intel SDVO TV-out (and hardware donations)

Eric Anholt eric at
Fri Apr 4 15:04:16 PDT 2008

On Fri, 2008-04-04 at 14:33 -0600, Chad wrote:
> On Wed, Apr 2, 2008 at 5:35 PM, Eric Anholt <eric at> wrote:
> > For those of you who have been desiring TV-out support over SDVO, I
> >  pushed some code that should get us closer.  I'm trying to follow the
> >  spec, but I'm not getting any output on my system.  I'm hampered by the
> >  fact that the BIOS doesn't set up my card (so I don't have anything to
> >  compare to), and that I've only got a lame LCD projector to output to
> >  here (so if I've got bad timings, it won't give me anything different
> >  from being disconnected).
> [SNIP]
> Is there a fund somewhere that people can donate to for things like
> this?  There are always people like me who cannot offer much to a
> project beyond excellent bug reports; and I feel like I could at the
> very least donate some money to a fund that would provide a way for
> developers to purchase peripherals to aid in development.  For me
> specifically I'd be happy if the Intel devs all had 42" Plasma or LCD
> screens with HDMI and Component input and 2 or 3 development stations
> to test with.  I win because the devs then have similar (or similar
> enough) hardware that I am trying to work with immediately available
> at their fingertips.  I know if I thought you (Eric) needed a large
> (37"+) LCD to encourage/assist in the development of my setup (an Asus
> P5E-VM HDMI on a 42" 1080P plasma over HDMI) I'd be happy to donate a
> good amount of money to get it working; and I'm sure there are
> literally hundreds of others who would also be interested if they knew
> about it (i.e. it was marketed well).  Even if nothing came out of the
> donation(s), I'd still get the feeling of donating something since I
> cannot donate my time for coding (due mostly to lack of knowledge).  I
> assume of course that Xorg is non-profit and would be able to pull
> something like this off...

One of the nice things about working for Intel is that if I do actually
need a piece of hardware for my work, I can get a hold of it at merely
the cost of the time it takes me to find the right one and get it

In this specific case, I've got a nice pretty LCD at the office (not as
pretty as my friends at RH have, but still pretty) that has all sorts of
crazy inputs, but it's still an LCD -- feed it junk and it'll display
nothing, instead of showing you some interesting junk you can maybe make
sense out of.  What I really need to do is go dig a plain old TV out of
a recycling pile somewhere.  That's more of a time investment than a
money investment, though.

That said, hardware donations can be helpful sometimes.  I got involved
by someone who saw me hacking on my 3dfx support giving me a Matrox G400
to port the DRM to FreeBSD, then someone else giving me a Radeon to do
the same.  However, the hard part I've seen over time is more finding
the person to give hardware to -- unfortunately giving hardware makes
the recipient feel somewhat indebted, and unless they're a student with
a ton of free time they're not likely to accept it.  I personally tried
to stop taking in free hardware after I never got around to my last
couple donated projects.

If developers without existing corporate sponsorship do find a lack of
graphics hardware to be holding them back on xorg/mesa work, I would
love to see them apply to the X.Org board for assistance.  We've got
this lovely nonprofit foundation that exists to support the development
of X.Org through educational and other activities, and I don't think
there would be anything preventing us from helping out in this way.
Nobody has asked yet, at least.

Eric Anholt                             anholt at
eric at                         eric.anholt at

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