View Full Version : TV Card in a 7500 w/ XLR8 G3 400MHz

01-01-2002, 09:13 PM
Using the Video in and a TV card? or not? or what? into a PCI slot of my 7500 w/ the XLR8 G3 400MHz upgrade, it also has a VooDoo 3/3000. FYI

and use a VCR as a tuner and watch TV on the computer screen?

What hardware/software costs are involved - if you can even do this. If you can is the pitcure good?



01-20-2002, 05:47 AM
The 7500 has AV jacks in the back, but I can't remember whether they're input jacks or output jacks. If they're input jacks, you're set - just plug in your equipment and go (except for installing Apple Video Player or BTV). If they're output jacks, you'd have to get a video input card. As far as PCI video input cards go, the only one I know of that's still on the market is Formac's ProTV card (http://www.formac.com/) unless you can find a used ixMicro ixTV card. Beware that neither product is compatible with OS X.

01-20-2002, 09:14 AM
rwm, I have a 7500, mine has powerlogix G3 upgrade (220/110 512k L2) and it is overclocked to 300MHz. anyway, i have tried to get TV input to work, i have done it with iXTV and ProTV, still have both cards if you are interested in buying either. at any rate, there were issues in the display. 640 x 480 is the max that will work and as the signal on the monitor showed movement, the pixels would blur. also, the center of the video image was distorted. it was visible and you could see what was shown but it was kind of blurry. I am trying to remember exactly how to discribe it but I have since removed the cards and most recently tried the formac ProTV card in my B/W G3 350MHz and it works much, much, much better. very little pixel blurring when the video is in motion and no distortion in the center of the image. my thought was that it was an issue of onboard video ram and graphics acceleration. the B/W has the ATI card and the 7500 only has 2MB of video RAM. jsut another by the way, i once tried to run the cable signal thru my VCR and use the VCR as a tuner, this worked with the onboard video in of the 7500, but the machine would crash when i attempted to get out of this configuration after any length of time using it. it just froze and i had to use the reset switch to reboot.

01-20-2002, 03:03 PM
Thanks, - My plans are to purchase a G4 400/450/466/533 with my tax return - with an AGP port and 100MHz bus. Keep the 7500 as a music/backup/OS9.1/second internet, etc. machine. Works to good to get rid of it. I don't require a lot of power or speed. Except this TV thought/project and try some video editing - just to learn how.

The 7500 has the XLR8 G3 400MHz (400/267 1MB Backside cache)- with 288 megs RAM, and 4 MEGS on board Video RAM, the Voodoo 3/3000 in a PCI slot, Miles2 + 10k 18gig Cheetah, OS 9.1.

So I was going to use the new G4 and let my old 7500 play music or TV/Football while I am working on the computer - I don't need "super quality" my main TV's in the next room 12' away if I really want TV. Its just so I can see most of whats going on. Would my extra MHz, Video card, HD config., compensate enough to help overcome difference in the 7500 vs B/W G3?? The 7500's slower bus and ram processing, etc... HD setup should be similar right or not?? I am asking too much of the 7500?

What would work best - use the G4 for everything. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif


[This message has been edited by rwm (edited 20 January 2002).]

01-20-2002, 05:14 PM
I watch TV (tuned through my VCR) through my 8500's S-video input jack all the time (it helps that I have a 20" monitor). The quality is nice and crisp when using the S-video input, but as bif mentions, there can be some artifacts when watching fast motion in 640x480. Basically the picture looks interlaced and is exacerbated by the fast motion. It might sound bad, but I've grown quite used to it, and from a distance it isn't so noticeable. 320x240, by the way, has no problems whatsoever. Also with my set up, I can capture (no compression) at pretty much full framerate (30 fps) in millions of colors to my hard drive with no problems. I don't get any distortion with my setup, but I know it's a lot better than my brother's beige G3/ixTV combination (which lacks the S-video connector). If you plan to do video editing more than once in a long while, I'd suggest that you look into Firewire DV.

01-20-2002, 05:54 PM
My 7500 only has RCA video inputs no S-video. S-Video would come via a card right?

If it's even worth it


[This message has been edited by rwm (edited 20 January 2002).]

01-21-2002, 05:53 AM
You're 7500 should have S-video input. It's a weird looking port - it looks like an ADB jack (in fact S-video and ADB cables are interchangeable). The only thing is that you have to have something that can send video into your computer through S-video (DVD players and high end VCR's typically have S-video jacks).

01-21-2002, 10:33 AM
yea, the 7500 should have s video in, mine does. on the back of the machine there are the RCA jacks, white, red, yellow for the tow sound channels and yellow for video in. right below this is the s video in. next to them you see the red and white RCA jacks for the two sound channel output, no video out on the 7500.
just my 2 cents but i think your cheapest option is a VCR that has S video out jacks, or just some RCA out jacks. that way you have a remote control to tune your TV signal and the 7500 won't have to process tuning, just display video input. plus the VCR can be used for other things.

01-21-2002, 10:50 AM
I have had a couple 7500 systems. The video in works good - even the standard yellow RCA video, but you have to use this with your onboard video card or else it will redraw very, very slowly - even at low resolution (320x240). I do not remember testing the S-Video much. I do have a LaserDisc player, but that was a long time ago.

The ATI RAGE128VR card is nice - it has more options, but it does not play well with other ATI cards. VCRs with S-Video are fairly cheap these days and so are DVD players - which can play MP3s, DVDs, DVD-Rs, CDs, etc...

I think the ixTV works - in MacOS 8.6 and less. They went out of business before they could update their drivers. Their standard display cards are a good buy for slow pci video with a VGA connector.

