The unofficial guide to getting your TV-out working on an ATI X1250

MythTV SetupFor a long time I used an old XBOX with the homebrew mediacenter for my media purposes. Being the Open Source enthusiast, I didn’t want to have a proprietary vendor lock-in by the market leaders in Belgium (Belgamcom TV & Telenet). So I joined the only decent alternative (being TV Vlaanderen : satellite provider)), as they allow the use of own hardware.
At a given point my girlfriend wanted to record her favorite show when she wasn’t at home, and I wanted a cheap alternative to stream the tv across the home. MythTV came on top after checking out different alternatives. Freevo didn’t seem to convince me, VDR looked decent, but in the end MythTV had the upperhand on marketshare & documentation.
Anyways… I bought my self the hardware to setup my box, which included an ASUS M2A-VM HDMI motherboard. But how could I forget to check this… the chipset it used an ATI chipset for it’s integrated video (being the X1250). After setup in the MythTV box with MythBuntu everything worked like a charm, except the “LiveTV”. It was “laggy”, “choppy”, … a tad to slow to get passed the “WAF”-test (Wife Annoyance Factor).

I’m expecting you installed MythBuntu, or have a system where you currently have the “fglrx”-package installed from the Ubuntu repository.

$ fglrxinfo
display: :0.0 screen: 0
OpenGL vendor string: ATI Technologies Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: ATI Radeon ******* Series
OpenGL version string: ******* Release

If you don’t see the proprietary ATI drivers here, then install them first.

$ sudo apt-get install xorg-driver-fglrx

The “Magic” touch
If you check which version is in the repository, then you’ll notice that the version is a bit “outdated”.

$ dpkg -l | grep -i fglrx
ii xorg-driver-fglrx 7.1.0-8.37.6+ Video driver for ATI graphics accelerators

The version history of the proprietary ATI drivers shows a version from “May 31, 2007”. If we check the latest driver, then will see that the latest changes all reflect towards TV-out functionality.
(Note: the latest 8/3/2008 drivers has better xvideo support!)
So download the latest driver

$ lynx “”

And install it

$ sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic build-essential
$ chmod 755
$ sudo ./

Just do the basic/default things, no need for a specific package or anything…
That should install the driver, but now you’ll need to adjust your Xorg configuration to use this driver.
(Be sure to check the /usr/share/ati/fglrx-install.log for any errors!)

$ sudo vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Look for the following

Driver “vesa”

And change it to

Driver “fglrx”

Reboot your system, and check at your working TV-out! πŸ˜‰

Here you can find my Xorg configuration, which may help you out for specific TV-out tweaks regarding the X1250.

# xorg.conf (xorg X Window System server configuration file)
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
# Edit this file with caution, and see the xorg.conf manual page.
# (Type "man xorg.conf" at the shell prompt.)
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xorg package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xorg
# package.
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following command:
#   sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

Section "ServerLayout"

        # Uncomment if you have a wacom tablet
        #       InputDevice     "stylus"        "SendCoreEvents"
        #       InputDevice     "cursor"        "SendCoreEvents"
        #       InputDevice     "eraser"        "SendCoreEvents"
        Identifier      "Default Layout"
  screen 0 "Default Screen" 0 0
        Inputdevice     "Generic Keyboard"
        Inputdevice     "Configured Mouse"

Section "Files"

Section "Module"
        Load            "vnc"
        Load            "glx"
        Load            "dbe"
        Load            "v4l"
        Load            "dri"
        Load            "fglrx"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Generic Keyboard"
        Driver          "kbd"
        Option          "CoreKeyboard"
        Option          "XkbRules"      "xorg"
        Option          "XkbModel"      "pc105"
        Option          "XkbLayout"     "be"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "Configured Mouse"
        Driver          "mouse"
        Option          "CorePointer"
        Option          "Device"        "/dev/input/mice"
        Option          "Protocol"      "ImPS/2"
        Option          "ZAxisMapping"  "4 5"
        Option          "Emulate3Buttons"       "true"

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "stylus"
        Driver          "wacom"
        Option          "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
        Option          "Type"  "stylus"
        Option          "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"# Tablet PC ONLY

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "eraser"
        Driver          "wacom"
        Option          "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
        Option          "Type"  "eraser"
        Option          "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"# Tablet PC ONLY

