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Old 03-26-2018, 11:13 AM   #1
rkk
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Question [Android] DisplayLink adopter worth for screen mirroring? CPU overhead? Latency?

Hi,

I have two Android devices (One with 1080p and another 2K ). Right now I'm using a Chromecast to mirror the screen of the devices, but the latency and image quality is pretty bad to use it for anything else than watching a movie from time to time. Also I travel a lot and having a good enough WiFi connection for Chromecast is not always possible, rendering the Chromecast useless for most of the time.

I've heard that DisplayLink works with some Android devices. I've been using DisplayLink devices in the past (3 or 4 years ago), but I was using it with PCs. I've just noticed that the CPU loved to spike when many things were going on on screen, which suggests to me that the image that is sent to the DisplayLink device is being rendered or processed on the CPU.

So going back to the original question. How does it look on Android? What devices are supported (Or what hardware is necessary) and what DisplayLink chip do I need to get at least a 1080p image to HDMI? How big is the CPU overhead, and how big is the latency when used with an Android device?

Greetings and thanks.

JUST AS EXTRA INFO IN CASE IT MATTERS:
The devices in question are:
- Motorola Moto G5 Plus (7.0)
- Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Plus (7.1.1)
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Old 04-06-2018, 01:42 PM   #2
AlbanRampon
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Hello RKK,

As far as I am aware, Android natively only does one device in clone at a max resolution of 1080p.
There's a presenter mode on some applications like PowerPoint to display something different without user interaction possible on that external display as there's no way with stock Android to handle mouse across displays or select which screen the app should be launched on.
We've done it to show it's possible, creating a specific ROM for that. The OS can be modified to do extended desktop with mouse support.

The Android device needs to support being a USB host (USB On The Go).
DisplayLink DL-1x5, DL-3000, DL-5000 and DL-6900 series all work.

No pixel comes from of any kind of computation.
Computation load and latency depends on content type, bandwidth available both on the computation and communication link.
It doesn't have the latency of casting as it would make it pretty useless for our core use case which is productivity. That's a different use case than screen casting.

I, every now and again, use my personal OnePlus 3T on my dock (with external mouse and keyboard) or on my miniRay pico projector to share presentations/photos
Today, you wouldn't be able to do protected video playback.

Kind regards,
Alban
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Old 04-06-2018, 03:31 PM   #3
rkk
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Originally Posted by AlbanRampon View Post
Hello RKK,

As far as I am aware, Android natively only does one device in clone at a max resolution of 1080p.
There's a presenter mode on some applications like PowerPoint to display something different without user interaction possible on that external display as there's no way with stock Android to handle mouse across displays or select which screen the app should be launched on.
We've done it to show it's possible, creating a specific ROM for that. The OS can be modified to do extended desktop with mouse support.

The Android device needs to support being a USB host (USB On The Go).
DisplayLink DL-1x5, DL-3000, DL-5000 and DL-6900 series all work.

No pixel comes from of any kind of computation.
Computation load and latency depends on content type, bandwidth available both on the computation and communication link.
It doesn't have the latency of casting as it would make it pretty useless for our core use case which is productivity. That's a different use case than screen casting.

I, every now and again, use my personal OnePlus 3T on my dock (with external mouse and keyboard) or on my miniRay pico projector to share presentations/photos
Today, you wouldn't be able to do protected video playback.

Kind regards,
Alban
Oh, that's great news!! Thank you for the information.

BTW. If I'm not wrong, the OnePlus 3T has USB 2.0 (As my devices). Does it supports 1080p@60 FPS or what resolution does works? I've seen in Amazon that the 3500 Chipset supports only 800x600 on USB 2.0. But on another device with a 5500 it was stated that it could go up to 1080p@60 on USB 2.0, while in the comments people were saying that they can go even higher on USB 2.0 and it still works. Any idea how this works? Is it possible to look up the right information somewhere for USB 2.0 and the supported resolution in USB 2.0 mode for each chipset?

Is there any chance the 3500 would be able to support 1080p@60 on Android?
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Old 04-06-2018, 04:36 PM   #4
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Yes, it is USB 2.0. I initially wanted to use the USB plug to backup my phone on a drive, until I realise it was much faster to go through AC WiFi.
But USB 2.0 is not a bottleneck to getting FullHD at 60Hz because our algorithm is adaptative.
Obviously, if you're already maxing out the phone capacity without adding a display (RAM, CPU and GPU), then our algorithm will use what's left...
Unlike most computers, you have a limited power envelope available: no fan means if the phone gets warm, the computing power will be throttled not to burn your pocket.

If you tell me how you wish to use this, I can look deeper. I have 1080p60 displays on my desk (and we have gazillions of monitors in our office).

I would not advise the DL-1x5 for your application because it will never be able to do content protection as there's no hardware block for it, and cannot be field upgraded. It doesn't do audio either.
It works very well otherwise it wouldn't have been selling for years and keep doing so, it is just not "future-proof".

You can look at the table of the DisplayLink DL-3000 series with capability.
The DisplayLink DL-5000 series is an extension of the DL-3000 which can achieve 4K.

The key though is that DisplayLink sells chips! The manufacturer defines what the product does. For instance, you will find products using our DL-1x5 with audio, because an audio chip was added.
That's something we can look at if you have a few products in mind: I am likely to have the specifics of the implementation.

What would you show on the screen? That would give me an idea of what is realistic and test it myself.

