TV out through VGA? ATI X1400 with fglrx driver

Rick Bilonick rab at
Mon Jan 14 05:04:32 UTC 2008

On Sun, 2008-01-13 at 18:18 +0200, Dotan Cohen wrote:
> I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 / E1505 laptop with an ATI X1400 graphics
> card. I use the fglrx driver as I run Compiz-Fusion, currently under
> both Fedora Core 6 and Ubuntu 7.04. The hardware has both VGA and
> S-video outputs. In the past (I don't remember under what distro or
> drivers, I've played around too much) I have successfully gotten video
> out of the VGA to a CRT monitor, but never S-Video to a television.
> I am considering purchasing a VGA-to-RCA adaptor, such as one of these two:
> The first one does not list any prerequisites, however the second one says this:
> "Notes: the VGA must has TV out directly through VGA port function.
> Please refer VGA card's user manual (not included) before you use."
> Of course, the seller, nor ATI, are very helpful in the manner. What
> do the experienced folk here think? I express my gratitude in advance
> for any advice.
> Dotan Cohen

Are you planning to connect to an old-fashioned (circa 20th century)
analog NTSC television or a digital ATSC television? The details will
differ but you should be able to configure the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file
with the appropriate mode line(s), horizontal and vertical frequencies,
etc. of what you are connecting to. I have nvidia cards that are
configured to output to HDTVs via 1920x1080i mode lines. A simple
connector/adapter will NOT change the output signal. I use a
VGA-to-components adapter. It does NOT do any conversion - the output
through the VGA port has to be ATSC 1920x1080i (or other HDTV format)
for this to work. The output via VGA must match what your TV is able to
handle as input. If it is an analog TV, then you need something like
NTSC 680x480i or similar. You can buy real scan converters - I sold a
unit I had for scan converting VGA to analog TV (no software is needed
given it's doing scan conversion). (I believe there are HDTV type scan
convertors which are more expensive than what I had.) But if you
configure your video card correctly using xorg.conf and assuming your
video card is capable, all you need is a simple connector from VGA to
your TV's input port. An analog TV typically has a composite port (RCA
type connector). Better analog TV's include an S-Video port for a
slightly better picture (S-Video was what the venerable Commodore 64
could output). Digital HDTV's typically have component inputs (3 RCA
type connectors) which are analog. The newest HDTV's also include
digital inputs.

Rick B.

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