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arn
Jan 6, 2002, 01:40 AM
Hey all,

I thought it'd be nice to post pictures of this item I own:

http://www.macrumors.com/Media/settopfront.jpg

http://www.macrumors.com/Media/settopback.jpg

These are pictures of an Apple Set Top box that was created years ago... but never produced into anything... somewhat a curiosity... not sure what the plan was...

Anyhow, we gave one of these away in the early days of Macrumors.com... but I've got one for myself as well which remains in my permanent collection.

arn



iCinder
Jan 6, 2002, 01:49 AM
I bet some fanboy is gonna take these pictures to another rumor site and proclaim this is the "one more thing" we will see on monday. Either that or spymac will post the pics and say they got them from a source deep inside Cupertino :)

dantec
Jan 6, 2002, 03:29 AM
I resembles the Sony Playstation...

macfreek57
Jan 6, 2002, 03:35 AM
pippin?

Doraemon
Jan 6, 2002, 10:27 AM
Apple's Set Top Box was a prototype that was never released, as arn already said. It has nothing to do with Pippin which was released in Japan and the US by Bandai.

dantec
Jan 6, 2002, 12:30 PM
if it has nothing to do with Pippin, what is it actually?

Sayer
Jan 6, 2002, 12:50 PM
Interactive TV was supposed to be the next big thing after the Internet started exploding (along with AOL, CompuServe).

I have a Popular Mechanics mag that has an Intel add-in card that would pipe in a TV signal with embedded computer content in it.

Kinda like a broadcast version of DVD (select different audio, text tracks).

The whole thing fizzled. Digital TV will do the same thing and will be the defacto standard in a few years in the US, so the developers of the $5k T.V. set say anyway.

Durandal7
Jan 11, 2002, 04:59 PM
This reminds me of the Mac TV (http://applehistory.com/quickgallery.html?where=tv.html) . Same concept I guess.

eyelikeart
Jan 12, 2002, 02:41 AM
how did u ever get that in your possession?

Doraemon
Jan 12, 2002, 06:07 AM
Originally posted by asurace
This reminds me of the Mac TV (http://applehistory.com/quickgallery.html?where=tv.html) . Same concept I guess.

Actually, it is a completly different concept. The MacTV was a LC 580 with TV card. That's all.

The Set Top Box was independent from computers and was directly attached to your TV. A better comparison would be nowadays pay-TV decoders.

Unregistered
Jan 12, 2002, 04:25 PM
Of Apple making another one in the future???

dantec
Jan 12, 2002, 04:27 PM
Arn how many of these 'items' are in your possetion (not only set top boxes, but newton's, pippin's etc.?)

Doraemon
Jan 26, 2002, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by Unregistered
Of Apple making another one in the future???

No.

DavidFDM
Jan 26, 2002, 09:06 AM
I would love to see it have the following abilities:

1. TiVo-like recording capability
2. Airport enabled to grab MP3s from my desktop
3. SuperDrive
4. Big ass hard drive 100GB
5. USB/firewire ports on the front
6. The intelligence to drive my home theater regardless of make and model of other components.

This would make me happy and I'd spend $1,000 to have it.

- David

ThomasB
Jan 26, 2002, 10:56 AM
I have seen a guy sell these every now and then on eBay, but he sell them "as is". The good news, one could be had for $20.

http://cgi.ebay.com/aw-cgi/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=1326943757

He has 3 of the up for auction.

-Thomas

me hate windows
Jan 26, 2002, 01:56 PM
there were actually 3 different models. I heard that they were mainly used for internet like WebTV. I am pretty sure that this was the third revision of it, and it was the only one they actually produced and sold.:p

dantec
Jan 26, 2002, 03:57 PM
I just hope whatever apple whips up in the future won't be a flop... and won't be a one shot deal (like the set top box, that never got a proper revision)!

spuncan
Jan 26, 2002, 04:27 PM
Consumer (iMac)- continues and profits
Pro (Powermac)- still will be used for almost all entertainment production and becomes more popular due to OSX
OS's- OSX becomes standard (allows Apple to gain support from Linux crowd and non-windows users) OS9 stays as classic but becomes outdated and will end with 9.6 down the road where it stays as stable as ever.
Servers ?- Apple continuse to make them until the Cisco makes that G5 based server which is OSX cabable (Apple servers die out)
iPod- is updated in hd size and a remote (stays popular for 2-5 years)
Other- Apple produces a digital camera/dvc but it fails?
Everything else at apple continues upgrades and so on.
Apple out lives Gateway,Micron,Compaq,IBM (pc's)
Microsoft is overthrown or at least lowered to 50% by AOL OS(dies quickly but hurts Microsoft),Apple
Dell remains with HP as consumer, Sony and Apple as Pro.

Six
Jan 26, 2002, 04:37 PM
thats a good vision, and Apple should dominate in the pro line, but as far as for consumers, the iMac basically saved apple way back when, and that was a consumer computer... i need some statistics to back me up, but i dont think Apple will lose its consumer line in the future.

Doraemon
Jan 26, 2002, 05:35 PM
Originally posted by me hate windows
there were actually 3 different models. I heard that they were mainly used for internet like WebTV. I am pretty sure that this was the third revision of it, and it was the only one they actually produced and sold.:p

Actually, they never sold any version. arn's Set Top box is prototype 2 which was licenced to about 1000 test users.

Macs R Us
Mar 8, 2004, 10:53 PM
Actually, they never sold any version. arn's Set Top box is prototype 2 which was licenced to about 1000 test users.
I recently bought a few of these not knowing there RARE well thats cool. They are the same a the one in the pic. I got them in a lot.

Thanks All

mactarkus
Mar 10, 2004, 06:38 AM
I have one of these as well and they are a mystery. I managed to get a copy of the the system software for it and there's lots of interesting things in there which explains its operation. One of these days I'll construct a web page consolidating all the clues I've gathered. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I was unable to boot mine. It powers up and even briefly accesses an external SCSI CD-ROM, but it doesn't boot. Anybody get there's to come up?

Doraemon
Mar 20, 2004, 08:46 AM
if it has nothing to do with Pippin, what is it actually?

Must have over read your posts the last time.

Pippin was a video console based on Macintosh technology.

Link (http://www.theapplemuseum.com/index.php?id=tam&page=misc&subpage=pippin)

Flowbee
Mar 20, 2004, 10:38 AM
Must have over read your posts the last time.


You're replying to a post from 2 years ago? :confused:

Doraemon
Mar 20, 2004, 06:22 PM
So?

The two posts before mine are from this March. Hence, the topic caught my eye and I saw that I posted here before. I didn't care (nor look) when the last posts were from.

Flowbee
Mar 20, 2004, 08:32 PM
I didn't care (nor look) when the last posts were from.

Maybe you should.

lgivens
Nov 27, 2005, 10:56 PM
I was actually working at Tele-TV (Bell Atlantic Video) and we had a few of the Apple STBs in the office for testing. They were essentially LC040's with the a MPEG-1 decoder. They were going to be testing as a STB decoder of MPEG-1 streams from a N-CUBE SuperComputer with over 30,000 mins of MPEG-1 content. Use a remote, punch in a code, watch the on demand program.

That's it. Not a Pippin (actually, Apple never made a Pippin, just licensed the game platform to Bandai).

If you were at the 1995 Macworld San Francisco, you would have actually seen the small, one table Apple Table with the STB folks. Not in the big Apple booth, but near the other Media companies. They let the Macworld folks touch the box, play back content and answer questions.