Section "InputDevice"
        Identifier      "cursor"
        Driver          "wacom"
        Option          "Device"        "/dev/input/wacom"
        Option          "Type"  "cursor"
        Option          "ForceDevice"   "ISDV4"# Tablet PC ONLY

Section "Monitor"
        Identifier      "Generic Monitor"
        Vendorname      "Plug 'n' Play"
        Modelname       "Plug 'n' Play"
  modeline  "640x480@60" 25.2 640 656 752 800 480 490 492 525 -vsync -hsync
        Gamma   1.0

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "aticonfig-Device[0]"
        Driver      "fglrx"
        BusID       "PCI:1:5:0"
        Option "ForceMonitors" "tv,none"
        Option "NoTV" "no"
        Option "VideoOverlay" "on"
        Option "OpenGLOverlay" "off"
        Option "TVFormat" "PAL-B"
        Option "UseInternalAGPGART" "no"
        Option "XAANoOffscreenPixmaps" "on"
        Option "TexturedVideo" "on"
        Option "VideoOverlay" "off"
        Option "OpenGLOverlay" "off"
        Option "Textured2D" "on"
        Option "TexturedXrender" "on"
        Option "UseFastTLS" "1"

Section "Screen"
        Identifier      "Default Screen"
        Device          "Generic Video Card"
        Monitor         "Generic Monitor"
        Defaultdepth    24
        Option          "SecurityTypes" "VncAuth"
        Option          "UserPasswdVerifier"    "VncAuth"
        Option          "PasswordFile"  "/root/.vnc/passwd"
        SubSection "Display"
                Depth   24
                Virtual 640     480
                Modes           "640x480@60"
EndSectionSection "Extensions"
        Option "RENDER" "Enable"
        Option "DAMAGE" "Enable"
        Option "Composite" "Enable"
        Option "XVideo" "Enable"

Section "ServerFlags"
        Option "AIGLX" "on"

Update (29/02/08)
Changed some instructions so that it’ll work on a clean install of MythBuntu too.
Update (24/03/08)
– Changed my xorg.conf after reading some interesting insights at the compriz forum.
– Changed the installation sequence/info a bit.

MythTV documentation about the ATI Proprietary Driver
Ati Video Driver Install for Dummies
A user group for the integrated ATI Radeon X1250
Ubuntu Gutsy installation on the unofficial ATI linux wiki
ATI howto on the gentoo wiki
compriz forum thread (tip!!!)
Radeon Drivers @ ATI
Envy (Didn’t use it, but might be interesting to some)

23 thoughts on “The unofficial guide to getting your TV-out working on an ATI X1250

  1. Karim

    I’m quite new to linux, but I’ve been making progress. I have the same graphics card onboard with my Gigabyte ga-ma69gm motherboard, and I have been having a helluva time getting my component out to work. I found your “how to” and I have a bit more hope, but I ran into a couple roadblocks:
    First: A couple command line options don’t work with a fresh install of mythbuntu: “lynx” is not installed, but it can be, and “vi” doesn’t appear to work, but “nano” does.
    Second: I went ahead and loaded “lynx”, but there was an error when trying to use it (forgive me, but I am at home now and I cannot connect my mythbuntu system up to my internet at home (I use an aircard due to my rural setting)) – The screen goes black and a warning comes up about the url and it cancels out. Again, I worked around this by loading it through firefox and placing it on my desktop. I then tried to run the installation, but your command lines wouldn’t find the installation. It got late and I went home.

    Now here is a sticking point. I’m not certain that I ran “sudo apt-get install linux-headers-generic”, but I believe I did. I opened a terminal in the desktop and then ran the “chmod 755…” and the “sudo ./ati…” commands. The ATI window came up. I selected the top entry to load the driver (not custom) and then I let it run automatic. After completion I tried to “nano” the xorg.conf to change “vesa” to “fglrx”, but it was already set at “fglrx”.

    I rebooted the computer and … nothing. I’m trying to get component out which didn’t work. However, I looked into the xorg.conf file and didn’t find any changes to the screen and monitor settings. I tried to manually add those lines after backing up tho config, but it didn’t work and I needed to change it back.

    What am I missing?


    Dan Sommerfeld

    ps. I ran the majority of this prior to your edit.

  2. Update:

    My AMDCCCLE now works, but the “enable display” is grayed out.

    I feel closer, but everything is damn elusive.

