I have an old 1.5 Ghz Powerbook G4 that's still alive and (sort of) kicking that I intend to use for an HTPC/media server...How should I go about connecting my PB to my 4:3 TV? I should note that my TV only has composite and S-video inputs. I tried just hooking it straight up from the S-video output on the PB using the S-video- to - composite adapter (I didn't have an S-video cable handy to try that direct connection), and it looked awful no matter how I set the resolution, plus wider-than-1.33 aspect ratios were either squashed or stretched, not letterboxed.
The one analog video connection Macs never handled well was component, you should be able to do S-Video and composite just fine.
I only ever connected my 15" Powerbook using the full-size DVI out port to DVI and the DVI to VGA adapter. I never used the S-video output, but I think you'd be able to connect directly when you get the right cable. Whether you should even try is another issue: it'll look like crap, that's the nature of the beast connecting to an old standard def CRT over a very low quality analog connector. (On the other hand, that 15" Powerbook, even now, could drive a modern 16x9 HDTV over DVI or VGA very
What app/software do you recommend for organizing/navigating the media? XBMC, Plex, etc?
XBMC can run on a PPC Mac, I think Plex is Intel only.
When the PB is connected to your display, how do you plan to control it? Do you have some other device that you can screen-share/VNC in with?
If there's no way to connect the PB to the CRT directly with decent picture quality and correct fomatting, what box would you recommend to help make the conversion? Or is a box just a good idea in general? I do have a first-generation Roku, which does not have the USB jack. I'd also prefer a wired connection of some sort for everything.
I don't think there's a box that'll help you. If your 4x3 CRT had component in, I would suggest serving files from your PB to a hacked Apple TV 1 running XBMC because it has component out built-in (and even though Apple says you have to have at least an "enhanced definition" TV many folks got their 4x3 CRTs to work just fine if they had a 16x9 mode.)
I still can't figure out the best solution for my particular setup.
The best solution is scrap the 32" CRT for an inexpensive 32" 720p HDTV, connect the PB over DVI or VGA, close the lid, run XBMC and remote control it with an iOS device.