Enabling TV output with xrandr

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Sun Apr 5 18:48:24 UTC 2020

I'm currently struggling to get a TV monitor connected to a PC.
The PC is a Lenovo R61i with 4-pin Mini-DIN connector (top right
pin is video out). I have attached a video monitor to the TV1
connector, but I don't get any video signal.

According to xrandr, I have 3 outputs: LVDS1 (the laptop's
display, backlight defect), CRT1 (an actual CRT, connected
to the laptop, along with external keyboard and mouse, because
the laptop's display is not usable anymore), and TV1. The
graphics in this system is Intel i915, modules loaded, X
works. I'm using FreeBSD 12.0-p7.

With xrandr, I can change the screen size just fine. With
a partial X configuration file, I have (for now) set it to
640x480, so there won't be a problem with "too high resolution"
for the video. I regularly use 1024x768 on that particular
system due to physical screen size of the CRT.

I tried several calls to xrandr (-q, --output TV1 --auto),
sometimes I get "cannot find crtc for output TV1", and if
I disable the LVDS1 output, TV1 doesn't show any sizes.
It _shows_ sizes when LVDS1 is active. I even cannot select
the modes xrandr lists as supported (--mode 640x480 leads
to "cannot find mode 640x480"). I'm completely okay with
smaller modes like 640x480 or 800x600, it doesn't matter
as long as there is an output signal

However... this is not the complete truth. I once (!) got
the desktop image on the video monitor, but I don't know how,
and the shell history is no help. :-(

What is the correct approach to enable TV output?

If the solution involves X configuration instead of xrandr
commands, that's also okay. Many years ago, I got a
dual-screen setup working that way, with a ATI graphics
card with a VGA and a DVI connector. :-)

My goal is to run an instance of mplayer or vlcplayer in
fullscreen that outputs to the video monitor - it's not
my primary intention to have a copy of my desktop there,
but at least that's what I got once...

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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