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Updating my G-4 466 DA . . . finally! =8-/


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HEY, gang!

 

I'm thinking about getting a 22-36" digital flat panel HDTV. 8-o I doubt the stock Video Card in my G-4 466 Digital Audio will drive the RGB inputs on one of these babies at standard HDTV resolution. (1368 x 768 IIRC?) ISTR my stock video card didn't handle some kind of video acceleration under some older version or other of OSX way back in the day when I was setting up double booting.

 

What's the best video card for the most recent STABLE version of OSX that will run on my paleolithic CPU and output standard resolution to the RGB ports on a new HDTV?

 

How well do HDTVs work as primary monitors? Would I be better off sticking with my 21" Radius CRT? What kind of refresh rate (or whatever they call it on HDTVs) would I require?

 

Do modern video cards output directly to HDI (?) so I could use RGB (modern video cards still offer that, don't they? :?:) output for the Radius and use the HDTV as a second monitor?

 

jt - OSX semi-noob! :I

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well honestly the default video card will probably be fine. if it can push 1600x1200 then 1368x768 will hardly be a stretch for it.

 

But if you do want to upgrade you are unfortunately stuck with eBay or the like, as the 9200 and 9800, the last AGP4x cards being made, are no longer in production.

I believe refresh rate is a term for CRT's, as the electron gun must hit every phosphor every so often to "refresh" it so it doesn't fade out.

 

I suspect flat panel technology uses a different method which does not involve any sort of refresh rate.

Actually the term is Response Time, the time it takes for the molecules behind the RGB filter to align for any given color combination. Typically its around 5-15 milliseconds. There is a way that that translates to Hz, hence why if you have an LCD display you can still adjust it to refresh from a typical 60-75Hz. Average is 60Hz.

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My experience is that getting an HD TV to work with a Mac is a major pain in the butt. Unless you've got a DVI->HDMI cable, prepare to do some fiddling with resolutions, SwitchResX or DisplayConverterX.

 

I have tried to connect two iBook G4s, a PowerBook G4 (15" aluminum), and a Digital Audio (dual 533). The processor speed is unimportant, but the video card makes a difference. So far, the DVI connections have been the best. Generally speaking, they are trouble free (if you don't count having a black border). I have a VGA connection on my TV, and that interface is virtually impossible to configure. None of the Macs allow the right resolution out of the box, and they have all required the use of one of the display utilities mentioned above.

 

I think the video cards I've tried are as follows:

Radeon 9200, 32MB (iBook G4 800MHz 12") (VGA)

Radeon 9550, 32MB (iBook G4 1.33GHz 12") (VGA)

Radeon 9700, 128MB (PowerBook G4 1.67GHz 15") (DVI)

Radeon 9000, 64MB (upgraded PowerMac G4 dual 533MHz "Digital Audio") (DVI)

Apparently, I haven't tried any Nvidia cards. That wasn't by design - I just never got around to it. I've got a GeForce4 Ti 4600 in my MDD, but I've never bothered to connect it to my TV because it's too loud. I've also got a Radeon 9600 (128MB AGP 4x/8x pull from a G5 that I doctored to work in AGP 4x Macs) that I've never tried.

 

With the VGA cards, I had to do a lot of playing around with resolutions, refresh rates, "front porches", "back porches", and all sorts of other stuff I had never heard of before. And then I never was able to get 1080i or 1080p out of them. The best I could do was 720p. The DVI cards worked pretty well on the first try, and both gave me 720p and 1080i.

 

So that's my experience. Your mileage may vary.

 

Peace,

Drew

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The stock video card in a Digital Audio is a Rage 128 which should have a VGA port and an ADC port. If you have an ADC->DVI adapter (such as the one made by Belkin) and a DVI->HDMI cable to connect to your TV, it should work fine. The Rage 128 can drive 1920x1200 (according to everymac.com). That's a lot of pixels!

 

Regardless of the video card you choose, I think your best bet is to avoid VGA connections and try to go all digital if at all possible.

 

Peace,

Drew

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Yeah but thats not video playing on screen....

:?:

 

Huh? Obviously one shouldn't expect to play 1080p video on any G4, nevermind a 466MHz one with a Rage 128 video card. I didn't get the impression that was what Trash80 was planning on doing, though. If all you are trying to do is browse the web and use the HD TV as a stand-in for a monitor, you don't need anything beefy to drive it.

