ATI Proprietary Driver

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The ATI/AMD Proprietary Linux driver, or 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.

ATI cards are not recommended at this point in time. ATI currently does not support running MythTV on their hardware, and have no timeline for when this might change. See for more information.

Version Information

Released on 8th August 2007

TV out functionality is now available under the Linux operating system for ATI graphics cards that support TV Out (S-video, composite, and component video). The feature is part of the Catalyst Control Center LE and will provide a users with a variety of TV out adjustments. more

Released on 19th July 2007

Fixes, no new features more

Webpage.png - Version history from ATI and older drivers

Download.png - Download the latest driver from ATI


Check if your card is supported by the driver (read the release notes). Also check the specs of your card, some integrated ATI cards do not support dual screen, so it's either your monitor or your tv but not both.

You need to userstand what interface you are using to connect to your TV. See the list below..from the digital HDMI standard (best quality) to the analog Composite standard (lowest quality) more about this: Highly_Technical_Details

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.

Common problems and solutions

Test image for colors etc

mythTV Test image

click image to enlarge

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"

Note that this can also happen because your TVout card has a physical jumper on it that's set wrong; sometimes (as on the Sapphire brand Radeon cards) this jumper is not labeled nor called out in the documentation.

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


Confirmed blue "smurf" vision: fglrx-8.34.8. (Radeon X1950 Series / Ubuntu 7.04)

Enabling overlays with tvout

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.

This bug can be worked around by forcing the driver to think that a crt is plugged into the primary, and mirror that onto the secondary (tv). To do this use these options in the device block in you /etx/X11/xorg.conf:

       Option      "ForceMonitors" "crt1,tv"
       Option      "NoTV" "no"
       Option      "OverlayOnCRTC2" "1"
       Option      "DesktopSetup" "mirror"
       Option      "VideoOverlay" "on"
       Option      "OpenGLOverlay" "off"

More options may be required for you (ie setting pal/ntsc) but these are all the options I have running on my box (mythtv 0.20, ubuntu feisty, radeon 9550). This allows you to use the real video overlay on the tv without having the slowdown of opengl or texturedvideo, but it also forces your monitor to use 800x600 if you want one connected, but for myth-only boxes it works well.

Update: I first used this procedure to get the above ubuntu system working, it was running xorg 7.1 by memory. I've just tried duplicating it with a 9250 on a knoppmyth box running xfree86 and fglrx 8.28.8 and had no luck whatsoever.

External links

There is an Unofficial ATI Linux driver Wiki, which also has an article about TV-Out problems and solutions.

User experiences

Michel has experiences are with driver revision 8.28.8:

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

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 the ATI Radeon 9250. Attached to a monitor and with VideoOverlay active...

Moosylog worked with the ATI driver for more than two years. First did research on XGL / compiz and ATI and later got involved in the TV-OUT thing. In feb 2007 moosy gave up and switched to nvidia because of the buggy tv-out support from ati/amd. The TV-Out experience ends at version 8.33.6 on a ATI Radeon Xpress 200 (on board): partially works, frustrated, switched to Nvidia, read more Also check the user comments on this blog post about ATI and this one

Moloth worked on this over the past 7 hours trying to get it to work. Did succeed with ATI X300 + Proprietary Driver + Modified Myth Code DViCO_FusionHDTV_DVB-T_Dual_Digital_Installation#ATI_Radeon Here Although either the driver or the libmyth change caused unexpected X crashes and segfaults. So I am switching to NVidia Card.

zhapp tried mplayer with fglrx 8.37.6 running on debian etch (2.6.18) with a Radeon 9800Pro. I used the xorg.conf-settings from "Enabling overlays with tvout" which made TV-out and XV work without any cropping or other artifacts. Will try MythTV in a near future.

jdschwa Running Ubuntu Feisty (2.6.20, server+Mythtv, no gnome) fglrx 8.34.8. Radeon X300 using svideo out. The above hack for overlays works great for me.

Baylink 03:01, 12 August 2007 (UTC) is using 8.36.5 from the ATI yast repo on SuSE 10.2 with the default 7.1.99 (7.2 RC) Xorg. I had the bug, NO_XV=1 mythfrontend proved it, the hack above solved it; nice work, dude. My card is a Sapphire Radeon (Mobility) 9600. The jumper on that card, BTW, is NTSC/PAL (mine came jumpered the wrong way).