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Performa A/V card - what does it really do?


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There's an Apple A/V card "upgrade" for Performa series Macs. What does this card really do, aside from adding a few ports (composite video and s-video)? I've done a little googling on it, but haven't found anything concrete. (I'm talking about the Apple part number 820-0567-A.)

Is it a true video card?

Would it increase the resolution or color depth of a Performa 630?

Would it increase video performance?

 

Thanks in advance to anyone with experience with this card,

Tom

Apple AV Card.jpg

Edited by Tom2112
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It's a video input card only and has no effect on video output whatsoever.  It's kinda cool though, using the Apple TV/Video player software the card will allow you to view full screen live video from composite or s-video sources as well as save short mpeg videos and images.  You can basically use your Performa as a TV screen for VCR's, camcorders, game consoles, etc.  I really like these cards, they're a lot of fun to mess around with even though the quality isn't the greatest. 

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As the wiki says, these are video input/capture cards exclusively. They're great fun, and one of the neater (if not necessarily super practical) functions of these Macs. That they do this trick and have audio input as well is a point in their favor compared to some of the other contemporary A/V Macs but ultimately it ends up being a party trick unless you have lots of patience of specialized hardware of software (e.g. serial controlled video deck that can FF/RW to re-try on missed frames.)

 

Future versions of these cards could be paired with compression hardware (such as the Avid card for the 6400 and 8500) but on this system the computer's main CPU does all the computation, and, well, to be honest that wasn't even good on the 840, let alone a slower LC030.

 

On these systems there was an additional set of cards that could do TV tuning or TV+FM tuning, although that is less useful today unless you have like an NES modulator or you're using a video deck 

 

1 hour ago, Tom2112 said:

Would it increase the resolution or color depth of a Performa 630?

Would it increase video performance?

 

These things are fixed on this hardware, you'd need to find an (uncommon but technically extant) LC-PDS graphics card or swap to a different machine. These systems (you probably know this) can do 512x384-640x480@Thousands or 832x624@256 which, really it depends on your priorities. I find it to be fine, but there definitely are scenarios where people want more. (I'll admit I have a couple different machines for those times.)

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To add/sidenote: there are video output cards for these but they're not really active. And: they're arguably "for" the 580+ all-in-ones for school environments -- you'd add the video output card to mirror a 5200's display to a projector or a television for an education/presentation scenario, they also got used in 6400/6500 "VEE"/"Creative Studio" editions for printing video back to tape but all you were doing was full-screening the video, hitting record on a VCR and then hitting play on the video.

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Thanks for the info guys! I was kinda hoping it was a more traditional video card, but it makes much more sense that it's a video-in card.

I wouldn't mind being able to get a video upgrade, but I understand they're pretty few and far between.

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