Ubuntu Install disk does not appear to work with HDMI only systems
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HDMI support in the radeon driver was probably rather new at that time, so it's possible it didn't get included in the version that Ubuntu 9.10 shipped with. it's also possible that it is a problem specific to your TV. Unfortunately, if that's the case, I'm not sure there's much that can be done. You could try the Lucid Alpha 2 CD, perhaps.
That's an interesting question, 'xrandr' doesn't even work, just says 'can't open display'. That's the current error I'm checking into, have been looking at 'aticonfig' to see what's up. Even did an initialise using aticonfig and dpkg-reconfigure didn't help either.
But, in my research I found out that the proprietary drivers don't even support 3D.
Maybe, I shouldn't try Linux with a Radeon HD 4600 series card? I think I'll stick to windoze for now, till the drivers mature a bit.
The latest open source drivers support the HD4xxx cards just fine with 2D and 3D acceleration. The proprietary drivers support that card as well, but only up to X server 1.6.* at the moment (hopefully 1.7.* will be supported in time for Ubuntu 10.04).
As for your xrandr error... Were you running it while logged into X as the user logged into X?