    Anyone have knowledge on getting this working?


    Dan S.

  3. Update #2:

    I found a link suggesting the computer has to sense a signal from the TV’s component video connection and doing a “aticonfig –query-cvdongle” producess a fail. I started thinking that maybe the problem lies with the fact that I’m connecting my TV through my amplifier and the component cables go to the amp (not the TV). This must be the case because I bypassed the amp and sent the cable directly from the computer to the TV and it partially works: Now when mythbuntu is loading the component signal works, but once it loads into the frontend/Xce desktop it disappears.

    Same issue as in my previous post.

    Any help would be appreciated.


    Dan S.

  4. Lynx
    As I’ve had some mixed experiences when using “wget” for downloading files from https sites, so I’m using lynx (text based webbrowser) for it.

    apt-get install lynx

    Feel free to use nano instead, “vi” is just my “favorite” editor.

    kernel headers
    This step is vital in the installation process as the ATI installer depends on it. Otherwise you’re bound to get errors (which you’ll be notified upon after trying the install). Check the installation logfile to see if there are any errors…

    cat /usr/share/ati/fglrx-install.log

  5. Video Out
    Are you using the regular Ubuntu or MythUbuntu as your base os?
    The reason I’m asking this, is because the kernel paramters for the regular Ubuntu sometimes f*ck up the video. Remove all kernel parameters in the “/boot/grub/menu.lst”

    Change this:

    title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic
    root (hd1,0)
    kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=564d73ce-e5b8-44af-b951-7cccd3e25723 ro quiet splash
    initrd /initrd.img-2.6.22-14-generic

    To this:

    title Ubuntu 7.10, kernel 2.6.22-14-generic
    root (hd1,0)
    kernel /vmlinuz-2.6.22-14-generic root=UUID=564d73ce-e5b8-44af-b951-7cccd3e25723 ro
    initrd /initrd.img-2.6.22-14-generic

    NOTE: backup the file πŸ˜‰

    Another thing, if you see the output of you bios on your TV, but you lose your visual after:

    the grub menu : then it’s related to your kernel parameters (as I’ve just explained)
    when loading X : then it’s related to your Xorg configuratio, check the Xorg.0.log file in /var/log

    I hope these steps will help you a bit…

  6. I started out with a fresh install of Mythbuntu.

    I did load up lynx, but as I wrote earlier – it errored out right after hitting the enter button, and I don’t know why.

    The TV output is active until the mythbuntu load bar finishes and then it just blanks out. I’ve tried all sorts of “–” commands with “aticonfig” with no luck.

    So according to your deduction I should be looking in the Xorg.0.log file. What should I be looking for as I’ve never looked there before?

    Thanks for the direction,

    Dan S.

  7. Check for lines containing (WW) & (EE) which indicate warning & error respectively. It’s probably due to some parameters set for the FGLRX driver.

  8. Update #3: S-Video works.

    I started thinking about all the issues I was having and I thought that I should cover my bases, so I hooked up the TV with an S-video connector and it works! It works directly through the TV and also connected via the Amp. I was also able to enable both monitors in AMDCCCLE, and subsequently disable the monitor leaving the tv on. With the tv screen up and running I plugged in my component cables and unplugged my S-video and the screen was still up – but “almost’ black and white (a little bit of red showed through) and the resolution was choppy. Upon reboot it doesn’t work again. My thoughts are this: I see a section under “extensions” in the xorg.conf file where “composite” is “enabled”. I was wondering if there is another switch for component. My other thought is that it has something to do with the “aticonfig –tv-standard” setting which has three options: Video, SCART, and YUV, but I haven’t had luck using any “aticonfig” strings so I am not certain where this setting comes into play.

    I’ll check out the log file for (WW) and (EE) codes in the log file. Of course it’s tough to decipher being 40 pages long, but I understand it a bit better.

    Karim: which output are you using? HDMI, composite, component, or S-video?

    Thanks again,

    Dan Sommerfeld

  9. Log File Info:

    Here are all of the (WW) I have in the Xorg.0.log

    board is an unknown third party board, chipset is supported
    Video Overlay not supported on AVIVO based graphics cards
    AIGLX: 3D Driver claims to not support visual 0x23 – 0x72 (this is a few pages long from 0x23 to 0x72)

    No Errors.

