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Samsung LN46A650 with R5.5
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Author:  tjc [ Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Samsung LN46A650 with R5.5

My production box previously described here: got a new face over the weekend.

The cut over mostly involved connecting the cables, removing things from my xorg.conf and rebooting. The new TV is connected via a DVI-D to HDMI cable which allows it to provided excellent true and correct EDID information including suggested modeline timings. As a result, commenting out all the mode lines, along with the the following bits from my Monitor section:
#    Option "UseEdidDpi" "FALSE"
#    HorizSync 30 - 50                                                 
#    VertRefresh 59 - 61

and changing the Modes in the screen section from 640x480 to 1920x1080, before rebooting was all it took.

The FX5200 card in this box seems to handle HDTV resolutions just fine, but I suspect that there are some factors that matter:
- Using DVI is required to drive the TV at it's full resolution. The cable has to be connected to HDMI input #2 with a separate audio cable.
- The TV needs to be on and the HDMI#2/DVI input apparently needs to be selected for the EDID detection to work.
- The amount of DRAM memory on the card along with an extra fast memory clock also contribute to it working properly.
- The box is memory starved (only 0.5Gb) and certain themes will drive it to use all the RAM and all of swap at which point it locks up. So far the "glass" theme seems to be working better than anything else I've tried.
- Adjusting the DefaultVideoPlaybackProfile to use XvMC when appropriate also matters, I'm using the CPU+ profile at the moment which seems to be working.

Author:  tjc [ Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:55 pm ]
Post subject: 

Other hints...

- The P.Size (picture size) button is your friend! Setting it to "Just Scan" for menus and such prevents cut off edges and overscan. Setting it to "Wide Fit" works great with letter boxed 4:3 recordings (many channels do this with featured content - e.g. SciFi with the Ani-Mondays block). Also, since this setting is independent for each input, it won't affect your TV, DVD, or whatever else.

Author:  ceenvee703 [ Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:40 am ]
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Do you have any problems at that resolution with skipping forward/backward through standard-definition recordings? When I do that on my combo front/back end the sound lags behind the picture considerably and takes a few seconds to catch up. It works fine with HD recordings.

Author:  tjc [ Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:11 pm ]
Post subject: 

Not that I've noticed. Although the menus occasionally seem a bit laggy. Hang on, I've got something playing right now I'll try it and report... Nope, no problem, if there's a lag it's imperceptible.

Author:  mcdrama [ Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:18 am ]
Post subject: 

I have the LN52A650 (same TV but 1 size larger) and love it. I upgraded my entire system though(see my sig) when I went to this TV.

I did notice it takes much longer for theme images to scale at startup than it used to. I assume this is due to the larger screen resolution. I have not yet enabled XvMC on my system.

I noticed all of the same nuances as tjc, except RAM. TJC Will your system take more RAM? I assume so. I might have a stick or two I could send you.

Author:  tjc [ Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:42 pm ]
Post subject: 

mcdrama wrote:
TJC Will your system take more RAM? I assume so. I might have a stick or two I could send you.

Yeah, the MoBo has 4 slots and there's only one dual channel pair in there now. I probably even have some in the spare parts box. It's just a one of those "roundtuit" questions. I still haven't taken the box apart to replace the occasionally noisy chip set HSF with a passive HS, and that's been sitting on top of the case waiting for months. ;-)

Author:  tjc [ Sat May 09, 2009 2:06 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well, the RAM upgrade definitely made a difference. The box now has 1.5Gb and any number of things seem smoother and quicker, from bringing up the listing of recorded programs or scrolling in the program guide to jumping around in recordings.

At the same time the old HD-3000 also got replaced with a HD-5500 (ordered from which works much better. It's looking like there is just flat out something wrong with the old card. Maybe I'll try returning it to the pcHDTV folks to see if they can diagnose and fix it. Since the system views the two cards as essentially the same type the swap didn't even require any reconfiguration.

Oh and a thought for the season, it's spring and time to do some spring cleaning. If you haven't vacuumed or otherwise dusted out your system lately, now is the time before the summer heat starts adding thermal stress! Mine was amazingly dusty when I opened the case to install the new parts, and there's very little doubt that it was impairing the cooling efficiency.

Whoops, almost forgot! After some problems with the CPU+ playback profile I ended up assembling a custom one and making some tweaks to xorg.conf to get XvMC working right (details to follow). The system now plays back full resolution live 1080i with the CPU at ~50% idle.

Author:  mcdrama [ Sun May 10, 2009 11:18 am ]
Post subject: 

tjc wrote:
Whoops, almost forgot! After some problems with the CPU+ playback profile I ended up assembling a custom one and making some tweaks to xorg.conf to get XvMC working right (details to follow). The system now plays back full resolution live 1080i with the CPU at ~50% idle.

I would love to know what you did. after building my second mythtv setup i'm unable to playback 1080i mkv files without a bit of jitter and several seconds of sound delay.

