[mythtv-users] Graphics cards with Component video - anyone using?

Stroller linux.luser at myrealbox.com
Tue Jan 2 15:58:07 UTC 2007


Hi there,

I've spent the last 24 hours or so doing homework on the best way to  
get video from my proposed Myth box into my telly, and I think that  
by the time I've finished writing this email my head will be about  
ready to melt.

Skip to the second half of this post if you're already using a  
graphics card which features a component video output. (paragraph  
beginning "more Googling, however...")

My TV is a rear-projection LG, model 44SZ21RD - had I bought a telly  
with MythTV in mind I would undoubtedly have spent the extra to get  
one with VGA or DVI in, but I bid on this at the last minute on eBay  
in the hours following a recent Nintendo delivery, and it's only  
since then that its occurred to me to try using it as an actual  
gogglebox. From the point-of-view of buying a telly randomly without  
regard to specification, then, I haven't been completely unfortunate  
because this unit has 2 x component inputs and also 2 x RGB SCART.  
With the amount of reading I've ended-up doing to try & figure the  
best way to connect Myth I'm kinda kicking myself over not having  
bought VGA, but at the same time it'd now be a lot of hassle to trade  
up to that, and probably cost me quite a bit, too.

I'm guessing it would be easy to get RGB SCART into this TV if I  
based a FE on an Xbox, or component from one of the upcoming Apple  
STBs, but I really want to build a Myth box based on a standard ATX m/ 
board & case. I don't have a PC currently running 24/7 which could be  
repurposed, and so I don't want the hassle of building anew separate  
FE & BE machines.

What I'd really like to do is use a motherboard with onboard Intel  
graphics, as I don't like having to use binary graphics drivers, but  
I don't see it as likely to be able to find a motherboard with  
onboard graphics and TV-out. As mentioned by Sean Darcy recently,  
boards based on the latest Intel G965 Express chipset & with onboard  
X3000 graphics can offer extended graphics-out options via an "ADD2"  
card, but these cards don't seem readily available to the general  
public; they seem usually to offer a second VGA or DHMI output, and I  
can only find one OEM mentioning them in connection with TV use  
<http://www.fujitsu-siemens.ie/Resources/201/730849794.pdf>.

My initial Googles for "vga scart" came up with a number of pages  
about making a cable to connect from a PC's VGA out to a standard  
SCART socket:
http://www.nexusuk.org/projects/vga2scart/circuit
http://ryoandr.free.fr/english.html
This is also mentioned on the MythTV wiki, however it's not clear  
whether the Intel integrated graphics will do the appropriate  
modelines <http://www.nexusuk.org/projects/vga2scart/>.

Does anyone know whether the Intel X3000 will support interlaced  
resolutions & low dot-clock frequencies?
(14.76 MHz is mentioned for PAL)
<http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/RGB_Scart#Requirements>
For anyone who's interested in this there's a very long thread at:
<http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136811&page=1>

I think it was somewhere in that thread that I stumbled upon mention  
of the new (at the time of the posting) ATi All-in-Wonder X800 which  
sports funny dongles for component & SCART TV-outs. <http:// 
www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=852>. I don't believe the All-In- 
Wonder to be ideal for MythTV because of the state of ATi drivers  
under Linux - a local supplier lists this model at 130, but I'm  
unlikely to use the tuner as DVB-T reception is poor in my area (I  
plan to get a separate PCI card for DVB-S).

More Googling, however, has turned up a number of other cards with  
component outputs. Is anyone here using any of these?

Abit RX600 Pro-HDTV (ATi chipset) - <http://tinyurl.com/yfdbgs>

BFG GeForce 6600 GT OC - <http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/bfg/ 
6600gtoc/index.php?p=2>, <http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php? 
cID=774&pageID=1405>

BFG GEFORCE 7600 GT OC 256MB PCIe - described as having an "HDTV  
connector", presumably this is the same as the component dongles  
shown in the reviews of the 6600 above; I can find this model for  
about 100 on eBay.

PNY Verto GeForce 6600 GT 128MB AGP - <http://www.hexus.net/content/ 
item.php?item=1166&page=3>. The manufacturer's website appears to  
describe this as a "HDTV-out breakout pod" <http://www2.pny.com/ 
6200-128MB-AGP-P1723C15.aspx>

My local supplier offers number of other PNY cards which appear to  
offer this "HDTV-out breakout pod":
   http://www2.pny.com/6200-128MB-AGP-P1723C15.aspx - 37
   http://www2.pny.com/7600-GS-256MB-PCIe--P1777C14.aspx - 53
   http://www2.pny.com/7300-GT-256MB-PCIe--P1895C14.aspx - 62
and others at prices exceeding 100, more than I'd prefer to pay for  
a graphics card.

Am I right in thinking that nVidia cards are better than ATi for  
Linux / MuthTV use? I detest binary drivers, but that's less hassle  
than messing with a homemade cable - if I have to accept binary  
drivers then I'd prefer the card / chipset that's best-supported   
under Linux and likely to be longest-supported.

At the moment I'm thinking that one of the PNY Verto cards will be  
the way to go; the last remaining thing is to see if this component  
"HDTV-out breakout pod" is supported under Linux. Anyone?

But I also made such a long posting because I wanted to lay out all  
my thinking along the way. I don't see any solution which is optimal  
to my preferences, but I'd be glad for anyone to knock me down if  
I've got things wrong.

Thanks in advance for any comments,

Stroller.



More information about the mythtv-users mailing list