I'm not sure what happened to the 4 people who ran the table, but it was cool.

I actually have one of the units in my house, right under my TV. Now mainly used as a conversation piece.

thanks...Lee

MacEffects
Nov 27, 2005, 11:12 PM
I at one point had the never released prototypes the First proto AKA "STB1" 1992, and that thing was crazy, I never could figure it out, but it was amazing, oh yeah... I had three of the normal STB3's... They are just an LC 475 with a nice video card, and a remote (more or less a MacTV):rolleyes:

LimeiBook86
Nov 28, 2005, 12:50 AM
I've been searching around for these for a long time. Has anyone ever had one successfully boot? I guess it would just be the Mac OS with extra features. Any screenshots or action-shots of the OS would be awesome. I was reading some links I've found that explain what's inside of them, here's a link. (http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Lakes/6757/M4120.HTML)

From what I've read these are basically just LC Macs with a few special insides. I still would love to get my hands on one of them, no matter what they can or can't do...anyone selling one? haha :D

mdavey
Nov 28, 2005, 11:01 AM
I've been searching around for these for a long time. Has anyone ever had one successfully boot? I guess it would just be the Mac OS with extra features.

Is that a telephone line or an Ethernet port on the back? If the later, it may be Apple's attempt at a Network Computer. Many other companies were working on STB's that implemented the NC standard at around that time, including Acorn Computers, NetProducts, Sun Microsystems and RCA. The NC design was notable for including a small boot ROM that caused the OS to be loaded over the network (typically using bootp and RARP protocols) and most designs didn't include local storage.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_computer

If this is the case, it will be very tricky to get something working without access to the original OS (which would be stored on a fileserver elsewhere on the network). Your best bet would be to investigate if there is an online community that have got the device working with Linux - such a community exists for the Acorn and NetProducts variants.

hrfforlife
Dec 30, 2005, 10:55 PM
I just picked up the Apple Set Top Box, Model# M4120 off eBay. After tinkering around for a few days, I got it to boot on several versions of Mac OS. It is now running on OS 7.6. I installed 7.6 using an external scsi drive and a Quadra 840AV. I think any machine that boots OS 7.6 will do. I set up file sharing and passwords before running on the STB. No modification was done to the STB, BUT it has no video out. File sharing works perfect and I was able to get a screen capture of the Apple System Profiler. Shows up as a Macintosh 470 Series. Machine ID: 89. I will post screen shots if anyone is interested. I have to get the screen shots transfered to my Quadra then to my G4. I suppose there must be special video drivers to get video out of this machine. If anyone has found or has access to the STB drivers please let me know.

What Works: Mac serial port (apple talk), SCSI port with powerbook adapter, ADB port with apple keyboard and mouse.

What does not work: Audio and video out, Power button?, Shutdown command using the keyboard, however the reboot command works.

LimeiBook86
Dec 31, 2005, 01:44 PM
I just picked up the Apple Set Top Box, Model# M4120 off eBay. After tinkering around for a few days, I got it to boot on several versions of Mac OS. It is now running on OS 7.6. I installed 7.6 using an external scsi drive and a Quadra 840AV. I think any machine that boots OS 7.6 will do. I set up file sharing and passwords before running on the STB. No modification was done to the STB, BUT it has no video out. File sharing works perfect and I was able to get a screen capture of the Apple System Profiler. Shows up as a Macintosh 470 Series. Machine ID: 89. I will post screen shots if anyone is interested. I have to get the screen shots transfered to my Quadra then to my G4. I suppose there must be special video drivers to get video out of this machine. If anyone has found or has access to the STB drivers please let me know.

What Works: Mac serial port (apple talk), SCSI port with powerbook adapter, ADB port with apple keyboard and mouse.

What does not work: Audio and video out, Power button?, Shutdown command using the keyboard, however the reboot command works.
Hopefully mine (which should come here any day now) will be the same model and I'll be able to boot with it. I know someone here has the original drivers, I'd be interested in getting them to see if they can actually work. Because I know they needed special extensions to have certain parts of the hardware work. :D I can't wait!

hrfforlife
Dec 31, 2005, 03:17 PM
Still no video out at this point. Check out the screen shots.

hrfforlife
Dec 31, 2005, 04:54 PM
Hopefully mine (which should come here any day now) will be the same model and I'll be able to boot with it. I know someone here has the original drivers, I'd be interested in getting them to see if they can actually work. Because I know they needed special extensions to have certain parts of the hardware work. :D I can't wait!

If yours has video out, let me know. My video out may be broken.:cool:

LimeiBook86
Jan 3, 2006, 08:48 PM
I plugged it into the power outlet along with an ADB keyboard and a mono (yellow, white) AV wire set to my TV. The power button does nothing but when I hit the startup key on the keyboard I get no video or sound but a little amber light can be seen under the Power button. I'll include pictures in a few minutes, I just have to upload them from the camera. I don't think I can boot it up, and I didn't try a SCSI drive yet but, I'm not giving up, not yet :D Here are some photos, don't mind the Star Wars bed sheets :p Also I noticed an internal plug, I circled it in one of the pictures...weird eh?

hrfforlife
Jan 3, 2006, 10:30 PM
I tried the internal plug with composit and rf. did nothing on mine.
Mine is still running strong as a file server.
Check out this partial TattleTech report of the video. "The HORROR Continues" I wonder if the developer was pulling his hair out.:D

Nubus/PDS Slot# = $00
◊ Board Name = MEMCjr Built-In Video
◊ Board ID = 77
◊ Vendor ID = Apple Computer, Inc.
◊ Revision Level = Macintosh CPU Family 4.1
◊ Part# = The HORROR Continues
◊ Date = 15-Jun-93
◊ Functional Resources :
+ Device sResource Name = CPU_68040
- Device Category = 10 (CPU)
- Device Type = 5 (68040)
- Device Software Interface Type = 0
- Device Hardware Type = 24
- Device sResource# = $FB
- Driver Number = [NA]
----------------------------------
Nubus/PDS Slot# = $0C
◊ Board Name = Kevin STB3
◊ Board ID = 1661
◊ Vendor ID = Video Architecture Group
◊ Revision Level = A3N Xilinx 328 SW 32895
◊ Part# = STB3
◊ Functional Resources :
+ Device sResource Name = Display_Video_Apple_GM
- Device Category = 3 (Display)
- Device Type = 1 (Video)
- Device Software Interface Type = 1
- Device Hardware Type = 2
- Device sResource# = $81
- Driver Number = -49

hrfforlife
Jan 3, 2006, 10:40 PM
I plugged it into the power outlet along with an ADB keyboard and a mono (yellow, white) AV wire set to my TV. The power button does nothing but when I hit the startup key on the keyboard I get no video or sound but a little amber light can be seen under the Power button. I'll include pictures in a few minutes, I just have to upload them from the camera. I don't think I can boot it up, and I didn't try a SCSI drive yet but, I'm not giving up, not yet :D Here are some photos, don't mind the Star Wars bed sheets :p Also I noticed an internal plug, I circled it in one of the pictures...weird eh?

Is the blue line going under the plastic card cage a jumper wire or painted on the board?