 

For the record, playback of MPEG-4 video (roughly 480i) on my dual 533 MHz G4 (a Digital Audio) with a Radeon 9000 worked flawlessly at 720p.

 

Peace,

Drew

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Huh? Obviously one shouldn't expect to play 1080p video on any G4, nevermind a 466MHz one with a Rage 128 video card. I didn't get the impression that was what Trash80 was planning on doing, though. If all you are trying to do is browse the web and use the HD TV as a stand-in for a monitor, you don't need anything beefy to drive it.

 

For the record, playback of MPEG-4 video (roughly 480i) on my dual 533 MHz G4 (a Digital Audio) with a Radeon 9000 worked flawlessly at 720p.

 

Peace,

Drew

Depends on the source. I have a dual 1GHz quicksilver with 1.5GB RAM and a GeForce 4 Ti 4600 and trying to watch Hulu's 480p option brings the machine to its knees. It will do 480 video just fine if its from Quicktime or an AVI file in VLC, but flash-based players just kill it. Although that is not really unexpected I suppose.

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You're dreaming if you think you can decode 720p broadcasts with a G4. According to Elgato, the system requirements for it's EyeTV hybrid TV tuner are:

 

System Requirements

 

* Macintosh® computer with a PowerPC® G4,G5 or Intel Core® processor

* 512 MB of physical RAM

* a built-in USB 2.0 port

* Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later

* Internet connection required to download Program Guide data

 

 

Note: 720p or 1080i HD features require an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Analog TV recorded and processed by a software encoder; quality depends on processor performance.

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You're dreaming if you think you can decode 720p broadcasts with a G4.

Who said anything about playing 720p content? I said I was playing back 480i content on a 720p TV (actually, it's a 1080p TV, but the iBooks were set to use 1280x720).

 

Regarding Hulu, indeed it is no surprise that it chokes. I have played video from Hulu (content also probably 480i, but it is hard to tell exactly what resolution they pick for the content) on my TV at 1920x1080 resolution via my PowerBook G4 (1.67GHz) and Safari 3 and gotten a barely watchable framerate of probably around 10-15fps. Flash is a dog on PowerPC. The same content that chokes a flash-based player works fine in VLC if you can download the original file.

 

To play HD content, you really need at least a fast G5 or an Intel Mac.

 

Peace,

Drew

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You're dreaming if you think you can decode 720p broadcasts with a G4. According to Elgato, the system requirements for it's EyeTV hybrid TV tuner are:

 

System Requirements

 

* Macintosh® computer with a PowerPC® G4,G5 or Intel Core® processor

* 512 MB of physical RAM

* a built-in USB 2.0 port

* Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later

* Internet connection required to download Program Guide data

 

 

Note: 720p or 1080i HD features require an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. Analog TV recorded and processed by a software encoder; quality depends on processor performance.

 

That's what they say but I think they were hedging their bets a little. When my G4 died I wanted to record a TV show while I was out with my Macbook Pro so I tried my B&W G3. It did the job

Admittedly it was a rather tricked out G3 with 1ghz processor, USB 2.0 card and serial ata card with a 500 gb drive. But it ran the EyeTV software, recorded the show and played it back.

 

Wayne

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Thanks for all the suggestions, gang. All I'm trying to do is find new video card that'll support some whatchamacallit acceleration (I can't remember :I ) on some version of OSX I'd wanted to upgrade to back in the day.

 

A Video Card to fully support a relatively current OSX version that'll run with stability on my G-4 466 DA is what I'm really after!

 

From eudimorphodon's post in the parallel thread over on 'fritter, it seems I should probably use a digital output on the card to drive an HDMI (?) input on the Digital TV. I should be looking for an HDTV with "computer settings" options that'll put ALL the native HDTV pixels output from a computer onscreen. He said some HDTV's lack these features and in correcting broadcast overscan problems of edge crud, they can loose the menubar and the other three edges when displaying a computer's output.

 

It also seems best that the card have RGB as I use now, or at least VGA output, to continue driving my current 21" Radius CRT as my primary monitor. I'd just be using the HDTV for things like slide shows, viewing digital photographs, graphics and such.

