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Using HDMI With ATI Radeon HD Linux Drivers

One of the special abilities of ATI's R600 GPU family is the integrated 5.1 surround sound audio support through HDMI. Many Radeon HD 2000 and HD 3800 series graphics cards also ship with a DVI to HDMI dongle, so that one can experience the full video playback capabilities of these discrete graphics cards. But what level of HDMI support can Linux users expect when using these latest ATI graphics cards? We have done some testing internally and have the initial ATI Linux HDMI video and audio results to report in this article.

The graphics card used for this Linux HDMI (High Definition Media Interface) testing was the ASUS Radeon HD 2600PRO 256MB, which was connected via a DVI-to-HDMI dongle to a Sharp Aquos LC37D43U 37" LCD HDTV. For the video portion of the HDMI, we had tested both the fglrx and RadeonHD drivers and ALSA for audio.

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So, to summarize: openSUSE Tumbleweed is a good, solid, stable Linux distribution with a wide range of desktops available. It is not anything particularly exotic or unstable, and it does not require an unusual amount of Linux expertise to install and use on an everyday system. To make a very simple comparison, in my experience installing and using Tumbleweed is much less difficult and much less risky than using the Debian "testing" distribution, and it is kept much (much much) more up to date than openSUSE Leap, Debian "stable", Linux Mint or Ubuntu. I don't say that to demean any of those other distributions. As I said at the end of my recent post about point-release vs. rolling-release distributions, if your hardware is fully supported by one of those point-release distributions, and you are satisfied with the applications included in them, then they are certainly a good choice. But if you like staying on the leading edge, or if you have very new hardware which requires the latest Linux kernel and drivers, or you just want/need the latest version of some application (in my case this would be digiKam), then openSuSE could be just what you want. Read more Also: Google Summer of Code 2017

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