TV-out on the G450
(Works for G550, but I don't have a G550 to test my directions with.)

  My name is Dan Eriksen and I have written a short HOWTO on getting TV-out working on the G450 using Petr Vandrovec's matroxfb driver. I myself have not done anything except collect any info I could and compile it into something more structured. Alot of info came from Petr and people who have submitted corrections/info to me.

  FYI Matrox has a linux forum that is monitored by a tech support person (Ben). I have collected alot of info from this forum and I encourage you to ask your Matrox linux questions there (the ones that don't involve TV-out that is)

  Note that I am in no way affiliated with Matrox. I simply own a G450 that I have wanted to actually use as advertised.

  There is a second way to get TV-out. DirectFB has TV-out code that works for the G400/G450/G550 that is superior in quality for playing movies. Realize that your first head becomes unusable when using this method, so no X while this is active. Pekka Tiittanen has a well written HOWTO that explains how to use this method. Look below for links.

Dan Eriksen (


Sep 18, 2003
Some updated info for using newer kernel versions.
Apr 28, 2003
Rewrote section 8 (Getting XFree86 to play nicely). Much overdue.
Apr 05, 2003
Added info on Pekka Tiittanen's new HOWTO on using DirectFB.
Mar 17, 2003
Removed a bad link and added a couple of minor notes about DirectFB.
Feb 19, 2003
Note on using v4lctl, fbtv, avoiding the BusID problem and some notes on using DirectFB for really good TV-out.
Jan 15, 2003
Another small update with a couple of links that are also included at the bottom of this page.
Dec 23, 2002
Small update. Rewrote my primary/secondary output ident section because it was confusing. Elaborated on the MPlayer "expand" option.
Dec 04, 2002
Update with a MPlayer tip from Gemes Tibor. Frederic Lespez sent a report of success with the 2.4.20 kernel and mentioned that his G550 also avoided the BusID problem.
Nov 07, 2002 A long overdue update. Thanks to Balázs Bárány for the tip on Primary/Secondary connector confusion.
Sep 17, 2002
Some updates and fixes, thanks to Per Mattsson and Tim van Erven. Also some more info on the BusID problem. I have a theory that it only affects the G450 and not the G550. I have had two reports of the BusID error not being a problem, both from G550 owners. I have examined their configs and could not see anything that helped get my setup working.
Sep 03, 2002 Changed layout slightly and added "Adjusting the picture" section. The previous layout suggested that v4lctl was only for adjusting the console settings, which isn't true. Thanks to Pontus Edvardsson for pointing out the problem.
Sep 02, 2002 Removed a section of repeated text.
Aug 29, 2002 Added some more PAL info from Maarten ter Huurne. Still not possible to use the mga driver in dual-head with TV-out (the BusID problem).
Aug 04, 2002 Petr Vandrovec has released a new version of the tv-out patch (2.4.19-rc5). No new features, but should compile with less fuss.

Latest version and other files

Name                    Last modified      Size  Description

g450.jpg                29-Dec-2002 19:28   24K  layout of g450 (contributed by Safranka Tamás)

g450_tvout_howto.html 18-Sep-2003 22:53 32K newest version of tv-out howto

g450_tvout_howto.txt 18-Sep-2003 22:53 20K newest version of tv-out howto


HOWTO for DirectFB method:
gzipped, plain text:

Matrox linux forum (requires one to register to be able to post)

The matroxfb maintainers site (including patch for tv-out)

Teletux Digital Video - SyncFB module. This module is better for viewing movies on your monitor.
Macro disable - Perl script to disable Macrovision copy protection
MPlayer Docs - section on TV-out
DirectFB - using DirectFB to provide features similar to windows DVDMax.