Hiya, no problem about not being specific. Good that you mentioned its a laptop though -- not really significant for THIS thread, but in the future, if you need help, best to specify that first, because with many issues/problems, it is important to know it's a laptop.
Now.. Not too suprising you had trouble finding info on specifically using TV-out. It can be tricky.
FIrst, as I said, read the man oage for xorg.conf, get a little familiar with that, because you will want to reference it probably. And if you can find a man page or docs for the driver you use, that may halp with specifics too.
Basically, what you'll probably want to do, if you want to use EITHER
the builtin screen OR
the TV, is to add a second server layout to your xorg.conf file. This is what I did to mine. So the way it works, is when you boot up and start your desktop like usual, it will come up on the laptop screen. Then, if you want to watch TV, you would open a console window and type startx -- :1 -layout "television"
. It doesn't have to be called 'television' but that depends on what you call your alternate layout in xorg.conf.
Instead of typing this in a console, I just made a little script with this one line in it, and made a desktop link to it, so I just click the icon and a new X session starts in another TTY, with my TV going. The script looks like:
startx -- :6 -layout "television"
So, the basic changes you will need to do to the xorg.conf file are like so:
1 - add a second device
section. Identical to the existing one. You will need to add a BusID line to each device section too. This tells X where on the PCI bus is your video card. Also, in the NEW device section, add a line Screen 1
and in the OLD device section, add a line Screen 0
2 - add a second Monitor
section. In it, you will specify the horizontal and vertical rates for your TV, and the usual other stuff that goes in a Monitor section. Name it something different than the OLD Monitor section, maybe Identifier "tv-screen"
if you like that.
3 - add a second Screen
section. Identical to the first one that's already there, EXCEPT you will name it something like Identifier 'Screen1'
as opposed to your original screen section which is probably called Identifier 'Screen0'
and you will reference your new device & Monitor sections that you just made.
4 - Next you will make a new serverlayout section, identical to the original one in every way, EXCEPT it will list Screen 0 "Screen1" 0 0
instead of what the original serverlayout says which is probably Screen 0 "Screen0" 0 0
and you will call it Identifier "television" or whatever you like, as long as you can remember what you called it, and/or you want to make a little script like I made.
Finally, to your new Screen section, add the following:
Option "TVOutFormat" "SVIDEO"
Option "TVStandard" "NTSC-M"
NOTE: My TV-out is an S-Video plug. if yours is a composite plug (a round RCA-type plug) then change SVIDEO to COMPOSITE. Also, if you live somewhere other than North America, your TV Standard may be different. The TV Standard line may
also be optional.
There! I *think* I covered most everything. I may have forgotten some detail, but this is basically it. SO, go ahead and edit your file, IF this sounds like it is the way you would like things to work. If not, or if you have troubles getting it to work, please post what's happening, and I shall try to help you fix it
Also, if your X won't start because of a config error, you will need to repair the xorg./conf in an editor like mc or Pico or nano or Vi or something, so make sure you have access to an editor, and that you know how to use it and save your file.
Best of luck; let me know how it goes.