I never even had the Macintosh TV on my wish list since I never thought I’d ever get one. I’ve seen only a few listed on eBay and they’ve all been at least $800 bucks. For that kind of money, I’d rather go for a Twentieth Anniversary Mac.
I saw this Macintosh TV listed on eBay. The bid was only about $150 or so. It only had a day or so to go, so I figured I’d do a little more research on it. I was amazed to discover that the Macintosh TV was released in Oct 1993 to only be discontinued a mere 5 months later. Apple only made about 10,000 of them. It’s just as rare, if not rarer than the TAM. This machine was also listed with the original manual, OS installer and remote control. I’ve seen the remote controls go for $50 by themselves.
I had to have it.
The seller stated that the machine had been in storage for years and he didn’t even know if it would power on or not. I asked him to check it out, but he said he had taken it to be professionally packed and that it would be a real pain to have to open the box. The fact that the seller didn’t want to confirm nor deny the machine’s capabilities led me to believe that it was dead. He just didn’t want to admit it, or he wouldn’t get as much money for it. Considering the bid was so low, I took my chances that the machine was OK. I put in a high bid for $311. Needless to say, I won.
For such a heavy machine, I had my fingers crossed that it wouldn’t suffer the same fate during shipping as that of my Color Classic. My Color Classic was damaged by the Post Office while it was in transit. It took months to find a new front panel to fix it. If the Macintosh TV was to arrive damaged, I don’t think I’d ever find a replacement case for it. Thankfully the machine arrived safe and sound.
Upon first inspection it was made clear that this machine wash indeed stored for a long time in a garage or basement without any kind of outer protection. Who stores a computer just like that without putting it in a box or bag? It’s filthy!
Also included are the one-of-a-kind black keyboard and mouse. Seeing as the Macintosh TV was the only black Mac to ship in the US, this was the only way you could get your hands on these peripherals. Super rare!
The keyboard apparently wash’t stored in a box or bag either. It’s pretty filthy. I can’t wait to clean it.
The one disappointing thing is that it’s missing a leg. I contacted the seller. He didn’t even realize it was missing. No surprise there. He said he’d have a look around, but figured that it was probably long gone.
The mouse too needs a good scrubbing.
In addition to the Macintosh TV, the plan was to make the black keyboard and mouse available for the Apple Interactive Television Box too, but that project was scrapped. How cool would that have looked hooked up to the TV?
Also included is the remote. I imagine most of these have been lost over the years. I’m lucky that the seller threw it in. I have seen these for sale separately; and they always fetch a good $50 bucks.
I removed the I/O panel just to have a look. Man, that doesn’t look good. Looks pretty filthy in there. I also see a little rust on the chassis.
OK, let’s open it up and have a look inside. Remove the two screws from the back.
There’s also a screw on each side.
And one on the bottom.
After the screws have been removed, the back bucks will slide right off.
OK, at least it doesn’t look as bad as the rusted-out 512K that I bought last year.
The logic bored does look pretty nasty though.
Once I flipped it over, it was pretty clear. I think it’s dead. Look at the corrosion on the back. There’s a white reside all over. It must have leaked from all the capacitors.
This machine was definitely improperly stored.
I checked the PRAM battery voltage. It was dead as a door nail.
I doubt this board is going to work, but now’s as good a time as any to change the battery.
I dusted off the board and removed the tuner card to have a closer look.
There’s a lot of corrosion under the tuner card. Looks like that cap leaked out all over everything.
The daughter board on the tuner card also looks like it’s fried. It looks pretty crispy.
The white corrosion on the bottom does’t seem to want to come off either, despite being cleaned with alcohol. I’m not very hopeful that this board will ever work.
Let’s check out the hard drive. It slides right out.
It’s a 1 Gig drive. It looks OK.
The tube looks pretty clean. No corrosion.
The analog board too looks OK. No corrosion. (On the top at least.)
I put everything back together. Plugged it in. Crossed my fingers, and powered it on.
Nothing. It’s dead. I don’t even get a power LED on the front. See, this is why I’m not a gambling man. I crossed my fingers and hoped that it would work, but I knew in the back of my head that the machine would’t work.
Still, for $300, I’m not disappointed. A Macintosh TV for $300 is worth it in any condition. The analog board is the same as that of a Macintosh LC520. The logicboard is a modified LC550 board. Finding parts shouldn’t be impossible. In this case (literally), it’s not what’s on the inside that counts. It’s all about the black enclosure!
Apple also sold a TV tuner card separately, so getting this machine back up and running should be doable.