[mythtv-users] Pundit with 9A60 and Sony HDTV (long)

Dr. Doug L. Hoffman hoffman at dlhoffman.com
Thu Dec 23 20:18:39 UTC 2004

I have recently finished getting my pundit working with my Sony HDTV and
thought it might be of some use to others to share the experience. Let
me say first that the s-video output from the pundit worked quite well
with my set, though it was a bit underscaned. I wanted something better
so, as recommended by many on the list, I purchased an Audio Authority
9A60 VGA to Component video adapter to convert the pundit's video output
to something my Sony would accept as an HD input. I had been running the
Winischhofer SiS driver for some time but I went and fetched the latest
any way. It seemed like this was a good idea since several built in HD
modes have been added.

After gathering all the needed parts and wiring everything together I
changed my XF86Config to use the 1920x1080i mode built in to the Sis
driver. It didn't work. I tried 960x540 with similar results, an
obviously non-synced signal on the component in. At this point I
resorted to reading the less XFree86.0.log for clues and, suprise, it
turns out that the SiS driver was too smart for its (well my) own good.

The 9A60 apparently doesn't detect on the VGA port like a monitor does
and I still had the s-video output hooked up, which was detected. The
driver decided that the best course of action was to ignore my specified
modes and go with one of its built in modes that would work with the
s-video output, hosing the output through the 9A60. So I set this option
in the Device section:

        Option      "ForceCRT2Type" "NONE"

and got an HD picture on the Sony. After some messing around I decided
to go with 960x540 since the 1920x1080i showed some strange artifacts
when showing movies using mplayer (a solid green line at the bottom of
the movie image). The picture in 960x540 mode was rock solid but about
10% overscanned in both horizontal and vertical. On a hunch I tried the
custom 540p line from Jarod's site:

    ModeLine "in540p" 37.26 880 944 1048 1104 480 506 520 563 +hsync

This turns out to be almost spot on (just slightly underscanned in the
vertical, hardly noticeable). So now high quality xvid DVD "backups"
play beautifully, the picture being virtually indistinguishable from the
originals. Interestingly, the quality of TV reception now seems to be
worse because every flaw in the cable signal is faithfully reproduced
(my local cable company sucks). My next step is to hook up the unused
output from my dual Dish receiver. 

One other note, when setting the "DisplaySize" in the monitor section
don't make the numbers too large. I converted my actual screen size (70
inch 16x9) into mm and found that FC1 made some text unreadable. I now
use 320 by 180 and everything is reasonably sized.

So that's it. Thanks to all those who responded to my previous
questions, your help was invaluable. 


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