Samsung Galaxy S4 Miracast Demo with Netgear PTV3000 Push2TV Adaptor

The NetGear PTV3000 Push2TV adaptor is a Miracast dongle that will work with any Miracast-enabled handset, which by now is quite a few different phones.

In the video below, Youtube user veryannoyingname shows the PTV3000 being used seamlessly with the Samsung Galaxy S4.

We are expecting stock of the PTV3000 to arrive at Clove within the next few weeks, having initially expected stock to arrive in April. We’ll provide an update as soon as it’s in stock.

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Which MHL Cable should I buy?

MHL Cable choices

The chances are that if you’ve come to this post, you’re already aware that your device has MHL (video out capability), so I won’t explain what an MHL cable is used for (there are good definitions within the linked products below) and we also have this post, which explains what MHL does and shows off some of its coolest features.

MHL Cable

However, while MHL is an industry standard (meaning that in theory the same cable should be compatible with all MHL-enabled devices), that is not the case – some use an 11 pin arrangement, others use a 5 pin arrangement. The point of this post therefore is to tell you which MHL cable is compatible with your device.

Samsung Galaxy S4 / Samsung Galaxy S3 11 pin MHL Adaptor

We have created a video to show the description below in action, which you can view here

The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S4 MHL adaptors are interchangeable with both handsets. That’s to say, the S4 MHL adaptor will work with the S3, and the S3 MHL adaptor will work with the S4. However, there are still some differences.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 uses MHL 2.0. This means that there is no power connection needed for the MHL adaptor to work – the S4 can power the connection itself. That being said, it is advisable to power the connection if possible (using your handset’s microUSB charger) in order to prevent battery drain. Both the S3 and S4 adaptors work with the S4 without the need to power the connection.

The situation with the Samsung Galaxy S3  handset is the opposite. Both the S3 and S4 MHL adaptors will need to be powered if you are using them with the S3. This isn’t a huge problem as the microUSB charger supplied with you handset is fine for this purpose, it just makes the setup slightly more inconvenient.

The other difference between the two adaptors is that the S4 adaptor has a 60MHz refresh rate, whereas the S3 has a 24MHz refresh rate. This means that the S4 adaptor will provide a better image on screen, whether you are using it with the S3 or the S4.

Galaxy Note range

All Galaxy Notes  include support for MHL. The rules for choosing  an MHL cable are the same as the Galaxy S device of the same generation and follow the same guidelines as above

  • Galaxy Note = Samsung Galaxy S2: available HERE
  • Galaxy Note 2 = Samsung Galaxy S3: available HERE
  • Galaxy Note 3 = Samsung Galaxy S4: available HERE

Samsung 5 pin MHL tip

Samsung’s change to 11 pins stopped their new adapters being compatible with older devices and vice-versa. Due to this, a small tip accessory was created to convert original 5 pin adaptors to the new 11 pin arrangement. This is available HERE. Be aware that whilst this will make older 5 pin adaptors able to output over HDMI on newer Samsung phones, the adaptor specification remains the same. Any new MHL features present on up to date adaptors designed specifically for newer devices will not be available.

11-Pin MHL adaptor

From the Galaxy S3 onwards, Samsung modified the MHL standard to produce a specific 11 pin adapter for their range of devices. As stated above there is some interoperability between the S3/S4 generation.

Samsung Galaxy S4 MHL Cable (demo video)(also compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3)

Samsung Galaxy S3 MHL Cable (demo video) (also compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S4)

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 MHL Cable (demo video) (the same generation and adaptor as the Galaxy S3)

5-Pin MHL adaptor

The original MHL specification. Most devices use this standard. The Samsung Galaxy S2 was the first device with this connection and the adapter for this is universal across all 5 pin handsets. For this reason, most of the devices listed below have links to a Samsung MHL adapter, rather than their own manufacturer, as this is the most readily available.

