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Switching from 'Monitor' to 'TV' as a display device.
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Author:  rusty0101 [ Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:30 am ]
Post subject:  Switching from 'Monitor' to 'TV' as a display device.

How this will end up working will depend upon your TV, your Video card, and any additional hardware you may decide to purchase.

First of all check what sort of inputs your TV will accept. The worst case would be a RF only input on a small TV. Have a look at RF-Only below. Next up is a TV with a Composit-In connector. this is the 'clasic' RCA connector usually with a yellow insulator between the outside conductor and the center conductor. See Composit-In. Next is S-Video in. This looks like a round connector with a square 'key' in the bottom center, and four pins (one on either side of the key, and two above the key. See S-Video.

If you have a larger form factor, or newer TV, you may have a few additional connectors as options.The easiest to work with would be if it has a VGA in connector. This will look like the 15 pin vga out connector on your PC, or possibly like a 15 pin joystick/midi connector on the PC. See VGA. You may find RCA connectors optimized to connect to a DVD playr, labeld 'Pr', 'Pb', and 'Y', with red, blue and green insulators. These are for Progressive Scan outputs. I do not know of a solution for this, but will leave the Progressive option available for others to fill in. Lastly you may have a DVI connector, see DVI for more information.

This is the least optimal opiton, and will pretty much require getting additional hardware to plug in between your MythTV box and your TV. If your video card will support either Composit-Out, or S-Video out, you can possibly pick up all the hardware you need at a Target or Wall-Mart, look for the 'DVD for Dummies' kit, which includes an RF modulator. Plug the appropriate cable from your MythTV video card into the appropriate port on the modulator, If the modulator supports the audio in connectors (I am not sure but you would hope it does) patch the audio out from your pc to it using the appropriate cable, patch the antena or cable in to the appropriate port on the modulator for pass through, and plug the rf-out connector on the modulator to the appropriate connector on the TV. You will also want to follow the appropriate information for your video card to set it up to send an 800x600 output. See NVidia or ATI below for some ideas.

If your video card only supprots VGA out you will also need a scan converter. I will presume this is not going to be your long term solution, you expect to get a larger tv and a better video card somewhere along the lines, so see if you can find a low cost scan converter that will give you the composit out the rf-modulator needs. I have had good luck with the low end AverKey converters, check e-bay. (I have not tried the Aver AverKey converter, perhaps someone else can comment.)

This is probably the most commonly available input on TVs between 20 and 10 years old. If your video card supports composit-out, it is a simple yellow cable to patch them together, with a possible second 1/8" stereo to rca split cable for audio. Again set X up to use 800x600 output, as appropriate for your video card.

See the second paragraph of RF-Only for how to deal with a video card that does VGA out only.

This again is dependent upon the output of your video card. If your card has S-Video out, it may be as simple as connecting an S-Video cable from your MythTV video card to your TV's S-Video in. In my case I have an S-Video capable video interface, however I did not get the cable that connects the headers on the video card to the outide of the case. I took a s-video cable, removed an end, and attached solderless connectors to the wires, then fished the cable through a vent hole in the case and connected the cable to the headers. I got luckey and hit the right combination of pins the first time, you may need to swap a couple of pins until you get an acceptable connection. Again follow the appropriate instructions for setting up X to use 800x600 as it's output mode. See NVidia or ATI if appropriate, and for ideas on how to set up your own card if it is something else.

See the second paragraph of RF-Only for how to deal with a video card that does VGA out only.

Haupauge! PVR-350:
This Capture card also has S-Video out. (Can someone note whether they support an S-Vidoe to Composit converter, I know the input of cards with s-video in will support a Composit to S-Video converter, not sure if the reverse works) For the most part you can reference the pvr-350 instructions on the wiki to get this up and running.

For people with an s-video in connector on their TV, who don't want to buy a video card with S-Video out, or a motherboard with that capability, picking up a PVR-350 may be a cheaper route than buying a scan converter.

This should be the easiest connection. Take a drawing of the connectoron the back of the TV with you to a local computer superstore and explain that you need a VGA cable 'x' feet long with this type of a connector on the user end. This should also work if you have a TV the has 3 or 5 bnc connectors (look at an old ethernet card that has multiple connectors on the back for an idea of what a bnc connector looks like) labeled R, G, and B. (with optional Sync and one other, I forget) These are standard leads in a VGA cable. The only caveat here is that most devices that have R, G, B discreet connections have been fixed frequency, which means that you probably will not be able to see any of the bootup messages, and will spend a significant amount of time tweeking the horizontal and vertical timings to get it working properly. You may need to try 640x480 as the X output mode to get a 35" TV with a VGA in connector to get any sort of a display. Some of the old Gateway TV's that you could buy with a computer operated at this mode.

