Yet another pandora-sucessor concept


_wb_

Microbe
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I think we should use MyDP (aka SlimPort) like the Nexus 4 and the new Nexus 7:

http://www.vesa.org/news/vesa-enables-mobile-devices-to-share-full-hd-video-and-3d-content-on-any-display-with-release-of-mydp-standard/

http://blog.clove.co.uk/2012/11/02/what-is-slimport/

http://www.tested.com/tech/android/457205-mhl-vs-slimport/

It is a DisplayPort that physically takes the shape of a microUSB port, which allows you to connect to HDMI or DP devices with only a passive cable (or VGA and DVI with active adapters), while still having some bandwidth left to connect some input devices too. So you could connect it to your monitor, connect a mouse and keyboard, and charge your device, all at the same time and by using only one port.

"SlimPort is a new video output standard which works over microUSB, and is effectively an MHL alternative based on the DisplayPort standard administered by VESA. SlimPort is offered both license and royalty free, and supports up to 1080p60 or 1080p30 with 3D content over HDMI 1.4 (up to 5.4 Gbps of bandwidth), in addition to support for DVI, VGA (up to 1366x768 and 720p at 60 Hz), and DisplayPort.

What's different about SlimPort from a user-facing perspective is that external microUSB power is not required for the adapter to work and is instead only required for optional charging. At the same time, the adapters draw no power from the source to operate."

Advantages:

  • if you don't need video out, you don't have any redundant port: the microUSB port can also be used for just USB or charging
  • no licensing fees like HDMI
  • unlike MHL, it does not require external power or a MHL-compatible display device
  • no dedicated video out port means more room for other features (or a more compact form factor)
  • technically superior (DP-based, so more bandwidth etc) to HDMI
Potential disadvantages:

  • maybe physically not strong enough compared to HDMI or DP?
  • less market penetration at the moment
  • the only SlimPort adapters currently available are for VGA and HDMI connectors, and they're not very cheap at the moment as far as I can tell
 

fusion_power

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To save costs it is logical to just use the Pandora 1 TV adapter cable also for the P2, I guess nobody again want to wait years for an new TV adapter cable. So P2 has the same ext port like P1. Additional outputs need to be separate then I guess.
 

_wb_

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To save costs it is logical to just use the Pandora 1 TV adapter cable also for the P2, I guess nobody again want to wait years for an new TV adapter cable. So P2 has the same ext port like P1. Additional outputs need to be separate then I guess.
That would be a very bad idea in my opinion, for several reasons:

- Analog output may be acceptable for a 800x480 device, but on a P2 we need something digital and higher resolution.

- It's better to use an existing and reasonably popular standard. ED can of course sell the cables in his shop (like he sells SD cards), but it's nicer if you're free to buy them anywhere else too.

- To save costs it is best to not have to produce custom-made adapters or cables at all.
 

comradekingu

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I was able to source MHL adapters for 5.30 dollars including shipping, dont think thats the 3.0, but still.

I think the power is optional/or that its only required for high bandwidths.

http://www.mhlconsortium.org/about/FAQs.aspx

  • 7. What are the membership levels and are there associated fees and royalties?

    There is only one level of membership. The adopter agreement is available for download to anyone interested in learning more. Specific information on associated fees can be found in Exhibit B of the agreement.


SlimPort costs somewhere around the region of 30 dollar for the one that i could find, but i guess that is because its very new. Same people want 30 dollar for a MHL 2.0...

Was not able to find any cables for internal DisplayLink. Seems they are all about docking station and active graphics converters, basically moving the circutery out of the device and into a device of its own or the screen itself. Which would be a novel idea if it had more support, because then you could use a standard usb cable.
 
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WizardStan

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- Analog output may be acceptable for a 800x480 device, but on a P2 we need something digital and higher resolution.
There are more than enough pins on the EXT port to support pretty much everything, in some cases simultaneously.The OMAP3530 has two digital outputs, one is fed to the LCD, the other is multiplexed into GPIO and used for the keyboard (I think it was the keyboard anyway, Michael definitely used it for something). Imagine if those pins were fed to the EXT port instead: software switches turn it from UART/GPIO/hacker pins into DVI and audio lineout plus a few extra GPIO. Another switch and it becomes SVideo with line in, or whatever.

This assumes that whatever SoC is selected actually has a DVI-D output, of course. More work would be required if it only has generic digital outputs like the P1 does.

