Difference between revisions of "TV Out"

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Revision as of 17:58, 15 August 2006

Not surprisingly, many MythTV users wish to use their systems with their television sets. This page will detail the different television output (TV Out hereafter) options available.


TV Out Options

Graphics Cards

The most elegant option for TV output is a graphics card which supports it natively. This makes external equipment unneccesary, and can (but do not always) provide a superior output quality by eliminating unnecessary format conversions. Some motherboards (and most laptops) come with an onboard TV out graphics device, and it is the primary output for devices such as the Microsoft XBox. For other machines which lack this, a new graphics card with the desired output may need to be purchased. The following tables serve to document what the MythTV community knows - please add to them if you can!

Known Working

These are devices which are known to have a TV output which works under Linux.

Manufacturer Card Model Output Types
(Composite, S-Video, SCART, etc)
Video Systems
(NTSC, PAL, etc)
Bus Type
(ISA/PCI/AGP/etc)
Supported in Linux Kernel
(version)
Additional Software Comments Resources Reviewers & Dates
Sample CoolCard 3100 EX Composite NTSC ISA Yes (2.6.10) CoolCardUtils package Works with minimal hassle, but output is low quality. Also, this card doesn't really exist. http://sampleGFX.com put four tildes here to put your name/date, comma separate multiple users
ATI Radeon 7000 ??? ??? ??? No (?) Gatos tv_output: Xorg CVS patch set Considered a "hack" by the author, not guaranteed to work, but frequently updated. http://megahurts.dk/rune/tv_output.html
http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/TV-Out_and_OpenGL_with_ATI_9000/9100_IGP
http://gatos.sourceforge.net/theater_out.php
DStulken 05:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
ATI Radeon 7200 (European Model) ??? ??? ??? No (?) Gatos tv_output: Xorg CVS patch set Considered a "hack" by the author, not guaranteed to work, but frequently updated. http://megahurts.dk/rune/tv_output.html
http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/TV-Out_and_OpenGL_with_ATI_9000/9100_IGP
http://gatos.sourceforge.net/theater_out.php
DStulken 05:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
ATI Radeon 9000 ??? ??? ??? No (?) Gatos tv_output: Xorg CVS patch set Considered a "hack" by the author, not guaranteed to work, but frequently updated. http://megahurts.dk/rune/tv_output.html
http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/TV-Out_and_OpenGL_with_ATI_9000/9100_IGP
http://gatos.sourceforge.net/theater_out.php
DStulken 05:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
ATI Radeon 9100 ??? ??? ??? No (?) Gatos tv_output: Xorg CVS patch set Considered a "hack" by the author, not guaranteed to work, but frequently updated. http://megahurts.dk/rune/tv_output.html
http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/TV-Out_and_OpenGL_with_ATI_9000/9100_IGP
http://gatos.sourceforge.net/theater_out.php
DStulken 05:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
ATI Radeon 9200SE ??? ??? ??? No (?) Gatos tv_output: Xorg CVS patch set Considered a "hack" by the author, not guaranteed to work, but frequently updated. http://megahurts.dk/rune/tv_output.html
http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/TV-Out_and_OpenGL_with_ATI_9000/9100_IGP
http://gatos.sourceforge.net/theater_out.php
DStulken 05:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
ATI Radeon QD ??? ??? ??? No (?) Gatos tv_output: Xorg CVS patch set Considered a "hack" by the author, not guaranteed to work, but frequently updated. http://megahurts.dk/rune/tv_output.html
http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/TV-Out_and_OpenGL_with_ATI_9000/9100_IGP
http://gatos.sourceforge.net/theater_out.php
DStulken 05:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
ATI Radeon Mobility M7 ??? ??? ??? No (?) Gatos tv_output: Xorg CVS patch set Considered a "hack" by the author, not guaranteed to work, but frequently updated. http://megahurts.dk/rune/tv_output.html
http://mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/TV-Out_and_OpenGL_with_ATI_9000/9100_IGP
http://gatos.sourceforge.net/theater_out.php
DStulken 05:04, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
NVIDIA GeForce4 MX (onboard) Composite, S-Video ??? ??? Yes (with separate kernel module) "nvidia-kernel" kernel module and "nvidia-glx" driver Onboard video on Biostar M7NCG 400 motherboard, probably others as well. Works fine, but note that NTSC video timings are not to spec! Cheap TVs and NTSC-only display devices will probably work fine, but devices which can auto-sense PAL video will likely be confused, resulting in a glitchy video (or at best, black & white only). http://www.gentoo.org/doc/en/nvidia-guide.xml DStulken 19:46, 31 May 2006 (UTC)
SiS (Silicon Integrated Systems) 301 (onboard) ??? ??? ??? ??? "sisctrl" utility Onboard video on ECS P6STP-FN motherboard, probably others as well. Said to work, but output quality not great. http://forumz.tomshardware.com/hardware/ECS-P6STP-FN-TV-Win2K-Linux-ftopict154521.html, http://www.freshports.org/x11/sisctrl/, http://www.winischhofer.at/linuxsispart1.shtml DStulken 05:20, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Status Unknown

These are devices which have a TV output, but have not been tested or verified to work with Linux.

