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The goal here is to setup MythTV to output Audio and Video from your ATI Radeon Card to a TV which has a HDMI input. The how to assumes that you have ALSA installed & MythTV + plugins installed. Please note, I didn't have enough experience with ALSA config files to dare try and mess with them.
Works with:
Operating System: Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04
Desktop Manager: Gnome
Video Card: ATI Radeon 4650

Important.png Note: You may wish to disable your onboard sound card to make things less complicated. I did this through my BIOS.

Important.png Note: It would be wise at this stage to have SSH and or VNC installed and working if you lose control of X or the resolution makes it difficult to configure the PC

ATI Proprietary Driver

Enable the Ubuntu (or alternative distro) packaged ATI Proprietary driver from “Hardware Drivers” - See Figure 1. This will currently (21/08/09) install an old version of the ATI drivers and ATI Catalyst Control Center. This will cause issues when trying to set an optimal resolution.

Go to:

  1. System
  2. Administration
  3. Hardware Drivers

Access Hardware Drivers.png

Figure 1

Download ATI Driver

The next step is to install the ATI driver with the ATI Catalyst Control Center. The driver can currently be obtained via:

Install ATI Driver

Open up a terminal and type in the following commands:

Important.png Note: If you saved the ATI Driver somewhere else, modify the path ~/Desktop to where you downloaded it to.

 chmod +x ~/Desktop/ 

^ Makes the file executable

 sudo ~/Desktop/

^ Executes the file as a root user

Important.png Note: If you are using a distro without sudo, use su -c in place of sudo

The ATI Setup:

  1. Choose “Install Driver 8.64 on X.Org 7.4 and later releases”
  2. Choose whether or not you accept the licence
  3. Choose “Automatic” mode to install
  4. The installation will complete and you can reboot your PC, or just restart X.

HDMI Video in Gnome

Setup Appropriate Resolution In Ubuntu, my ATI Catalyst Control Centre shortcuts were automatically placed in my Gnome Menu - see Figure 2. If you can't see the shortcuts, type this command from a terminal:

 amdxdg-su -c amdcccle

^ Launches Catalyst Control Center using root privileges

Access ATICCC Gnome Menu.png
Figure 2

The ATI Catalyst Control Centre should appear after you type in your root/sudo password - see Figure 3.

In the ATI Catalyst Control Centre, you can configure your monitor with 720p60, 50 NTSC, PAL. My TV uses the settings found in Figure 2, however you may want to be more adventurous with your setup.

Catalyst Control Center.png
Figure 3

After configuring the Catalyst Control Centre, you can close the utility. At this point, your sound via HDMI may automatically work. You may wish to try and use MythTV at this point.

Gnome HDMI Sound

At this point Gnome will not be playing audio through your TV or HDMI device. To fix this, go to your Sound Preferences (System>Preferences\Sound) and set your HDMI ALSA device for Playback and Default Mixer Tracks - See Figure 4. You should be able to use the Test buttons to ensure that the sound is working. This will only enable sound on Gnome applications and not in command line programs which is a problem for MythTV.

Gnome Sound.png
Figure 4

MythVideo HDMI Sound

MythVideo uses mplayer by default to play your Videos. This howto assumes that you mplayer has no sound.

1. Go to a terminal and type this command:

 aplay -l

^ ALSA command line audio file player

  • My Output:
 **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
 card 0: HDMI [HDA ATI HDMI], device 3: ATI HDMI [ATI HDMI]
 Subdevices: 1/1
 Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

This means that you have a device on card 0 and device 3. If you put in another sound card you may find the card and device numbers change. **Keep a note of your output**

2. To set mplayer to use your HDMI connection, you can modify the system wide mplayer config file.

 cp /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf.backup

^ Backs up your config, just in case...

 sudo nano /etc/mplayer/mplayer.conf

^ Opens mplayer.conf

3. Modify your mplayer.conf file like this (change your card number and device number if they are different to my output and you may need to set your mixer-channel to Default):

 # audio settings #
 # Specify default audio driver (see -ao help for a list).
 # Use SDL audio driver with the esd subdriver by default.
 ao = alsa:device=hw=0.3
 # Specify the mixer device.
 mixer = default
 mixer-channel = Master
 # Resample the sound to 44100Hz with the lavcresample audio filter.
 # Specify default audio codec (see -ac help for a list).

MythVideo should now work. However, MythTV will not.

MythTV HDMI Sound

MythTV uses the front end configuration, as opposed to the mplayer.conf file. To configure your sound correctly, see my setup in figure 5. Notice that the configuration is slightly different to mplayer.conf.

Important.png Note: change your card number and device number if they are different to my output and you may need to set your mixer-channel to Default

  1. Go to your Mythfrontend (Gnome Menu> Sound & Video> MythTV)
  2. Go to Utilities/Setup> Setup> General
  3. In General Settings click Next till you get to Audio Settings
  4. See settings in Figure 5

Your TV should start playing audio via HDMI.

MythTV Settings.png
Figure 5