Old G4 as Apple TV replacement

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by fartheststar, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. fartheststar macrumors 6502a

    fartheststar

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #1
    Hi,

    I am hoping to use an old G4 as an Apple TV - I don't want to spend the money for an Apple TV right now and have this G4 sitting around. It's a tower G4 MDD 1.25 GHZ x 2 with 1.5 gig memory and an added USB 2 card. It's not wireless enabled, it'd be hooked up to the internet via ethernet to a time capsule.

    Please confirm:

    1. Can I hook it up to the Samsung 7 Series HDTV (16x9) via DVI and have it look good for iPhoto, movies, etc?
    It's an ATI 9000 Video card. I read something about 16x9 vs 16x10 so I want to know.

    2. I want to hook it up to the stereo system for surround sound, but all I have is the 'speaker out' right now on the computer.
    While the Stereo system takes RCA (I could do speaker out to RCA convert), but I would rather do Digital Optical or Optical Coax to the stereo system. Is there a cheap card I could buy that is compatible with the computer and would allow 5.1 sound from iTunes movies, etc?

    Thanks! And I did a search and spent 10 minutes looking for answers, I realize they might be out there but I didn't find them. Please post where they are if there's answers already.
     
  2. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #2
    It's loud (at least compared to Apple TV or any recent Macs).
    Cannot play HD content.

    If you perform Fan and power supply replacement, add an external sound card for optical output
    the cost approaches Apple TV price.

    However it's good for server / storage and connecting to it via gigabit ethernet.
     
  3. fartheststar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    fartheststar

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #3
    Hm, thanks. Yeah it's loud... I'll have to rethink what I'll do with it. With all the talk of needing to format drives 8-100 times in order to make sure data's not recoverable by others, I don't want to sell it, and I figure it's still a capable machine for some things.
     
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #4
    I'm still using the machine in my sig as my day-to-day computer, they are more than capable.

    But, as Consultant pointed out, the noise and lack of muscle for HD content are deal-breakers when it comes to using it as a media center/Apple TV replacement.

    Certain G5 towers might work, depending on the setup, but those can get noisy too.
     
  5. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #5
    With a machine of that age, it would be dirt cheap to buy a new hard drive if you're concerned about personal data on your present drive.
     
  6. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #6
    I got a PowerMac G4 dual 800 for storage / server sitting in the basement.
    There are lots of uses for a server. For example you can have it accessible to you at any time.

    Get a SATA card and you can put a few TB of drives in it.
    (IDE drives are expensive and getting outdated).

    You can stream HD files from it via gigabit ethernet, or get Airport Express to run it via Wireless N. (and play with apple tv)
     

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