 

HDTVs I've seen seem to have plenty of analog inputs for my VCR & DVD. I won't be running the computer to decode any kind of video content, I don't even have a DVD drive in the G-4. I 'm a WiFi vagabond, so without any high speed online connection at home, running any offline video content is a null issue.

 

Thanks for the help so far, I'm just trying to tighten up the specifications of what I need for you to help me in this research project.

 

Thanks for all the great input so far!

jt :)

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Actually the term is Response Time, the time it takes for the molecules behind the RGB filter to align for any given color combination. Typically its around 5-15 milliseconds. There is a way that that translates to Hz, hence why if you have an LCD display you can still adjust it to refresh from a typical 60-75Hz. Average is 60Hz.

 

Thanks for the clarification, I'm looking for just this kind of specification for my research.

jt :)

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The stock video card in a Digital Audio is a Rage 128 which should have a VGA port and an ADC port. If you have an ADC->DVI adapter (such as the one made by Belkin) and a DVI->HDMI cable to connect to your TV, it should work fine. The Rage 128 can drive 1920x1200 (according to everymac.com). That's a lot of pixels!

 

But can I specify the exact Width x Height pixel counts for standard HDTV aspect ratios from the Rage 128? :?:

 

Regardless of the video card you choose, I think your best bet is to avoid VGA connections and try to go all digital if at all possible.

 

That's what I was thinking, I'd likely continue using RGB/VGA on the 21" Radius CRT, but will the Rage 128 drive two monitors at once? :-/

 

thanks, alk

jt :b&w:

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No, the Rage 128 can't drive two monitors simultaneously. Plus, it doesn't support Quartz Extreme (the acceleration you mentioned earlier). Pretty much anything else will do Quartz Extreme (any ATI Radeon or nVidia AGP video card with 16MB or more of VRAM). To get two displays simultaneously, you need a GeForce4 MX class video card (or better) from nVidia (typically 64MB or more of VRAM - not to complicate things, but the GeForce2 MX with TwinView and 64MB VRAM will do dual monitors) or an ATI Radeon 9000 (Mac Edition) or better. There may be flashed PC Radeons between the 7000 and 9000 that support dual displays, but Apple never shipped one in a PowerMac, and I'm not familiar with their capabilities.

 

Selecting a resolution (exact Width x Height) and refresh rate is done in the System Preferences. You can't tell the system how many pixels wide the monitor is, you just have to cross your fingers and hope that OS X offers the right combination from built-in settings. If OS X does NOT offer the magic combination, then you'll need to use a tool like DisplayConverterX or SwitchResX to manually specify those settings. It's possible to get just about any HDTV to work with a Mac, but it can be frustrating.

 

Peace,

Drew

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Dual displays is weird. For instance I have a GeForce 3 64MB that came with my DA back in the day, it has SVGA and ADC outs but will only drive one at a time. As alk mentioned though, the Radeon 9000 ME runs dual monitors just fine with the same 64MB RAM.

 

iirc the GeForce 3 is a superior card to the 9000, which was basically a crippled 8500 running at a higher clock speed, yet it will not push two displays at once. Dunno.

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Dual displays is weird. For instance I have a GeForce 3 64MB that came with my DA back in the day, it has SVGA and ADC outs but will only drive one at a time. As alk mentioned though, the Radeon 9000 ME runs dual monitors just fine with the same 64MB RAM.

Thanks, that's just the kind of info I'm looking for in order to start my research! :D

 

I think it was over in the 'fritter thread that I'd posed the notion of using a PCI Graphics Card to drive the HDTV as a computer monitor ONLY. I wouldn't be decoding anything or playing online video on my nonexistant high speed home connection.

 

jt: WiFi Vagabond! :-/

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No, the Rage 128 can't drive two monitors simultaneously. Plus, it doesn't support Quartz Extreme (the acceleration you mentioned earlier). Pretty much anything else will do X (any ATI Radeon or nVidia AGP video card with 16MB or more of VRAM). To get two displays simultaneously, you need a GeForce4 MX class video card (or better) from nVidia (typically 64MB or more of VRAM - not to complicate things, but the GeForce2 MX with TwinView and 64MB VRAM will do dual monitors) or an ATI Radeon 9000 (Mac Edition) or better. There may be flashed PC Radeons between the 7000 and 9000 that support dual displays, but Apple never shipped one in a PowerMac, and I'm not familiar with their capabilities.

