Configure the TV out port of various cards under Linux
Popular graphics cards
NVIDIA based cards
ATI based cards
- The xfree86 drivers made by the GATOS project support enabling tv-out for ATI based cards.
- Another option is the command line atitvout  tool
- The closed source drivers by ATI  also support tv-out
- If using a laptop, try simply closing the lid. Many laptop also have a key or key combination (often Fn+F6 or some other F key, check the manual) to switch the output.
Tv-out of a Voodoo3 can be enabled by installing i2c/lm-sensors kernel drivers/modules called i2c-voodoo3 and bt869. These are included in recent kernel versions or can be downloaded from the lm-sensors website. Loading them will enabled the tv-out. It can be configured by some files in /proc.
Disabling NTSC/Enabling PAL output:
echo "0" > /proc/sys/dev/sensors/bt869-i2c-0-44/ntsc
Configuring the resolution:
echo "800 600" > /proc/sys/dev/sensors/bt869-i2c-0-44/res
This works in the console. If you want to use it in XFree86, you'll first have to add proper modelines for your TV output type (e.g. PAL or NTSC) to your configuration. And you'll have to re-run the commands to configure the kernel modules after X has been started. (Best to put that stuff in a script and run it in your .xsession).
Matrox cards have arguably the best quality TV out. It gives you fully TV standards compliant interlaced signal. It allows you to use SCART-RGB cable to connect to TV. To utilise this your choises are:
1) VIDIX 
+ DVDMax mode for Linux!!! Picture on your X and TV simultaneously.
+ Low CPU utilization
+ Hardware OSD support
mplayer your_movie.mpg -vo xvidix -vf scale=768:576
(or mplayer your_movie.mpg -vo xvidix:mga_crtc2_vid.so -vf scale=768:576)
(Note: Kernel patch required. Tested with my G550; kernel 2.6.9. Matrox TV-out kernel patches)
(Note2: Your framebuffer shoul be set up with 768x576 resolution)
3) DirectFB 
- You can not simultaneously watch video and have X with DirectFB.
+ DirectFB uses hardware acceleration.
+ S-Video, SCART-RGB.
0) Propriatory Matrox drivers do NOT support TV out on Linux.
Tips for matroxfb on 2.6 kernel:
- do not forget to enable CONFIG_FRAMEBUFFER_CONSOLE into kernel when compiling your kernel. Otherwise you'll end up with blank screen on boot.
- use latest
matroxset-0.4 from  to edit brightness/contrast/saturation/hue
matroxset -f /dev/fb0 -e for manual tuning
matroxset -f /dev/fb0 -c 0x980901 1023 to set contrast to maximum
vl4ctl do not work for that purpose anymore as of kernel 2.6.9
SCART-RGB cable pinouts can be found on Matrox site here