This is a (very geeky) gem that you won’t find anywhere else – it took me long enough to work it out!
If you are reading this, it is probably because you have an Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 or FX 5 series video card in a Media Centre/Center (MCE) that is not properly driving your TV via the tv-out (svideo) connector. In Vista and Windows 7, the default driver automatically provided by Windows Update is the Vista driver version 96.85.
96.85 in Vista and Windows 7 works fine with FX 5 series cards – except for tv-out, which for some reason it drives at 25Hz. I can find no way to change the output frequency (which is possibly something to do with trying to give smoother, more fluid motion to DVD’s encoded at 24fps – but just makes the screen flicker for normal TV – particularly badly if you are watching in PAL) and the FX 5 series cards are now end-of-life with Nvidia no longer supporting them or releasing drivers that provide support.
However, there is a solution that works a treat! Download the XP driver 81.98 – it has to specifically be this one as I have found the flickering problem to exist in other XP drivers before and after this particular version.
STOP: This driver won’t install in Windows 7 or Vista as it is. Download the driver – 81.98_forceware_winxp2k_international_whql.exe and right click –> properties –> Compatibility and check “run this program in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 3)” – and you are good to go.
Note: That this 81.98 XP driver does correctly drive Aero capabilities – although doesn’t show up as so hot in performance tests – but it is a Media Centre and not an XBOX – right?