ATI Proprietary Driver

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Revision as of 08:47, 10 February 2007 by Moosylog (talk | contribs) (TV-Out and the AtiProprietaryDriver)

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fglrx is the name of the Linux display driver used for ATI Radeon and FireGL family video adapters. It contains open source and closed source parts. It can be downloaded from the AMD website.

recent version:

  1. 8.33.6 was released on 10th January 2007. It adds support for X.Org 7.2 and Linux Kernel 2.6.19.
  2. 8.32.5 was released on 13th December 2006. It adds support for the ATI Radeon® X1650 Support and X.Org 7.2 RC2.
  3. 8.29.6 was released on 20th September 2006. It adds support for the latest Linux kernel, 2.6.18.


At least you need the fglrx driver from the ATI website, and a videocard that is supported with that driver. My experiences are with driver revision 8.28.8:

  • ATI Radeon 9200SE (both composite and S-Video): partially works.
  • ATI Radeon 9250 (composite): partially works.

ATI proprietary drivers do have a bug in them which makes the combination of VideoOverlaying and TV-Out useless. If you have a display attached to the vga output connector, you will find the VideoOverlay mode fully functional. However when the TV-Out connector is used, you will see the top-half of the actual TV/DVD signal. Disabling this feature in the xorg.conf file (or use OpenGLOverlay instead) gives the whole TV/DVD signal, but may work slowly depending on the overall speed of the system you are using.

Attaching a computer monitor

When having a computer monitor attached, use the following in the 'Device' section of xorg.conf:
Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
Option "OpenGLOverlay" "off"

This will enable VideoOverlaying, thus allowing you to watch TV and DVDs without any problem! Of course it is possible to enable OpenGLOverlay, but the driver will enable either one or the other. Turning both on does not work (strange but true...)

Attaching a TV

It is possible to attach a TV (using the TV-Out connector), but a bug in the driver makes the VideoOverlay mode useless :-(
Therefor, the only option left (for acceleration) is to use OpenGL. This gives the whole picture during TV or DVD playback, but needs a really fast box to be usefull. For those willing to give it a try... Use the following in the 'Device' section of xorg.conf:
Option "VideoOverlay" "off"
Option "OpenGLOverlay" "on"

To use a (wide-screen) TV as monitor, please configure the 'Monitor' section of your xorg.conf to get it working. See XorgConfMonitorSectionForTV.

Personal experiences

On my personal (Athlon XP 1800+) mythtv system the TV/DVD playback functions are too slow, even with OpenGLOverlay mode active on the binary drivers. So for normal TV-Out functionality I went to the store and bought a NVidia card instead. My desktop system however (the 2nd mythfrontend :-) still functions perfectly with a ATI Radeon 9200SE. Attached to a monitor and with VideoOverlay active... --Michel 20:11, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Common problems and solutions

Black-and-White output

For users experiencing black-and-white TV output: please verify if the TVFormat option is set to the one valid for your country. All ATI cards I have seen default to the American TVStandard 'NTSC'. For a mythtv box in the Netherlands use the following option in the Device section in xorg.conf:
Option "TVFormat" "PAL-B"



TV-OUT ISSUES: still some issues with the 8.33.6 driver and myth 0.20 - will update this when finished. check current state of my research onMoosy.gifby clicking here

wrong colors

Until at least fglrx-8.33.6 there are wrong colors with xv playback, E.g. faces look blue. In libs/libmythtv/videoout_xv.cpp you can uncomment