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It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into TV-Out. (Discuss)
This article is part of the Hardware series.
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Make Sure Your Card is Detected

First, make sure your nvidia card is detected with lspci | grep VGA. On my GF4, i get back a line that reads:

Code: lspci|grep VGA
0000:01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation NV18 [GeForce4 MX 440 AGP 8x] (rev a2)

Install Drivers

So once you're sure your video card is indeed installed, lets emerge the nvidia drivers. Recently a change has been made to the ebuild for installing the nVidia drivers. Emerge the package nvidia-drivers, instead of the old nvidia-glx and nvidia-kernel ebuilds.

emerge nvidia-drivers

The new ebuild is a combination of the old ebuilds nvidia-kernel and nvidia-glx. As with the old nvidia-kernel, you will need to remerge nvidia-drivers when you recompile your kernel.

Note that the previous method listed here, "opengl-update nvidia", is deprecated. You can verify that nvidia is a valid option for eselect using

eselect opengl list
Note: You might find that the above drivers result in horizontal waves of static when you start X. In such a scenario getting the latest official drivers from NVidia and may solve the problem. Follow NVidia's instructions for running the installer. If the install fails, make sure you've unmerged the above packages with
emerge -C nvidia-drivers

and reboot. If you choose to manually change your xorg.conf, make sure that the driver line is properly set

Section "Device"
  #Driver      "nv" #old line
  Driver      "nvidia" #new line

Edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Now, lets get the video output working.

Here's an example Device setup section for a GeForce 4 MX video card using the 1.0-6111 nvidia driver to output to an NTSC television via S-Video (this should work equally for any GF4 or FX series card, as well as GF2/3, minus TVOverScan):

File: /etc/X11/xorg.conf
Section "Device"
Identifier  "Videocard0"
Driver      "nvidia"
VendorName  "Chaintech"
BoardName   "nVidia GeForce 4 MX 440"
Option      "RenderAccel" "1"
# TV Out Setup
Option      "TVStandard" "PAL-B"
Option      "TVOutFormat" "SVIDEO"
Option      "TVOverScan" "0.6"
Option      "ConnectedMonitor" "TV" # Add this if you're having problems


The value of TVStandard should be adjusted to your region. It defaults to NTSC-M.

Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand,
Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, South Korea,
Taiwan, United States of America and Venezuela.

Valid entries for TVOutFormat are "SVIDEO", "COMPOSITE", "SCART" or "COMPONENT". The driver will try to autodetect this value, but if it does not work fill it in manually. If you do not have a composite out on your card or you did not get a separate composite cable use the s-video to rgb cable. Most likely the composite signal will be on the blue cable

You will likely have to tweak the TVOverScan option value to best suit your TV. Valid values range from 0.0 (no overscan) to 1.0 (overscan as much as possible). This helps to eliminate a black border from showing up around the picture on your TV. Again, note that overscan is only supported on GeForce4-class (or newer) video cards, but all other options should work for earlier nVidia cards. Obviously, your settings may vary slightly, depending on your card.


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Last modified: Sun, 31 Aug 2008 22:28:00 +0000 Hits: 45,606