For those of you that want to use tv-out by itself or have it always on, I just added an option to the driver (ati git master) to force tv-out to always be detected as attached. I also added an option to force the default tv-standard if you want something besides the bios default.
Option “ForceTVOut” “true”
Option “TVStandard” “ntsc”
See the radeon man page for more info.