TV Mirroring Problem, ATI Radeon Mac Edition


K

kris7

I have an ATI Radeon Mac Edition video card with s-video output. I am
having a very odd problem with the output of this card. I've worked
with ATI extensively and they have concluded that it must be a hardware
failure but since the card is no longer under warranty they won't test
it for me. I suspect that the card is fine. Here is a description of
the problem. I tried writing all this out in words and it was huge and
confusing, so I've used a key to simplify the descriptions of the test
setups.

TV A is a TV without s-video input
TV B is a TV with s-video input
TV C is a different TV without s-video input
VCR A is a VCR without s-video input/output
VCR B is a different VCR without s-video input/output
Card is the computer's video card
DVD is a DVD player with s-video output
SV is an s-video cable
CX is a coaxial cable
RF is an RF modulator

These are the connections I have tried and the results:

Card - SV - TV B = perfect picture

Card - SV - RF - CX - TV B = good picture

Card - SV - RF - CX - (TV A or TV C) = distorted colors

DVD - SV - RF - CX - TV A = good picture

Card - SV - RF - CX - VCR A Record, then VCR A - CX - TV A = distorted
colors, also Tape from VCR A in VCR B - CX - TV B = distorted colors

DVD - SV - RF - CX - VCR A Record, then VCR A - CX - TV A = good
picture, and tape from VCR A in VCR B - VX - TV B = decent picture

After all this troubleshooting it appears to me that all components are
functional. My only idea at this point is that the output of the card
deviates from the s-video standard. Somehow this is being propagated
through the RF converter to the TVs, but TV B has circuitry that
corrects the image. ATI tech support has stated that the card meets
whatever s-video standards are out there. My computer does have all
the latest drivers, etc. The VGA output from the card works fine.

All I want to do is connect the card to TV A (I don't own TV B or I'd
just use that). Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Kris

(the email address I'm posting this from is dead, so please respond to
the group, or to the address below)

b i n a r y _ d r e a m s
a t
s o f t h o m e
..
n e t
 
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T

T Shadow

I have an ATI Radeon Mac Edition video card with s-video output. I am
having a very odd problem with the output of this card. I've worked
with ATI extensively and they have concluded that it must be a hardware
failure but since the card is no longer under warranty they won't test
it for me. I suspect that the card is fine. Here is a description of
the problem. I tried writing all this out in words and it was huge and
confusing, so I've used a key to simplify the descriptions of the test
setups.

TV A is a TV without s-video input
TV B is a TV with s-video input
TV C is a different TV without s-video input
VCR A is a VCR without s-video input/output
VCR B is a different VCR without s-video input/output
Card is the computer's video card
DVD is a DVD player with s-video output
SV is an s-video cable
CX is a coaxial cable
RF is an RF modulator

These are the connections I have tried and the results:

Card - SV - TV B = perfect picture

Card - SV - RF - CX - TV B = good picture

Card - SV - RF - CX - (TV A or TV C) = distorted colors

DVD - SV - RF - CX - TV A = good picture

Card - SV - RF - CX - VCR A Record, then VCR A - CX - TV A = distorted
colors, also Tape from VCR A in VCR B - CX - TV B = distorted colors

DVD - SV - RF - CX - VCR A Record, then VCR A - CX - TV A = good
picture, and tape from VCR A in VCR B - VX - TV B = decent picture

After all this troubleshooting it appears to me that all components are
functional. My only idea at this point is that the output of the card
deviates from the s-video standard. Somehow this is being propagated
through the RF converter to the TVs, but TV B has circuitry that
corrects the image. ATI tech support has stated that the card meets
whatever s-video standards are out there. My computer does have all
the latest drivers, etc. The VGA output from the card works fine.

All I want to do is connect the card to TV A (I don't own TV B or I'd
just use that). Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Kris
Uhh................Train D reaches St. Louis at 12:30?.................:Ob

I'm not an expert and not sure if I follow your chart.
Top of my list is the modulator. Try a couple of other brands before going
to some other fix. The reason these are not recommended is because they're
usually not of the best quality. IOW crap.

