Linux TV-out HowTo

Revision History
Revision 1.4317 January 2007
Replaced link to unichrome project with openchrome.
Revision 1.429 January 2007
Corrected missing < in Voodoo patch recipe.
Revision 1.4123 July 2006
Fixed link to subdomain. Added link to Martijn Uffing's bt869 patches.
Revision 1.4023 July 2006
New location. Interlaced frame syncing in MythTV. Updated comment about getting MPlayer to compile with XvMC and nvidia-glx. New info about deinterlacing filters and MythTV glsync.
Revision 1.3124 February 2006
Note about relocation to reduce bandwidth. Antispam paragraph more prominent.
Revision 1.3011 February 2006
Updates for Matrox RGB out and DirectFB kernel patch and options.
Revision 1.2131 October 2005
bt869 patch for kernel 2.6.14.
Revision 1.2027 July 2005
Added more useful information about NVidia cards and tweaked Matrox section.
Revision 1.1527 July 2005
Added new bt869 (Voodoo 3) patch for kernel 2.6.12, courtesy of Henrik Persson, and improved various remarks about Voodoo 3, interlacing and DirectFB.
Revision 1.144 February 2005
Separate modprobe commands for bt869 and i2c-voodoo3
Revision 1.134 February 2005
Corrected and updated directions for applying bt869 patches
Revision 1.124 February 2005
Missing GATOS chip IDs
Revision 1.113 February 2005
Need to build xfree86 for GATOS
Revision 1.103 February 2005
Results of testing with G200
Revision 1.924 January 2005
Unichrome driver for EPIA systems
Revision 1.820 January 2005
X.org doesn't support TV-out GATOS-style; update on ATI RGB (thanks to Jeremy Wilkins)
Revision 1.712 January 2005
X.org possible alternative to GATOS; DXR3 sound quality; maybe not all Matroxes support composite sync; new Matrox TV-out section; updated bt869 patch; misc small amendments
Revision 1.618 November 2004
DXR3 section and other minor changes
Revision 1.51 November 2004
More info about Matrox and interlacing
Revision 1.41 November 2004
BT869 support not in kernel 2.6.9 after all
Revision 1.324 October 2004
BT869 support in kernel 2.6.9
Revision 1.26 October 2004
MPlayer deinterlacing with -vsync -vo sdl
Revision 1.15 October 2004
Added paragraph about GATOS not supporting recent chips. Gave GATOS sections more meaningful titles
Revision 1.030 September 2004
First draft

Table of Contents

Introduction
Location
Anti spam
Using the RGB signal
Cards with composite sync
Modelines
Additional option for ATI cards
Interlacing problems
Deinterlacing filters in video players
Introduction to S-Video
ATI TV-out
Installing GATOS
X.org
NVidia TV-out
Matrox TV-out
Voodoo 3 TV-out (BT869)
So you thought AGP was “a standard
Activating the TV-out
XFree86 modelines for the BT869
VIA EPIA integrated motherboards
Creative DXR3 and Hollywood Plus
The Linux driver
MPlayer and DXR3/Hollywood+

Introduction

This article is a guide to getting a good TV picture (PAL or NTSC as opposed to HDTV) from a PC running Linux without an expensive external converter. The emphasis is on using the PC as some sort of video player, although some of the options are probably well-suited to playing games. Trying to do any sort of "work" using a TV screen instead of a monitor is not recommended. Some familiarity with terms such as VGA, RGB and S-Video is assumed as well as the ability to configure XFree86, compile the kernel and other software, and set boot-time module configurations.

Location

I can not guarantee the exact location of this document due to vagaries of whatever domain hosting package I'm using at any given time, but you should always be able to find it by going to http://www.realh.co.uk and following the link. I will also try to make it available directly at either http://www.realh.co.uk/tvhowto or http://tvhowto.realh.co.uk/.

Anti spam

The email address above is fake to foil spammers. Please replace thisisaspamtrap with h and accept my apologies for the inconvenience.