Linux - Configuring TV-Out

Answer ID 177
Published 11/30/2004 09:52 AM
Updated 02/25/2008 10:48 AM

Configuring TV-Out

NVIDIA GPU-based video cards with a TV-Out (S-Video) connector can be
employed to use a television as another display device, just like a CRT
or digital flat panel.  The TV can be used by itself, or (on appropriate
video cards) in conjunction with another display device in a TwinView

If a TV is the only display device connected to your video card, it will
be used as the primary display when you boot your system (ie the console
will come up on the TV just as if it were a CRT).  To use your TV with X,
there are a few parameters that you should pay special attention to in
your X config file:

  o The VertRefresh and HorizSync values in your monitor section;
 please make sure these are appropriate for your television.
 Values are generally:

HorizSync 30-50
VertRefresh 60

  o The Modes in your screen section; the valid modes for your TV encoder
 will be reported in a verbose X log file (generated with `startx --
 -logverbose 5`) when X is run on a TV.  Some modes may be limited
 to certain TV Standards; if that is the case, it will be noted in
 the X log file.  Generally, atleast 800x600 and 640x480 are supported.

  o The "TVStandard" option should be added to your screen section; valid
 values are:

"PAL-B"  : used in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Guinea,
 Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, The
 Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain,
 Sweden, and Switzerland
"PAL-D"  : used in China and North Korea
"PAL-G"  : used in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Malaysia,
 The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden,
 and Switzerland
"PAL-H"  : used in Belgium
"PAL-I"  : used in Hong Kong and The United Kingdom
"PAL-K1" : used in Guinea
"PAL-M"  : used in Brazil
"PAL-N"  : used in France, Paraguay, and Uruguay
"PAL-NC" : used in Argentina
"NTSC-J" : used in Japan
"NTSC-M" : used in Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador,
 Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, South
 Korea, Taiwan, United States of America, and Venezuela
"HD480i" : 480 line interlaced
"HD480p" : 480 line progressive
"HD720p" : 720 line progressive
"HD1080i": 1080 line interlaced
"HD1080p": 1080 line progressive
"HD576i" : 576 line interlace
"HD576p" : 576 line progressive

 The line in your X config file should be something like:

Option "TVStandard" "NTSC-M"

 If you do not specify a TVStandard, or you specify an invalid value,
 the default "NTSC-M" will be used.  Note: if your country is not in
 the above list, select the country closest to your location.

  o The "ConnectedMonitor" option can be used to tell X to use the TV for
 display.  This should only be needed if your TV is not detected by
 the video card, or you use a CRT (or digital flat panel) as your
 boot display, but want to redirect X to use the TV.  The line in
 your config file should be:

Option "ConnectedMonitor" "TV"

  o The "TVOutFormat" option can be used to force SVIDEO or COMPOSITE
 output.  Without this option the driver autodetects the output format.
 Unfortunately, it does not always do this correctly.  The output format
 can be forced with the options:

 Option "TVOutFormat" "SVIDEO"


 Option "TVOutFormat" "COMPOSITE"

  o The "TVOverScan" option can be used to enable Overscan where
 supported.  Valid values are decimal values in the range 1.0 (which
 means overscan as much as possible: make the image as large as
 possible) and 0.0 (which means disable overscanning: make the image
 as small as possible).  Overscanning is disabled (0.0) by default.

 Overscan is currently only available on GeForce4 or newer GPUs
 with either NVIDIA or Conexant TV encoders.

The NVIDIA X driver may not restore the console correctly with XFree86
versions older than 4.3 when the console is a TV.  This is due to binary
incompatibilities between XFree86 int10 modules.  If you use a TV as
your console it is recommended that you upgrade to XFree86 4.3 or later.

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