Next would be a grounding problem. Are you sure all of your outlets are
properly wired, actually have ground connection and all of the devices
you're trying to use, that should be grounded, are connected to it through
power strips,etc.

Since the card works directly to an S-Video jack, it's the least likely to
be at fault, IMHO.
 
K

kris7

Excellent idea! I never even considered grounding.

My house was built in the 60's and the majority of the receptacles
(power outlets) do not have ground conductors. I've replaced them with
3-prong GFCI receptacles as permitted by the electrical code. However,
this does mean that my computer is not actually connected to a ground
conductor.

The RF modulator and VCRs don't require ground connections.

I will try connecting the computer to a grounded receptacle tonight.

If this doesn't work I will try to borrow that DVD player again and use
it in place of the RF modulator to determine if that is the problem.

Thank you for your help. I will post the results of these further
tests.
 
D

Danny Greaves

Try removing the 110v power to all components for a few seconds After every audio/video component connection is
complete.



T said:
Uhh................Train D reaches St. Louis at 12:30?.................:Ob

I'm not an expert and not sure if I follow your chart.
Top of my list is the modulator. Try a couple of other brands before going
to some other fix. The reason these are not recommended is because they're
usually not of the best quality. IOW crap.

Next would be a grounding problem. Are you sure all of your outlets are
properly wired, actually have ground connection and all of the devices
you're trying to use, that should be grounded, are connected to it through
power strips,etc.

Since the card works directly to an S-Video jack, it's the least likely to
be at fault, IMHO.

--end
 
T

T Shadow

Excellent idea! I never even considered grounding.

My house was built in the 60's and the majority of the receptacles
(power outlets) do not have ground conductors. I've replaced them with
3-prong GFCI receptacles as permitted by the electrical code. However,
this does mean that my computer is not actually connected to a ground
conductor.

The RF modulator and VCRs don't require ground connections.

I will try connecting the computer to a grounded receptacle tonight.

If this doesn't work I will try to borrow that DVD player again and use
it in place of the RF modulator to determine if that is the problem.

Thank you for your help. I will post the results of these further
tests.
I worked on house a couple of years ago that had a string of outlets that
had hot and neutral wires reversed at the outlets(10). The outlets had
ground wires that would have tripped the circuit breaker but between the
string and the entrance panel was about 10ft of 2 conductor wire. Naturally
this was in remodeled basement. IOW don't assume anything and verify
everything. FYI, GFCI does not work as well w/o being grounded.

I recommend grounding the outlet(s) (to a real ground)anyway but it may not
be that simple. This is comprehensive info.
http://www.epanorama.net/documents/groundloop/
 
K

kris7

I haven't actually unplugged everything once it was all connected, but
I have rebooted the computer and cycled power to the RF modulator and
everything else at the same time. Would you expect a different result
from actually unplugging everything?
 
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K

kris7

Connecting the computer to a grounded receptacle didn't change the
problem. However, the grounding from the panelboard in this house to
the electrical service outside doesn't meet the current electrical
code. I may try connecting the computer to the service panel outside
(which I know is solidly grounded to the water pipes, two ground rods
and the gas piping) to see if that changes anything.

I probably won't be able to get that DVD player until next week.
 
K

kris7

Actually, GFCI doesn't require a ground conductor at all. A GFCI
device only compares the current on the phase conductor to the current
on the neutral conductor. If they vary by more than 5mA then it
disconnects the phase conductor (20mA for large GFCI devices, such as
1200A circuit breakers). A GFCI circuit breaker usually doesn't have a ground connection other than the neutral.

You're right about not assuming anything though. I will connect to a
maintenance receptacle directly off the service panel for the next
test. I'll also verify that the receptacle is wired correctly.

This power stuff is right up my alley. It's the signal processing and
TV/video standards that I'm clueless about.
 
D

Danny Greaves

I haven't actually unplugged everything once it was all connected, but
I have rebooted the computer and cycled power to the RF modulator and
everything else at the same time. Would you expect a different result
from actually unplugging everything?


Maybe, depending on the audio/video equipment. New stuff yes. Either way it's easy enough and should have been unplugged
anyway.

