TV Out

(Redirected from Tvout)

If you are having trouble getting TV-Out functionality on a Radeon graphics card below Radeon 9500, the following instructions may help you. This method patches the open Xorg open source drivers with a tv-out patch from the GATOS project. These instructions have only been tested with Ubuntu Edgy.

Try these instructions if installing the proprietary drivers gives you a "high gamma" or "washed out" looking screen whenever the TV jack on card is in use at boot-time, or if your card is a Radeon with TV-Out that is not supported at all by the proprietary ATI drivers (fglrx).


Download Prerequisites

First, install driver and other needed packages. Copy/enter the following into the terminal.

  sudo apt-get install build-essential libdrm-dev mesa-common-dev \
  x11proto-render-dev x11proto-core-dev x11proto-fonts-dev x11proto-gl-dev \
  x11proto-randr-dev x11proto-video-dev x11proto-xext-dev \
  x11proto-xf86dri-dev x11proto-xf86misc-dev x11proto-xinerama-dev \
  xserver-xorg-dev pkg-config


Second, use wget in terminal to download the driver and patch

    mkdir ~/ati; cd ~/ati 
  • Note the above command is very wide, make sure you copy it all.

Next, patch the driver

    tar xjvf xf86-video-ati-6.6.3.tar.bz2 
    gunzip -c xorg7.1-6.6.3-tv_output.patch.gz | patch -p1 -d xf86-video-ati-6.6.3



Next, configure, build and install the driver

 cd xf86-video-ati-6.6.3
 export XORG_PREFIX="/usr"
 export XORG_CONFIG="--prefix=$XORG_PREFIX --sysconfdir=/etc --localstatedir=/var"
 ./configure $XORG_CONFIG --with-xorg-module-dir=$XORG_PREFIX/lib/xorg/modules
 sudo make install
  • Note, using "sudo" will cause the terminal to ask for your password.


Lastly, tweak xorg.conf by entering

    sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

and editing it with the following changes, note the specified lines:

 Section "Device"
    Identifier "<YOUR CARD NAME HERE>"
    Driver "ati"                #<---------Important line here
    BusID "PCI:1:0:0" 
    Option "TVOutput" "NTSC"    #<---------Important line here

 Section "Monitor" 
    Identifier "SyncMaster" 
    HorizSync 30 - 50           #<---------Important line here
    VertRefresh 60 - 60         #<---------Important line here
    Option "DPMS" 

 Section "Screen" 
    Identifier "Default Screen" 
    Device "<YOUR CARD NAME HERE>" 
    Monitor "SyncMaster" 
    DefaultDepth 24             #<---------Important line here
    SubSection "Display"        #<---------Important line here
         Depth 24               #<---------Important line here
         Modes "800x600"        #<---------Important line here
    EndSubSection               #<---------Important line here

After this point, check for any typos, and save the file.

Then press CTRL+ALT+Backspace to restart X. If all went well, you should come back up to the login screen and your TV-out should be working fine. If its not up at this point, but you do come back up to a login screen, try rebooting with the tv cable plugged in.


There is a utility called tvo_set which allows you to tweak the tv out options. It requires more headers:

 sudo apt-get install libxv-dev

Now head back into the source directory:

 cd ~/ati/xf86-video-ati-6.6.3/src/tvo_set/
 sudo make install

The readme for tvo_set can be found in:


See Also

Thanks goes out to dlg from the ubuntu forums. Any problems or requests for modification should be directed to that thread. Credit for the tvo_set utility info goes to sebos69 from the Ubuntu forums.

  • Note, the cable to your TV should be plugged in when you boot up the PC.