[sf-lug] Xorg HDTV-out from laptop to 32" 720p widescreen LCD via composite?

Kristian Erik Hermansen kristian.hermansen at gmail.com
Thu Jan 31 21:16:52 PST 2008

OK, so this is probably a nightmare that no one wants to troubleshoot,
but it has me stumped.  Now, I have setup multi-monitor displays and
TV out configs numerous times.  The new variable here is a 32" LCD
HDTV.  The model of the TV is at the link below with a writeup.


Now, I have an nvidia card, and tried the native TV-out options.  It
works, but it doesn't look pretty.  Seems like its all grey with no
colors and the resolution does not look sharp at all.  Basically, all
I had to do to test it was add the lines below.

Option      "TVStandard" "HD720p" #NTSC-M would be approriate for old
low-res TVs (approx 640x480 interlaced)
Option      "TVOutFormat" "COMPOSITE" #I don't have HDMI port on my
laptop, or component out, just the nvidia port linked with an
S-VIDEO->Composite cable
#Option      "TVOverScan" "0.6" # i tried with this on and off, no difference
Option      "ConnectedMonitor" "TV" #DFP is only valid for DVI connections

>From nvidia, here are some docs on these options:

TVStandard 	Description
"PAL-B" 	used in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Guinea, Hong
Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Norway,
Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland
"PAL-D" 	used in China and North Korea
"PAL-G" 	used in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, The
Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland
"PAL-H" 	used in Belgium
"PAL-I" 	used in Hong Kong and The United Kingdom
"PAL-K1" 	used in Guinea
"PAL-M" 	used in Brazil
"PAL-N" 	used in France, Paraguay, and Uruguay
"PAL-NC" 	used in Argentina
"NTSC-J" 	used in Japan
"NTSC-M" 	used in Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Haiti,
Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Korea, Taiwan, United
States of America, and Venezuela
"HD480i" 	480 line interlaced
"HD480p" 	480 line progressive
"HD720p" 	720 line progressive
"HD1080i" 	1080 line interlaced
"HD1080p" 	1080 line progressive
"HD576i" 	576 line interlace
"HD576p" 	576 line progressive

The "TVOutFormat" option can be used to force S-video or composite
output. Without this option the driver autodetects the output format.
Unfortunately, it does not always do this correctly. The output format
can be forced with the options:

    Option "TVOutFormat" "SVIDEO"


    Option "TVOutFormat" "COMPOSITE"

The "TVOverScan" option can be used to enable Overscan where
supported. Valid values are decimal values in the range 1.0 (which
means overscan as much as possible: make the image as large as
possible) and 0.0 (which means disable overscanning: make the image as
small as possible). Overscanning is disabled (0.0) by default.

Overscan is currently only available on GeForce4 or newer GPUs with
either NVIDIA or Conexant TV encoders.

Option "ConnectedMonitor" "string"

    Allows you to override what the NVIDIA kernel module detects is
connected to your video card. This may be useful, for example, if you
use a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch and you are switched away
when X is started. In such a situation, the NVIDIA kernel module
cannot detect what display devices are connected, and the NVIDIA X
driver assumes you have a single CRT.

    Valid values for this option are "CRT" (cathode ray tube), "DFP"
(digital flat panel), or "TV" (television); if using TwinView, this
option may be a comma-separated list of display devices; e.g.: "CRT,
CRT" or "CRT, DFP".

    NOTE: anything attached to a 15 pin VGA connector is regarded by
the driver as a CRT. "DFP" should only be used to refer to digital
flat panels connected via a DVI port.

    Default: string is NULL (the NVIDIA driver will detect the
connected display devices).

I think I have the best possible values there for that.  But, it looks
like crap on the screen.  Perhaps there is a modeline to make it
usable?  Actually, I don't ever like to bank on the proprietary nvidia
TVout options, so usually I configure two Xorg screens to get the job
done, which I have had great success with on many machines.  However,
this HDTV is a beast!  I could not get it to display anything :-(  My
multi-screen config was similar to the link below.


But, alas, nada.  And then I thought I found the holy grail!


But that didn't work either :-(

Am I screwed?  I've had the best HDTV luck so far using the
proprietary options in the nvidia driver, so perhaps I should go that
route.  Any input is greatly appreciated though of course :-)  And if
you have any idea of how to get a usable looking screen from the
nvidia config options, I would like to hear about it!  Thanks...
Kristian Erik Hermansen
"Know something about everything and everything about something."

More information about the sf-lug mailing list