Subject: Re: [vdr] mini-PCI card suggestion

Tony Houghton h at
Fri Oct 27 15:27:15 CEST 2006

In <17729.44695.157412.200851 at>, Jouni Karvo wrote:

> CR writes:
>  > I'm not sure where you're getting the "no on makes good accelerated
>  > s-video for Linux", any new ATI or nVidia card has TV-out support in Linux
>  > (by using the vendors proprietary driver).
> I would warn against ATI chipsets.  My radeon 9200 has been just
> dropped out of support by the proprietary driver.
> The last version (that still works with my current kernel) does not
> support XV, Xorg, and TVout combination (shows only the top half of
> the picture), so I have to use Xshm (and waste natural resources, not
> to mention CPU cooler humming).  And the Xorg open driver does not
> give TVout.  The next time I would upgrade kernel, the card would
> become garbage.

You might be able to carry on using it with the free driver, and get a
much better picture via RGB than the nasty S-Video scaler. See the
TV-out Howto on my website (below). Making the lead isn't easy though.
It would probably be easiest to start with a VGA lead and cut one end
off. And most video players don't support vsync with X so although it
should be possible in theory to play interlaced programmes "perfectly",
in practice you'll need to use a CPU-hungry deinterlace filter.

For good quality S-Video or composite you can easily get a used Matrox
or Voodoo 3 from eBay. But probably not half height like the OP wanted.
The Matrox is trickier to use because it uses DirectFB, but it has the
advantage of vsync for interlaced programmes.

> And it was not possible to upgrade to the newest kernel, as typically
> the proprietary driver would support it a month or two later.  So
> kernel upgrading is two phase: download the source package, then wait
> for a couple of months, download the ATI driver, then compile and
> install.

I found that annoying when I was using an ATI card too. Mine was a 9600
so I had to go without 3D acceleration most of the time. Even if the
closed driver did catch up with the kernel, it didn't support Xinerama,
which I was using. And you couldn't just shut down X then restart it
with the other driver. You had to do a full reboot otherwise the card
would lock up.

> I guess I would prefer to buy a new flat TV with VGA input instead of
> another graphics card.  At least: no ATI any more.

Whatever faults LCD TVs have compared with CRTs (personally I like them,
but choosing carefully is essential), being able to connect a PC just
like a monitor is a big advantage.

TH *

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