I am not aware of a video card that does a progressive scan output. I suspect that there are some available, as a large segment of the DVD players that have this output are embeded format computers, but I will be no help in getting this setup working for you. If you have a video card that will work this way, feel free to update this block with appropriate information and instructions.

From what I have been reading, TV manufacturers and video card manufacturers alike have been declaring that their DVI connectors were not intended to interconnect a computer and a TV. That said, it is possible that you will find that if you take a DVI cable and patch your computer with a video card with DVI out, to a TV with a DVI in connector, it won't work, or it will 'sort of' work (funny looking screen with ghosting, or repeating areas.) A source for more information is which has links to the AVS forums that you may find useful as well.

In the /etc/X11 directory there is a file XF86Config-4.nvidia-tvout.sample which I and several others have used as a base to use the s-video out interface on nvidia video cards to connect to our TVs. Make a backup of your existing XF86Config-4 file before overwriting it with the nvidia-tvout.sample file.

I can also recomend installing and playing with the xvattr application to find a working set of variables to get the best picture to your TV. There are several complaints that either a specific color (usuallly red) is being sent too strong, or in my case all colors were too bright. xvattr helps with playback of video.

ATI All-in-Wonder, as well as several other ATI cards suport S-Video (and in some cases composit) out connections. {I don't have one, and have not set one up. I have read of people who are satisfied with this as an output device, as welll as others who detest the state of the video drivers available. Your Milage May Vary, and I would appreciate it if someone with a good experience would update this with useful instructions.}

Hopefully this information will help you to get the best picture out of your MythTV into the TV or Display you have, or are interested in getting. Likewise if you have more specific instructions or information, please feel free to update this topic, and optionally the appropriate wiki page with more information. Links to information about DVI to DVI connections for various TVs that have DVI inputs will probably be of interest to other users as well.


Author:  Xsecrets [ Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:44 am ]
Post subject: 

the three rca connectors labled Pr Pb y is officially called component inputs, and they can be used similar to vga inputs if you get a vga -> component converter. I haven't done this yet, but will be as soon as my converter arrives. component inputs can handle progressive as well as interlaced signals, so calling them progressive just because progressive scan dvd players use them is a bit misleading.

Author:  mal1ch1 [ Tue Jun 06, 2006 3:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Good Information

Thanks for the info from both members. I went the PVR-350 route and had problems until I finally got the X conf set up correctly (thanks to many members).
Right now, I'm trying to get video out on the monitor while retaining the TV out on the 350; I can ssh to my box, but it'd be nicer to be able to just directly be able to fool around with things, like ivtvctl.
'Have a decent picture, but it could sure stand some improvement.

Author:  bofc [ Fri Jun 09, 2006 2:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Board, first i'm sorry for my bad English .. i try to write better @ next time :-)

I got an Hint for NVidia User they use the SVIDEO Out from the Graficcard.

If some User had the Problem .. Myth is booting and on TV dysplays Bios etc in Color and after Mythfrontend is started anything is Black and White.
Try to switch in your XF86config-4 from SVIDEO to COMPOSITE.

It helps me .. so i want to help other Guys with this Problem.

By by all.

And sorry for my very Bad english :-( :cry:

Author:  saashle [ Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:18 pm ]
Post subject:  What XF86Config-4 called now???

I've ntstalled R5E50 and it runs very well, thank you. But there are multiple mentions of adding the "Option: "ConnectedMonitor" "TV" line to the XF86Config-4 file with dire warnings for failure to do so. I suspect that somewhere along the line that file has been renamed, because it doesn't exist in my directory. Would someone _please_ tell me what the new filename is? I've looked through Forumas and Wiki until my eyes crossed, and found nothing. Either I've missed it, or the change is so new the fix hasn't gotten out.

Thanks for whatever help can be given.

AMD Athlon 1800
NVIDIA 5200 based Video Card w/ S-Video out

Author:  tjc [ Sun Feb 18, 2007 1:49 pm ]
Post subject: 

Please see the "R5E50 Upgrade hints and hazards" posting (it's not just for upgrades) under "Known Changes".

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