Svideo: How to make it work with Programs

I have an HP pavilion a375c, with two gigabytes of memory, NVIDIA GeForce FX5200, which has a jack for S-video out. I have Microsoft Windows XP Home edition, version 2002, Service Pack 2. It is the original installed system, have had every last upgrade, automatically installed. I have both Firefox, and Windows Internet Explorer installed, default to Firefox. I also have a HDTV with a jack for svideo in. I want to watch internet movies on my TV.

So, I go buy a cable, hook it up. Nothing. I restart the computer with everything hooked up.

Here is where it gets interesting. The TV screen, and my monitor show the same thing during the native startup process. Then as soon as Microsoft loads, the TV goes dark, shows “SVideo MAIN: No Signal.” The regular monitor shows Windows start up screen.

From this I have deduced that I have no hardware problem. I have tentatively assigned the failure to Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, version 2002, Service Pack 2, since that is the first and only program running when the error occurs. The kindly help desk at Microsoft suggests purchasing Windows Vista.

So, I am looking here for a more sensible solution.


Actually it sounds like a problem with your video card settings…

I have my computer hooked up to my TV too (not HDTV) and the TV screen shows the POST screen and “Windows Is Loading…” underneath tons of vertical scroll, until Windows actually loads and everything looks peachy.

I had the scroll problem post-Windows loading too until I went in and changed some settings on my video card. Then it was fine.

I can’t tell you anything about settings, though. They’d be different for each card + tv setup.

Anyway, start looking around for tips on using your card with SVideo.

OK, following the advice from NVIDA, I used the properties tab on the display menu and now have the image from my desktop on my TV screen, and a mouse cursor. However, the image remains the same when programs are running. (I see before me the entire Milky Way, and no Straight Dope screen.) loading up Netflix, and playing a video produces no change on the TV screen, although the Monitor works fine.


Sounds like you have it set up for 2 screens with your “monitor” being the main screen and your TV being the other screen. Look around for a setting to switch to a single-screen mode, or physically drag something “off” the right or left of your monitor screen and see if it ends up on the TV.

When I couldn’t get TV out to work with my Nvidia card, I had some luck with TVCC and TVTool It’s been a while, but, IIRC, TVCC worked better. TVTool would always get stuck on the TV screen and I couldn’t get my monitor back without rebooting.

ETA: that site recommends that you try TVTool first, so I’d go with that one if you can get it to work properly. My card is pretty old (2000/2001-ish), so maybe that’s why TVCC worked better for me.

Right-click on your desktop, Properties | Settings Tab. Does the display option say something like 1.) (Multiple Monitors) on VIDEO CARD? and the image show two monitors? If you click the “2” can you “Use this device as the primary monitor?”.

I see that your computer has a DVI out. Try one of these and hook it up to your HDTV (assuming you have a HDMI input on the TV) to get an actual quality picture on the TV. S-Video out to an HDTV will look god awful for video or anything else.