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Minimum91's picture
Joined: 2009 Aug 14
Mac OS 9/Early versions of X Lossless video playback

I have a need to be able to record everything that happens on screen in maximum quality and without CPU intervention (Snapz Pro X will not do). A capture card is in mind. But later, when the video has been recorded, what video format can I use (regardless of the file size) that would play back 60 fps or at least 30 on something like a B&W 450 Mhz G3? Running Mac OS 9, Jaguar, Panther or Tiger. The key is that I need to be able to reproduce every onscreen pixel. The screens I use on my vintage Macs are anything from the 1998 Apple LCD Studio Display, up to the 23" Apple Cinema Display.

P.S. If I need to record the 23" Apple Cinema Display with ADC, will I be able to use the Apple ADC to DVI converted with the capture card?


Gary's picture
Joined: 2011 Jul 21

>I have a need to be able to record everything that happens on screen in maximum quality and without CPU intervention

Without CPU Intervention??? Really? The DRM stuff built into Macs for a LONG time was designed to prevent just such a thing.

That means you are limited to external captures like setting up a camera in front of the display and pressing "Record". Depending on the setup and camera you can get reasonable results.


adespoton's picture
Joined: 2015 Feb 15

Best solution I can think of from that era is DV encoding. I believe you can set it to whatever frame rate and resolution your hardware will support, but you're going to want a GPU with the codec built in to keep from getting limited by the CPU.

On the plus side, DV was designed to be VERY fast at encoding, so you could probably run it right off the CPU without too much degredation.

Or, take a video out signal, and route it directly through a Sony Digital8 handycam; that's what I used to do, and the Sony did the encoding on the fly. You'll only get 720x480 that way though, unless Sony has newer IEEE1394 hardware that handles higher resolutions.

cbone's picture
Joined: 2011 Sep 17

M, how long do you think your video recording will run for and at what resolution(s) will you record?

I recently got a VGA to HDMI converter for work, although I haven't tried hooking a Beige G3 to it. Then for the HDMI output, I use an HDMI capture card which does a great job of sending the video signal to my Windows desktop for recording.

From there, it should be just a matter of finding the best conversions. I imagine if the G3 tower can playback DVD video from an optical drive, the same MPEG 2 video format could be used to play a video file right on the internal or an external hard drive, or possibly even a large removable drive like an Iomega Jaz Drive. MPEG 1 is an even easier encoder/decoder, but if it can handle your display's native resolutions, the file sizes will be exponentially larger than MPEG 2.

Update: now that I think of about it, the MPEG2 DVD format may limit your playback to DVD quality video output, but I'm not 100% on that stat..

Minimum91's picture
Joined: 2009 Aug 14

@cbone I'm thinking the recording could be around 3-6 hours long.

@adespoton Not a bad idea using an external camera for decoding, I'll think about this!