LimeiBook86
Jan 4, 2006, 09:27 AM
Is the blue line going under the plastic card cage a jumper wire or painted on the board?
Looks like a wire, it looks like it's soldered in a few points along the way. Also it's glued down to the board. I don't know what it is...still trying to get mine to boot. :(

hrfforlife
Jan 4, 2006, 09:13 PM
Looks like a wire, it looks like it's soldered in a few points along the way. Also it's glued down to the board. I don't know what it is...still trying to get mine to boot. :(

The first time I was able to get mine to boot I was pressing the option key
down during boot. That was with a cd rom. I wasn't sure it completed the
boot process, so I used another old mac to install OS 7.5 on an external scsi
drive. Set up file sharing and everything before moving the drive to the STB. I still wasn't shure it was fully booted until I saw it in the chooser. File sharing
in OS 7.5 would lock up when sending large files. Installing OS 7.6 fixed that.

LimeiBook86
Jan 4, 2006, 10:51 PM
The first time I was able to get mine to boot I was pressing the option key
down during boot. That was with a cd rom. I wasn't sure it completed the
boot process, so I used another old mac to install OS 7.5 on an external scsi
drive. Set up file sharing and everything before moving the drive to the STB. I still wasn't shure it was fully booted until I saw it in the chooser. File sharing
in OS 7.5 would lock up when sending large files. Installing OS 7.6 fixed that.
Ahh good to know, thanks! I guess no video out until I find the right software. :) Someone e-mailed me and said they might have some working drivers. Awesome! :D I'll check'm out and see if they work...oh wait...I need to bring out the SCSI drive and see if it'll work. Now where did I put that SCSI cable...ahh shoot :p

aquajet
Jan 4, 2006, 10:56 PM
Thanks for the pics, LimeiBook86. That logic board looks awfully similar to my old Quadra 605.

LimeiBook86
Jan 5, 2006, 01:18 AM
Hey I was just e-mailed some Apple STB system extensions and I thought it would be alright to post a link to them here. The DMCA also says it's ok since it since this is obsolete and no longer available. But, then again, if anyone feels that this should be taken away then by all means feel free to remove it. It was stated however that some of these extensions might cause the machine to not boot, so I guess you'll have to play around with it. The download link is here (http://homepage.mac.com/ibook238/.Music/downloads/Apple_Set_Top_Box_SW.sit) and is on my iDisk.

Here is what is included in the folder:

Apple E1 Player
E1Component
KeyColor
MoviePlayer
QuickTime
QuickTime 11/15
Serial Tool
TSDrvr INIT (ColorSync Extension)
TSDrvr INIT - 12/13 (ColorSync Extension)


Special thanks should go to...well I won't post the e-mail because of SPAM reasons but, you know who you are thanks! :D

LimeiBook86
Jan 5, 2006, 10:19 PM
Hey guys, thanks to the cool Wiki we have here (on the macguides.com part of the site) I put up a little Apple Set Top Box page, now it's a little crude but, it's ok, just add the facts you know about this stuff to the page and in no time we'll have a page full of information.:D

This is a great way to organize the facts about the machines quickly and easily. Here is the link for the Mac Guide page for the Apple Set Top Box. (http://guides.macrumors.com/Apple_Set_Top_Box) I hope everyone can contribute something to the site!:cool:

hrfforlife
Jan 5, 2006, 11:04 PM
Both allow booting to an external drive with no video.

LimeiBook86
Jan 6, 2006, 11:55 AM
Both allow booting to an external drive with no video.
Thanks, I'll post that in the MacGuides Wiki Entry. Nice pictures, did you take them yourself? Well, someone at AppleFritter thought that you needed a red ROM to boot...I guess you proved them wrong ;)

hrfforlife
Jan 6, 2006, 03:00 PM
Thanks, I'll post that in the MacGuides Wiki Entry. Nice pictures, did you take them yourself? Well, someone at AppleFritter thought that you needed a red ROM to boot...I guess you proved them wrong ;)

Yes, I did take the pictures of both sides of the roms with a sony camcorder.
I don't have a regular digital camera, so their low res. I guess that was just speculation on the green rom not booting because no one has been able to boot one until I did. Both machines are working identically. I have found that I have needed to bump the memory allocation of some of the programs to get them to run, like TattleTech and VNC. VNC still crashes after I get the prefs set up. I just got OS 8.1 installed and running. File Sharing is working a little faster.

No Ethernet is reported by TattleTech. I have seen in the past (I can't find it now) that the Network port on the back is not true Ethernet. Someone out there must have more info on the hardware or has worked on the project. Wish they would reply to this forum.

LimeiBook86
Jan 6, 2006, 03:05 PM
No Ethernet is reported by TattleTech. I have seen in the past (I can't find it now) that the Network port on the back is not true Ethernet. Someone out there must have more info on the hardware or has worked on the project. Wish they would reply to this forum.

Yeah I also read somewhere that it wasn't 100% an ethernet port but, it works for you right? Wait...don't tell me your using that slow serial port connection to transfer files!! :eek:!...:p

I'm happy some people are adding things to the MacGuides.com entry, keep it up guys, this is awesome! I'll be able to play around with my STB...just need to find a SCSI case...or...make one! *mad scientist laugh*

hrfforlife
Jan 6, 2006, 03:46 PM
Yeah I also read somewhere that it wasn't 100% an ethernet port but, it works for you right? Wait...don't tell me your using that slow serial port connection to transfer files!! :eek:!...:p

I'm happy some people are adding things to the MacGuides.com entry, keep it up guys, this is awesome! I'll be able to play around with my STB...just need to find a SCSI case...or...make one! *mad scientist laugh*

Yep. I'm using the serial port for Apple Talk. :(

LimeiBook86
Jan 6, 2006, 04:03 PM
Yep. I'm using the serial port for Apple Talk. :(
Ouch...ouch, I know how that feels. Anyone know what that card-slot thing inside of the STB is? I wonder what can go in there...
:rolleyes: :confused:

hrfforlife
Jan 6, 2006, 04:10 PM
Ouch...ouch, I know how that feels. Anyone know what that card-slot thing inside of the STB is? I wonder what can go in there...
:rolleyes: :confused:

http://www.micromac.com/whats_new/logic_board_picture.html

I tried to find a Motherboard that had that slot. The first nubus Power Macs
had a similar PDS. I have a 6100 but the slots don't match up. It's longer on the PM 6100. TattleTech reports one open PDS slot on my STB. Now to find a STB PDS video card?:rolleyes:

LimeiBook86
Jan 6, 2006, 04:12 PM
http://www.micromac.com/whats_new/logic_board_picture.html

I tried to find a Motherboard that had that slot. The first nubus Power Macs
had a similar PDS. I have a 6100 but the slots don't match up. It's longer on the PM 6100. TattleTech reports one open PDS slot on my STB. Now to find a STB PDS video card?:rolleyes:
I have one! I have a Video card from my Mac 7100, I'll see if it works...also have to find where I put the thing. Hope it doesn't break it! :p

hrfforlife
Jan 6, 2006, 04:24 PM
I have one! I have a Video card from my Mac 7100, I'll see if it works...also have to find where I put the thing. Hope it doesn't break it! :p

Cool. Don't let the smoke out. :D

Then again there's still eBay:rolleyes:

MrMacintosh09
Jan 6, 2006, 04:33 PM
Hi all,
I'm the same MrMacintosh from Applefritter, but I wanted to add a few things here. Hope you all don't mind.

First, I saw a STB with a red ROM card and a video card in the horizontal slot. It had a standard Macintosh video connection. However, I couldn't buy it :( I suspect this might give video out.

