January 2011 Archives

How I got TV-Out working on a D/Port with a D600

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JTFC. If you have a profane mind like mine, you can pretty well figure out that acronym. If you don't, please don't try.

After much consternation, swearing, praying, and outright worship of the occult, I finally got TV-Out working on my latest new toy, a Dell D-Port docking station. The D/Port works with several of the Dell laptops, but the most common are the D600, D610, and D620. The Dell 8x0 series works as well. Finding the solution turns out to be a random series of events undertaken after considerable research.

The first suggestion I gleaned from the forums and boards was to install the Notebook System Software (NSS). I found the latest and greatest version of this, only to discover after downloading a one hundred megabyte file, that the package did not support my laptop. Back to the drawing board. Second, I was able to find the latest NSS that did support my laptop, and was chagrined to see that NSS was at least two years old and several revisions back from the latest version. Not good news. The only good news was that the correct NSS was a ten megabyte download. Kinda makes one wonder what Dell stuffed into NSS afterward that pushed the package size up by ninety megabytes.

And still TV-Out didn't work. I was almost to the point of pulling my hair out. I've got the latest version of the NSS software, I've got drivers I know to work on another docking station (The D/Dock), but still no TV-Out.

Finally, on a shot in the dark, I searched out the latest version of BIOS for the D600. The latest BIOS was A16. Installed on the laptop was A14. Ok, finally something I can update. I download the package, run the package, and the package asks me if I want to close all applications, flash the BIOS, and reboot. Well, this is certainly a new experience for me, but I'm open to new options and ideas so I went for it.

Surprise! It actually worked. </sarcasm>

Now I have TV-Out working with my D/Port, my D/Dock, and I'm happy... for the moment.

Dell, is to really too much to ask that you make this information more prevalent and -- I dunno, call me crazy -- actually support your customers?

Granted, I've only been dealing with crap like this since the first time I sat down to a PC. Still, when you have a single vendor solution -- and all of the gear is provided by that vendor -- one comes to expect that all of the parts will just work together. I don't think that is an unreasonable request, and I certainly don't appreciate that some companies charge an arm and a leg (or whatever the exchange rate for body parts to dollars or yen is, what with the dollar on the fall)  to integrate software and hardware from the vendor to make it work together.

The only thing more infuriating is when you realize that all of the gear I've mentioned was cutting edge in 2004, and it's now seven years later and none of this gear was updated to latest revisions until something broke.   

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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