Cube as HTPC? (720p?)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by cosmichobo, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. cosmichobo macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #1
    G'day,

    Can a Cube be used as a HTPC, capable of (nicely, happily) running 720p video (or higher)?

    What mods are required to do so?

    Cheers

    cosmic
     
  2. fhall1 macrumors 68040

    fhall1

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Location:
    (Central) NY State of mind
    #2
    I'd say the only mod to make that possible is to tear out the guts and put an Intel NUC (or new Apple TV) inside.
     
  3. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #3
    I did see there was at least 1 stock card (?) that handles 1920 x 1200... Not enough grunt though for full screen video at 720p?
     
  4. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #4
    Purchase an NVidia GeForce 6200 off of eBay and flash it
     
  5. Goftrey macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    Location:
    Wales, UK
    #5
    720P is definitely a no go from my experience. Even with a 6200 mine would choke running anything above 480P.
     
  6. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #6
    You need 1.25Ghz+ to play 720p h264 mp4 files - if you're prepared to convert such files to uncompressed video the Cube could cope but the files would be huge.
    Converting to Apple MPEG4 will be easier on the processor too but you'll see a drop in quality.
    The only real option is to fit a processor upgrade or a sympathetic hackintosh conversion.
     
  7. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #7
    720p is hard on just about any single G4. If you're talking stock 450-500MHz Cube you're a long ways from having the CPU power to decode that kind of resolution. The other issue here of course is being limited to USB for your audio output.
     
  8. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #8
    With a CPU upgrade, you could get away with playing 720/30p MPEG-2 video, but the more modern MPEG-4 and H.264 won't be playable. Video card doesn't matter, versions of OS X that will run on PowerPC don't support hardware acceleration of H.264.
     
  9. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #9
    Thanks everyone for the replies. :)

    I've long wanted a Cube, but these days, it would need purpose... I don't want to get one just to see it live in a box.

    Whilst happy to upgrade the graphics card or use a faster Sonnet CPU card, I'm not just wanting to whack a Mini inside or build a Hackensack.

    What are the USB audio out issues?
     
  10. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #10
    Is this based on experience? I've just cranked up my 1.33 Powerbook and played back 720P h264 mp4 files fine in XBMC.
    Are there no accelerators for Cubes clocked at those speeds?
     
  11. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #11
    The Cube has no regular 3.5mm audio out jack. In order to get audio out of it to an amplifier or TV, you would need to buy an USB sound card. There's a lot of cheapo ones that do actually work on PPC Macs, on sites like eBay. I have an THX USB adapter that came with a Creative headset I owned many years ago, which for example works fine on PPC Macs.
    Talking about audio, if you can't use it as an HTPC, maybe use it as an music player? A 2011 version of Spotify still works, and of course, PPC Macs can still play any audio file fine, with a suitable audio player even 192KHz/24-bit FLAC files still work fine. Add a nice suitable USB soundcard, and you're set to go.
     
  12. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

    Joined:
    May 27, 2013
    #12
    I want a Cube for an OS 9-only machine. It's snappy, it works, there's tons of abandonware for it, OS 9 games were fun, Classilla exists, and much more.
     
  13. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #13
    Thanks for the info and suggestion. I'm planning on using my TAM as a "speaker" for iTunes one day... so was thinking more about the HTPC idea for a Cube. My fascination with the Cube goes back to the day I first saw one in an Apple reseller, complete with the big woofer and sticks... So ideally that's what I'd like to get hold of, and could use that sound system.
     
  14. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #14
    Looks like I'm going to find out soon... just got a Cube off eBay... with 1.5GHz upgrade, 1.5GB RAM, 120GB HDD... Not entirely sure of the graphics card as yet, though it appears to have ADC and VGA ports so possibly just a stock card.

    Very excited!
     

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