Second, sorry for the misinformation regarding the green ROM cards - I had read that previously on the internet and just assumed it was true. I don't have a Powerbook SCSI adapter to test with.

I'd be interested to see if another PDS video card would work.

Kyle-

LimeiBook86
Jan 6, 2006, 05:37 PM
Hi all,
I'm the same MrMacintosh from Applefritter, but I wanted to add a few things here. Hope you all don't mind.

First, I saw a STB with a red ROM card and a video card in the horizontal slot. It had a standard Macintosh video connection. However, I couldn't buy it :( I suspect this might give video out.

Second, sorry for the misinformation regarding the green ROM cards - I had read that previously on the internet and just assumed it was true. I don't have a Powerbook SCSI adapter to test with.

I'd be interested to see if another PDS video card would work.

Kyle-

Awesome, great to see you here. I have my Set Top Box opened up. I was looking at the RF box on my model, on the outside the Out is clear but the In port has some sort of metal cap on it which I can't seem to get off. But, inside Set Top Box, by the RF ports there is a small metal box with what seems to be an composite connector. I thought back to my old Nintendo (NES) and used it's old RF Adapter
(picture here) (http://atariace.com/nintendo/images/nes_rf_adapter.jpg) and plugged it into the Set Top Box and the other end into my VCR. I turned the VCR off, and the Set Top Box off. I plugged in a coaxial cable from the Out port into my TV....Bam! I'm looking at a very fuzzy Channel 4. I have a basic cable wire coupled to the Nintendo RF adapter, which is going into the Composite like port inside of the STB and comes out of the Output Coaxial port on the back of the STB. It's fuzzy and if I flip the Channel 3/4 switch on the back of the STB nothing happens. What is interesting if I turn on the STB while this is connected, I get nothing, channel 4 goes off and I get a blue screen (not snow because my TV makes it a blank blue screen). I know this is hard to explain so I made a little diagram (which might make you more confused actually...haha) hopefully it'll help you understand what I attempted.

I have yet to try S-Video but, I may try that in a bit when I find the cable. Also I tried holding down Command (Apple) - Option - T - V, which is know on other AV Macs to make their main display a TV, this didn't do anything for me via RF or Composite AV out, I didn't try this with an S-Video cable yet but, maybe others can be lucky with this. I'll keep my eye out for the PDS (At least I think it's PDS, it's not PCI because the Mac has NuBus slots) video card from my old Macintosh 7100.

Good luck everyone! :D

hvfsl
Jan 6, 2006, 05:59 PM
I remember reading about this many years ago. Apparently Apple was working with British Telecom on one STB where TV would be broadcast over the net.

However because of government regulations, BT were not allowed to get into TV distribution (the gov wanted cable companies to wire up the houses of Britain and not have a monopoly like BT causes problems for them), so BT didn't bother upgrade the network.

hrfforlife
Jan 6, 2006, 06:31 PM
Using a strong light you I can see the network traces through the mobo.
none of them leave about a 2 sq inch area. Looks like the network was never implemented on either of my boxes.

hrfforlife
Jan 7, 2006, 07:56 PM
This web site has info on the STB aka Apple Interactive TV Box.
http://www.highbeam.com/library/doc0.asp?docid=1G1:16817412&refid=ink_tptd_mag&skeyword=&teaser=

It show the use of E1 and T1 telephone protocols. This would explain the
"E1 Component" extension. No Ethernet. :(

This site explains the protocols
http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/product/voice/c_callmg/4_0/sys_ad/4_0_1/ccmsys/a08procl.htm#1139886

LimeiBook86
Jan 8, 2006, 12:53 AM
Just a minor update, I tried the S-Video out and got nowhere. I also noticed that I don't have any labels on my RAM/ROM sticks, there is one but it's just some numbers, doesn't say "Apple..." like yours do. I still can't find that PDS video card, I'm almost about to buy one!...:p...but I'm saving up for my new intel Mac. I found a few Video PDS cards on eBay, I wonder if it would even work though.

Apple PDS Video Card with 1mb RAM (http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-HPV-PDS-Video-Card-PPC-6100-7100-8100-820-0522-A_W0QQitemZ8724084032QQcategoryZ4601QQssPageNameZWD1VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

hrfforlife
Jan 8, 2006, 01:10 AM
Just a minor update, I tried the S-Video out and got nowhere. I also noticed that I don't have any labels on my RAM/ROM sticks, there is one but it's just some numbers, doesn't say "Apple..." like yours do. I still can't find that PDS video card, I'm almost about to buy one!...:p...but I'm saving up for my new intel Mac. I found a few Video PDS cards on eBay, I wonder if it would even work though.

Apple PDS Video Card with 1mb RAM (http://cgi.ebay.com/Apple-HPV-PDS-Video-Card-PPC-6100-7100-8100-820-0522-A_W0QQitemZ8724084032QQcategoryZ4601QQssPageNameZWD1VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

I don't think that card will fit. My 6100 PDS slot is about 1/2" longer than the one in the STB. This appears to be a one of a kind PDS slot.

LimeiBook86
Jan 8, 2006, 01:07 PM
I don't think that card will fit. My 6100 PDS slot is about 1/2" longer than the one in the STB. This appears to be a one of a kind PDS slot.
Well them, I guess it's a good thing I didn't buy it :p

nbuer
Mar 3, 2006, 08:28 AM
I have a working version of this STB (well did have if it still boots after 6 years)
It has all applications need to create Interative Television menus and play Mpeg1 files.
I worked on the British Telecom Project in 1995-96, and had a development version of the STB.
It is an LC475 with Mpeg Card and E1 Network. My box has an addition Video Card that allows me to develop on the 19" monitor instead of the TV screen.
The Development box has a Different Boot Rom to the normal Boxes.
The Normal boxes booted from the ATM AAL1 Network which was connected to a nCUBE Media Server (Later know as Video Server).

LimeiBook86
Mar 12, 2006, 08:47 PM
I have a working version of this STB (well did have if it still boots after 6 years)
It has all applications need to create Interative Television menus and play Mpeg1 files.
I worked on the British Telecom Project in 1995-96, and had a development version of the STB.
It is an LC475 with Mpeg Card and E1 Network. My box has an addition Video Card that allows me to develop on the 19" monitor instead of the TV screen.
The Development box has a Different Boot Rom to the normal Boxes.
The Normal boxes booted from the ATM AAL1 Network which was connected to a nCUBE Media Server (Later know as Video Server).
Whoa, awesome information dude!! You have any pictures of the box or screenshots of the screen on boot up? It would be awesome to see some pictures of this thing in action! :D

LimeiBook86
Mar 22, 2006, 01:23 PM
I was searching eBay hopelessly for Apple products like I do sometimes when I'm bored at school and I came across this eBay auction. (http://cgi.ebay.com/APPLE-M4120-INTERACTIVE-CABLE-TV-BOX-AS-NEW_W0QQitemZ8783503966QQcategoryZ51046QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

I carefully inspected the photos and noticed that the back of the unit looks a bit different than mine. And the front has a few different logos on it. This to me looks like a later model than what I have, I was initally planning on trying to bid on this but the starting price is $99 and then $30 shipping so it's a little rich for my blood.

I just wanted to bring this to everyone's attention though. This may be a working one but, then again it may be a dud like the rest.