I have my pc and home audio/video stuff all wired with each other all over the house and have to unplug the 110 after
making changes so the input/outputs are re-tested or strange things happen. The audio/video receiver (pioneer vsx-d608)
has over 50 input/output jacks on the back and they will only work after the tests it does when the 110 plugged in.

One other thing that might be useful (was for me) is that some components in/output can also be used for converting and
splitting. For example my vcr in (all) signal goes out (coax & s-video) to a back room tv and the audio/video receiver.


Hope that helps
Dan
 
T

T Shadow

Actually, GFCI doesn't require a ground conductor at all. A GFCI
device only compares the current on the phase conductor to the current
on the neutral conductor. If they vary by more than 5mA then it
disconnects the phase conductor (20mA for large GFCI devices, such as
ground connection other than the neutral.Correct, that's a "feature" of the AFCI. Now I know I need to see if mine
are part of a recall.
 
K

kris7

Last night I checked the wiring of that receptacle that comes off the
electrical service panel. It was correct. I also opened the panel and
verified the ground bus connections and the ground-neutral bond. I
connected a power strip to that receptacle and proceeded to connect the
computer, RF modulator, and TV C (TV A is no longer functional). I
shut the computer down and then unplugged the power strip. I plugged
it back in and booted the computer up and turned on TV mirroring. The
picture on the TV was still discolored.

I tried removing the s-video cable from the computer and RF modulator
and used a cable I recently made to connect the composite output pins
of the video card to the RF modulator's composite input. The problem
remained the same. I shut everything down, unplugged the power strip,
then reconnected it and started everything back up. The picture was
still discolored.

I have tried using a VCR in place of the the RF modulator with no
improvement. This was before I made the custom composite cable though,
so it was just hooked up with alligator clips. The picture was a lot
better than I'd expected it to be when using aligator clips, but the
color skew was still there.

I guess my next test will be to try using the DVD player as an RF
modulator with S-Video in and coax out. I'll see if I can borrow it
this weekend.

Excuse me now, I need to go pull out some more hair.
 
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K

kris7

I finally got a chance to borrow the DVD player again, but
unfortunately I realized why I hadn't tested it in place of the RF
modulator the first time. The DVD player doesn't have s-video input.

I was able to run another test though. I have a device called "Jam"
that lets me play console games on a computer monitor. It has s-video
input. So, I tried connecting the video card through the s-video cable
to the Jam and then plugging a monitor into to the Jam. The image came
through with the same color distortion as it does with the RF converter
and the TVs. This doesn't necessarily indicate that the RF converter
isn't the problem, but considering that it worked fine with the TV that
has s-video input I think it's not unreasonable to believe the problem
is elsewhere.

I'm pretty much out of ideas. Anybody have any other suggestions?

Thanks for all your help so far.
 
P

patrickp

I finally got a chance to borrow the DVD player again, but
unfortunately I realized why I hadn't tested it in place of the RF
modulator the first time. The DVD player doesn't have s-video input.

I was able to run another test though. I have a device called "Jam"
that lets me play console games on a computer monitor. It has s-video
input. So, I tried connecting the video card through the s-video cable
to the Jam and then plugging a monitor into to the Jam. The image came
through with the same color distortion as it does with the RF converter
and the TVs. This doesn't necessarily indicate that the RF converter
isn't the problem, but considering that it worked fine with the TV that
has s-video input I think it's not unreasonable to believe the problem
is elsewhere.

I'm pretty much out of ideas. Anybody have any other suggestions?

Thanks for all your help so far.


The s-video type sockets on ATI VIVO and AIW videocards don't normally
have standard pinouts. You need to get an ATI lead that plugs into
the card and provides input/output options - usually s-video and
composite video, and sound connectors for an AIW.

Patrick

<[email protected]> - take five to email me...
 
K

kris7

ATI tech support told me that I should use a normal s-video cable with
this card. Prior to that I had been trying to use a cable that was
supposedly made for ATI cards. It had s-video, composite and
mini-stereo connections.

