Apple TV/Video System Info

This page will contain all the info I have collected on using your 6400/6500's Apple TV/Video system
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First let me say that none of these will work without a monitor being attached to the stock monitor port. If the stock monitor port is not being used then the Mac disables all these cards functions!

NTSC Video Out card has an S-Video and a Composite out port. It connects to the little slot just behind the PRAM battery and has a ribbon cable that goes to the actual card that sits just below the sound output jack. The resolution must be set to 640x480 @60Hz to work. Here is a link to Apples web site with more info on this card. Click here to see a picture of this card.

Video Out card for mirrored video on another monitor. It has a Mac DB15 monitor port on it. It connects to the little slot just behind the PRAM battery and has a ribbon cable that goes to the actual card that sits just below the sound output jack. It will display exactly what is displayed from the stock port. The resolution can be anything that the internal video controller can handle and both monitors will display the same thing. To display this video on a TV or projector you need the Apple Presentation System to convert the Mac DB15 port to an S-Video or composite out cable. Or any other device that does the same thing. Click here to see a picture of this card. Sorry its just an artists rendition :(

Apple Presentation System. I have no info on this other then its needed to view S-Video or Composite video from the Video Out card. I suppose this would also work on the standard monitor out port as well? Both the standard monitor out and the Video Out card use the same Mac DB15 monitor port.

Video In card for watching video on your Mac. It has an S-Video and Composite in port as well as left and right audio in ports. This card sits just to the right of the serial ports and ADB port. It plugs into the slot at the top of the mother board next to the RAM slots. This is used for video capture to your Mac. It came in 4 version, Rev A-D. Most say you need Rev C or D to work on the 6400/6500 and A and B were for earlier Performas. This card works in conjunction with the TV tuner card or the Avid card. The reason Rev C and D are needed for the 6400/6500 is because some of these Macs shipped with the Avid card as well and the two cards join by a ribbon cable. The Rev C and D cards have the larger ribbon slot needed for the Avid card that shipped with these while the Rev A and B cards have a smaller slot so the ribbon cable won't fit. This works with NTSC, PAL, and SECAM. It can be changed via software to either format.

Avid card is for video out using hardware MPEG1 decoding. It connects to the Video In card to do MPEG1 hardware encoding for video capture as well. I think there are Rev A-D versions of this card to pair up with the same Rev of the Video In card?

TV Tuner card sits in the upper compartment in the back of the case. It has one connector for a COAX cable antenna connection and is for viewing TV on your Mac. It works in conjunction with the Video In card. You need both to watch TV. This comes in NTSC only.

TV/FM card sits in the upper compartment in the back of the case. It has one connector for a COAX cable antenna connection and is for viewing TV on your Mac. It also has a built in FM receiver to listen to FM radio. It works in conjunction with the Video In card. You need both to watch TV. This comes in NTSC only. Here is a link to Apples web site with tech specs on this card.

TV / FM driver version 1.5 posted for download. Scott was nice enough to send me the drivers for the TV / FM system in case anyone needs them. Thanks Scott!

Here is a link to Apples web site with more info on some of these cards. Even though Apples site doesn't list 6400/6500 compatibility with many of these cards, they do work as people have tried them already.

Well that about does it. If anyone has more info for me to add or any corrections, please feel free to let me know!

4/24/2003 More info on the Video capabilities of our Macs: Christopher sends more info on the different video in/out options that our family of Macs are capable of. Thanks Christopher.

Two additional notes:
The Video In Rev. A & B had the 34 pin DAV connector on the board. (Service part #'s 661-0159, 661-1073) This was to connect to the "Apple MPEG Video Board" (Service Part #661-0995 - Not the Avid card). Rev D. was the "new" 60 pin DAV connector (Service part #661-1181) which was designed for the Avid cinema card. (Service Part #661-1165), I am not sure if there was a Rev. C? There is a 34 - 60 pin cable (Service part #944-3220) which is labeled "Cable, Video-In to MPEG, Rev D, 34-pin to 60-pin" which seems to suggest that people who have the "old" style Video In card (Rev A or B) can use this cable to connect to the "new" style Rev D Avid MPEG board.