    In the fglrx-install.log file there are some warnings also:

    /lib/modules/ghlrx/build_mod/2.6.x/firegl_public.c:1594: warning: cast from pointer to integer of different size (same warning prints four times)

    lib/modules/ghlrx/build_mod/2.6.x/firegl_public.c:2945: warning: dprecated_irq_flag s deprecated (declared at include/linux/interrupt.h:66

    lib/modules/ghlrx/build_mod/2.6.x/firegl_public.c:2972: warning: rturn ith a value, in function returning void

    lib/modules/ghlrx/build_mod/2.6.x/firegl_public.c:5219 warning: cast from pointer to integer of different size

    See anything suspect?

    Dan S.

  10. Better google on those errors/warnings, as I don’t know what’s causing them. You may want to try disableing the AIGLX in your config. I think the mythtv wiki recommends that, or was it the unofficial ati wiki… (?)

  11. Karim,

    What output are you using? HDMI, Component, S-Video, or Composite.

    If you answer Component, then I’m ready to do another fresh install and follow your instructions again. Are there any additional installs I would need to add prior to running through your instructions?


  12. I’m currently using the S-Video output myself, where the HDMI option is there in terms of the future (not tested yet).

    Here I must say that if you’re spending more than a weekend on it, to get it working, then you’re probably better off with a Nvidia card. Or if you have a windows license lying around, you could turn to Media Portal.

  13. So, that is the ticket: S-video.

    I’ve spent a good deal of time researching the Component-out option and I haven’t found a single instance where it has worked. It does seem funny that it is close to working. Maybe in the next couple months ATI will get it working. I could always settle for S-Video, but since I have a HDTV it would be settling.

    I did consider Vista as I have it on my laptop and the Media Center interface is slick, but it has a few minor drawbacks and one major: You can add subchannels from the ATSC stream, but you cannot get listing data for the subchannels. That’s a bust as far as I’m concerned as I watch a good deal of shows on PBS and they are spread out among the four subs. I will say that the live and recorded content does look better with Vista – but that may be a graphics issue with this ATI card. I plan on ordering a Nvidia card tomorrow as I can always use it for my home workstation if I can get this working in the future.

    I haven’t had a chance to look into Media Portal, but I may give it a look as I have a copy of XP Pro somewhere.



  14. I’m currently experimenting with Media Portal, as I felt I was wasting a lot of time with MythTV, and the WAF (wife annoyance factor) turned me towards Media Portal. It can be compared with MythTV, but it works better out of the box and the windows drivers are more evident to find (just look at this ati thread πŸ˜‰ ). The only thing I’m currently struggling with is the remote, but that’s because I have an integrated TechnoTrend one. The tv guide works great, a lot of options there, even to merge channels together (what you meant with Sub Channels?!?).

  15. A subchannel is an additional stream piggy-backed onto the main stream (a completely non-technical description at best). In my area we have a PBS station that delivers four streams (35.1, 35.2, 35.3, 35.4). MythTV shows the EPG data for all streams, but Vista MC will only show the main stream. I started looking into MediaPortal last night, but I haven’t dug deep enough. In their wiki there is mention of problems with my motherboard in Windows XP, yet it works fine in Vista.

    I will probably give mythtv a little more time with a Nvidia card, but I do understand the WAF. Over the past couple weeks of using MythTV I have to say the feature I like least is the music player which is very clunky and not intuitive.

    Never an easy battle.

    Dan S.

  16. HI,

    I did what was outlined on this site (but by then a new driver was released on March5th).

    Everything works perfectly but when I change channel on mythtv the screen becomes fuzzy and it logs me out! However EVERYTHING else works like a charm.

    anyone else seen this?

  17. would just like to add that it cant be a tuner problem as recordings are fine and ALL other frontends can change channel fine.

  18. thanks for getting back to me Karim. Cant see anything in the bugtracker.

    However I have just thought that I did not make any changes to the xorg.conf….

    I am connecting my MythTV box directly to my HDTV via a VGA connection. Can you think of any changes I should be making to the xorg.conf?

  19. Update
    Last weekend the drivers for my ATI card broke once again (after a mere system upgrade where nothing ATI related was involved). So I’ve replaced the ATI card in my setup by a NVIDIA. Where the ATI card was a through pain in the ass, the NVIDIA proved to be a wonder from heaven when installing. The cost was about 50€, but I don’t regret it one bit if I see how much hassle the ATI has caused me.

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