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First, AFAIK nvidia's Linux drivers simply do not support interlacing. At all. I would be VERY interested in hearing if you got it to work. For me, it always bombed out of starting X saying in the text console that Interlace and Doubleline was not supported. (I used XFree86, not X.org).
Second, I have had great success with Ati Radeons and the open source drivers for interlacing. With XFree, at least, my low end Radeon 7000 and Radeon 7200 have been able to interlace perfectly using "vesa", "ati", and "radeon" as the driver. My Ati Rage128 also interlaces using "vesa" or "ati", but it suffers from the dreaded "half height overlay bug", rendering it unusable for video playback.
I can help out figuring out suitable interlaced modelines. My HTPC uses an interlaced 1280x960 display at HDTV 1080i timings--at 60hz it's too flickery for you to be interested in. My main workstation uses an interlaced 2048x1536 display at 85hz--VERY nice looking!
Since your monitor can almost handle 1152x864@85hz, it can probably handle 1024x768@85hz with no problems. That means your monitor can handle 2048x1536 interlaced at 85hz! Awesome! Now, I KNOW that your Ati Radeon can tackle 2048x1536 interlaced at 85hz. Your nVidia? You're probably out of luck, there, unless nVidia has FINALLY started supporting interlaced modes with their linux drivers.
"First, AFAIK nvidia's Linux drivers simply do not support interlacing. At all. I would be VERY interested in hearing if you got it to work. "
its not the nvidia drivers that are using interlacing, its my primary monitor (CRT 17" - which is running on a ATI Radeon 9500) that is causing the problem, the secondary monitor is working fine.
"Second, I have had great success with Ati Radeons and the open source drivers for interlacing. With XFree, at least, my low end Radeon 7000 and Radeon 7200 have been able to interlace perfectly using "vesa", "ati", and "radeon" as the driver. "
well i now have the ati drivers installed with xorg6.8.1, and the same thing seems to happen when i try to use the modelines with interlacing - ie ... i can see the screen but its kinda squashed a bit vertically and i can see the scan lines. (not good )
but im thinking it should work without interlacing, as it definatley works at 1280x960 @ 75hz in windows ... and i dont think that is interlaced (although i have no idea how i would fine out )
First off, you can tell if Windows is displaying in an interlaced mode at 75hz or lower really easily--open up Internet Explorer and look at the underlines underneath links. Do they flicker like mad? If so, then it's interlaced. Otherwise, it's not. I find that at 85hz interlace flicker isn't always so easy to notice.
Second, looking at your xorg.conf, I am puzzled by the modeline names "1280x960@75i" and "1280x960@75". I don't know if it matters, but I've always used just the resolution dimensions as the modeline name. In my config files, I use "1280x960" rather than "1280x960@75" or "1280x960@75i". I use a comment line above the modeline to describe the refresh rate and such (copying the practice that Knoppix uses).
Third, I notice the driver for "ATI Graphics Adapter" is "fglrx"--the official Ati driver? I'm only familiar with the open source "ati" driver. It's possible that may the official Ati driver doesn't have as good interlace support as the open source ati driver. Maybe.
So, try uncommenting your 1280x960 interlaced modeline and removing the "@75i". Also, remove all other resolutions. You can try bumping up the HorizSync rate in "Monitor0" from 32.0 - 72.0 to 32.0 - 999.0.
In addition, you could remove everything except for "1280x960" in your "Screen0" section. If you're running KDE, then KDE will meekly accept that 1280x960 is the only resolution available. (GNOME will thickheadedly insist upon whatever resolution it's set on.)
Now, if you're ready for some REAL high resolution, you could add in this modeline:
This modeline is 2048x1536 interlaced at 85hz. It has the same horizontal and vertical sync rates as a 1024x768@85hz display, so your monitor will be able to display it. I use this resolution and love it!
well i guess windows isnt using interlacing anyway (didnt think it did) , so am i right in assuming it should work in linux without having to use interlacing?
and yes the fglrx drivers are the drivers you download ... and not the ones that already come with xorg.
i'll try changing the horizontal rate to 999 like you suggested, and report back
edit:: oh and i noticed something else earlier, when gnome starts up (or the bit just before the gnome splash screen comes on) the screen res seems to start on 1280x960 @ 60, but then flickers and switches to 1152x864 ... strange ...
and also before gnome starts the background of both screens is like a 1pixel checkerboard effect (until i get into X when the background wallpaper covers it up). - im not really bothered about this, id just like to know if you can fix it?
First, the "1 pixel checkerboard effect" is actually a 4x4 repeated pattern:
I think that there is nothing you can do about this, as it's the default X background. Just be glad that there's SOMETHING on screen to let you know that X has started successfully, even if it happens to not get any further.
Second, I take it that what you really want is 1280x960 NONinterlaced at 75hz. Try this modeline, generated by the web page Colas XFree Modeline Generator:
I still recommend at least trying out the 2048x1536 modeline. You'll have to reconfigure all of your fonts and icons to be larger, but it looks SO sharp! It is particularly stunning with serifed fonts, like the URW Pallatino clone.
Third, the reason for the mode switching is that X is opening up at the only available resolution according to the "Modes" line in the "screen0" section. However, GNOME thickheadedly insists upon switching to the mode it has been previously set at--even though this resolution isn't one of the "Modes" listed! Like I said, KDE will meekly accept that the unlisted mode is unavailable and will automatically adjust itself to the resolution which is available. Other window managers don't bother themselves with such vulgarities as a screen resolution setting, and simply settle for whatever X hands them.
Hmm.. as for the ATI card, have you tried using the "radeon" driver as oppopsed to the "ati" driver it looks like you're using? Also it looks like you're using the generic Nvidia driver "nv" have you tried to use the linux drivers that Nvidia makes?
That's the only thing i could suggest, using different drivers possibly ones provided by the manufacturers. ATI's is flgrx or something.
meh, didn't see the rest of the posts for some reason, glad to see you got it working.