It's worth a look either way. The main thing I noticed is that in the first picture there are lines pointing to each port with a name, this isn't on any model I have seen. The line pointing to the "ethernet" port looks like it says NT...very interesting. Also I don't think those ports to the left of the "ethernet" port are regular US cable RF ports...looks different to me.

I wonder if I can convince the guy to take a picture of it with the shell off?
EDIT: message sent ;)
:) :D

munkees
Mar 22, 2006, 02:03 PM
I would love to see it have the following abilities:

1. TiVo-like recording capability
2. Airport enabled to grab MP3s from my desktop
3. SuperDrive
4. Big ass hard drive 100GB
5. USB/firewire ports on the front
6. The intelligence to drive my home theater regardless of make and model of other components.

This would make me happy and I'd spend $1,000 to have it.

- David

Wow sounds like a Mac mini accept ports on back need to add external tv adapter like elgato I could make a nice setup for $1000

LimeiBook86
Mar 22, 2006, 02:16 PM
Wow sounds like a Mac mini accept ports on back need to add external tv adapter like elgato I could make a nice setup for $1000
Yeah but, this was back in like 1993, it's old but cool, to think of the stuff Apple was thinking about back then. It's amazing :D

LimeiBook86
Mar 29, 2006, 12:39 AM
The seller that was selling the Set Top Box wasn't able to sell the unit. So a few days later he re-listed the box with a starting bid of $50, and new pics of the insides!! His auction link (here) (http://cgi.ebay.com/APPLE-M4120-INTERACTIVE-CABLE-TV-BOX-AS-NEW_W0QQitemZ8787533164QQcategoryZ51046QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem) shows a few nice pictures of the insides. The outside of the unit has different graphics than my Set Top Box, the only big difference in the insides to me looks like the PDS like slot to the right. His picture shows a green line there, mine doesn't, I can't really make it out but, it's possible it can be a different port.

The seller was nice enough to take some photos and even quote my little message to him. It's $50 starting bit with $28 shipping, still kind of expensive I know but, if anyone's interested it's a good deal. I might purchase it but, I'm not sure. If you want to just click on the auction link, this box looks a little different from mine, it may work it may now, oh well :p

EDIT: Looks like someone's bidding on it...wonder if it's anyone from the forums :eek: hehe :rolleyes:

mister duffy
Apr 3, 2006, 10:09 AM
EDIT: Looks like someone's bidding on it...wonder if it's anyone from the forums :eek: hehe :rolleyes:

heh - yep it was me. the whole situation is pretty weird. i had been trawling articles on wikipedia, brushing up on my technical knowledge of Apple products at first (that site is e-crack for info addicts). it was when i was reading an article on New World ROM that i came across an article on Network Computers, and discovered the existence of the Apple STB. so i started looking for more info and found this excellent thread, simultaneously finding the item on eBay (and then seeing it mentioned here). i'm a sucker for oldskool / rare computer gear (and vinyl records!) and couldn't resist putting a bid in. i fully expected a bidding war to break out because of the attention here, but looks like a won without a fight!

looking forward to seeing how this model differs from the Apple-branded boxes, as this one is BT-branded (the UK's main phone company) and is probably a later model. doesn't have the PDS card though as far as i can tell. looks like i'll need an external SCSI disk if i want to run a system on it (unless I can use the one from my Classic Mac), and see if it works! can't wait.

Found this article (http://www.taborcommunications.com/archives/5475.html) on the system behind the box, in particular this quote:

"Apple is leveraging its QuickTime multimedia and QuickDraw graphics
technologies for use in its interactive TV set-top box," said Rick Shriner,
vice president of Apple Core Technologies. "We believe the nVision system,
which includes Apple's Interactive TV Box technology, will enable Interactive
TV trials to come on line quickly. It will also serve as a proving ground for
content and service developers who are working to create the compelling
interactive television applications necessary for this new industry to
succeed."

so that explains why it was Apple that got in on the act so early. certainly seems the STB was a useful proving ground (looks like that's all it was intended to be), but it didn't get much farther than that by the looks of it.

and after reading this wikipedia article on nCUBE (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NCUBE), i wonder what might have happened to the company, had VOD really kicked off back then.

LimeiBook86
Apr 3, 2006, 01:16 PM
heh - yep it was me.
Well it's cool to know that! Got any pics? The guy too some but, not a lot. It's cool that the Apple STB is sort of "in the family" haha :)

madmax_2069
Apr 3, 2006, 09:26 PM
man i could have bought one for $20 without shipping on ebay a wile ago. man this thread makes me wish i would have got it now

mister duffy
Apr 4, 2006, 04:01 AM
man i could have bought one for $20 without shipping on ebay a wile ago. man this thread makes me wish i would have got it now

that's harsh. i'm sure they'll come up cheaper from time to time (especially if someone has a job lot), but i figured seeing how this one is different from the others i'd take a risk. plus as i'm in the UK so the exchange rate favours me. :D

mister duffy
Apr 5, 2006, 04:15 AM
finally it's arrived - it shipped from the US so took a while. it's in perfect condition.

plugged power in and tried power button, but like everyone else here that didn't work. plugged in my ADB keyboard and used the power button on that - i got a red light above the power switch and then an orange light. pressing the power button at this point makes the light turn green. i haven't got access to a TV until this evening so i can try to get a signal then. there is no graphics card in the unit and it's definitely not going to accept any conventional PDS card.

the first thing i noticed about the machine is that it's completely silent. there is a plug on the logic board for a fan, and space in the chassic for one (the same as the one in my LC) but there isn't one there.

really looking forward to trying this out as it seems to be a later revision than the other ones being discussed here. it does appear to have been used before, as there are small scratches on the coax jacks. fingers crossed. if it doesn't boot with the onboard ROM, i can try the external drive approach, but i'll need a powerbook scsi adaptor...

mister duffy
Apr 27, 2006, 10:35 AM
well i took it home and plugged it in. amazingly, i got a picture!

http://www.misterduffy.com/photos/applestb.jpg

at first it was just the main screen, then the error message in the middle came up after about 10 seconds. i guess it tries to connect with a server then times out. i wonder if it's possible to acquire the backend equipment these days?

i guess it's possible to use it as a TV-based Macintosh with an external disk, but I think that'll be its only use as a piece of equipment. probably not worth the money i paid, but at least my curiosity has been satisfied.

LimeiBook86
Apr 27, 2006, 04:52 PM
well i took it home and plugged it in. amazingly, i got a picture!

<snip>

at first it was just the main screen, then the error message in the middle came up after about 10 seconds. i guess it tries to connect with a server then times out. i wonder if it's possible to acquire the backend equipment these days?

i guess it's possible to use it as a TV-based Macintosh with an external disk, but I think that'll be its only use as a piece of equipment. probably not worth the money i paid, but at least my curiosity has been satisfied.
Whoa-ho! That's awesome!

I wonder even if you got the equipment today, if it would even work. That would be awesome though! :D

mkjj
Apr 28, 2006, 07:27 AM
well i took it home and plugged it in. amazingly, i got a picture!

Well done! first time I have seen anybody get an output from one of those things, congratulations.