Manufacturer Card Model Output Types
(Composite, S-Video, SCART, etc)
Video Systems
(NTSC, PAL, etc)
Bus Type
(ISA/PCI/AGP/etc)
Supported in Linux Kernel
(version)
Additional Software Comments Resources Reviewers & Dates
Sample CoolCard 3100 EX Composite NTSC ISA Yes (2.6.10) CoolCardUtils package Works with minimal hassle, but output is low quality. Also, this card doesn't really exist. http://sampleGFX.com put four tildes here to put your name/date, comma separate multiple users
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Known NOT Working

These are devices which are known to have a TV output which does not work under Linux. Since device status can change with new development, devices in this list should be re-checked periodically.

Manufacturer Card Model Output Types
(Composite, S-Video, SCART, etc)
Video Systems
(NTSC, PAL, etc)
Bus Type
(ISA/PCI/AGP/etc)
Supported in Linux Kernel
(version)
Additional Software Comments Resources Reviewers & Dates
Sample CoolCard 3100 EX Composite NTSC ISA Yes (2.6.10) CoolCardUtils package Works with minimal hassle, but output is low quality. Also, this card doesn't really exist. http://sampleGFX.com put four tildes here to put your name/date, comma separate multiple users
SiS (Silicon Integrated Systems) 962L Composite ??? ??? No "sisctrl" utility Onboard video on my Asus P4S533-MX Socket 478 motherboard, probably others as well. Card works great but TV-out is unsupported (not even an option) http://www.freshports.org/x11/sisctrl/, http://www.winischhofer.at/linuxsispart1.shtml DStulken 05:16, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Scan Converters

In some cases, limitations prevent a dedicated graphics card from being added to a system. (Such is the case with many laptops, embedded systems, or machines with warranty terms preventing hardware changes.) In other cases, users need to integrate their system into a more elaborate setup (school classroom, etc), or require additional features or greater output flexibility than can be provided by onboard TV outputs. For these situations, a device known as a scan converter can be used to convert a PC's VGA or RGB output into a signal compatible with your television set. Users chose this option for a variety of reasons - low cost units can be a simple & hassle-free way to get the output they need (without changing internal hardware or software configurations), and expensive units can produce much higher quality (and more standards compliant) video output than most graphics cards produce internally. This section attempts to summarize these scan converter units.

Scan Converter Devices

Hardware Decoders

In addition to standard graphics cards and external scan converters, a third option exists- hardware decoder cards. These are cards whos primary purpose is not to be the general purpose graphics card- rather they are specially designed to provide video decompression & display capabilities. These devices are very popular among MythTV users, as they can substantially lower the processing requirements for video playback. Often, they are sold as combination cards with video capture and hardware decoding/display on the same card. Due to their popularity, and the fact that these cards are almost all known to work, this section will simply provide a place to link to other wiki pages with information about these cards.

Hardware Decoder Devices:


Content from MythTV documentation

This section temporarily contains a copy of the information provided in the MythTV documentation found at http://mythtv.org/docs/mythtv-HOWTO-3.html#ss3.1 Please do not update this section, as the updates will not make it back to the real document! This information is only duplicated here for searching convenience, and will be removed once the information is transferred to the other sections in this page.


Video Display Card

MythTV will work with just about any video card. However, it is highly recommended that you use a card which supports XVideo (XV) extensions. If your card does not support XV, color conversion and scaling will be performed by your CPU rather than the video card. This is very CPU and memory intensive and will often result in dropped frames and a corresponding degradation of quality. Check the X documentation for details if you are uncertain about your preferred card. You may also run xvinfo; look for your video card to be listed as one of the adapters.

If you want to use MythTV with a standard television, you will need a physical connection from your video card to your TV set, which can either be a TV-out port on the card itself or an external adapter that converts the VGA signal to an appropriate video signal. "Appropriate" depends on a number of factors, such as video standard (NTSC vs. PAL) type of input connection (Composite vs. SVideo), etc.

Note that with some video cards and X drivers, XVideo extensions are only supported on the VGA output, and not on the TV output.

Cards with TV out

The next section deals with a number of cards that are known to have TV-out ports. The list is unlikely to be complete, so if you know of others, please post a message to the mythtv-users mailing list so the information can be included in future versions of the HOWTO. The list is organized by manufacturer.

