[mythtv-users] Adventures in HDTV - Notes from the trenches

Matt Mossholder matt at mossholder.com
Sun Dec 18 23:17:49 EST 2005

Hi everyone,
    Been working for a few weeks trying to get a functional front end.
The good news is no more questions. :) However, I picked up a number of
tid-bits along the way, and figured it would be a good thing to
summarize them for the list, to help the next person.


1) Try and ensure that the TV you intend to purchase does not -require-
HDCP enabled input sources for HDMI or DVI connections before you make a
purchase.  This has a number of bad side effects, listed below.

2) A display capable of 720p is preferable to one capable of 1080i,
under many circumstances. 720p has less flicker, and presents less
problems from a display driver standpoint. One that supports both (or
1080p) is even better.

Display Cards:

1) nVIDIA (generally preferred) - There are a number of issues that you
may run into. Careful selection of a driver version is required to
ensure proper functionality.

    *) If you require interlaced display modes, choose version 6629, if
you are using progressive, you can go with the latest version. 
    *) If your display requires HDCP enabled sources and you want to use
HDMI or DVI, you will need to use a 6000 series or 7000 series adapter,
since previous versions of nVIDIA cards do not support HDCP.
    *) if you are using an AudioAuthority 9A60 VGA-> Component adapter,
be aware that somewhere above version 6629 the nVIDIA drivers began
experiencing an issue when using 1080i mode, where the display would be
shifted such that the left and right edges are in the middle of the
    *) There is an outstanding bug in versions higher than 6629 when
utilizing a DVI connection which prevents the use of xv VBlank syncing.
I've seen it mentioned that this is just with interlaced modes, but in
my experience, it seems to crash right away whenever the DVI port is
being used.

2) ATI (getting better, but not quite there yet for HD) - ATI seems to
deliver a better picture, when working, however there are issue which
seem to preclude using these cards for 1080i.

    *) Xv does not work properly with large displays. The symptoms of
this are that Myth thinks everything is working fine, but a black screen
is presented when video should be on screen. X displays non-video
content correctly (X Desktop, MythTV GUI, etc).  Some people appear to
have managed to get 720 working correctly, but 1080i is too large.
    *) While ATI supports HDCP, it is only enabled when the fglrx X11
driver is loaded. It's another gotcha for those of us with HDTV monitors
which require HDCP on the DVI or HDMI port. If you are in this
situation, you are going to be flying blind until X comes up. Really
only workable if you are running a diskless system, where all the
configuration can happen on another system, or if you do the initial
configuration on a normal monitor.
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