AHA! "Quartz Extreme" THAT was the term I couldn't retrieve from my ever graying matter! :I

Is there anything more current that I should be using for my OSX compatability minimum?

 

Selecting a resolution (exact Width x Height) and refresh rate is done in the System Preferences. You can't tell the system how many pixels wide the monitor is, you just have to cross your fingers and hope that OS X offers the right combination from built-in settings. If OS X does NOT offer the magic combination, then you'll need to use a tool like DisplayConverterX or SwitchResX to manually specify those settings. It's possible to get just about any HDTV to work with a Mac, but it can be frustrating.

 

Thanks for the info, has that rat b_____d PowerBook/Mac collector robbed you of any interesting ProtoBooks whilst I was offline (so to speak =8-/) for a while? Like that juicy lil' Mustang that we were both trying to nab? FEH!!!!! =8-P

 

jt ;)

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The other technology in OS X that relates to video acceleration you might hear about these days is Core Image. There isn't much value in pursuing a video card that will support Core Image (Radeon 9600, GeForce FX 5200, or newer), in my opinion. You'll get much better bang-for-the-buck (and possibly noticeable performance improvements) by installing a Quartz Extreme compatible (anything OTHER than the Rage 128 you've got!) video card. QE offloads all the window manager decorations (shadows, genie dock effect, window roll-ups, etc) to the video card instead of to the main CPU. So by installing a QE capable card, you might actually notice a performance increase.

 

A PCI card to drive your Radius display would work fine, but you may as well just look for a dual-display capable AGP video card like the GeForce4 MX. You probably won't save any money by going with a PCI video card, anyway. The only ones that work with OS X are the PCI implementations of the Rage 128, Radeon (original), Radeon 7000, flashed cards between the 7000 and the 9200, and the Radeon 9200. There aren't many choices, and the Radeons (any variety) will cost at least $30. If you keep your eyes open on eBay, you can find an AGP GeForce4 MX for $35 to $50.

 

My eBay winnings have expanded. I now own a PowerBook Mustang of my very own. It cost a penny or two, but it was worth every cent. I've got a prototype 2400c/240 (prototype CPU module in a production 2400c/180), a prototype 3400c/160 (yep, 160 MHz), and a prototype Kanga G3. Only the 2400c and the Mustang will boot. The 3400c is missing a PMU (the connector to mount one was never installed - solder pads are present, but no connector), and the Kanga has GLOD of some sort. I picked up an Apple Set Top Box at some point, too. It doesn't do much, which is pretty typical for these boxes as far as I can tell.

 

I also picked up a pair of Assistive Technology Freestyle tablets derived from the PowerBook 5300c. Those are neat, but really pretty terrible machines. Very cumbersome, heavy, and apparently easily broken. The touch screen is partially defective on both.

 

Oh, I've also got a TAM that I picked up from 4seasonphoto locally. I still don't quite understand why he let it go, but I'm glad he did. I love it to death!

 

The last "bidding war" I was in was for the PowerExpress machine on eBay that was sold by a fellow 'Fritter member (and won by another). I was the 2nd highest bidder for that one. Now, though, I see the right person won it because he is actually equipped to produce flash ROMs to try to boot it! I'm not upset about losing that one.

 

The guy who beat me to the first Mustang (Jococo) hasn't surfaced in a while in any auctions I've been involved in. There are some other folks I see in interesting auctions from time to time. But there don't seem to be too many serious collectors interested in the same things that I am. Or maybe having been gainfully employed for the last 6 years, my threshold for "serious" has risen somewhat from that first Mustang on eBay. ;-)

 

Peace,

Drew

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The other technology in OS X that relates to video acceleration you might hear about these days is Core Image. There isn't much value in pursuing a video card that will support Core Image . . . installing a Quartz Extreme compatible (anything OTHER than the Rage 128 you've got!) video card. QE offloads all the window manager decorations (shadows, genie dock effect, window roll-ups, etc) to the video card instead of to the main CPU. So by installing a QE capable card, you might actually notice a performance increase.

