Richard Jones' Log: HTPC update
My Home Theatre PC project is progressing slowly. Very slowly.
The only stumbling block is the VIA chipset on the motherboard that handles video and TV-Out. It's a K8M800 chipset, and is supported by the open-source unichrome project (quite different from VIA's "open source initiative", which is anything but open-source). Thanks to that project, I have the chipset displaying X11 on a monitor fine. There's even some acceleration beyond the standard VESA drivers. Unfortunately, it seems the K8M800 chipset has a bug. Or the BIOS does. Or the Linux kernel does (though I'm given the impression that the chipset is at fault). Regardless who is at fault, there's a runaway IRQ 16 that the kernel can't cope with, and causes the DRI module to switch off (before anyone says anything, no, APIC isn't a cause or solution). In the end, I have to disable Vblank IRQs, which degrades performance. I can still play DVD full-screen, it's just at a higher CPU load.
On the TV-Out front, things aren't working there either. I've got a picture, but ... well it's not so good (it looks to me as though the interlacing isn't synchronising correctly).
So I'm still thinking that I will need to get a separate video card for the box. Or I've been thinking about throwing in the towel and just using the little box as my new desktop. That'd be a shame, and I'm willing to give the Unichrome developers more time to try to sort out the TV-Out issues.