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Old 10-05-2010, 10:04 AM   #1
neftv
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Looking for Linux compatiable Video Card with composite video output


I would like to know if anyone has built a system with a video card that provides a composite video output. Which Linux distro and video card are you using that allows for composite (YES composite) video output from a video card?
I am looking for specific answers here because I don't want to reinvent the wheel if its been done before or waste, money and time. Thank you for your replies.

Last edited by neftv; 10-05-2010 at 10:06 AM.
 
Old 10-05-2010, 10:22 AM   #2
GrapefruiTgirl
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Hi there, welcome to LQ.

To answer your question simply: Yes, using Slackware 11.0, with an nVidia MX440-AGP video card which had a composite connector on it as well as the VGA connector. I used the nVidia binary blob driver from nvidia.com. I sent the signal to a TV or VCR and it worked fine.

Other NOTES:

--If I remember right, the card had S-Video too, but a better picture was achieved using the composite output.
--I've got newer video cards now without composite outs, and have upgraded from Slack 11, but I would expect if I stuck that old card in, it would still work the same with my current Slackware.
--This depends less on the Linux distro than it does on the hardware + driver. Any modern (and probably older) distro should be able to do this.
--the card I mention is old. I would expect the same results with a newer card, if it had a composite output. I'm not familiar with what modern cards have composite outputs.
 
Old 10-05-2010, 11:07 AM   #3
neftv
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Hi there Grapefruit.
Thank you for response.
Yea I looked around for that nVidia MX440-AGP card but it seem that its not being sold anymore. I saw one that said has DVI output but didn't say anything about composite too.
I think I remember seeing a list of Linux compatiable video cards somewhere but they all seemed older, hard to find and not very discriptive if they have composite output that work with linux. I guess Linux is not as popular as I thought for home user that just wants to play Windows Media feeds from internet on to a in house cable system. I was thinking Linux is better off with using VLC player as the default play if that is possible, heard it's not.
 
Old 10-05-2010, 11:15 AM   #4
neftv
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I do have an old Radeon 7000 card that house composite video output. I did try it with Linux Mint but I had no functionality with composite output. Works ok with Windows XP but I am like to get away from XP if I can.
 
Old 10-05-2010, 11:16 AM   #5
GrapefruiTgirl
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Well, if the (any) card works "at all", such as even normally via its VGA or DVI port, then I know of no reason why its composite port would not work. One must just be careful to correctly distinguish each port on the card, so they send the correct signal to the correct display.

My new (current) cards are nVidia 7200 and 7300 series, and these have working S-Video ports on them and are still on the market as far as I know, for maybe $50.00-$60.00 give or take. And, as for which of S-Video or composite is sent out of the port on the card, it's determined by xorg.conf options, not by the type of connector on the card - at least, this has been my experience. So, as I recall it, you can send a composite signal out of the S-Video port if you've got the S-Video cable and S-Video input on your display unit (don't absolutely quote me on this!).

I agree with you that it's tricky to find out precisely what outputs are on what card, without actually looking at the box or the card in person, or searching for detailed product reviews on the net. One place that might help is the HCL:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/hcl/

Good luck with this!
 
Old 10-05-2010, 12:04 PM   #6
neftv
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Let me ask you this if I find a Nvidia card that has a linux display driver for it direct from Nvidia web site does that mean it supports full functionality of the video composite out of the card? I was looking at the card NVIDIA Geforce FX5500 AGP 8x Video Graphics Card DVI/VGA/TVOUT.
.
 
Old 10-05-2010, 12:22 PM   #7
GrapefruiTgirl
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I can't answer that for you with a guaranteed absolute "yes". If the card is hot off the assembly line, there could be something(s) that don't work fully.

It's been my experience with about 4 different models of nVidia cards, using the binary driver, that any & all outputs work as expected with Linux. VGA, DVI, S-Video, and composite all worked. I did do a lot of fiddling in xorg.conf that took a while, but isn't that difficult.

If you want to see some samples of xorg.conf files I've used when activating a second display or using TV out, have a look here::
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...nitors-751939/

I have not owned or used an FX 5500, but the currently-newest nVidia driver says that it supports that model (double-check for yourself, the supported tab):
http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux-d...53-driver.html

If I were looking for an nVidia card for Linux, and it had a composite output, I would expect it to work, and would be surprised if it did not. That's the best I can tell you.
 
Old 10-06-2010, 11:12 AM   #8
neftv
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Well I decided to try something. I went to a local computer store and looked around for a FX5500 but they didnt have any but they did have a FX5200 (this one made by MSI I think) as an open box but it was only the card in a sealed antistatic bag so I got it. I had a spare drive and put in the system in question loaded Suse 11.3 ( didnt know what to choose of all the Linux distros (amazing there so many cooks in the linux world)). I installed the Nvidia driver as per Nvidia's instructions and I have it working. Just that the card composite video outputs PAL not NTSC and I try to get to the control panel for NVidia but it says I need to start something at terminal root prompt first. So that is where I am at. The other thing I did was load VLC player since that supports MMS feeds (windows media). I just don't know how to make VLC the default player now. The default player that comes with Suse says it don't have the MMS plug-in to play Windows media content and when I clicked to search for it it didnt find it. Any suggestions there? So far I like Suse I didn't know which to pick KDE or Gnome so I choose Gnome. I don't know which is better.
 
Old 10-06-2010, 11:30 AM   #9
GrapefruiTgirl
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Let's keep to one subject at time - and stay with the video card specifically for now. The other issues and questions about what distro to use, which desktop environment, what media player, you can sort out later and they should have no bearing on getting your outputs to simply work.

Please read this README which also comes packaged inside the compressed driver archive you downloaded from nVidia:
http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree8...nfigtvout.html

That should show clearly how to use the TV-Out setting in your xorg.conf file. IF your distro is new enough, it may not even have this config file by default, and if that's the case, your distro should have a command to generate the file. This file lives at /etc/X11/xorg.conf.

As for the "nvidia control panel", you must be referring to "nvidia settings". It has command line options, a man page, and depending on your distro, it will also have a menu button in your start menu for starting the application from the desktop.
That application, while it does do *some* things automatically, cannot do *everything* automatically. If you need to do manual editing of the xorg.conf file, you can do it via that tool, as long as you run the tool as root.
The tool will apply some settings dynamically, but for others, you need to restart X for the changes to be in effect.

If you have errors or things aren't working right, please post the exact error messages, and the exact commands you ran to get the errors, so we can maybe see what the problem is.

As a side note to this story: xrandr or "X resize and rotate" is another tool which allows more dynamic reconfiguration of X while it's running, however last I checked and if I remember right, xrandr does not work well or at all with the binary driver from nvidia***. You might want to investigate this as I haven't checked on it lately. Even still, I don't know if xrandr allows for changing such things as the TV OUT format - I suppose it should, but you'll have to look it up and read about it if interested.

*** = That might be only in multiple-monitor setups. I just cannot remember.

Best regards, keep us posted.

Last edited by GrapefruiTgirl; 10-06-2010 at 11:32 AM. Reason: added ***
 
  


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