01-21-2002, 12:18 PM

I didn't know that S-video and ADB cables are interchangeable. Learn something new every day. k

01-21-2002, 03:40 PM
Yes the 7500 has the smaller S-video jack - right below the video inputs - I was thinking that it did but put a mirror behind it and got thinking that that jack was not the "S-Video jack" as I pitcured in my head. Just had not looked it up to see what it was.

So I should be able to give it a try just using a VCR to the RCA/S-Video and 4 megs of on board VRAM. My VooDoo card does not help enhance the process. Then if I get semi-serious - maybe a cheap/effective TV card.

Allways Thanks http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

01-21-2002, 04:55 PM
Regarding the interchangeability of S-video and ADB - I actually found that information out when I was buying S-video cables from a parts catalog, and on rare occasions when I need to place my keyboard ridiculously far away from my computer, I'll use my 15 foot S-video cable to hook up my keyboard.

01-21-2002, 07:00 PM

I could not resist sending you this post that I read today, especially since you mentioned the VCR route--this if you really want to be cheap. But if you dont want to depend on external clutter--invest in the ATI "All in Wonder" card and be done with it. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif This will save a lot of headaches and poor performance.
"From: Ed_R_Mitchell
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 09:58:18 -0600
Subject: IXMICRO ixTV/FM Card-alternate TV solutions

Hi Ric,

Thanks for the great work-always enjoy your site!

Concerning the whole TV-on-the-Mac: This may be old news, but if you have an AV-Mac (clue: one with RCA video in/out) and your are a cheap guy like me, get a busted VCR at a yard sale and use it as a tuner. I've got an old 13-inch Apple monitor hooked up to the internal video of my 8500/150 (I use another, beefer card for my main 17-inch monitor). I watch TV all the time whilst computing and it works great. I've got 200 megs of ram & I run OS 8.6, so this may be why it never crashes.

Although this may be expensive to piece togther, if you've got the pieces you can be creative and get the job done spending less than $10 on an old VCR. Switching channels is easy--I press the buttons on the VCR face.

The only other problem is I get left only sound--I need to get a RCA one-to-two splitter at Radio Shack to make the sound come out of both computer speakers, and that will give me mono sound only again. I guess I could have better sound-in by using an RCA stereo (two outputs)-to-stereo microphone attachment to hook into the Mac's stereo microphone input, if one is made. Again--a trip to Radio Shack.

Details: hook your cable/antenna coaxial up to the VCR in, hook the RCA out from the VCR to video in of the Mac, use Picture-in-Picture (Shareware from Johnny Lee that makes a moveable video window available that is ALWAYS on top on ANY app, except Virtual PC) or Apple's TV viewer.

Thanks-Ed Mitchell"

P.S. You get what you pay for... you have a nice setup--sufficent Ram, nice video and G3 card. A nice TV card might be a wise investmet over the cheapie route. Best wishes.

01-23-2002, 03:15 PM
Thank you all. I have a lot of info to work with now.


02-22-2002, 06:07 PM

I tested out the VCR using, RCA cables and Apple Video Player. I couldnt get the sound to work, not sure why. This cheapie route does not allow fo the use of the third party video card so you have to use the on-board video port instead. This is what I didnt like since the whole purpose of using a video card is to get better video. I found this info on ATI's site.

After installing a PCI graphics adapter, one of two issues may be experienced:

* Apple TV will perform poorly
* The Video Digitizer may not be found or fails to initialize

The Apple TV/FM Radio System utilizes the video-in port of the integrated (onboard) display adapter. In order to function correctly, a monitor must be attached to the onboard display adapter. Additionally, the Apple Video Player and menu bar must be on this monitor.

It may be possible to view the TV image on a monitor attached to a secondary graphics adapter, but only if the mainboard adapter is also enabled (i.e. dual monitor setup). However, getting the image onto the secondary monitor requires the TV image to be transferred along the PCI bus. The amount of data and the rate at which it must be transferred, is greater than the PCI bus is capable of sustaining, resulting in the frame rate and clarity of the TV image being degraded.

I was happy to see that it works, but getting a TV card is the way to go. I think I am going to test out BTV software to see what it does. Maybe it will work with my video card.

I have yet to test out VideoFx. I will let you know how this works out.

[This message has been edited by angela (edited 22 February 2002).]

02-24-2002, 06:53 PM
Sometimes, Apple Video Player doesn't play any sound through because the sound input source is incorrectly chosen. Your sound input source should be set to RCA in (assuming you're using the RCA jacks in the back of the computer). On my 8500, it happens all the time that when I'm opening AVP or BTV, the program doesn't switch over to RCA in so I have to do it manually.

And yes, the monitor you're watching your video on should be attached to your built-in video port to get the smoothest video. Although PCI video cards are faster at 2D/3D tasks, something about the way the video stuff works makes it work best on the built-in port. In my case of dual monitors, it's not so bad - I watch TV on my slower (but better for TV) built-in video port and work off of my faster and higher resolution PCI video card.

02-24-2002, 08:58 PM
You are absolutely correct that built-in works more smoothly, as opposed to the third party video card. The only exception is using cable TV which bypasses the need for video cards because the signal sends great video regardless of how the monitor is attached or whether your equipment is cheap or fabulous. Just remember, if you dont have cable, built-in is the only way to get the Apple View Player to work. With no cable signal, I would bypass the VCR route completely because the antennna is too weak in my area which also means trying to pick up channels to watch is extemely limited. In this case, having to deal with the old antenna would drive me crazy.

Good point about Apple Video Player doesnt play sound if the settings are not done correctly. I learned this the hard way. This is probably why it took me so long to finish setting up yesterday. I had to figure out how to use the RCA cables on the VCR because I dont have jacks on the back of the 7500, just the microphone jack.

[This message has been edited by angela (edited 24 February 2002).]