Kind regards,
Alban
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:58 PM   #5
rkk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbanRampon View Post
Yes, it is USB 2.0. I initially wanted to use the USB plug to backup my phone on a drive, until I realise it was much faster to go through AC WiFi.
But USB 2.0 is not a bottleneck to getting FullHD at 60Hz because our algorithm is adaptative.
Obviously, if you're already maxing out the phone capacity without adding a display (RAM, CPU and GPU), then our algorithm will use what's left...
Unlike most computers, you have a limited power envelope available: no fan means if the phone gets warm, the computing power will be throttled not to burn your pocket.

If you tell me how you wish to use this, I can look deeper. I have 1080p60 displays on my desk (and we have gazillions of monitors in our office).

I would not advise the DL-1x5 for your application because it will never be able to do content protection as there's no hardware block for it, and cannot be field upgraded. It doesn't do audio either.
It works very well otherwise it wouldn't have been selling for years and keep doing so, it is just not "future-proof".

You can look at the table of the DisplayLink DL-3000 series with capability.
The DisplayLink DL-5000 series is an extension of the DL-3000 which can achieve 4K.

The key though is that DisplayLink sells chips! The manufacturer defines what the product does. For instance, you will find products using our DL-1x5 with audio, because an audio chip was added.
That's something we can look at if you have a few products in mind: I am likely to have the specifics of the implementation.

What would you show on the screen? That would give me an idea of what is realistic and test it myself.

Kind regards,
Alban
Thank you Alban for the useful information.
I was looking at this device from Amazon (https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/B076SX...7oL&ref=plSrch). It has a DL-3500 chipset which supports 1080p@60 which is perfect for what I need by now.

I'm searching for a small device that I can take with me when I'm traveling, to connect my phone to the TV via HDMI. The main thing I would use it for would be to watch mainly self-encoded (unprotected) videos that are all being hardware decoded by my mobile device (so the CPU usage is really minimal and should not be a problem). Although I would really like to make use of some mobile IDEs and editors like Word, which was never feasible to do on a Chromecast due to the latency, setup hassle and blurriness. Also I'd like to run sporadically some game or emulator (this probably will use more CPU, although the highest impact will be on CPU) though the last one is not really a big requirement.

All my equipment is Bluetooth enabled anyway (keyboard, mouse and even joystick).

Do you think that the DL-3500 would be enough to get the 1080@60 for the 3 use cases I mentioned on an android device?
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:51 PM   #6
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Hello,

When you watch a film, you are effectively asking your phone to do transcoding from whatever the film is encoded in to the DisplayLink DL3 format.
If the codec used to encode the film is not available as a hardware decoder on the phone, this means the CPU has to do both decode and encode, that can be a bit taxing for a phone, especially at it takes place full screen.

The text editor use case is much easier, as there's nothing to decode first, and not much to encode then, even if you type fast!

I will try this and get back to you.
I'll use some random DivX, a similar adapter and plug this to a Full HD TV similar to what you're likely to find in hotels.

Kind regards,
Alban
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AlbanRampon View Post
Hello,

When you watch a film, you are effectively asking your phone to do transcoding from whatever the film is encoded in to the DisplayLink DL3 format.
If the codec used to encode the film is not available as a hardware decoder on the phone, this means the CPU has to do both decode and encode, that can be a bit taxing for a phone, especially at it takes place full screen.

The text editor use case is much easier, as there's nothing to decode first, and not much to encode then, even if you type fast!

I will try this and get back to you.
I'll use some random DivX, a similar adapter and plug this to a Full HD TV similar to what you're likely to find in hotels.

Kind regards,
Alban
Thank you for taking the time to try it out. I'm looking forward for the results.
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Old 04-09-2018, 05:00 PM   #8
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Hello RKK,

I've used a Plugable USB3-3900DHE on my Oneplus 3T on Oreo with a Dell P2414H display.
The Dell monitor is synchronised at 1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz.
For media, I used a rather old .avi file encoded almost a decade ago.

When using VLC for video, the application seems to recognise our solution as, instead of displaying on both screens, VLC shows an icon on the native display and the video on the external display.
No video pause, no video tearing. To me, it plays smoothly like on the mobile phone.

I also tried the picture-in-picture (PIP) feature you have on Oreo, and it works too (it is a real duplicate here, and full screen duplicate when exiting PIP)
In that case, performance is spotless too, but that's an easier job as the video is smaller.

I'll try at home on my TV later, to make sure the sound matches the image!

Kind regards,
Alban
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:36 PM   #9
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RKK,

I have now checked with a television.
The audio is in-synch with the video.
I've also found a recent 1080p AVI which plays just as well as my old one.
The quality is good, very good even, especially if I compare to the usual quality I get in hotel rooms... I mean it's Full HD on a Full HD screen, instead of blurry sub-576i on a 1080p display.
If I wasn't using my phone for messaging and all from the bed when putting the TV on as background noise, I would use it myself from now on.

Kind regards,
Alban
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Old 04-09-2018, 06:52 PM   #10
rkk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlbanRampon View Post
RKK,

I have now checked with a television.
The audio is in-synch with the video.
I've also found a recent 1080p AVI which plays just as well as my old one.
The quality is good, very good even, especially if I compare to the usual quality I get in hotel rooms... I mean it's Full HD on a Full HD screen, instead of blurry sub-576i on a 1080p display.
If I wasn't using my phone for messaging and all from the bed when putting the TV on as background noise, I would use it myself from now on.

Kind regards,
Alban
Amazing!! Cannot thank you enough Alban for testing this out!

I'm pretty sure this thread will be also helpful for other people searching for a Chromecast replacement.

I'll buy myself the device with a DL-3900 chipset and report back once I get my hands on it and test it out.

Greetings and thank you again!

Last edited by rkk; 04-09-2018 at 07:13 PM.
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