The Video Out slot (by the battery) has two possible uses. It can be set up as a mirrored video or VGA out (as discussed here at length); or it can be used as a GIMO connector to the PC compatibility card - eliminating the need for a loopback monitor cable (allowing the PC and the Mac to share a single monitor. (For more technical specs on this than anyone should ever need: look at the PDF file: "12_7_PC_Compatibility_Cards.pdf"


The only thing I question is his assumption on the older Video in cards being able to use the newer Avid card with that 34pin to 60pin adaptor cable. I think the way its worded makes it work the other way around. A newer Video in card (Rev D) can connect to the older Apple MPEG card with this cable? Yes the cable says its 34pin "to" 60pin but the name says Video in "to" MPEG card. Also remember that the MPEG card was not made with the 60pin plug. Its for the older Rev A and B Video in cards so it must have the 34pin plug.

2/28/2004 Answer for "What is the 34-60pin cable for?": Alec also wrote to say that this cable is for connecting the Video in card to an MPEG card. Apple sold some of these Macs with just a simple MPEG card instead of the full Avid card and there was no need for the extra pins in this setup. Thanks Alec.

[Hi Tom,
Congratulations on your acquisition of a 6500, it's the machine the 6400 was always meant to be, I'm sure you'll be well satisfied with it. Even though I had to pay for the 6500 mobo I put in my 6400 I've no regrets especially as it had an Avid Cinema card in.

Regarding Christopher's comments on the 34 to 60 pin cable it can only be for using the MPEG Card with the Rev D Video In board as the extra pins that the Cinema card uses are not connected, see attached photo.

User issues with these cards

Apple TV/Video system only showing QuickCam output?: The following is a letter from Clint asking for help with his TV/Video setup.

[I'm hoping to find some help from 6400 Zone readers (great resource by the way) with a recent problem with my 6400: Current setup: Performa 6400/180, 80mb RAM, Sonnet G3 240mhz L2 upgrade, ATI Rage PCI video card (both purchased from Tiong Chen from an ad @ the 6400 zone ;,)), Maxtor 20GB IDE HD, 2-port USB PCI card, Yamaha 6X4X12 CD W/RW drive in the top bay, and a newly purchased Apple TV/Video system from Shreve systems. I'm running OS 8.6, have all the latest USB drivers from apple, Version 2.1.3 of the quickcam software, and version 1.7.2 of apple video software. I had an ixTV PCI card that was working well for TV tuning and moderately well for capture but swapped it with the USB card for the quickcam and hopefully a Wacom tablet. I have been able to get the quickcam USB VC working although the software seems quirky and buggy on my system. Hoping to continue to be able to get video input, I purchased a used TV/Video system for $59 from Shreve systems. After installing, when I open the Apple Video player, I get video from the Quickcam. I have tried switching between video and TV in the video player and switching the input in the Quickvideo software. Turning off the Quickcam USB extensions does not help. With the camera plugged in, switching to "TV" in the Apple Video Player continues to play quickcam input. Without the camera, switching to "TV" produces "You must have the TV tuner installed" message. I think that everything is installed properly, but there is an open cable plug on the Video card (not the TV tuner card) that is not mentioned in the instructions. The Apple TIL document on the TV tuner says that the latest version of the Video software is 1.7.3 for 8.6, but I can't seem to find anything later than 1.7.2. Please let me know if anyone can help. Thank You, Clint
Hi Tom, I wanted to update the question on the Apple TV/Video system. I found Apple Video Player/video extension 1.7.3 by reinstalling the OS 8.6 update. Now I have the latest versions of everything. When I open the Video player with the USB extensions enabled, camera plugged in, and cable plugged into the TV tuner, I get the Quickcam image over audio from the cable that I can change with the tuner. Switching video from within the program does nothing as does changing from within the quickcam software. If I disable the USB and Quickcam extensions, I get no signal at all in the Apple Video application. I'm not sure which Rev the Tuner/Video card are but I heard that its possible to get A-D to work on a 6400 although C or D is preferred. Any input is appreciated. Thanks Clint.]

