Vaughan Harper's blog MythTV Solution to an HDMI problem connecting MythTV system to TV via a receiver (version 2)
Solution to an HDMI problem connecting MythTV system to TV via a receiver (version 2)


Solution to an HDMI problem connecting MythTV system to TV via a receiver (version 2)

(This is an update to my posting from January 31, 2016.)

I recently got a Marantz AV receiver, but I had an annoying problem connecting my MythTV system to the television through it: things are fine if, when I boot up the MythTV system, the TV is switched on and the MythTV input selected on the receiver – but if after that I turn off the TV, then when I switch back after a period of time it doesn’t reconnect, and just displays a blank screen. (This was on Ubuntu 14.04; I was using an Intel graphics chip, a Gigabyte GA-H55M-UD2H motherboard and a Samsung television.)

Fortunately various other people have had the same problem and I found this reference: (In spite of the title, the item applies to non-NVIDIA graphics hardware as well.)

It turns out that xsettingsd is causing the problem; I had originally thought that the solution was just to disable xfsettingsd (e.g. add ‘killall xfsettingsd’ to /etc/mythtv/session-settings) – however there appear to be some side-effects to that approach, which I guess is reasonable – people have taken the trouble to write xfsettingsd, so it presumably serves a purpose!

Instead I found the best approach is to modify xfsettingsd using one of the patches which can be found at the reference above, which makes a one line change to one of the source files (displays.c).

It took me a while to figure out how exactly to do what was described, and to sort out a couple of other wrinkles, so I thought that it would be worth describing the process in detail. This description is based on information from the reference above and also from (It should be noted that different users have observed different problems – the approach here addresses the problem I described above.)

I have included all the ‘sudo apt-get install …’ commands in the description below – some of these may not be needed if the relevant packages have already been installed.

First of all it’s probably worth saving the binaries /usr/bin/xfce4* and /usr/bin/xfsettingsd in case you want to revert to their original versions:

sudo mkdir /usr/bin/usr-bin-save
sudo cp -p /usr/bin/xfsettingsd /usr/bin/usr-bin-save
sudo cp -p /usr/bin/xfce4* /usr/bin/usr-bin-save

Then from a command prompt run the following commands to patch displays.c and recompile the binaries:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfce4-dev-tools libexo-1-dev libgarcon-1-0-dev libxfce4ui-1-dev
cd ~ 
mkdir xfce4work 
cd xfce4work 
sudo apt-get install git
git clone git:// 
cd xfce4-settings 
sudo apt-get install curl 
curl -L > alexander-patch.diff

(For some reason ‘curl’ doesn’t work – but ‘curl -L’, which follows the 302 redirect from ‘…’ to ‘…’ – does work.)

patch -p1 < alexander-patch.diff
./ --prefix=/usr

(If you just execute ‘./’, it will cause the binaries to be subsequently installed at /usr/local/bin; with Mythbuntu the files xfsettingsd and xfce4* are in /usr/bin, so specifying ‘–prefix=/usr’ will cause them to be installed in the /usr/bin directory.)

sudo make install

This will result in the updated xfsettingsd and xfce4* binaries to be installed in /usr/bin.

Then reboot the system. After this, I found that if I switched off the TV, when I switched it on again the display worked. (I also used the approach I described at to stop the screen from blanking after a period of inactivity.)

Grateful thanks to those who had contributed to the references above for all their hard work…


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Written by Vaughan

6 thoughts on “Solution to an HDMI problem connecting MythTV system to TV via a receiver (version 2)

  1. I think I’ve just encountered this problem (30-6-2016) with my set up which drives a Samsung TV (UE48HU7500T) via a Marantz SR5002 from either one of my mythbuntu systems (both running versions before 14.04, can’t remember which at the moment but will look up details later). Either of these systems worked without problem for years connected: mythtv->HDMI->SR5002->HDMI->TV, yesterday the TV screen stopped working. Neither mythtv system has ever had a s/w, neither has the SR5002. I checked the cables are ok by replacing the TV with a monitor, all works ok. It has been suggested that the TV may have recently done an auto s/w update and this has resulted in an HDMI update resulting in the problem, ie incompatible versions at either end. When the system is connected as above the TV shows it has a connection on it’s HDMI-1 input but says it’s not getting any signals. Is this similar to what you encountered and if so might your solution fix it?

  2. Hi Peter – In my case, things are fine if, when I boot up the MythTV system, the TV is switched on and the MythTV input selected on the receiver. I only had the problem after I switched off the TV or receiver. Your problem sounds different, as it sounds like you can’t connect to the TV at all.

    Have you tried connecting a different PC/laptop to the TV?


  3. I’ve been trying to install the patch on a mythbuntu system without success. When I run the make command I get the following error:

    make: *** No targets specified and no makefile found. Stop.

    If I run configure I get a message saying that exo-2 is not installed, but that seems to not be true.

    Both and exist in the directory.

    Any ideas?

  4. I am also having similar problems as ‘Bill S.’ After running ‘./ –prefix=/usr’ I am getting comments in the top and bottom of the output. At top of output, I get:
    “Please add the files
    codeset.m4 gettext.m4 glibc21.m4 iconv.m4 isc-posix.m4 lcmessage.m4
    from the /usr/share/aclocal directory to your autoconf macro directory
    or directly to your aclocal.m4 file.
    You will also need config.guess and config.sub, which you can get from”
    At the bottom of the output, I get:
    “checking for exo-2 >= 0.11.0… not found
    *** The required package exo-2 was not found on your system.
    *** Please install exo-2 (atleast version 0.11.0) or adjust
    *** the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable if you
    *** installed the package in a nonstandard prefix so that
    *** pkg-config is able to find it.”

    1) I am not a programmer, so this patching is new to me; 2) I believe exo-2 is not part of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

    24/7 14.04LTS system MythTV .28 since ~2010; Recently moved to digital/hdmi 5.1 receiver and LG Smart LED TV.

  5. Hi Vaughan,
    I was very excited to see your posting for this solution. I just recently got a new TV and it is having this problem with my existing MythBuntu 14.04 system.

    Do you have any idea what system you were able to compile this on? I’ve tried multiple systems and am having NO luck. I’ve tried using Ubuntu 16.0.4 and Linux Mint 18.3 as well as Fedora 27 (slightly different complaints about missing things when trying on Fedora, but still couldn’t make it happen!). complains about not finding exo-2. exo-2 doesn’t seem to be available as a package, so I tried to grab the src and compile it, and then that complains about gtk3 not being new enough (3.18.9 installed but need >=3.20.0).

    So, what was your secret? 🙂

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