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G400 Max + RRG - capabilities under Linux

 
 
James Anderson
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      06-15-2004, 05:37 PM
I am new to Linux. I just built myself a machine with a G400 Max and
Rainbow Runner G series I found on ebay.

So far, I have got dri working with XFree86 4.3 and have the mga_hal
binary also.

I am now trying to figure out how to use the Rainbow Runner card. I'd
like to be able to watch TV and also capture it and store it on a hard
disk. More generally, I'm keen to make the most of my hardware - what
should I be doing for fun/productivity to get the best out of my
Matroxes.

My problem is that I'm very confused by the various different drivers
out there and how they interact. Moreover, while it seems that
framebuffers are the preferred (only?) way to watch TV with a G400, it
seems that for serious work framebuffers are widely frowned upon as
unstable and flakey.

How do matroxfb, directfb, the drivers available on
http://sourceforge.net/projects/marvel, XVideo, DGA, the unified Zoran
driver, BT848, Video for Linux 1, Video for Linux 2, mga.o from XFree
all relate to each other?!

And what are my options for applications to run on top of them? Xawtv
seems to be used a lot. What about tvtime, mythtv, videolan, mplayer,
xine? With the exception of xawtv and Mplayer, there seem to be issues
with these apps and a G400+RRG.

I have seen advice that suggests building a separate kernel for
watching TV because of problems getting framebuffers to cooperate with
X Windows. But then I would have to reboot to switch between X Windows
and watching TV, which seems a pity. Any hope of being able to run a
stable system with everything available just a couple of key presses
away?

I am currently running Debian Sarge on a custom-built 2.4.25 kernel on
an Abit NF7-S Rev 2 with 512MB RAM, Samsung 160GB IDE. My TV is not
currently within range of my PC so I can at least ignore TV-out issues
for a while longer.

I would love to see
1. Any explanation of how framebuffers interact/conflict with X
Windows. Can I run KDE and watch TV on the same machine without
rebooting?
2. An enumeration of options for watching TV with the G400/RRG under
Linux.
3. An explanation of why certain TV viewing or capture applications do
not work with the G400/RRG while others do. e.g. tvtime does not work
because it cannot run in "overlay mode" - what is that?

Hmmm, just came across this link
http://freevo.sourceforge.net/cgi-bi...e_2fMatroxInfo
, which actually explains quite a lot. Oh well, I'll post anyway and
don't be afraid to offer advice.
 
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