Revisiting The SlimPort Output Of Android Devices

HDMI-SplitterA few days back I received a G+ IM from someone who had discovered my description of how to use an HDMI splitter to make the output of an Android tablet more useful. He posed a question that I think is worth sharing. He asked the following;

Dear Michael,

I just read your article about capturing video from a Nexus 7 and I have a question about that if you do not mind.

I bought a Nexus 7 (2013) to be able to give presentations and show short movies in my classroom. The thing is that most projectors still have only a VGA socket. I have a cable Slimport=>HDMI and it works perfectly well.

I also have a cable HDMI=>VGA but it does not work and I suspect it is because of the HDCP. I was wondering if the splitter and HDCP stripper you used could work in my case. If yes that would be great and would literally save my classes.

Thank your for your time and sorry again to bother you with that.

Thibaut Bailly

To begin, as a blogger, I welcome questions from readers. For the most part people blog because the want to share what they’ve discovered. As a non-professional blogger I may not always respond immediately, but I try to respond to every comment and question.

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Capturing The Video Output Of A Nexus 7 Tablet

DoorBot-in-Nexus5There are times when it would be handy to capture the video output of an Android device. This is typically what I need when writing something about an app that does something dynamic. For example, AudioTool by J.J. Bunn. As a tool for simple audio test & measurement capturing its output in real-time is the ideal way to communicate the measurement being taken. A static screen shot is fast & easy to accomplish, but video can be much more illuminating.

Both my Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 (2013) support the use of a Slimport USB-to-HDMI adapter to connect to a monitor. The output of that adapter is 1080p60. The BlackMagic Design Intensity Pro HDMI capture card that I’ve used for the past couple of years can capture streams up to 1080i60, but not 1080p60.

Quite recently I swapped out the Intensity Pro for an AVerMedia Game Broadcaster HD. This card has the ability to capture a 1080p60 stream. In so doing it drops every second frame to actually save a 1080p30 stream to disk.

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BlackMagic, Nexus Devices, MHL, SlimPort & Elgato Game Capture HD

elgato-game-capture-hd.jpgUpon reading my prior post about my effort to capture the output of one of my Android devices fellow VUC alumni Andreas Dorfer suggested that I try the Elgato Game Capture HD. At first I was reluctant to make yet another purchase in pursuit of this goal, but I eventually caved in ordering one from Amazon for $179.

It arrived today. It took only a few minutes to come to the conclusion that it was not a solution to my problem. While I opened a trouble ticket with the company to pursue the matter, I discovered a FAQ entry claiming that the Nexus 4 always sets the HDCP copy protection flag in the video stream. Thus no downstream device will be able to record the output of the Nexus 4.

What’s unclear to me is whether control of that HDCP flag is done by the Nexus 4 or the SlimPort® SP1002 adapter.

Whatever the case, the Elgato device is being returned. This little pursuit has tried my patience enough for one week.

BlackMagic, Nexus Devices, MHL and SlimPort

As I tinker with various things around here I’m finding that I need some tools to be able to capture experimental results in a manner that provides assets for this blog. Recently I’ve added a couple of new tools which I though you might find interesting.

This process of “tooling-up” started last year when I purchased a BlackMagic Design Intensity Pro capture card. That card has been mentioned a few times previously. It allows me to capture video from an HDMI connected source.

The Intensity Pro card has been very handy for a variety of things. Since computers these days are capable of screen resolutions that are also common to HDTVs I have used it to record the output of PC desktops. That has included screencast tutorials as well as the output of specific programs, like Adobe Audition.

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