MacEffects
Apr 28, 2006, 08:38 PM
Pictures Pictures - Prototype Apple Settop Box 1 Yes thats right, now you all have seen the STB3 and clone ones as shown above, and its rare to see a STB2, but I have a STB1 Not only that its a prototype that was giving from a person called 'Kate Kelly' and after looking into it she was a developer for hardware for Apple in the late 80's thru mid 90's, even with a not about that. Now I got it, it has a Dead Power Supply and no Hard Drive, I tried selling it on eBay, and for some reason I worded it wrong and it said that it was not approved for sale, and somehow it was reported and closed, but thats why they have the little Camera on the images since my camera had a accident. But anyways I will be taking more pictures for your viewing pleasure. ;) :D I will be investigating it sometime soon too and see if I can find the Power Supply I thinks its from a Performa or Mac II (late model) and I can get a Hard Drive but I need OS stuff for it and I have no idea, but I am thinking about Trading it to LimeiBook86 for some fantastic web work and art work he also said I should tell more about it, so here yar: Pictures of Prototype STB1 (http://maceffects.net/stb/)

evan22
Jul 8, 2006, 07:15 AM
Have any of you ever read a copy of the user manual for this? I seem to have a copy of it on my HD. I can post it to my iDisk public folder if anyone wants to read it. There is some pretty interesting info in there.

evan22
Jul 8, 2006, 08:04 AM
Something I realized as I was looking at other people's STB pics, is that my STB has a fan, and others don't. Also, my STB only has a card installed in the shorter slot. Does anyone know what the longer slot is for?

macintoshtech
Jul 17, 2006, 03:07 PM
Is that slot actually a PDS slot, because if it is couldn't we just run wire taps to another PDS slot (a makeshift adapter card) to the correct pin numbers? There must be pins on the full size PDS slot that are not used, im thinking that this slot must be a variant of it to save space (and make it proprietary) only using whats necessary. But then again I could in left field somewhere playing solitaire on a PC. :D

I know i've joined the discussion kind of late, but I just bought one on eBay the other day (after years of curiosity) and am determined to get the thing to work at least as a mac with video ports....not that it could do to much being an LC, but would be cool to show off. I thought I read somewhere years ago that someone was able to swap out the ROM from a different mac and get it to boot properly. I can't find that now for the life of me though.

-Nate :cool:

evan22
Jul 17, 2006, 03:41 PM
I was actually talking about the RAM-type slots, but there is also a PDS-type slot too. I read on some other posts that it is slightly longer than a standard PDS slot, though. Do you know what the other slots are for? I think one is for the ROM card. BTW, a copy of the user manual and the BT white paper are in my iDisk's public folder (.Mac name evan22).

evan22
Jul 17, 2006, 03:55 PM
Actually, I'm having some iDisk trouble, so the manuals aren't on there...yet.

macintoshtech
Jul 18, 2006, 09:37 AM
Heres A Link To A Site With Defunct Apple Products Including The Set Top Box

http://www.theapplemuseum.com/index.php?id=45

Apple Interactive Television Box

Development: 1993 - 1995
Status when discontinued: product announced / test phase
Type: Digital television set top box
Codename: ?

In cooperation with British Telecom (later renamed BT), Apple started developing an interactive TV set top box in 1993. Initial prototypes were tested internally only, but in 1994, Apple and BT launched a ITV trial in Britain with approximately 2,500 households participating. The media server technology was provided by Oracle. Later, the trail was expanded to Belgium where Apple was cooperating with Belgacom. A six-state US trial phase was announced in May 1995 featuring an educational programming by The Lightspan Partnership, Inc.
The final version of the Interactive Television Box featured a 68040 processor, 4 MB RAM, a 2 MB ROM and a MPEG-1 decoder. The boot-OS was a subset of the MacOS with QuickDraw and QuickTime software. It was equipped with stereo audio RCA jacks, one Mac serial port, one S-Video, RF in, RF out, one RJ-45 Ethernet, one ADB port and a HDI-30 SCSI port and dual SCART connectors. Furthermore, it also featured a proprietary expansion slot, one additional DIMM socket and a floppy drive connector (earlier models still featured a floppy drive and had to be booted from floppy disks).
A PAL and a NTSC version were produced in very limited quantities.
The project was canceled in late 1995 when it became obvious that ITV wasn't going to become commercially successful anytime soon.

http://www.theapplemuseum.com/images/content/prototypes/tvbox.jpg

LimeiBook86
Aug 9, 2006, 09:40 PM
Hey guys, I got a hold of the Apple Set Top Box Manual (thanks macEfan) and I uploaded it to a file hosting site. The only catch is that after 7 days of no downloads it'll expire so if anyone would like to host it themselves go for it but, here it is for now. If it expires and nobody has a mirror just shoot me an e-mail.

It's interesting in the manual they talk about hooking up external SCSI CD-ROM drives but, it doesn't give any information to the PDS like slot unfortunately.

I also downloaded the PDF from evan22 which is 3.7mb. The file I got is only 2.8mb - the difference is his file has chapters and mine just shows Page 1, Page 2 etc...odd eh? :rolleyes: :D :)

Download link:
http://www.filefactory.com/file/562801/

LimeiBook86
Aug 21, 2006, 04:04 PM
Yay! I got the Set Top Box model 1 from MacEffects :)

MacEffects was kind enough to send me his Apple Set Top Box Model 1. Here are a few photos taken with my iSight, I'll take some more later with my better camera. It looks like it's supposed to connect to a Macintosh motherboard, my guess is a Mac LC II since the Apple STB board has a 120-pin LC PDS slot. So I guess this would plug into the LC II computer and would...work. I have a Macintosh LC II but, I can't get to it right now. Still here's a pic. I'll take more later. :D :)

EDIT: More photos!

http://web.mac.com/ibook238/iWeb/Site/Apple%20STB.html

Some of the folks on Applefritter.com said that it would probably work with an LC/Performa 475 Motherboard - I don't think I have an LC 475 but, I think I have an LC 467 or something alone those lines. I haven't tested out the power supply but, I believe it's dead. If I find out any more information I'll let you guys know. :)

macEfan
Aug 30, 2006, 11:11 PM
wow thats awesome that you got such a cool apple device! Looks like your STB has a fan- most of the ones I have seen lacked a fan.

after you get the other motherboard, we can actually find out if you have the word's only working STB:D Hope you do, wow would that be awesome!


good luck!

Xapplimatic
Sep 20, 2006, 01:08 AM
I bet some fanboy is gonna take these pictures to another rumor site and proclaim this is the "one more thing" we will see on monday. Either that or spymac will post the pics and say they got them from a source deep inside Cupertino :)

Even when this was a new topic, that wouldn't have flown being that Apple hadn't produced anything with a SCSI port or a geo/DIN-style serial port in years... That's all pre OS X stuff. Course doctor in some USB and FireWire800 ports with Photoshop and it'd be good to go to fool people again.

theheadguy
Sep 20, 2006, 01:11 AM
When asked if Apple will ever release an item like this again:
No.
hahahaha.

Funny to look back at what some of us have said in the past. :: put foot in mouth now ::

LimeiBook86
Sep 25, 2006, 03:06 PM
I got it! Here is the special Apple STB LC 475 motherboard! Complete with two output cables, and a special underside LC PDS port!!

Unfortunately when I hooked everything up and pressed the startup key on the keyboard nothing happened. The STB uses a Mac IIsi PSU which has no power on/off switch. In fact I haven't been able to find an on/off switch on the whole unit. Unless there was some special switch on it that I don't know about which could of been plugged in, which of course could now be missing. I also took the Apple remote from my old Performa and tested it, this didn't power on the machine either. So all the pieces are together including the lid of the unit which has Hard Drive brackets under it to hold the SCSI hard drive. The second square port port on the LC board is to power the hard drive, I don't have this cable with me but, I have an external power adapter which came with my USB to IDE adapter that I can use on it but, still that is to power the Hard Drive and not the unit so without the cable I wouldn't see why it won't work.

