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I'm trying to display pictures on the TV, to show them to friends and family. But when I join the TV and computer using a S-video cable, nothing happens.

In the "Display" option menu, no screen other than my computer's is shown, and the "detect" options doesn't do anything.

Looking online, I've found some forums suggesting I experiment with the xrandr command, so I did :

xrandr --output S-video --set load_detection 1
xrandr --output S-video --set tv_standard ntsc
xrandr --output S-video --right-of LVDS

And I manage to see part of my desktop on the TV, but in the wrong resolution.

I've played around with xrandr a little bit more, until I accidently changed my laptop screen resolution to 800x600, I had to change it back in /etc/X11/xorg.conf by hand :)

Any ideas? How could I use the TV as a big screen ? What exactly is xrandr ? Is this what I should use, or should the TV appear in the display options ?

EDIT : I've installed grandr, a GUI for xrandr (in the Ubuntu repositories it's called "Multiple monitors".

But only my laptop screen is in the list. I guess I have to edit the xorg.conf file to add the s-video/tv monitor ?

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All I managed to do is cloning the laptop screen on the TV. Can I have a different format for the TV ? Even if it means turn the screen off, that'd be ok. – Manu Aug 19 '09 at 12:19

Check what level of support your xserver-xorg- driver has for TV out. For example, check the "TV" section in the ubuntu manual page for the xserver-xorg-video-intel driver. It mentions the availability of integrated TV output and goes on to talk about the tweaks needed to get this working.

See if you can find a similar page for your driver on this site.

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What type of TV? Something like this should work.

xrandr --addmode S-video 800x600
xrandr --output S-video --mode 800x600
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addmode tells me "cannot find mode ..." I can get the tv to display something, but only in 800x600, which sucks. – Manu Aug 19 '09 at 14:05
You'll have to do it in TV resolutions I believe so depending on the type of TV SD or HD. Digital TV - SDTV: * 480i - 704x480 interlaced * 480p - 704x480 progressive Digital-HDTV: * 720p - 1280x720 progressive * 1080i - 1920x1080 interlaced * 1080p - 1920x1080 progressive – Gren Aug 19 '09 at 14:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It sort of works now. Using a mixture of the "Display" and "Multiple screens" applications, and:

xrandr --output S-video --set load_detection 1

I was able to display part of my desktop on the TV, but no higher than 800x600.

This should be sufficient - I leave tonight to my grandparent's home; I hope I can get this to work to show them photos on the TV as I won't have Internet access!

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Just open the terminal and type:

xrandr --output S-video --set load_detection 1
xrandr --output S-video --set tv_standard ntsc
xrandr --output S-video --right-of LVDS

One of those should work. Right after that if you have a laptop try using the Fn key to change between CRT/LCD screens.

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