This caused me some headache last night.  I was trying to get the TV-out to work as the main monitor on a Compaq D510 with an MSI nVidia GF4 TI4200-TD.  Ubuntu picked the card up OK but I couldn’t get anything on the TV out to work.  I spent hours editing xorg.conf with no luck other than buggering up the main monitor settings.  I then found a post about removing everything nVidia related and reinstalling, which then allowed nvidia-settings to run (previously this was not found with 7.10 ubuntu so not installed with the default driver).

Then all of a sudden in the nvidia-settings there was an option for enabling tv out – it seems this must set the option on the card, as after a reboot it worked.

Next challenge was to get the TV as the main monitor.  It would be setup in classic 2 monitor mode with the main X window on the LCD and the TV as the secondary monitor.  I tried every setting of TwinVideo, Dual monitor etc and I could not get it to work.  In the end the fix was easy, and found purely by chance – remove the vga connector, then the TV acts as the main monitor.  It even posts to the TV as well.  Running 1024×768 in SD through S video was a bit hard to read the fonts – increased the size to 14 (or 16, I forget now) but now gives clear readable text, can even use it for browsing!

Next step will be to get a small form factor video card so I can shut the case, then a wireless keyb & mouse.  I’ll be setting up MythTV to help make it more girlfriend friendly.

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