It’s pretty ironic that I maintain a guide on how easy it is to get MythTV working on Ubuntu, but when I upgraded my own MythTV box from Dapper to Edgy I completely broke it. I can sum the problems up in just two words: bloody ATI.

It’s a well known fact that ATI cards have flaky Linux support, but my Radeon 9250 has served me pretty well… until now. It turns out that by adding Xorg 7.1 support (required for Edgy) to driver 8.27, ATI broke their VideoOverlay feature. This means that you can only see the top half of the picture, no matter what resolution you use. Without VideoOverlay, the picture suffers from horrible tearing.

Anyway, a bit of googling and I learned that the problem was already fixed in version 8.30 of the driver. Great, I thought, and promptly installed the latest version. To my horror, it turns out that ATI dropped support for my 9250 card in version 8.29!

So, I did what I should have done long ago – sent off for an Nvidia 5200. Thanks to the wonders of, I had it in my grubby mitts just 10 hours later (standard delivery!). Within 10 minutes of sticking it into my PC, I had a great picture on my TV.

The moral? Linux and ATI – just don’t do it.

19 thoughts on “Irony”

  1. Hi Garry, any reason for not using the Xorg open source drivers rather than the proprietary ATI ones ? Just curious as I’ve got a 9250 as well (though not using it for MythTV)..


  2. Hi Chris,

    I’d love to be wrong, but I’ve never got TV-out to work with anything other than the proprietary drivers.

  3. Thanks for that Chris, but as I’ve thrown my ATI card in the bin now, I can’t confirm it myself!

    Let me know if you have any success, though.

  4. Hey Garry I was just wondering if when you install Mythtv the way you did when you boot up do you have to options ubuntu and mythtv. Also is it easy to take the files that you record off mythtv when you are useing ubuntu?

  5. The way I do it, when you boot up you can log in as the mythtv user and run the mythfrontend command to access MythTV features. This runs on top of the standard Gnome window manager so that you can also run all the usual Ubuntu applications and ALT-TAB between them.

    The files that MythTV records are saved into a directory on your disk, so are accessible to anybody using the PC who has permission to read them.

  6. I’m not sure what you mean by “could not find mythtv”. Could you please give me some more information?


  7. root@linuxbox:~# sudo apt-get install mythtv mythtv-themes
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Package mythtv-themes is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    E: Package mythtv-themes has no installation candidate

    if you need more let me know thanks MJB

  8. Run up a terminal “Applications->Accessories->Terminal”

    Type the command:

    cat /etc/apt/sources.list

    Then highlight the text with the mouse to select it and paste it into your browser with the middle mouse button.

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