Update on using a QuickCam and Apples TV tuner issue: I got several emails from users saying that you need to have a monitor on the stock port for the TV/Video system to work. This is true but Clint did have a monitor on the stock port so something else is wrong? Ian sent me an email with a solution he remembered from awhile ago. Hope it works. Thanks Ian.

[Hey Tom
Seem to remember having similar problems with a serial QuickCam and the TV tuner. It was a while parents now run the 6400 (I've moved on to a G3 B&W).... I think I had to start the Quickam first, then Apple Video Player (quit Quickcam after) - as I said, it was a while ago & my recollection is a bit hazy, but I think this was the work around (I also read about it in one of the read me files from Quickcam or Apple Video Player).

Hope this of some help to the reader...
Best regards

Here is some info from Ralph on this subject. His answer was also to try the stock port but he had some other info that is good for any Apple Video Player user. Thanks Ralph.

[PS On the stability of the ATI TV player with OS8.6. I was getting random system freezes with the TV on with nothing else running sometimes. Even going to a system control panel with the TV on would lock things up. This issue seems to have been fixed with my recent upgrade to OS9.0.4.

PSS Using Apple TV tuner/player with built in graphics card on OS8.6 with a PM5500 or PM6500. There were some stability issues when trying to capture snapshots. Make sure you have the latest and matching versions of the Apple TV player and its Video extension (1.7.3). Also turn Vitural Memory ON. That should make TV or Video screen snapshots stable again.

PSSS If a return is not possible and switching monitors to the Apple graphics card is too much of a pain or still will not allow the Apple TV Tuner to work with the rage card left in the PCI slot. And since the USB camera can send video to the Apple TV software, you can try a USB video input device like XLR8 InterView and connect a VCR tuner or go with a USB TV tuner like MyTV. Its going to add $80 for the USB video converter or $170 for the MyTV as opposed to the $140 for the Xclaim 128 VR w/TV though. If switching your monitor to the differant graphics cards does the trick, than maybe a monitor switch will get the job done for you like the $60 manual KVM 3 port switch by CompuCable (this one has Mac inputs and a Mac/PC output). When you need the 3D game power of the ATI card, switch the monitor to that card and when using the TV, switch to the built in Apple card. This last option only makes sense if you can leave the ATI PCI card in place and get the the AppleTV tuner to work using the built in Apple card.]

9/22/2000 Update on TV tuner using QuickCam input only: I have not found a solution to this yet but there may be a reason why? Ian sent me the ReadMe file from Connectix's QuickCam software and there is an interesting point in the second to last paragraph of the Known Problems section. It basically states an issue with older Quadras but may also relate to our systems. It says that Apples Video Player only uses the first video source it finds and that's it. They suggest to try running the QuickCam software before Apples Software so the QuickCam software gets control of the QuickCam and all that's left for Apples Video Player is the TV tuner. They say the only fix is for Apple to change their software in a future update. Maybe they did but I don't use this software so I cannot verify it? If anyone can verify that Apples Video Player can pick multiple sources, please email me. Thanks

1/26/2001 Using an Apple TV/Video system set to the PAL standard in the USA: Derek sent me a TIL article stating that Apples TV/Video system will play NTSC on the video input even if you bought a PAL standard TV/Video system. I replied to his email and also posted it below. Thanks Derek.

[I followed that link you posted in the last discussion:

You are correct that a US bought NTSC TV/Video system will not pick up TV broadcast from its built in tuner if a PAL or other non NTSC signal is attached. But the video input port can detect and switch in software to recognize which standard is being used. Thanks for that info.

