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Mythbuntu: Screen corruption, Distorted Audio, Resolutions, Fun

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This week I began putting together a linux based media center system to replace the DVR using Mythbuntu 8.04 and running MythTV.  Well let the fun begin.  Here’s a listing of gear:

Elitegroup A780GM-A with ATI HD-3200 On-board
AMD A64 X2 4400+ 2.30GHz
2GB Ram
500GB HD
pcHDTV HD-5500 Capture Card (MythTV Wiki)
Mythbuntu 8.04
Cable service provided by Wow Internet and Cable in Schaumburg, IL.

First off, this project is not for the faint of heart.  Get your trial and error shoes on cause it takes a lot of patience to get this working, but it looks so freaking cool.

First problem was getting the right ATI drivers installed with the fglrx driver.  I had success in using version 8.9 of Catalyst and installing is using this guide.  The system still doesn’t like me if both the D-SUB and HDMI connectors are both connected and active at the same time, so I would say pick your preference there.

Getting the display functioning correctly was just the first piece of the pie.  Next, when mythfrontend would load, the screen would be completely distored, pixelated, and a mosiac that was indistinguishable.  Some people worked around this by running mythfrontend setting the –geometry attribute to 1 pixel less than their screen resolution, but this didn’t satisfy me as it ran Myth in a window and not full screen.  With the tip from Robert Barnes on this messageboard, I discovered that if I set a particular environmental variable before running mythfrontend, everthing would look great.  I took it one step farther and now everything is working great.  Here’s the step by step:

sudo apt-get install gedit
sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Add the following to the “Devices” section (Don’t know if this step really changed anything):

Option "TexturedVideo" "on"

Save and close.

sudo gedit /usr/bin/mythfrontend

Insert the following lines at the top of the document:

# Fix for ATI Drivers

Save and exit.  Attempt to run Myth by going to Applications > Multimedia > MythTV FrontEnd

This got me up and going and it fixes having issues upon reboot.

I did have distorted audio which was resolved thanks to my buddy Nathan changing my audio output device from /dev/dsp to /dev/dsp1.

As it stands now, I’m not fully up and going as I can only get my standard definition us-cable-irc channels working and I’m not getting audio over HDMI working yet…but we’re on our way.  Feel free to post any tips/tricks you have learned if you have a similar setup.

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