Do you know where I could find an accurate pinout for this card? If my
cables are the problem then I would love to just make a custom cable
and be done with this issue.
 
P

patrickp

ATI tech support told me that I should use a normal s-video cable with
this card. Prior to that I had been trying to use a cable that was
supposedly made for ATI cards. It had s-video, composite and
mini-stereo connections.

Do you know where I could find an accurate pinout for this card? If my
cables are the problem then I would love to just make a custom cable
and be done with this issue.


Not sure what the actual pin-outs are; perhaps someone else here does.
I also don't know whether your card being a Mac edition makes any
difference. However, AFAIK there are several different types of leads
that ATI do: leads made for VIVO cards and those made for AIW cards.
Apart from the fact that AIW leads have audio connectors, I'm pretty
sure that neither will work with the opposite type of card. I'm not
sure what you use to output from a non-capture card.

It also makes a difference whether you're running the signal into or
out of the card: very often this is indicated by arrows moulded into
the plugs, and some leads are made for bi-directional comnnections.

The ATI lead you were trying to use sounds like an AIW one (it has
audio connectors). If your card is not an AIW, this may well be the
wrong lead.

You can buy the appropriate leads here:
http://www.svideo.com/ati.html; apparently they ship world wide.

HTH Patrick

<[email protected]> - take five to email me...
 
D

Danny Greaves

patrickp said:
Not sure what the actual pin-outs are; perhaps someone else here does.
I also don't know whether your card being a Mac edition makes any
difference. However, AFAIK there are several different types of leads
that ATI do: leads made for VIVO cards and those made for AIW cards.
Apart from the fact that AIW leads have audio connectors, I'm pretty
sure that neither will work with the opposite type of card. I'm not
sure what you use to output from a non-capture card.

It also makes a difference whether you're running the signal into or
out of the card: very often this is indicated by arrows moulded into
the plugs, and some leads are made for bi-directional comnnections.

The ATI lead you were trying to use sounds like an AIW one (it has
audio connectors). If your card is not an AIW, this may well be the
wrong lead.

You can buy the appropriate leads here:
http://www.svideo.com/ati.html; apparently they ship world wide.

HTH Patrick

<[email protected]> - take five to email me...

--

It should be easy enough to check that you have the correct input/output dongles, splitters or whatever you want to call
them. Ati's web site still shows all that information for even my old AIW 7500.

There are also the advanced display settings for stuff like sharpness, flicker, dot crawl, format. Might want to recheck
those.
 
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P

patrickp

Unfortunately, your newsreader has posted your comment under your sig
line, Danny, so it doesn't show in my reply: I'll quote it:

"It should be easy enough to check that you have the correct
input/output dongles, splitters or whatever you want to call
them. Ati's web site still shows all that information for even my old
AIW 7500.

"There are also the advanced display settings for stuff like
sharpness, flicker, dot crawl, format. Might want to recheck
those."

Unfortunately, I can only see that the OP has stated that his card is
a Mac Edition Radeon - no more. He'll have to look that up himself.

Patrick

<[email protected]> - take five to email me...
 
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K

kris7

The name of the card is just "Radeon Mac Edition." No model number or
anything. I did find the user's manual on ATI's website,
http://www2.ati.com/manuals/radeonmacedition.pdf


Here is what it says about cables for the TV output:
"If your are using S-Video connection to the TV attach one
end of an S-Video cable to the S-Video out connection of
the RADEON™ MAC® EDITION and the other end to the
S-Video In connector of your TV. If you are using
Composite connect the supplied Video Out Adapter cable
to the S-Video connector of the RADEON™ MAC®
EDITION. Then attach one end of your Composite cable to
the Composite connector and the other end to the
Composite In of your TV (See diagramabove)."

I didn't see anything else about setting up Mac2TV that could be
causing the problem. I don't have the composite adapter cable that
supposedly came with the card, but I did make one based on the pinouts
I found and it appears to work in that it gives the same result that
using an svideo cable does.

I give up. Thanks a ton for all of your help. If I ever find out what
was causing this problem then I'll post the solution for your interest
and/or future reference.
 

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