Reports here are based on what users of the cards have posted on the mythtv-users mailing list, so if you need configuration details, please search the archives at http://www.gossamer-threads.com/lists/mythtv/ using the card name in your search string.

ATI

ATI makes many cards with TV-out capability, but only offers Linux drivers for Radeon 8500 and above cards. See the Drivers and Software section of http://www.ati.com for the driver and additional information.

The enhanced ati.2 X driver created by the GATOS http://gatos.sourceforge.net project offers some support for TV-out on other ATI cards, but only in its "experimental" version, available through CVS. There have been reports from people who say they have made this driver work with one or another ATI card. For example, Bruce Markey mailto:bjm@lvcm.com writes (on the mythtv-users mailing list): "I got this to work. You can quote me on that. I've used TV-out on several models of ATI cards both All-In-Wonder and regular cards with TV-out." See the "Adventurous Setup" section of http://gatos.sourceforge.net/watching_tv.php for details. Also see http://www.retinalburn.net/linux/tvout.html for more information.

Matrox

NOTE: If updated information for the Matrox cards is not provided prior to MythTV v0.20 I will assume that there is no interest and will remove this section.

The standard Matrox driver included with XFree86 does not support TV-out.

Older Matrox cards can be used with a proprietary X driver provided by Matrox, and it does simultaneously support TV out and XVideo on some cards. See http://www.matrox.com/mga/support/drivers/files/lnx_21.cfm for details.

Newer Matrox cards can be run with a set of kernel patches (for kernel 2.4.19) and a customized X driver, but this arrangement does not support XVideo on TV-out. See http://www.bglug.ca/matrox_tvout/g450_tvout_howto.html for details.

Specific cards:

  • Matrox G400 AGP. Uses external adapter to provide Composite and SVideo ports. Reported to work with the proprietary Matrox X driver.
  • Matrox Millennium 450GX AGP. Uses external adapter to provide Composite and SVideo ports. TV-out implementation does NOT support XVideo.
  • Matrox Millennium 550GX AGP. Uses external adapter to provide Composite and S-Video ports. TV-out implementation does NOT support XVideo.

NVIDIA

Some NVIDIA cards with TV-out can be run using the standard nv driver in X, combined with the userspace application nvtv to control the TV-out port. See http://sourceforge.net/projects/nv-tv-out/ for details. Recent versions of the NVIDIA driver have better support for overscan and other features useful with TV-Out, so the nvtv application may not be required.

Some NVIDIA cards can be run with a proprietary NVIDIA X driver made available by NVIDIA. See http://www.nvidia.com/object/unix.html for more information.

NOTE: It's strongly recommended that you use the proprietary NVIDIA drivers; they have excellent support for XvMC and ship with a good configuration utility. XvMC provides MPEG-2 hardware acceleration, which is important if you want to display HDTV.

Savage

The standard savage X driver supports TV out on some Savage cards. Unfortunately, XVideo support for the Savage 2000 card (a very common and inexpensive Savage card with TV out) is broken. See http://www.probo.com/timr/savage40.html for details.

Specific cards:

  • Savage 2000 AGP. Has Composite and SVideo ports. Does not support XVideo.
  • S3 Savage IX 8MB AGP. Has SVideo output. Reported to work.

Hauppauge PVR-350

MythTV supports the TV-out and MPEG-2 decoder functions in the IvyTV driver.

The PVR-350 is unique amongst the Hauppauge PVR-x50 cards in that it also supports audio output, but you need to connect that audio output to something. There are two courses of action you may take:

1. Take the audio output from the PVR-350 and plug it into an input on a sound card on your machine. You may then use MythTV's internal audio controls.

2. Take the audio output from the PVR-350 and connect it directly to your television / audio system. You must indicate that you are using external audio control on the PVR-350 setup page.

Other Options

Some devices with on-board TV-out capability, such as Xboxes converted to Linux and some laptops can be used as MythTV frontends to display on a television screen. Please consult the mythtv-users mailing list for messages that report the details of these special arrangements.

External Adapters

External adapters convert standard VGA output to a form suitable for display on a television. The output format varies by region, since different countries have different TV standards. People on the mythtv-users list have mentioned these adapters:

  • AITech Web Cable Plus, powered by external transformer or takes power from PS/2 keyboard connector, support resolutions up to 1024x768, outputs composite and SVideo, provides position adjustment.
  • Averkey lite, powered by a USB port, has Composite, SVideo, YPbPr outputs; pan, brightness, overscan/underscan controls; supports up to 1024x768 outputs; and supports PAL and NTSC.
  • ADS TV Elite XGA
  • AverKey iMicro (comments are generally favorable)
  • AITech Web Cable (comments are generally unfavorable, different than the "Plus" version above)
  • TVIEW Gold (mentioned once, favorably)


Internal Links


External Links