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-   -   Using each head of a Matrox G400 independently w/ DirectFB (

ultrabomberman 07-01-2004 09:44 AM

Using each head of a Matrox G400 independently w/ DirectFB
My Matrox G400 outputs to TV beautifully. However, once I start mplayer the monitor (which is on head 1) cuts out and the TV output (on head 2) is activated instead. I assume this is normal and that most people are OK with this arrangement.

However, this machine will primarily be a Freevo box, and I'd still like head 1 to have a console or X so I can still use it as a desktop computer. Freevo will spend the vast majority of the time doing nothing, just waiting for user input or the next recording to start, so I'm not worried about performance really.

Someone who works on DirectFB (Denis Oliver Kropp) talked about this in an interview, so I know it can be done:

You can run native applications like DFBTerm, all X11 based applications via XDirectFB, play games using SDL on DirectFB, watch movies on the TV-Out using mplayer's dfbmga backend (while still using other applications on the first head).
So that's precisely what I want, though as of yet I can't find anything on the subject (or I'm using the wrong search terms). Freevo and mplayer would use dfbmga and output to the second head. Can I run a window manager (like Dropline Gnome, my favorite) through head 1?

Thanks for any help!

finegan 07-02-2004 08:19 PM

I've done this, it was by compiling the matrox framebuffer into the kernel instead of vesa, I ended up with 2 identical virtual terms. kernel boot and all, and could have X start on one and output to the fb on the other. As I remember it, there was little to it other then a recompile. This was of course on a 2 head VGA system, but the idea is the same I assume. The mga framebuffer takes a different boot option or you get the black screen of no fun. They're in the Documentation section in the kernel source.



ultrabomberman 07-06-2004 11:14 PM

Getting there....
I've made some progress. I installed XDirectFB (I can post some links to instructions I followed when I get back to work tomorrow) and I was able to simultaneously have X running (using my favorite window manager Dropline Gnome) and output to the TV with mplayer.

However, playback was slow on the TV and I couldn't get the mouse to work in X. I'm still hunting around for resources and seeing if any random tweaks I make will improve the situation, but if ANYONE has insight on this matter, help me out please!


finegan 07-06-2004 11:19 PM

Just checking, are you using the matrox specific mplayer kernel driver? mga_vid.o, it'll be in the Mplayer source directory in a subdir called drivers, then you can use the -vo mga option...



ultrabomberman 07-06-2004 11:39 PM

It's installed and I can use -vo mga, but I don't understand what that does for me. It just plays on the first head with or without X.

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