Archive for August, 2007

HP Pavilion Secrecies!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2007

Well, boy have I got a fun post for you today! Along with the addition of a new category, Hacks! Along with that, I’ve added some pictures of the whole NOC (network operation center, for those of you with a life) here at craplandia.org.

Right, well, on to the secrecies. I’ve been really excited to discover that a computer of mine from 1998 (HP Pavilion 8570C) actually has TV-out capabilities. I was cleaning out the case, and discovered a chip near the integrated video chip on the motherboard that read ImpacTV2, and became interested. I googled the name, and it turned out to be a TV encoder chip, which provided TV output capabilities to the video hardware on the motherboard. Nice! Next to it, I later discovered a set of pins labeled TVCON. Once again, I turned to Google for an answer, and I came up with this pinout:
tvcon_pinout
So, I took a remainder of the IDE ribbon cable I used in the CueCat Surgery post (here), cut it to the length of the header, and clipped an RCA jack to the end of the cable. Into the TV it went, turned on the computer, and voila, I see computer on my TV! If I had wanted to, I could have used the S-Video output (Luma and Chroma) but I didn’t have enough cables to be able to sabotage one.

Conclusion: So, if you have an ASUS board with integrated ATI video, check out and see if there’s a TVCON header on the board. This weekend, I was able to snag a slightly newer (2001) HP Pavilion 510x and it had a 2 sets of headers on the board, labeled LCDTV. One was the same type of header as the TVCON header on the other Pavilion, so I will attempt to get video out from this one as well. It seems an odd decision for HP to exclude built-in jacks for this functionality. It would have cost them, at the most, a dollar more to add an RCA and SVideo jack to the back of this computer. The older pavilion even had solder pads for them on a riser card used for the sound connections.

Anyways, have fun with it, and happy hacking!