I received a cable today. Specifically a composite video and audio cable for my HTC Touch PRO. I got it from ebay and it only cost £6.
It initially sounds like an unremarkable item, ‘Can’t your laptop connect to your TV?’, I hear you cry.
Well, simply no it can’t. Our TV is an old CRT and so only has scart and composite connections. Even though it has an S-Video port, my laptop doesn’t have the right drivers and so won’t output to the display properly. The picture ends up fuzzy and drained of colour. The main think about the Touch PRO, is that it’s basically faultless. Even our old TV, the picture isn’t flickery and all the colours are accurately reproduced.
When you first plug the cable in, a menu pops up, asking you what video method you’d like the phone to use. You can choose between PAL and NTSC. Once this is set-up, you are presented with another menu, with three options. Presentation, Picture & Video and Internet. These buttons are shortcuts to features you’re most likely to use. However, if you want to use any other feature, you can press the home button and you’ll see the home screen on your TV. Anything that’s on your phone will appear on the big screen.
So, why’s it so useful? I mainly got this cable because it was so cheap, I didn’t really have any plans. So far, I’ve mainly used it for watching iPlayer programs that I’ve missed. I used myPlayer to download the programs and then CorePlayer to watch the video. If you think about what a MediaCenter PC would cost, this is really quite good value.
Though it’s not something I’ve properly used and tested, the option to show presentations from you phone looks like a good idea. If you’ve forgotten your laptop or if indeed you’re laptop’s too big to take out with you, it could be a lifesaver. Though I don’t think I’d like to rely on my phone that much all the time.
Just one quick note I thought I’d add. Using a random iPlayer program (QI) I did a couple of benchmark speed tests from within CorePlayer(v1.3). Here are the results
88% QTv – Blue flickering on TV output
70% RAW FrameBuffer
The Touch PRO uses a qualcomm processor, their default video output system is QTv, so this would be the best setting to use. However, on the TV output a blue flickering appears. The video is still watchable but highly unpleasant. But when viewing video just on the device, there is no blue flicker. Otherwise, the choice is clear, if you have to output video to a big screen, swap the display driver to RAW. I got up to 73% when I turned dither off and switching the Audio from stereo to MONO gives you another percent. This, I might add is after a fresh reboot, after the phone being on all day running and closing applications, playback rate will be significantly lower. In short, it’s not perfect, but 75% speed is good enough for me.