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Old 12-09-2003, 11:15 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Dec 2003
Location: CT / USA
Distribution: Mandrake 9.2
Posts: 1

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ATI radeon mobility and atitvout

I have been trying to get my sony vaio laptop with an ATI radeon mobility video card to otuput to the television. I am running Mandrake 9.2, and it seemed to detect and configure the video card ok. I have been trying to run the atitvout program with no luck though. After starting up the system with the tv cable attached I can run atitvout and detect that the tv is attached. When trying to change the display I get the standard error that I have seen a few times in this forum of: "VBE call failed." I have tried selecting a different video card such as the rage mobility or rage mobility 128, or even the ati all in wonder and still get the same error. Has anyone had any luck with gettting the TV out function to work on a radeon mobility? Any additional suggestions on what I might try would be greatly appreciated.

Here is my XF8G Config-4

Section "Files"
# Multiple FontPath entries are allowed (they are concatenated together)
# By default, Mandrake 6.0 and later now use a font server independent of
# the X server to render fonts.
FontPath "unix/:-1"

Section "ServerFlags"
#DontZoom # disable <Crtl><Alt><KP_+>/<KP_-> (resolution switching)
AllowMouseOpenFail # allows the server to start up even if the mouse doesn't work
#DontZap # disable <Crtl><Alt><BS> (server abort)

Section "Module"
Load "dbe" # Double-Buffering Extension
Load "extmod"
Load "type1"
Load "freetype"
Load "glx" # 3D layer
Load "dri" # direct rendering

Section "DRI"
Mode 0666

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Keyboard1"
Driver "Keyboard"
Option "XkbModel" "pc105"
Option "XkbLayout" "en_US"
Option "XkbOptions" ""

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "Mouse1"
Driver "mouse"
Option "Protocol" "IMPS/2"
Option "Device" "/dev/usbmouse"
Option "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "monitor1"
VendorName "Generic"
ModelName "Flat Panel 1024x768"
HorizSync 31.5-48.5
VertRefresh 40-70

# Sony Vaio C1(X,XS,VE,VN)?
# 1024x480 @ 85.6 Hz, 48 kHz hsync
ModeLine "1024x480" 65.00 1024 1032 1176 1344 480 488 494 563 -hsync -vsync

# TV fullscreen mode or DVD fullscreen output.
# 768x576 @ 79 Hz, 50 kHz hsync
ModeLine "768x576" 50.00 768 832 846 1000 576 590 595 630

# 768x576 @ 100 Hz, 61.6 kHz hsync
ModeLine "768x576" 63.07 768 800 960 1024 576 578 590 616

Section "Device"
Identifier "device1"
VendorName "ATI"
BoardName "ATI Radeon"
Driver "radeon"
Option "DPMS"

Section "Screen"
Identifier "screen1"
Device "device1"
Monitor "monitor1"
DefaultColorDepth 24

Subsection "Display"
Depth 8
Virtual 800 600

Subsection "Display"
Depth 15
Virtual 800 600

Subsection "Display"
Depth 16
Virtual 800 600

Subsection "Display"
Depth 24
Virtual 800 600

Section "ServerLayout"
Identifier "layout1"
Screen "screen1"
InputDevice "Keyboard1" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "Mouse1" "CorePointer"
Old 03-03-2004, 07:37 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2003
Distribution: Slackware 9.1
Posts: 5

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If you're still trying to solve this problem I might have a couple of suggestions. I have an ATI Mobility M3 graphics adapter, and I finally got TV out working on it today.

First, I changed the "VertRefresh" line in my XF86Config from 50-70 to 50-90. This allowed me to enable 800x600 mode. I couldn't get tv-out to work at all in 1024x768.

Second, I changed my "rc.4" script to load a different XF86Config file depending whether or not the tv was detected. I cribbed the script from elsewhere on this site, but I can't find it now, so I'll post my modified version. Thanks a million to whoever wrote it originally.


# Is TV-Out active?
if /usr/local/sbin/atitvout -f detect | grep -q TV; then
echo -n "Selecting TV-Out configuration"
cp /etc/X11/ /etc/X11/XF86Config
echo -n "Selecting LCD Configuration"
cp /etc/X11/XF86Config.notv /etc/X11/XF86Config

exec /usr/X11R6/bin/xdm # or kdm of gdm etc


The and XF86Config.notv files are the same, except that in the tv script the 800x600 mode is the only mode available:

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Screen 1"
Device "Rage 128 Mobility MF"
Monitor "lcd"
DefaultDepth 16

Subsection "Display"
Depth 16
Modes "800x600" # the important line!!
ViewPort 0 0
Virtual 0 0

Now when I boot my machine with the TV plugged in (it must be attached at boot time) I can just open an xterm, su to root, and run "atitvout -f t". Your card probably requires the "-r" option instead of "-f". I don't think you can run two monitors at once this way, but you could try "atitvout -r t l". If that doesn't work, then maybe your card isnt supported by this software. It's worth a try anyways.

Also, your xdm start script probably isn't called rc.4 (mine is), I've never used Mandrake so I wouldn't know.

Hope this helps some.
Old 06-24-2004, 11:31 PM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jun 2004
Posts: 3

Rep: Reputation: 0
I have a Radeon Mobility U1 (forget what M# it is). It worked when doing "atitvout -r ntsc" to set the format (not sure if that's needed though) and then "atitvout -f t" to switch to the TV. It oddly wanted the r in the first and f in the second. Gave the VBE error when using either both r or f. Though I do get some problems with the video. While watching a movie, bright areas like windows or just about anything pure white or just bright seem to be too bright and just go pure white. People carrying torches looks weird when the fire is completely white. Might be a problem with resolution? I had it at 1024x768. Perhaps 800x600 would be better.
That script looks like a handy way of dealing with the different res. I was too lazy to manually change the res tonight, so I didn't try 800x600.


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