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Nvidia and S-Video out problems


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Hi everyone,

I am currently messing with 2 laptops: a Dell Inspiron 8200 and a Fujitsu-Siemens Amilo, both powered by NVida chips, a GeForce Go 440 and a Geforce Go 6600. Both have the latest drivers from the laptop manufacturer's homepages, and Windows XP-SP2 (Professional on the Dell, Home on the Fujitsu-Siemens).

The problem is that I cannot get the S-Video out to work reliably. The FAQs tell tons of bulls***, telling me to do or enable/disable this and that, but the short of the long blah is that everything seems to rely on the ability to *detect" the presence of the TV. First of all S-Video is, afaik, an old analogue standard, so I do not see any way to *detect* wether there is something plugged into the S-Video jack or not, except, of course, there may be kind of microswitch in the S-Video socket that "detects" the presence of an S-video jack plugged in.

Q1: can anyone tell me how NVidia cards try to *detect* the presence of a TV hooked into the S-Video out. I need to use a S-Video to composite adapter, since my TV does not have an S-Video in, but only composite.

Obviously the detection does not work. The Fujitsu-Siemens is easy to explain: it has never ever "detected" the TV, and never displayed anything on it.

The Dell is a bit more tricky. Yesterday in the evening, after the kids bugging me for the x-th time, I looked into the problem, since they want to use one of my laptops as a DVD player. I plugged S-Video cabeling into the Dell, switched on the TV, activated the AV input, and powered on the Laptop. While rebooting I see short flickers when video resolution changes on the LCD, but no stable picture, but at least this does tell me that the cabeling is right.

Yesterday night, after wading through tons of mostly useless stuff and setting in the NVidia driver dialogs, I finally came across the "Detect Displays" button hidden somewhere in a sub-sub menu of a sub menu, pressed it, and gee, above it an option "TV" enabled itself (turned color from gray to black) ... and after selecting it I got my computer screen on the TV. First it was B/W only, but after correcting the video standard from NTSC to PAL the world went colourful. Cheers everywhere, daddy is the hero of the day. Unfortunately it was quite late, and daddy sent kids to bed, and shut down the Dell, without changing anything, of course.

Today daddy did it again, turned on the TV first and activated AV - like the instructions say - and then tried to have the Dell detect the TV again ... nothing happens. Same cabeling like yesterday, nothing was plugged in or out, I just turned the Dell off and on. Daddy's hero-status is severely questioned.

The situation today is desperate. Neither the Fujitsu-Siemens nor the Dell seem to be able to detect the TV, no matter waht I do. Cabeling or the TV set is not to blame, since it does work perfectly, reliably and *every* time with a third laptop I tried (Dell Latitude C610, ATI Radeon chipset). The Radeon does not try to "detect" the s-video, but simply gives me an on/off button in the driver dialog, S-Video comes on no matter in which order I turn the devices on --- sometimes less is more. Unfortunately the C610 belongs to a friend of mine, otherwise I'd simply keep it :-). there are tons of FAQs, but all of them try to let me press buttons that are not there, or select options that are there, but locked (gray). Dammed thing.

So what I am seeking for is either:

* a reliabale step-by-step instruction what options to enable and disable so that finally the NVidia cards detect my S-Video cable, and let me turn on the "TV" device.

* a tool that lets me look deep enough into the chip's internals and settings so I get a fair chance to find out why the detection fails sometimes

* a tool or other procedure that lets me turn on the TV-out manually.

Any helpful infos welcome.


Edited by Nimral
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