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Old 02-26-06, 09:23 PM   #1
isez2001
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Default "Theater Mode?"

I've recently upgradeded from an old HP machine with an ATI Radeon 7500 PCI (running Windows) to an MSI K8NGM2-FID (geforce 6150) machine running Gentoo Linux. I'm pretty happy with the transition, but there's an issue I haven't been able to find a decent answer for.

On the ATI card, there was an option called "theater mode," which caused any video overlay being played on the primary monitor to display in fullscreen on the second monitor (TV). I like using my PC as a video/DVD player, so this feature is very desireable for me--but it seems to be entirely absent from Linux.

I have gotten my 17" flat panel (DVI, 1280x1024) and my TV (standard-def) to clone nicely using an 800x600 metamode, but this leaves no good method for fullscreen video on the TV.

I know there are quite a few people using Linux-based HTPCs, so there must be a way around this problem.

Any advice?
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Old 02-27-06, 02:10 AM   #2
Thunderbird
 
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Default Re: "Theater Mode?"

Theathermode is available on windows too using the nvidia drivers but it is not available on Linux. I think the reason is that in case of X drivers can't do nasty things like it. On X drivers only provide a rendering service while on windows drivers can do much more.

Your best 'solution' is to use a twinview mode other than clone and then use the xinerama switch of mplayer or xine to make the movie fullscreen on the tv. Another solution is to use separate X desktops in case the tv and monitor can both show a different desktop.
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Old 02-27-06, 03:26 AM   #3
pe1chl
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Default Re: "Theater Mode?"

I use that second option. Of course it will not mean that "any video overlay will be played on the second monitor", but I can start movies on the second desktop.

Unfortunately this is not really integrated into window managers. You will need a second windowmanager (for the user: taskbar and icons) on the second screen, which means you need to look at the TV while you find your way through the menus to start something on that screen, or you need to start all your programs from the commandline prefixed with DISPLAY=:0.1

I am using the KDE system, and its window manager allows some settings separate per display, but fontsize is not one of them. So it is difficult to get readable text on the TV and at the same time good fontsize on the computer monitor.

I have not found a nice userfriendly solution for these issues yet...
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Old 02-27-06, 06:33 AM   #4
Thunderbird
 
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Default Re: "Theater Mode?"

Another 'solution' for more experienced linux users is to use twinview in non-clone mode and abuse xrandr (it needs to be enabled though). For instance use:
Option "MetaModes" "1024x768, 800x600; 1024x768, NULL" (assuming the 800x600 is for the TV)

Then when X is started use xrandr to switch to the single 1024x768 (the tv gets disabled or X moves over to clone mode; depending on the nvidia drivers version)
When you want tvout, use xrandr again to switch back to the large desktop. Then use mplayer with its xinerama option and everything should work fine.
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Old 02-27-06, 09:34 PM   #5
isez2001
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Default Re: "Theater Mode?"

Would it be possible to scale my 1280x1024 desktop clone down to 800x600 (or whatever, 800x600 is just an arbitrary size I picked out) so it would fit entirely on my TV? This would be much more useful for video than the scrolling desktop that is currently displayed on the TV.

If I were to do that, how would it affect the video overlay... it would probably still be limited to a single screen?
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