So now all the pieces of the puzzle are together...except why it won't turn on. The only thing I can think of is that there are two pins that broke off of the STB board (not LC 475 board) while shipping, I can solder these on but, I believe they are only for the composite video... unless I am wrong. Also the composite video adapter (Same as see on the Quadra 660AV) plugs into the top of the LC 475 board, although that could be in the wrong place. Maybe those ports on the LC board are for a fan or for a speaker. :p

UPDATE: Those ports are for a fan and speaker, so they were in the wrong place and the image below is labeled wrong :p Those composite connections don't belong with the STB I think, oh well :D

Anyway I'll still try and get the machine to work but, as of now it won't turn on. Any thoughts or suggestions would be great, and of course I have uploaded new pictures attached to this reply. :D

840quadra
Sep 25, 2006, 03:17 PM
Great post, pictures and information..

More inspiration for my hybrid project that I am still finishing up. It isn't a set top box, but fun none the less (well for me).

Keep up the good work!

LimeiBook86
Sep 26, 2006, 12:26 AM
Well with the LC 475 board and the Apple STB board with the Apple STB Power Supply (Mac IIsi PSU) all hooked up nothing will not boot. It won't even turn on at all. I might of found a power button/switch or something but, I'll post a pic later. ;)

I did have some success though. I removed the LC 457 board from the Apple STB board, then I took an LC power supply, and hooked it up to the special LC 475 board. I was able to boot it into Mac OS 8.1 from an old SCSI hard drive I had. When I was in Mac OS 8.1 I looked up the computer information in Apple System Profiler and here is what I got. :)

Macintosh information:

Machine: Macintosh 470 series
Machine ID: 89
Processor: 68LC040 @ 25mhz


Tomorrow I'll try and do the same but, with the STB board connected. So we'll see what happens. I still can't get the STB board to power up from it's own power supply, mostly because I can't figure out how to switch the thing on. More pics to come soon. :D

madmax_2069
Sep 26, 2006, 06:22 AM
man i wish i could find a LC475 mobo to replace my blown lc475's mobo. heh apples at it again with the STB of sorts with the iTV.

LimeiBook86
Sep 26, 2006, 03:14 PM
I used an LC series Power Supply to turn on the LC 475 board while hooked up to the STB board. The STB's fan spins! :) I tried one of the applications called "Apple E1 Player" from the extensions posted earlier. When I open it I get a window saying "Enter Movie to play:" with an editable text menu below saying "Just Hit OK, then Press Play" with Cancel and OK buttons. If I click OK I get an Unimplemented Trap bomb message. Also the splash screen says: "STB E1/T1 Sample Player" and "Copyright Apple Computer 1994"

More info to come! :)

840quadra
Sep 26, 2006, 03:17 PM
Macintosh information:

Machine: Macintosh 470 series
Machine ID: 89
Processor: 68LC040 @ 25mhz



Surprising, no FPU!

Is the processor socketed on this or soldered into place? I can't tell from the pictures :)

::EDIT::
Images are clickable (DUH!) it looks like it is a socketed chip :)

LimeiBook86
Sep 26, 2006, 03:47 PM
Surprising, no FPU!

Is the processor socketed on this or soldered into place? I can't tell from the pictures :)

::EDIT::
Images are clickable (DUH!) it looks like it is a socketed chip :)
Hehe :)

Oh, and I installed Mac OS 7.6 onto a SCSI hard drive, and installed QuickTime 4, I also installed Apple Video Player but, it did not detect any video hardware. I have yet to hook anything up to the RF In or RF Out ports but, I can try that later. :)

Although since no software is seeing the STB board as a TV input device I don't think any good will come out of testing them. I bypassed (actually took out) the STB power supply since when I plugged in the LC power supply with that in the LC power supply clicked so I unplugged it and it booted fine. The STB board is getting power because the Fan is spinning but, I didn't notice the LED light up at all on the front of the unit so it may not be getting the full power or, it may need to be switched on or something.

One last thing, I noticed a small tiny tiny knob-like dial on the STB board, it says "Mode" and it can be turned 180 degrees, so I wonder what that has to do with anything. Oh well, maybe I'll play with this more later. :D

evan22
Oct 30, 2006, 05:26 PM
Hi
It took a while, but I finally got around to testing my STB some more. When I try turning on the box with either Composite or S-Video as output, all I get is a small blip in the video and sound. However, when I connect the STB's coaxial output and turn it on, I get a different "snow" pattern on the TV. Furthermore, if I have something connected to the coaxial in on the STB, I get a green screen when I turn it on. Sometimes, I will not get the green screen, but I will get a Mac startup chime (the one used in higher-numbered LC's, Quadras, and Centrises). My plan is to next try out an external CD-ROM, with a Mac OS with the special programs/extensions posted earlier. By the way, does anyone know what an "MPEG-2 Transport containing MPEG-1 Bit Streams" might be? In my copy of the manual, it says that that is the video standard used by the STB.
Thanks

Juventuz
Jan 3, 2007, 12:01 AM
I know the last post in this thread was in October, but I recently found my STB that I had forgotten I had. It's just laying around and I'm not really interested in doing anything with it and was wondering the value of this if I wanted to put it in the Marketplace or on ebay.

Sly
Jan 3, 2007, 04:05 AM
It depends on the condition, operability, literature and packaging, do you have the remote? Prices for this sort of thing are all over the place on ebay, if you get two or more collectors looking for a STB the price could rocket. Under normal circumstances though I would guess 20-30.

macEfan
Jan 3, 2007, 03:32 PM
I recently saw one on ebay go for around $35 shipped.... but like many of the STB's I see, they don't come with remotes...

Juventuz
Jan 3, 2007, 11:59 PM
Yeah, no remote with it. I've got the plug and plugged it in, you can hear it start up, but nothing shows up on screen.

Patmian212
Jan 5, 2007, 11:17 AM
Sorry for the truely moronic question but what exactly does this thing do?

gkarris
Jan 6, 2007, 10:45 AM
Sorry for the truely moronic question but what exactly does this thing do?

Same thing as a digital cable box... (in a nutshell)

101nn
Jan 8, 2007, 03:49 AM
What type of SCSI does the box have as I have never senn one like that before? Found the pic on Wikipedia.

mister duffy
Jan 8, 2007, 12:39 PM
What type of SCSI does the box have as I have never senn one like that before? Found the pic on Wikipedia.

I don't know about the prototype, but the final version I have uses HDI-30, which is the format the PowerBooks used before FireWire came along. You can get HDI-30 to SCSI-1 adaptors fairly easily.

mister duffy
Jan 8, 2007, 01:51 PM
I'm not sure what happened to the 4 people who ran the table, but it was cool.

I've read this a few times and it cracks me up on each occasion. Sounds very sinister, as if they were locked away from society because the project was so disturbing.

mister duffy
Jan 9, 2007, 01:23 PM
I got it! Here is the special Apple STB LC 475 motherboard! Complete with two output cables, and a special underside LC PDS port!!

Good work! It looks like a right mess, but would be amazing to play around with and explore.

