[Openchrome-devel] [ANNOUNCE] Got ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD01 to work with an HDMI HDTV and drm-openchrome

Kevin Brace kevinbrace at gmx.com
Sun Oct 2 06:15:46 UTC 2016

Hi everyone,

I know the last announcement piece I sent out ("Found the ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD01 buried inside a black garbage bag," September 28th, 2016) had a weird title, but this time around, it will be a more normal title.
Using my Epic Learning 1314 laptop, I compiled Linux 3.19-rc6 kernel containing drm-openchrome.
Even with using an SSD (SK hynix 250 GB SSD), it still took about 11 hours to compile the Linux kernel.
VIA Technologies C7-M processor being able to decode only 1 instruction per cycle with a small L2 cache (128 KB), the weakness as a microprocessor really shows up when compiling something huge like a Linux kernel.
Anyway, when I booted Lubuntu 14.04 + drm-openchrome on Epic Learning 1314 laptop, the LCD screen will not display properly.
This will need to be fixed down the road.
    After that, I moved the SK hynix SSD to ZOTAC ZBOX nano VD01.
For the first try, I used an HDMI to analog VGA converter to see if I could anything on my Dell monitor. (only has an analog VGA input)
I see the usual Lubuntu GUI on the screen, and the monitor is working properly.
2 days later, I managed to find the HDTV I rescued from the apartment trash collection site in the past.
This HDTV has a native HDMI port.
Before I tested the HDTV, I attached a new flat antenna I bought at Fry's Electronics several weeks ago.
Contrary to my expectations, the flat antenna worked very well, and almost all the local channels displayed properly.
Now that I confirmed the full functionality of the HDTV, I went ahead to test the ZBOX nano VD01 with this HDTV.
Unfortunately, top and bottom of the screen get cropped, but other than that, the HDTV worked fine with ZBOX nano VD01.
Since this HDTV is 9 years old, it supports up to 1080i or 720p.
Xorg.0.log recognizes the HDTV's HDMI port.
X.Org Server automatically choose 1280 x 720 screen resolution as the initial screen resolution.
    So there you have it.
Without much outside help, I managed confirm the proper functionality of drm-openchrome's HDMI support code.
While there is no guarantee it will work, I will start working on porting drm-OpenChrome's HDMI support code to the existing OpenChrome DDX.
Obviously, I do recognize that finishing up drm-openchrome is in the long term interest of VIA IGP users, but the reality is that drm-openchrome itself contains too many problems to be mainlined, not to mention the current lack of EXA acceleration within OpenChrome DDX when DRI2 / TTM / GEM are used. (This issue alone makes drm-openchrome useless to non-developers since the window dragging speed is unacceptably slow without acceleration.)
    As for my personal situation, I still have not found my DSL modem, so I will need to spend some time going through the "clean" black garbage bags to find it.
The lack of Internet access over at my apartment has definitely slowed down the development since the code repository is online.
Furthermore, I will be attending several seminars and trade shows this month (October and November tend to make of them), so the development pace will slow down for the entire month.


Kevin Brace
The OpenChrome Project maintainer / developer

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