I kind of mentioned that in my posting in the last discussion as well. I did mention you could not use a US bought NTSC TV and use it in a PAL environment and that TIL proves that part. But I also said that software can switch to use either standard and I guess Apples video player software does just this depending on which standard is present on the video input port. So we are both right :)

Apple does sell a PAL system for the 6400/6500 though and I wanted to warn users of this. A PAL TV/Video system in the US will not allow the TV tuner to work in the US just like an NTSC TV system will not work in countries using the other standards. In any country you could buy a VCR that supports the standard of that country and use the video input to get TV channels using the VCR as a TV tuner.

Thanks for supplying that TIL

Basically this means that you could buy the PAL system and use it in the US, but the tuner will not work. To watch TV you would have to use some other tuner source such as a VCR.

9/2/2001 Video out info on Apples TV/Video system: Carl sends word that the TV system does not do video out by itself. You have to also purchase the Avid Cinema card or Apples Presentation system. Thanks Carl.

[I don't actually have one of these, but I've been doing research on them. My understanding is that this system does not include a video out. It is only for viewing video on the computer. If you wish do digitize video, you also need the Avid Cinema Card. I recently picked up the Apple Presentation System (, which does allow you to output video. Carl]

8/5/2002 Update on 6400 with Apple TV/FM installed on OS 9.1 and 9.2.1: Last update, Will also had an issue with his Apple TV/FM system not being able to auto tune stations after OS 9.1 was installed. Petar wrote to say that he fixed this by starting fresh and then it worked. I think he means he ran the system restore CD and upgraded from there? Thanks Petar.

[I have also had this problem on my 6360. The fix actually for what it is worth on my 6360 was to let the installer install everything it wanted to... When I did a custom install then the Video Player software would not work correctly and the sound preferences would be all screwed up.

I just reloaded from stock AGAIN and all was well. On my 6300 however I did the same more or less custom install (Minimum plus a few extras)and the problem did not appear...

Just thought I would pass that along. We are not alone in this weird OS 9.1 TV tuner issue.


Rick also wrote that he had the same issue but his answer was to just revert to OS 8.6. Hopefully Petars fix works!

[Same thing happened to me. I could not use the auto tuner I had to manually add all of the TV stations, a real drag. I gave up all hope and just went back to using MacOS 8.6, my 6500 is happy again.


8/18/2002 Fix for sound input switching to none in OS 9 when you want to listen to an Audio CD or your TV tuner: Mad Mac sent me some info on how to fix this problem. Thanks Mad Mac.

[I found a way to stop OS 9 from switching the sound input from CD-TV-VIDEO to none.
Step 1: Goto the extensions manager.
Step 2: Find sound manager.
Step 3: Uncheck sound manager.
Step 4: Reboot.

It will never switch to none after quitting the video player again! :-)]

Some of you may be asking "what else is affected by removing this extension?". Truthfully, I do not know? I do know that the extension is just a newer version then what is bundled in the System File itself. Every now and then Apple would include the Sound Manager extension into the System file but every time they updated QuickTime, a new, updated Sound Manager extension would be installed. So you still have a sound manager which is built into the System File but I don't know how old that one is or if its incompatible with newer versions of QT? If anyone tries this fix, please email me your experiences. Thanks.

I wonder if this would fix audio stuttering issues as well?

9/1/2002 Update on fix for sound input switching to none in OS9: Daniel tried the fix of removing the Sound Manager extension to see if that would keep his audio settings to the last place he left them but it only worked for a short time :( Thanks for the info Daniel.

[Well It the fix worked for 5 min. then it reverted back to not working. I never lost any functionality. Sound Manager according to extensions manager is actually a part of QuickTime.

It might be interesting that the fix worked until I tried to play an audio CD in the Mac. After that it switched from CD-TV-VIDEO to Just CD. However, after manually switching it back to CD-TV-VIDEO, launching the video player then quitting it went back to none.

Next, I tried a CD I had to manually switch to CD then after quitting the CD player it went back to none. I have not been able to recreate my success.

I would wager that if I did not insert the audio CD it would still be working now.