I've hit a bit of a brick wall with mine. It seems that despite the clear similarities with the LC475 (I managed to acquire one), the ROM the STB uses is a different form factor so they're not interchangeable. Based on the fact my box boots (as seen in the previous pic), I'm certain that if I could get a suitable Apple ROM (to replace the BT ROM), and an external SCSI drive, I'd have a working LC475 with a TV Tuner, plugged into my telly via SCART.

In the meantime, here are some pics I've taken of my box (http://picasaweb.google.com/macsthatwork/AppleSetTopBox). I'm going to create a web page to include all the details and history I've collected. I'm also probably going to sell the box, hopefully to someone who has the means to get it working (including HDI-30 to SCSI-1 adaptor), as I don't really want to spend any money on it. Unless someone's got a ROM that will work?? *wink wink*

LimeiBook86
Mar 18, 2007, 01:55 AM
My friend IMed me this link from eBay today. Looks exactly like the Set Top Box I have! :eek: There are some pretty nice photos of it too! The condition is much better than mine, and I see the original brackets are to hold a Floppy Drive. I thought they were to hold a Hard Drive. Looks like something is on the internal SCSI port, terminators? I found that odd. Also by looking at the photos I saw some wires which may help me get mine working (although it may not). I wonder if the guy has gotten it to boot up, I mean if he plugs a Mac Monitor up to it, a keyboard, and a power cable he should either get a response...or nothing.

I'll keep an eye on the auction, but I think it'll probably go high and become too rich for my blood. Oh well...maybe somebody here will have a go at it :p Still, it's great to look at just for the photos! :D

http://cgi.ebay.com/ODD-Vintage-1993-Apple-Set-Top-Box-PRIMUS-Prototype_W0QQitemZ250094326819QQcategoryZ80075QQtcZphotoQQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

mister duffy
Mar 29, 2007, 05:36 AM
I'll keep an eye on the auction, but I think it'll probably go high and become too rich for my blood.

Looks like the guy knows what he's got - it's now on Buy It Now for... wait for it... $200!!!

I suppose if someone buys it from the UK it'll only be 100, but plus shipping and that won't be cheap. Damn - what a piece of history this is though!

mkjj
Mar 29, 2007, 10:22 AM
Bidding stopped last time at $102, be cheap for us Brits but expect shipping to be pricey.

Seems no one in the US wants this rare prototype, mind you, bit ugly!

mister duffy
Mar 29, 2007, 10:27 AM
Seems no one in the US wants this rare prototype, mind you, bit ugly!

Even the ugliest girls can be damn good in bed. :D

mkjj
Mar 29, 2007, 10:33 AM
Even the ugliest girls can be damn good in bed. :D

;) Don't know what you mean Andrew!

Been married forever so i'll take your word for it!

kbfr08
Jan 28, 2008, 02:41 PM
Does anybody have any more info about the STB, I've been trolling the thread and I was surprised that nobody updated it. There's some great information on this box, and I'm thinking of buying one from ebay.

mister duffy
Jan 28, 2008, 04:05 PM
During the (short) period while I owned the STB, I gathered quite a selection of sources from online about it and how it was used (in the UK anyway). Maybe they'll shed some light:

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_1995_May_8/ai_16919334
http://www.dotco.co.uk/clients/bt/btitvtrials
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~nd/surprise_96/journal/vol4/khp1/report.html
http://www.geocities.com/siliconvalley/lakes/6757/M4120.HTML (i think someone already linked to this)
http://www.gare.co.uk/technology_watch/vod.htm

white papers one the technology the STB was included in (http://www.misterduffy.com/stb/stb_white_papers.zip)
official apple manuals (http://www.misterduffy.com/stb/stb_manuals.zip)

gkarris
Jan 29, 2008, 12:39 PM
Does anybody have any more info about the STB, I've been trolling the thread and I was surprised that nobody updated it. There's some great information on this box, and I'm thinking of buying one from ebay.

DEFINITELY GET ONE! Especially with Apple's return to the TV fray...

I got one new in box from a guy who had extras that were never shipped to Europe!

During the (short) period while I owned the STB, I gathered quite a selection of sources from online about it and how it was used (in the UK anyway). Maybe they'll shed some light:

official apple manuals (http://www.misterduffy.com/stb/stb_manuals.zip)

The one I got didn't have any manuals - obviously since they were preliminaries. Are there any REAL manuals around?

pitz
Jan 29, 2008, 02:57 PM
The one I got didn't have any manuals - obviously since they were preliminaries. Are there any REAL manuals around?

I have the original manual (whose PDF is included in the zip file in the forum thread). My unit also has the rare card that goes into the slot in the motherboard -- actually a riser card and a video card that horizontally connects to the riser card.

I'll see if I can dig up the pictures I took years ago.

kbfr08
Jan 30, 2008, 05:35 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but while I was searching patents on this device I came across this patent: http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/5583560-fulltext.html
The patent states, "The non-volatile part of system memory 65 includes read-only memory (such as ROM), which is used to store an operating system and playback software, fonts, sounds and the like used in the present invention." If you read through the whole section discussing RAM, ROM, and other storage devices it looks like the only thing the STB attempts to do is download the programming data.

I was researching FCC documentation and I came across this page (http://www.governmentattic.org/docs/FOIA_Logs_FCC_FY2005-07.pdf). If you do a search on the FCC ID (BCGM4120), you'll see that Apple's, and others' patent information were taken out. They were all taken out on the same day, so I'm wondering if there was some kind of lawsuit, the lawyer who took out the information deals with intellectual property.

By the way, I did see a STB on ebay; but it will cost me $61 shipped (a little too expensive for something I'll probably put in storage).

nxtrcx
Feb 12, 2009, 09:08 AM
Hi everyone,

I have been hunting high and low for pictures of the orignal Apple Settop Box Remote. I was hoping that some of you who have this unit also have the remote and can post some images or send them to me.

For interest some has posted some more images up on Fllicker of the Apple Settop box. http://www.flickr.com/photos/14329937@N00/

Thank you in advance,

Ian

ian.dudley@primus.ca

Superman07
Feb 12, 2009, 08:41 PM
Interactive TV was supposed to be the next big thing after the Internet started exploding (along with AOL, CompuServe).

I have a Popular Mechanics mag that has an Intel add-in card that would pipe in a TV signal with embedded computer content in it.

Kinda like a broadcast version of DVD (select different audio, text tracks).

The whole thing fizzled. Digital TV will do the same thing and will be the defacto standard in a few years in the US, so the developers of the $5k T.V. set say anyway.

Wow, only took 7 years to get started!! :)

http://blogs.zdnet.com/home-theater/?p=214

bobnugget
Aug 22, 2013, 03:30 PM
Well, it's been a few years since the last post, I know, but I've just picked one of these up on eBay for not so much.

I've done a little research and opened mine up - it's a very late BT European model with a few patches on the motherboard and 18th Aug 1995 SW Ver 7.0.

Haven't tried to boot it up as I don't have an ADB keyboard around at the moment (preparing to move house).

Anyways, does anyone have a link to the driver software that was mentioned earlier in the thread, about 7 years ago? I can't find it anyway.

From the BT article linked on Wikipedia, I have gathered the following:

The Ethernet port is an E1/T1 interface
With the consumer ROM, the Set top box will not boot fully unless it can download an OMO (Oracle Media Net) application over this interface - this is why the boxes appear dead/not bootable
E1/T1 cards are expensive, and the network protocols are not explained in enough detail for me to try and install one in a Linux box yet (it's G.703 at 2Mbps)


I wonder if there's a dev mode one can access through a keyboard combo on startup?