Sony Xperia Z (see a demo video for this here)

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Sony Xperia Z1

HTC One (see a demo video for this here)

Sony Xperia T

Samsung Galaxy S2

Samsung Galaxy Note

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 

HTC One X

HTC One X+

HTC One SV

MHL 3.0

In August 2013, the MHL consortium announced the specification for MHL 3.0. Continuing the improvements to 2.0 that brought powered MHL, version 3.0 has support for 4K video (2160p@30fps). The full list of improvements is below:

  • 4K (Ultra HD): Support of 4K formats up to 2160p30
  • Simultaneous high-speed data channel
  • Improved Remote Control Protocol (RCP) with new commands
  • HID support for peripherals such as a touch screen,keyboard and mouse
  • Higher Power charging up to 10W
  • Backward compatible with MHL 1 and MHL 2
  • Latest HDCP 2.2 content protection
  • Enhanced 7.1 surround sound with Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD
  • Connector agnostic – uses as few as five pins
  • Support for simultaneous multiple displays

Other accessories that offer MHL capability

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Smart Dock – due early April. It’s possible that this will also be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3, but we will confirm this once we have received stock.

There was a similar product for Sony handsets called the LiveDock, but this has now been discontinued.

Handsets that you may expect to have MHL, but don’t

MHL is a relatively new standard when it comes to its inclusion with smartphones, so you could be forgiven for expecting it to be included with newly released handsets. however, some new handsets do not include it, but use other standards such as SlimPort, which we explain here. Here are a list of those that we are aware of that do not use MHL and the equivalent standard that they do use.

LG Nexus 4 – SlimPort

Sony Xperia Z v Google Nexus 4 Comparison Review [VIDEO]

We put 2 of the latest smartphones together in a head to head comparison, the Sony Xperia Z and the Google Nexus 4.

Buy Sony Xperia Z

Nexus 4 User Guide/Manual

The official Nexus 4 user guide

Click the icon below to view the LG Nexus 4 user manual.

Xperia T 4.0.4 update rolling out, adds Miracast compatibility

imageSony has just announced that the Android Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0.4 update is now rolling out for the Xperia T and Xperia TX in European and Asian markets. 

The most noticeable part of the update is Miracast compatibility. This was recently announced as part of the specification of the new Nexus range and enables the sharing of your device’s screen with other Miracast devices, such as Miracast enabled TVs. However, as SlashGear has recently pointed out, there are at the moment only a handful on Miracast compliant devices at the moment.

Another impressive part of the Xperia T update is improvement of battery standby time by up to four times. When the device has been asleep for a few minutes, Wi-Fi and data traffic will be automatically turned off and most apps will become inactive. This will not however affect the handsets ability to receive calls and text messages when in standby mode.

There’s also an update to Sony’s media apps included with the 4.0.4 update.

Via Android Community

Unofficial advert for the new Nexus range

This video has been made by some Android fans to promote the new Nexus range of devices. It’s not official, but it is done so well that it looks pretty close to being the real deal.

Via Reddit

Multi-user support could make microSD inclusion problematic for Android OEMs going forward

The lack of a microSD card slot on Nexus devices has been a topic of hot debate for a while now. After the release of the Nexus 7, Android engineer Dan Morrill explained why Nexus devices have no microSD slot and this was yesterday reiterated by Google’s Matias Duarte on Google+ in somewhat plainer terms: inclusion of a microSD slot is ‘confusing’ for users.

The lack of a microSD slot would perhaps not be so badly received if there were greater internal storage options for Nexus devices; the Nexus 4 is currently only offered in 8 or 16GB variants. This combined lack of storage options has lead some to question whether the decisions are in-fact taken to push users into Google’s cloud storage services.

However, with new multi-user support for Android 4.2 (tablets), there could be further technical reasoning for omitting microSD card slots, as explained by Artem over at Android Police. Having a microSD slot alongside multi-user options would be problematic from both a security and user experience point of view.

As it stands multi-user support in Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is only available for Android tablets, with some speculating that a Nokia patent could be keeping the functionality from being used on smartphones. However, should multi-user support be added for Android smartphones as well, OEMs may need to reconsider microSD inclusion.

There are some manufacturers, such as HTC with the One X and One X+, that already omit a microSD card slot. However, Samsung has continued to include it in its 2012 Galaxy range and this has been a popular decision with its customers. The inclusion of microSD slot and multi-user support may not be impossible but, as Artem points out, could lead to ‘ugly hacks’ from manufacturers. It could also have implications for other external storage that can currently be attached via USB on the go. 

That being said, some manufacturers may regard microSD (and other external storage options) support as being preferable to multi-user support on a handset and decide to include the former rather than the latter if push comes to shove. Multi-user support is more suited to a tablet, which is more likely to be shared by several people than a smartphone.

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