The PS3 is both a game console and a computer. Game consoles traditionally output to TV screens, computers traditionally output to computer monitors. TV screens and computer monitors have very little in common. The PS3 can output to both, and can also output to High-Definition (HD) TV screens. Since this involves several completely different sets of standards, things can get complex. This HOWTO shows you how to select the perfect video mode for Yellow Dog Linux running on the PS3.
Selecting a video mode
The basic tool for testing video modes is ps3videomode. You need to be running in text mode when you use this, as the Linux graphics system is unable to respond properly to the way that the PS3 changes video modes. Control-Alt-F1 will switch Yellow Dog Linux 5.0 to use the first text console, where you need to log in as root before you can use the ps3videomode tool. Using ps3videomode --help will show this help text:
Version: 1.00 Usage: ps3videomode [options] [parameters] ps3videomode - show and modify video settings OPTIONS --help, -h --video, -vYou may try several video modes to determine which will work with your monitor or television. The mode can be changed by invoking the ps3videomode program:
ps3videomode -v #Where # is one of the video mode numbers listed above. The default "install" and "ydl" options use mode 3:720p. Note that the variations will change the actual video mode number used. You can use this actual video mode directly, and you have to when you set the mode in kboot.conf.
The ps3videomode program will only change the resolution for the current display and is only usable in a text terminal as a way to gauge which modes will work well for your system. It will only affect the current virtual terminal, leaving the others scrambled. It may be that you need to try any particular video mode using the GameOS first before it will work with Linux. This is still being investigated.
There is a small script called ps3_video_test.sh that can help test video modes. It takes a basic numeric video resolution as used by ps3videomode, switching between the variations with a 20 second pause between them to give you a chance to see the results. It also prints some coloured text and a bar of stars so that you can check overscan and correct colour mode. Underneath the bar of stars will be the video mode currently being shown. With no arguments, ps3_video_test will scan through all the basic video modes. As a safety feature, ps3_video_test will return to the video mode the PS3 was in before it started.
Once you have determined the best video mode, you will need to change the boot and graphical configurations to match.
This HOWTO was written by Tim Renner and David Seikel, Terra Soft Solutions.