AllShare Cast Wireless Hub and PLEX With Galaxy S4 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 10:21 AM - Thread Starter
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My Galaxy Epic 4G is having issues with the phone speaker where i need to use speaker phone to place or receive a phone call. While I really like this phone with the slide out keyboard it is getting long in the tooth and is on android 2.3.6. I am looking into the Galaxy S4 to replace it. This seems to be a pretty good phone running Jelly Bean 4.2 with a rather large screen and thin profile design. I am on and like Sprint due to their unlimited data which I utilize.

Now here's the tie-in to HTPC. I use PLEX on my phone to stream video quite often (Maybe every other day). I'd like to look into using PLEX to stream to an HDTV via HDMI but this phone doesn't have a built in HDMI port. Samsung sells their AllShare Cast Wireless Hub for this purpose but it is $100. Is there another (read: Monoprice) option to do this? Any other suggestions for phones with HDMI ports?

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post #2 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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I guess I could use something like this but am surprised that monoprice doesn't carry one (or I couldn't find it?). Also, how to mirror the screen to the HDMI connected device while using PLEX?

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post #3 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 12:02 PM
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http://www.monoprice.com/products/search.asp?keyword=mhl+adapter

Newer Samsung devices, (S3 or newer, Note 2 or newer) use an 11-pin microUSB connection instead of 5-pin, so the MHL cable needs to be 11-pin or use a 5-pin to 11-pin adapter.

I have an S3, but most MHL cables/adapters for it I've seen have mixed reviews so I've yet to try one.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 12:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Cool. I put in USB to HDMI and didn't get the right results. So how to get the screen mirrored and deliver the audio too for PLEX playback? Has anybody here done this or am I the guinea pig?

The reason I'm asking is that this would work well someplace with a strong signal and a TV to connect to (like a Hotel Room).

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post #5 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 02:26 PM
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The official samsung adapter can be found at newegg and you may find it cheaper elsewhere... you may also want to keep in mind that the s4 is also the first to support mhl 2.0 They also offer a smart dock with hdmi, and 3 usb ports that I have seen for as low as $49 prior to the s4 being released but since its been hard to find under $80... Those usb ports allow for external storage, keyboard and mouse. It appears that most designed for the note 2 also work for the s4 which may allow finding cheaper prices in your search as s4 products seem to be priced at a premium right now.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks! How to steam PLEX or does this just "work" with MHL without any intervention at all?

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post #7 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 04:44 PM
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Once you connect with a connector the phones display is mirrored onto the screen. So what you see on phone you'll simply see on the bigger screen. You either use the phones touch screen, blue tooth keyboard, or connect a usb keyboard if you use the smart dock mentioned above.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-17-2013, 09:31 PM
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Here's a video showing some of the things you can do with the smart dock mentioned above http://youtu.be/4hy3wETf5o0
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post #9 of 10 Old 05-23-2013, 12:11 AM
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@sammy2 FYI... I recently got my hands on an acquaintance's mhl adapter and usb otg cable to play with using my galaxy s3. The smart dock mentioned before enables using both types of connections at the same time, but still too pricey for me.

MHL... so this actually works fairly well, connect hdmi cable to adapter and tv, plug charger cable into adapter and outlet, then connect to phone... what's on your phone mirrors exactly on tv.
I tried playing video from several sources... Avengers HD download (came free with phone) playing in mx player, looked great. Also played some files over the network (no transcoding) and looked great as expected. I don't have plex, but I tried Remote Potato server with the Remote Media Center app and again worked as expected.
Netflix, streamed fine, but the output is somewhat low quality and displayed as 4:3 on the tv, widescreen on the phone. Seems Netflix has this restriction for external player with the mobile app?
Youtube worked great, switching to 1080p and quality on tv was htpc equivalent.
Tried Xfinity (comcast) TV player app, which plays online on demand content... however, the app has a no external display feature, so it won't work while connected to mhl.

Other notes about using MHL... it does require the charger cable being hooked up to the mhl adapter to work, this does show your phone as charging. However, the drain on the batter is higher than the charge coming in, so the battery will slowly drain while using the external display. Also, the phone displaying on both the phone screen and the external display can over time cause the phone to heat up.
I did some reasearch, both of these issues can be significantly reduced using an app called Display Standby... it does require ROOT, so I haven't tested it. It disables the phone's screen without putting the device to sleep and allowing video/audio to continue to play as well as the touchscreen features to continue to work. Claims to reduce battery drain by quite a bit and cut down on heat build up some, though the gpu will still likely be generating heat.


USB OTG (on the go)... nice option to have, worked right away with my wireless usb mouse and keyboard. Tried an xbox 360 controller for fun, worked too, but any games apps would most likely need mapping/configuring functionality to work properly. Also worked fine with connecting usb thumb drives or hdd drives... with a usb hub you can connect the mouse, keyboard and drives all at once.

Unfortunately you can't use both mhl and usb otg cables at the same time, you have to have the smart dock for that. If the dock was cheaper, I would definitely buy one.
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post #10 of 10 Old 05-23-2013, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. It will be a while until I upgrade my Epic 4g as I just got it serviced at CPR Cell Phone Repair and it is running like a champ again and there is no reason to upgrade at this time. Maybe later when I can squeeze a better discount out of Sprint..

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