the best prices for RAM - even after checking ebay I went there. The 9600 will take matched pairs and interleave them for a bit faster memory performance. It apparently speeds up the machine about 10%.

If you use hit Memory up the top bar and then use the "Choose Your Computer Type" menu on the right, you'll be shown the right type of RAM to order. While you're there, you might as well check out their prices for PCI ATA and SATA cards, and G3 upgrades if you're feeling spendy.

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