Allright! I don't have to spring for anything too fancy! :D

 

A PCI card to drive your Radius display would work fine, but you may as well just look for a dual-display capable AGP video card like the GeForce4 MX . . . If you keep your eyes open on eBay, you can find an AGP GeForce4 MX for $35 to $50.

Excellent recommendation, thanks especially for that link, I was expecting to part with MUCH more dinero! ;)

 

My eBay winnings have expanded. I now own a PowerBook Mustang of my very own.

Congratulations, comrade, that thing is DA BOMB! 8-)

 

Oh, I've also got a TAM that I picked up from 4seasonphoto locally. I still don't quite understand why he let it go, but I'm glad he did. I love it to death!

Nice one! The rest of your acquisitions, that I edited out for brevity's sake, sound also awefully cool too, buddy! :b&w:

 

The last "bidding war" I was in was for the PowerExpress machine on eBay that was sold by a fellow 'Fritter member (and won by another). I was the 2nd highest bidder for that one. Now, though, I see the right person won it because he is actually equipped to produce flash ROMs to try to boot it! I'm not upset about losing that one.

Having a non-working PEx board myself, I can sympathize! ::)

But now I've got time & money to get the accelerator card that just MIGHT make mine work!

 

The guy who beat me to the first Mustang (Jococo) hasn't surfaced in a while in any auctions I've been involved in . . . maybe having been gainfully employed for the last 6 years, my threshold for "serious" has risen somewhat from that first Mustang on eBay. ;-)

No loss there, eh? :lol:

 

Thanks ever so much for all your help, sadly, I've been out of touch for way too many years. :'(

 

jt =8-D

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If you keep your eyes open on eBay, you can find an AGP GeForce4 MX for $35 to $50.

 

Ok, I've only got one more hoop to jump thru to have a PayPal account set up the way I think I want it. I'm all signed up on eBAY again and I'm watching for Nvidia GeForce 4 MX AGP cards between $35 & $50!

 

Question: the AGP GeForce4 MX has two Connectors/Video Out : ADC / DVI

 

Which connector do I use (DVI as it doesn't have sound?) and where do I get a cable that adapts it to the 5 BNC inputs on my 21" Radius CRT. :?:

The HD-15 VGA port on the Radius is dedicated to my 6360 VideoServer. 8-)

Which connector do I use (ADC?) and where do I get a cable that adapts it to the HDMI (?) input on a Digital TV? :?:

 

jt: ole' coot waaay out of his depth in dealing with all this newfandoogled techno-crud. :I

 

p.s. found an interesting factoid on 'fritter: http://www.applefritter.com/node/22078

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ADC breaks out to DVI pretty cheaply, because it carries the same video signal and the adaptor just ignores the extra power/sound/usb pins. (does ADC actually have sound?)

 

Once you have DVI, a DVI-HDMI cable is pretty cheap too for a no-name one.

 

For the CRT, DVI-VGA adaptors are dirt cheap and plentiful because everyone who buys a video card these days gets 1 or 2. Apple even used to give you one for free on PowerMacs and PowerBooks... Once you get VGA output, then a normal VGA - 5xBNC cable should hook up OK.

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Yeah but thats not video playing on screen....

:?:

 

Huh? Obviously one shouldn't expect to play 1080p video on any G4, nevermind a 466MHz one with a Rage 128 video card. I didn't get the impression that was what Trash80 was planning on doing, though. If all you are trying to do is browse the web and use the HD TV as a stand-in for a monitor, you don't need anything beefy to drive it.

 

For the record, playback of MPEG-4 video (roughly 480i) on my dual 533 MHz G4 (a Digital Audio) with a Radeon 9000 worked flawlessly at 720p.

 

Peace,

Drew

 

But how big was your screen resolution?

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Yeah but thats not video playing on screen....

[snip]

For the record, playback of MPEG-4 video (roughly 480i) on my dual 533 MHz G4 (a Digital Audio) with a Radeon 9000 worked flawlessly at 720p.

[snip]

But how big was your screen resolution?

Emphasis mine. Video file was an MPEG-4 rip (1500kbps average bit rate) of a Blackhawk Down DVD with a native resolution of 720x304 scaled up to 1280x720.

 

You are welcome to read more here: http://www.applefritter.com/node/23846

 

Peace,

Drew

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