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any mac experts out there?

A call for advice from any mac-centric audio/video geeks out there....

Four years ago I bought a beige G3 Power Mac. I got the AV one that came with audio RCA in/out and video in/out. That allowed me to do things like:

-- Hook my tape player up to digitize taped audio, or make tapes of digital audio.

-- Hook my VCR up and make digital movies out of videos, or record VHS tapes of digital movies.

I'm ready to buy a new G4, but I'm concerned that I won't be able to do these things anymore. I know I can buy third party hardware to manage these tasks, but I'm swamped in options that are all too fancy for what I need. What I need is what I had: a few extra plugs at the back of my mac.

So my question for the experts: What is the cheapest, easiest way for me to add good old AV functionality to a fancy new G4 tower? All I need is simple RCA audio in/out and video in/out. Any advice?


What I know already:

For sound, the iMic provides a mic jack, but not RCA in/out. (RCA plugs are what you find on stereo amplifiers, and the old AV macs.) I could use the iMic with a RCA converter to get stereo in, and then a similar Y splitter converter on the speaker mini-jack to get stereo out, but I was looking for a more elegant solution.

Formac has a product that seems like it would work: the Studio DV/TVR. But at four hundred dollars, it's certainly not cheap. And I don't need a TV/FM tuner, either. It's overkill.

So. Still looking. Any ideas out there?

As an aside, I think it's a shame that the Mac is supposed to be this great hub for all my stuff, and yet it's so hard to solve a problem Apple had licked four years ago.

{ 8:22pm }



» Sorry Derek. As far as I can tell, stuff like the Studio DV/TVR is the only way to go, short of retaining the G3. Most A/V geeks I know hold on to theirs for this purpose if they're not willing to fork out the cash for a converter box.

Speaking of which, if you're planning to give up the G3, I'm willing to make an offer on it.

Mike  { 5.17.02 @ 9:57pm }

» Derek, have you spoken with anyone at the Genius Bar in an Apple Store? I have received really great advice from several Geniuses in the past.

Greg  { 5.17.02 @ 9:59pm }

» Hey Greg! Actually, I was planning on heading down to Palo Alto tomorrow. It'll be my first trip to the Macintosh Mecca, and I'm embarrassingly giddy about it.

Derek  { 5.17.02 @ 10:14pm }

» Don't be embarrassed. Last June, I ditched the second half of a Edward Tufte presentation so I could go find 1 Infinite Loop and look around in aw before I had to catch a plane home.

Greg  { 5.18.02 @ 9:37am }

» You might want to look at the PowerWave ($99). I've been searching for something similar and it looks like the best bet (affordability wise).

Now, any of you Macheads know how to reattach a single key to an iBook keyboard? :(

alan  { 5.18.02 @ 11:26am }

» ....very carefully.

Kevin-John Black  { 5.18.02 @ 12:30pm }

» There are three options on the market at the moment (as far as I know) and they all offer similar features:

- Dazzle Hollywood DV-Bridge $299
- Formac Studio $399
- PoweR Director's Cut $289

I have personal experience with the Dazzle, second hand experience with the Formac (a friend owns one), and no experience with the PoweR. I would recommend either of the first two (emphasis on the Dazzle because the extra $100 doesn't seem to buy you much).

I found this article at MacAddict reviewing the Dazzle (links to reviews of the other two at the bottom)

This review at Macworld has a cool chart comparing all your options (look another one I didn't know about):

Here's a link to buy the Dazzle at Outpost

Although it looks like these guys are selling it for $249 (which I think is what I paid for mine)

Hope that helps,
Aspiring Google Researcher

shmuel  { 5.18.02 @ 9:12pm }

» Here is a forum that has a few creative responses to your question.

Tim  { 5.20.02 @ 5:40pm }

» Just released: The Canopus ADVC-50 - a PCI card that adds RCA audio/video in, for 200 bucks. It's not perfect (no audio/video out), but it's close!

Derek  { 5.23.02 @ 2:28pm }


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