As I use that computer just as a TV and server I wish I could get this fixed. I run AppleShare IP6 on it so I need OS 9. If I could run AppleShare IP6 on OS 8 I would.]

7/6/04 - Nice fix to change Apples TV/Video system from always switching to NONE for audio input: Justin sent me some info and an Apple Script he wrote to force his Apple TV/Video player to change from input source NONE to the CD-TV-Video input. Thanks Justin. Here are the files so you don't have to search for them.

[Hi Tom,
Just wanted to let you know I found a fix to the sound input issue with the Apple TV/Video Player and Mac OS 9.2.2. I found like some of your other readers that the fix about disabling the sound manager extension only solved the problem of the sound input going to "none" for a brief period of time. Thus I hunted around and compiled a simple Applescript to set the sound input to CD-TV-Video before opening Apple Video Player. This script also maximizes the TV window to full screen and use two scripting additions that need to be placed in the System\Scripting Additions folder. These are:

1. AutoType

2. Sound Input Control

The Applescript is:

sound input source 5

end try

tell application "Finder"
select file "Apple Video Player" of folder "Apple Video Player ƒ" of
folder "Applications (Mac OS 9)" of startup disk
open selection
tell application "Apple Video Player"
AutoType "3" holding "Command"
end tell

end tell

I have this script compiled and sitting on my desktop. I am not sure if the sound input source number will change for other machines but this works for a PowerMac 5500.

I have also included the script and scripting addition files.

I hope this helps other users. Thanks for a great site.

4/3/2003 More information on the video out ports that some 6500's come with: There is a nice topic going on in my forums about the NTSC Video out capability of some 6500's. The question that sparked this was how to get the video out ports to work? I pointed the person to this page on my site that has some info on the video out card. I asked him to try setting his resolution to 640x480 @60Hz as was mentioned on that page. I haven't heard back from him yet if this worked but another user, Christopher, found a number of links with lots of info on this subject. Thanks Christopher! Here are some of his postings.

[With the release of the 5400, 5500, 6400 and 6500, Apple released a series of External Video connectors. (M4099LL versions A - D) As near as I can tell (no manuals are extent anywhere that I can find on-line) Versions A - C were for 5400 and 5500 style systems. Version D was (I think) designed for 6400 and 6500. (At least version D is advertised on the available option on the original 6400/6500 advertising info sheets.) All of these External ports were 15 pin D style connectors that were designed to work together with the Apple Presentation System, a second (mirrored) computer video monitor or a LCD display.

There are two sly references: one on an education price sheet, for a M4099LL/C that you can buy ($29), but it requires you to "Remove the NTSC Video Out connector on AV enabled systems."

The second is a review from Macworld in 1997 on the newly introduced 6500. That mentions the new system comes with a NTSC Video Out and two free PCI slots.

All of this is no news to you, since you have the machine in front of you, but it is tremendous news to me, since I didn't even know the NTSC Video Out external connector existed.

But I could find no manuals or written information anywhere about this AV video out connector. All the Manuals (>support>Manuals) that refer to the External video connector for the 6500 and 5400 ALL say to use this with video you must connect it to an Apple Presentation System. (But this seems silly)

So by all means I'd love to know - does it work to TV if you drop the resolution down?]

12/22/2003 Alec sent me a little info on the cables used for the external video cards. Thanks Alec.

[Hi Tom,
Just been reading your update re video out ports and the fact that there were various models. You may recall that I have access to an Apple Service Parts Database so I looked this up out of interest.

The only item listed is Cable, External Video Connector PN 922-1520. It is listed as being used on the following models:
Macintosh LC580
Performa 5000 series
Performa 580CD
Performa 6200 series
Performa 6400 series
PM 5000 series
PM 6500 Series
Interestingly there are four video-in cards for these computers. The Revision D has the 60 pin DIL connector needed for the Avid Cinema Card link. The Rev A, and probably Rev B had 34 pin conncetors. No trace of Rev C though.

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This page last updated 12/24/2004