[mythtv-users] Graphics cards with Component video - anyone using?

Stroller linux.luser at myrealbox.com
Tue Jan 2 15:58:07 UTC 2007

Hi there,

I've spent the last 24 hours or so doing homework on the best way to  
get video from my proposed Myth box into my telly, and I think that  
by the time I've finished writing this email my head will be about  
ready to melt.

Skip to the second half of this post if you're already using a  
graphics card which features a component video output. (paragraph  
beginning "more Googling, however...")

My TV is a rear-projection LG, model 44SZ21RD - had I bought a telly  
with MythTV in mind I would undoubtedly have spent the extra to get  
one with VGA or DVI in, but I bid on this at the last minute on eBay  
in the hours following a recent Nintendo delivery, and it's only  
since then that its occurred to me to try using it as an actual  
gogglebox. From the point-of-view of buying a telly randomly without  
regard to specification, then, I haven't been completely unfortunate  
because this unit has 2 x component inputs and also 2 x RGB SCART.  
With the amount of reading I've ended-up doing to try & figure the  
best way to connect Myth I'm kinda kicking myself over not having  
bought VGA, but at the same time it'd now be a lot of hassle to trade  
up to that, and probably cost me quite a bit, too.

I'm guessing it would be easy to get RGB SCART into this TV if I  
based a FE on an Xbox, or component from one of the upcoming Apple  
STBs, but I really want to build a Myth box based on a standard ATX m/ 
board & case. I don't have a PC currently running 24/7 which could be  
repurposed, and so I don't want the hassle of building anew separate  
FE & BE machines.

What I'd really like to do is use a motherboard with onboard Intel  
graphics, as I don't like having to use binary graphics drivers, but  
I don't see it as likely to be able to find a motherboard with  
onboard graphics and TV-out. As mentioned by Sean Darcy recently,  
boards based on the latest Intel G965 Express chipset & with onboard  
X3000 graphics can offer extended graphics-out options via an "ADD2"  
card, but these cards don't seem readily available to the general  
public; they seem usually to offer a second VGA or DHMI output, and I  
can only find one OEM mentioning them in connection with TV use  

My initial Googles for "vga scart" came up with a number of pages  
about making a cable to connect from a PC's VGA out to a standard  
SCART socket:
This is also mentioned on the MythTV wiki, however it's not clear  
whether the Intel integrated graphics will do the appropriate  
modelines <http://www.nexusuk.org/projects/vga2scart/>.

Does anyone know whether the Intel X3000 will support interlaced  
resolutions & low dot-clock frequencies?
(14.76 MHz is mentioned for PAL)
For anyone who's interested in this there's a very long thread at:

I think it was somewhere in that thread that I stumbled upon mention  
of the new (at the time of the posting) ATi All-in-Wonder X800 which  
sports funny dongles for component & SCART TV-outs. <http:// 
www.hexus.net/content/item.php?item=852>. I don't believe the All-In- 
Wonder to be ideal for MythTV because of the state of ATi drivers  
under Linux - a local supplier lists this model at 130, but I'm  
unlikely to use the tuner as DVB-T reception is poor in my area (I  
plan to get a separate PCI card for DVB-S).

More Googling, however, has turned up a number of other cards with  
component outputs. Is anyone here using any of these?

Abit RX600 Pro-HDTV (ATi chipset) - <http://tinyurl.com/yfdbgs>

BFG GeForce 6600 GT OC - <http://www.beyond3d.com/reviews/bfg/ 
6600gtoc/index.php?p=2>, <http://www.bjorn3d.com/read.php? 

BFG GEFORCE 7600 GT OC 256MB PCIe - described as having an "HDTV  
connector", presumably this is the same as the component dongles  
shown in the reviews of the 6600 above; I can find this model for  
about 100 on eBay.

PNY Verto GeForce 6600 GT 128MB AGP - <http://www.hexus.net/content/ 
item.php?item=1166&page=3>. The manufacturer's website appears to  
describe this as a "HDTV-out breakout pod" <http://www2.pny.com/ 

My local supplier offers number of other PNY cards which appear to  
offer this "HDTV-out breakout pod":
   http://www2.pny.com/6200-128MB-AGP-P1723C15.aspx - 37
   http://www2.pny.com/7600-GS-256MB-PCIe--P1777C14.aspx - 53
   http://www2.pny.com/7300-GT-256MB-PCIe--P1895C14.aspx - 62
and others at prices exceeding 100, more than I'd prefer to pay for  
a graphics card.

Am I right in thinking that nVidia cards are better than ATi for  
Linux / MuthTV use? I detest binary drivers, but that's less hassle  
than messing with a homemade cable - if I have to accept binary  
drivers then I'd prefer the card / chipset that's best-supported   
under Linux and likely to be longest-supported.

At the moment I'm thinking that one of the PNY Verto cards will be  
the way to go; the last remaining thing is to see if this component  
"HDTV-out breakout pod" is supported under Linux. Anyone?

But I also made such a long posting because I wanted to lay out all  
my thinking along the way. I don't see any solution which is optimal  
to my preferences, but I'd be glad for anyone to knock me down if  
I've got things wrong.

Thanks in advance for any comments,


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