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#1 2010-06-09 20:58:16

Registered: 2010-05-08
Posts: 4

S-video tv out

Greetings everyone who reads this.

I have spent about 8 hours while trying to solve the problem.

What do I have:
1. Arched laptop (radeon X2300 mobility) with S-video TV out
2. Generic TV
3. Connector

What do I try to do:
I'm trying to make video play on the TV via S-video out.

The problem:
Picture on my TV is just awful. It either in the wrong colors (purple, green or smt other) and sometimes with vertical/horizontal green bars.

What did I try to do:
1. Step-by-step tutorial from Arch Wiki.
2. Step-by-step tutorial from Xorg Wiki.
3. Since problem looked like inappropriate refresh rate I have tried to use PAL standard to make it working:
I've set 768x576@50hz with xrandr and cvt utilities - after this picture on TV turned from green picture with vertical bars into purple picture without any artifacts (looks like picture is ok, but colors are still wrong).
4. I tried to change tv_standard, but it gave me an error:
[diraven@diraven-laptop]% xrandr --output S-video --set tv_standard ntsc                             ~
X Error of failed request:  BadName (named color or font does not exist)
  Major opcode of failed request:  149 (RANDR)
  Minor opcode of failed request:  11 (RRQueryOutputProperty)
  Serial number of failed request:  29
  Current serial number in output stream:  29
5. Since my chipset is RV550 - my card is not supported since Catalyst 9.4, and Catalyst 9.3 (or older) do not support most recent server - I'm out of luck with official proprietary ATI drivers and arch rolling releases.

My additional notes:
- Strange, but S-video out stars working BEFORE X server is started... Is there any way to configure S-video out before X?
- If I change driver from radeon to radeonhd in the xorg.conf, then restart X, then change back driver to radeon - S-video starts to work properly with proper resolution and proper colors. But X server crashes and S-video works only with the console. Still the picture from the console is perfect.
- Changind modes with xrandr changes visual style of the green bars on the TV (I do not know which mode should be right...)

That is my story.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
Best regards.

Last edited by DiRaven (2010-06-09 21:08:07)


#2 2010-06-11 05:19:29

Registered: 2010-05-08
Posts: 4

Re: S-video tv out

Up. Any ideas?


#3 2010-06-13 16:37:50

Registered: 2010-05-08
Posts: 4

Re: S-video tv out

Bump... Still actual.


#4 2010-06-17 15:51:07

Registered: 2010-05-08
Posts: 4

Re: S-video tv out

Up once more time. Still hope to find some way to make this working properly.


#5 2010-07-25 06:22:34

From: Melbourne, Australia
Registered: 2008-11-14
Posts: 169

Re: S-video tv out

I'm having similar difficulties with my laptop.

The display only likes PAL (NTSC is completely out) and with PAL displays the desktop in green with alternating light and dark vertical stripes every 5 pixels plus lots of noise. After reading about a bit it turns out that PAL output is still under development and sadly not a high priority compared to getting usable 3D and support for new cards.

Have you tried the proprietary driver yet?

Your best bet to get it now is to buy a VGA to TV converter box which cost around $30USD. They are easier to configure than playing with xrandr.



#6 2010-07-25 16:22:55

From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 16,415

Re: S-video tv out


Where in the world are you? (Okay the real question is what is the standard of the TV you are trying to use?)
I ask because I see 50 Hz, then I see ntsc.

I assume the TV has S Video input and that you are not trying to mix the luminance and chromanance channels into a single composite input.

One thing you might try is to build a custom cable that only provides the luminance channel to the TV and see if, it the least, you can get a reasonable black and white picture.

576 is the appropriate number of visible vertical lines (for PAL or SECAM).  Do you have an option of 625?  That is the total number of lines in a PAL Frame, including those that are not visible.  It could have a profound impact upon the timing of the video signal and could be confusing the TV.

Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine. -- Alan Turing
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way


#7 2010-11-22 14:33:11

Registered: 2010-11-22
Posts: 4

Re: S-video tv out

my xorg file:
Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Card_tv"
    Driver         "nvidia"
           VendorName "nVidia"
       BoardName "nVidia Corporation G72 [GeForce 7300 SE/7200 GS]"
    Option         "TVOutFormat" "COMPOSITE"
    Option         "TVStandard" "PAL-B"
    Option         "ConnectedMonitor" "TV"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier    "tv"
    HorizSync 30-50
    VertRefresh 60

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen_tv"
    Device         "Card_tv"
    Monitor        "tv"
    DefaultDepth   24
    SubSection "Display"
        Depth          24
        Modes "1024x768" "800x600"

Maybe nice:
My own made script, to switch between two xorg.conf files

Last edited by Rob (2010-11-22 14:36:45)


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