Older newsitems previously on the main site.
December 21, 2001: If you tried driver V0.22 with the BeTVOut app you downloaded earlier, you will have noticed that your system crashes... Sorry about that. It seems that the trick that should prevent this from happening is the cause of it :-(. Anyway, what's done is done. Please use the app included with the V0.22 driver and you're OK. If all goes right, you won't encounter this in future versions anymore..
December 13, 2001: Driver V0.22 is released. This is the first version of the PCI driver that should work on all cards the ISA driver supported. If you tried V0.21 on a GeForce and had trouble you should get the new one: now it should really work. Get app V0.115 and riva_iic V0.22 below.
December 11, 2001: App V0.115 and driver V0.21 are released. Known RIVA card types are detected automatically now. Also some test functionality for dualVGA card setup is included. Note please that riva_iic V0.21 does not work on (some) GeForce cards, due to a accidentally power cutoff on the TVout chip... Please get the newer driver V0.22 to correct this!
December 2, 2001: The PCI riva_iic driver is finished, so it's released now. The first version is V0.20. This one should do everything the old one does, but it will not work yet on all cards the old driver supports. Just try the PCI driver and if it doesn't work, use the old (ISA) driver for now.
One (important) advantage the PCI driver has, is that if you have a RIVA VGA card with BT chip, you should be able to get the testimage active if you have two cards in your system: A non-RIVA 'primary' card (showing the BeOS Desktop), and a RIVA 'secondary' card (using BeTVOut). Note please that you can only have one AGP card in the system, so the other one has to be a PCI card.
If your RIVA card has a Chrontel chip, then you still should be able to start BeTVOut on it as a secondary card: BeTVOut will detect the card and IIC bus(es) on it. You cannot activate a testimage (yet), because the Chrontel does not have such an (internal) function.
If you are testing with two VGA cards, please let us in on the results! (Thank you..)
November 21, 2001: OK. BeTVOut is now moving on to a 'next level'. Currently a second riva_iic driver is being written (already works partly): This one accesses the RIVA via the PCI bus instead of via the ISA bus. This driver will enable us to start working on a TVout node using a second VGA card in the system (among other things). In fact, Kevin Patterson is already 'getting his hands dirty' (as he puts it) on the node. Stay tuned...
Today also a minor bugfix release was done. V0.11.4 tunes DVD and VCD modes on GeForce2 and TNT1 cards, also the NTSC VCD mode for BT on TNT1 was stabilized.
November 9, 2001: The NTSC 640x480 overscanning mode (NTSC VCD/MPEG1) is also implemented now for the BT. This completes all planned modes for BeTVOut!
If you download BeVCD (for example) from BeBits and install the included VCD filesystem-addon, you can mount VCD's and watch them on TV using the tweaked VLC with 'keep aspect ratio' ON and 'vga_sync' active using BeTVOut. Again: looks very nice...
One more tip: You can watch PAL VCD/DVD discs, which have 25 (deinterlaced) frames per second, using NTSC TVout modes nicely, but not the other way around. If you do that you will see 'missing' frames because only 25 can be shown out of the 30 available frames per second then...
Today also a VCD/MPEG1 video playback 'howto' was added to this website. It describes the issues involved in optimal playback so you are able to choose the optimal settings for this use of BeTVOut.
November 7, 2001: The PAL 768x576 mode (PAL VCD/MPEG1) is implemented now for both the BT and CH chips. Also the NTSC 640x480 (overscanning) mode (NTSC VCD/MPEG1) is implemented for the CH chip. This mode will be implemented for the BT also ASAP. Note that for optimal VCD/MPEG1 (or so) playback, you should leave the 'keep aspect ratio' switch on, while output should be synced to the VGA vertical retrace. MPEG1 can be played back very nicely using VLC as mentioned in the DVD video playback 'howto'.
If you use a non-retrace-synced mediaplayer you will see the corresponding distortion on TV sometimes... (No currently available player apart from the tweaked VLC is synced afaik: But hey, on Windows you would have the same problem ;-)
Get the BeTVOut executables below (source download is not yet up to date: see the CVS for that).
October 25, 2001: The BT NTSC 720x480 mode is also working now and scaling is working fine again with this chip; this finally completes the NTSC and PAL DVD modes.
Provisional 'Roadmap' for BeTVOut:
Two more modes will be implemented next: These are PAL 768x576 and NTSC 640x480. These modes are overscanning just like the DVD modes, and are mostly meant for MPEG1 / VCD playback use. After (or during) this the GDW (Graphics Display driver Wrapper) written by Michael Pfeiffer will also be (made) operational with BeTVOut, followed by a GUI. And when (if) this all works: Well, then we are done it seems... (More ideas exist though: We will hopefully try for instance to get BeTVOut working in some form on a second VGA card, so a dedicated TVout 'channel' would be available next to the normal Be Desktop.)
October 20, 2001: NTSC 720x480 mode is also implemented for Chrontel chips now, for BT not yet. Horizontal scaling for CH again is not exactly right (image should be a bit 'narrower' this time), but it works anyway. After trying to get it right exactly for both modes on CH chips I have to point out that if you really want 100% correct DVD modes from your VGA card, then you should use one with a BT chip. CH chips have more factory programmed modes implemented, but the BT is 'fully' programmable. Because the chip implemented DVD modes should be interlaced data input they will not work on RIVA cards as those do not support interlaced output. For the BT chip this poses no problem however, because you can just modify such a mode for non-interlaced input. On CH chips however, this option does not exist.
Anyway: You should use these modes with Chrontel anyway I think, because these offer the best TV DVD experience possible there anyway...
Today also a DVD video playback 'howto' was added to this website. It describes the issues involved in optimal playback so you are able to choose the optimal settings for this use of BeTVOut.
October 13, 2001: PAL 720x576 mode works also on Chrontel chips now. Horizontal scaling is not exactly right (image should be a bit 'wider'), but it is overscaling...
October 10, 2001: There are now also tuned TNT2-M64 settings in BeTVOut (If you have this chip, you were missing out on the 8 mostleft pixels on TV..). Also the 'cursor trash on VGA' issue on TNT1 has been solved.
October 6, 2001: Well, PAL DVD mode (BT only for now..) is included in both the CVS-tree and the binary download now. Go ahead and try it! It's tested and found OK now on TNT1 and TNT2 videocards, so there should be no problems with it...
October 2, 2001: PAL 720x576 mode with no overscan compensation (0.0% for sharpest image) works now on the BT chips. This mode is the official mode for region 2 DVD viewing as far as I know (It's also the default window size with VLC for PAL discs). Works in both singlehead and dualhead clone mode (the desktop is also in 720x576 mode!). Looks very nice: no more resizing by application necessary for fullscreen viewing so CPU-load with for instance VLC is lower now also. This mode is not yet included in the current source and exe downloads however...
September 22, 2001: Michael Pfeiffer is writing a GDW (Graphics display Driver Wrapper) which will be included in BeTVOut later on so you can change resolution and workspace 'on the fly' while TVOut is running. Also 'fullscreen' gaming should be possible on TV then. The GDW has also been released by him as 'Hertz' on BeBits already for fullscreen gaming on VGA at custom refresh rates.
September 6, 2001: BeTVOut will be maintained by the BeTVOut group from now on.
The current version already includes code (Chrontel) written by team member Michael Pfeiffer; One of the next versions will probably include a GUI written (in part already) by another team member: Jonathan van Eenwyk.
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(Page last updated on April 3, 2002)