Author:  tjc [ Sun May 10, 2009 2:16 pm ]
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OK, in xorg.conf the video card definition looks like this:
Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Card0"
        Driver      "nvidia"
        VendorName  "All"
        BoardName   "All"
        Option "NVAGP" "1"
        Option "XvmcUsesTextures" "false"
        Option "UseEvents"        "true"

# Needed for XvMC with some Nvidia boards and drivers
Section "Extensions"
        Option "Composite" "Disabled"

Section "DRI"
        Mode 0666

Dialing the AGP speed down by setting NVAGP to 1 was necessary to get things working smoothly even though the card should be capable of 8x. Ditto with disabling the composite output extension to avoid XvMC issues and adding back the DRI section when switching from S-Video output to DVI.

As for the playback profile, I added a custom one called "XvMC" with two rules:
    1) if rez > 720 576 -> XvMC : Standard XvMC, xvmc-blit, chromakey, fade off, Bob 2x / None

    2) if rez > 0 0 -> ffmpeg & XVideo : Standard, xv-blit, softblend, fade on, Bob 2x / None

Note that chromakey only works with a very narrow set of the Nvidia video chips including the FX5200. Triple check that yours is one of them before using it.

Author:  tjc [ Sun May 31, 2009 10:17 am ]
Post subject: 

Just to provide one stop shopping, don't forget to see this posting about Automatically switching video modes to match recordings.

Author:  tjc [ Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Various other tidbits...

--> As mentioned in the thread linked above, you can use the mode validation options to keep the driver and X server from injecting unwanted resolutions into your mode pool. For example the following:
Option "ModeValidation" "NoVesaModes,NoXServerModes,NoPredefinedModes"

Will limit modes to the ones you provide in the xorg.conf or that come from the monitors EDID information.

Most Nvidia FX5200 cards artificially limit the maximum pixel clock when connected via a DVI cable. If you see something like this in the log:
(--) NVIDIA(0): SAMSUNG (DFP-0): 135.0 MHz maximum pixel clock
(--) NVIDIA(0): SAMSUNG (DFP-0): Internal Single Link TMDS

Your card (and not your monitor) is reporting that it's not capable of the full standard 165 Mhz rate for single link DVI-D cable. This may make it impossible for X to validate any full resolution modes for your monitor/tv or limit you to interlaced modes (e.g. 1080i rather than 1080p). Nvidia apparently did this because their TMDS encoder is a bit iffy. Most of the time you can just tell it:
Option "ModeValidation" "NoMaxPClkCheck"

Which should let you validate modes up to 1980x1200@60Hz, including 1080p and have it work.

Author:  tjc [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:10 pm ]
Post subject: 

Under R6.03 my xorg.conf ended up looking like this:
Section "ServerFlags"
        Option "AllowMouseOpenFail" "true"
        Option "AutoAddDevices" "false"                                         
Section "ServerLayout"                                                         
    Identifier     "Layout0"                                                   
    Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0                                               
    InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"                                   
    InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"                                       
Section "Files"                                                                 
#    RgbPath        "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/rgb"                                   
Section "Module"
    Load "dbe"
    Load "dri"
    Load "glx"
    Load "extmod"
    SubSection "extmod"
        Option "omit xfree86-dga"
Section "InputDevice"                                                           
    # generated from default                                                   
    Identifier     "Mouse0"                                                     
    Driver         "mouse"                                                     
    Option         "Protocol" "auto"                                           
    Option         "Device" "/dev/psaux"                                       
    Option         "Emulate3Buttons" "no"                                       
    Option         "ZAxisMapping" "4 5"

Section "InputDevice"
    # generated from default
    Identifier     "Keyboard0"
    Driver         "keyboard"

Section "Monitor"
    Identifier     "Monitor0"
    VendorName     "Samsung"
    ModelName      "LN46C650"
    HorizSync      26 - 68
    VertRefresh    23 - 61
    Option         "DPI" "100 x 100"
    Option         "ModeValidation" "NoMaxPClkCheck,NoVesaModes,NoXServerModes,NoPredefinedModes"
    #Option         "DPMS" "true"

Section "Device"
    Identifier     "Device0"
    Driver         "nvidia"
    VendorName     "NVIDIA Corporation"
    Option "NoLogo" "1"   
#    Option "UseEdidFreqs" "true"
    Option "NvAGP" "1"
    Option "UseEvents" "true"
    Option "XvmcUsesTextures" "false"
    Option "DynamicTwinView" "false"
    Option "ConnectedMonitor" "DFP"

Section "Screen"
    Identifier     "Screen0"
    Device         "Device0"
    Monitor        "Monitor0"
    DefaultDepth   24
    SubSection     "Display"
        Depth      24
        Modes      "1920x1080" "1280x720" "720x480"

Section "Extensions"
    Option "Composite" "Disabled"

Section "DRI"
    Mode 0666

Important changes:
- ModeValidation added NoMaxPClkCheck
- DynamicTwinView disabled
- Stripped path definitions in Files section

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