Which makes me think of another point: instead of debating about what it should have now, why not support whatever the SoC handles natively? If the SoC outputs DVI-D/HDMI then we should do that. If it has a DisplayPort++ capability then we don't have to worry about active vs passive adapters, it's all built into the SoC.
 

_wb_

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Here's a SlimPort HDMI cable for $15:

http://www.amazon.com/MH-041-BK-Slimport-adapter-Google-Tablet/dp/B00ECU3M22/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1377613941&sr=1-3&keywords=slimport

Still not that cheap, but I think that's just because it's so new, and currently only available in a few cutting edge phones and tablets. In a year, they will probably be much cheaper. Also part of this price is of course the HDMI licensing cost - a SlimPort DP cable would be cheaper.

As for MHL: it does need the external power in order to work, unless you use the incompatible eleven-pin Samsung version of MHL. See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_High-Definition_Link#Connectors

I don't know how much the licensing cost for MHL is, but it's probably at least as high as that for HDMI - I've read $15 somewhere.

So I think SlimPort would be a better choice than MHL. It does not need external power, it does not need a MHL-compatible TV, it has no licensing costs, has better technical specs, and uses less power.
 

TrashyMG

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Another thing no one is mentioning is the support circuitry needed for any of these, what are the costs, how much PCB space does it take, power consumption and what is the availability of the chips needed. There is a lot more to it than the connector and licenses.
 
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_wb_

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- Analog output may be acceptable for a 800x480 device, but on a P2 we need something digital and higher resolution.
There are more than enough pins on the EXT port to support pretty much everything, in some cases simultaneously.
The OMAP3530 has two digital outputs, one is fed to the LCD, the other is multiplexed into GPIO and used for the keyboard (I think it was the keyboard anyway, Michael definitely used it for something). Imagine if those pins were fed to the EXT port instead: software switches turn it from UART/GPIO/hacker pins into DVI and audio lineout plus a few extra GPIO. Another switch and it becomes SVideo with line in, or whatever.


This assumes that whatever SoC is selected actually has a DVI-D output, of course. More work would be required if it only has generic digital outputs like the P1 does.
Sure, but if you want to use the same cables and have a backwards-compatible EXT port (which is what Fusion_Power wanted), then we would be stuck with composite and S-Video, which would suck.

Which makes me think of another point: instead of debating about what it should have now, why not support whatever the SoC handles natively? If the SoC outputs DVI-D/HDMI then we should do that. If it has a DisplayPort++ capability then we don't have to worry about active vs passive adapters, it's all built into the SoC.
Right - can someone make a list of candidate SoCs and what they support?

Still, maybe some SoCs support both, and then we still have to make a choice.
 

comradekingu

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The EXT port probably wasnt meant for this kind of bandwidth. MHL is connector agnostic though, but going down that route is costly, and you end up having to fabricate your own cables, which is expensive.

From my understanding the Slimport/MHL hooks directly into the video out so everything is compatible. http://www.anandtech.com/show/6499/hands-on-with-the-analogix-slimport-microusb-to-hdmi-and-vga-adapters

Nexus 4 uses ANX7808 SlimPort Transmitter

Here seen on the nexus 7 (2013 - second gen)  Its nr 1.

 
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fusion_power

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OK, if we can get out everything through USB, such an standard adapter that can be just bought on Amazon may be the better solution. As long as the mess with the TV cable does not repeat, I would accept everything. ^^
 

WizardStan

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Sure, but if you want to use the same cables and have a backwards-compatible EXT port (which is what Fusion_Power wanted), then we would be stuck with composite and S-Video, which would suck.
Backwards compatible can still be forwards incompatible. It is possible to design a P2 EXT port in such a way that all the same features are present and then with a software switch the SVideo and a few GPIO pins becomes HD. You would be able to use your old P1 cable and peripherals (of which none actually exist, this discussion is entirely academic) with standard def TV, but of course you'd need a new adapter with the HD ends which wouldn't be compatible with the P1.
The EXT port probably wasnt meant for this kind of bandwidth
The physical port itself shouldn't have any problem. The IO pins the port is connected to on the OMAP wouldn't be able to support high bandwidth video, but that doesn't matter since we'd be getting a new SoC anyway.
Note that I'm not actually advocating using the EXT port, I'm just saying it isn't as bad an idea as you guys are trying to suggest it is. It's a bad idea because there are better ideas, not because it by itself is a necessarily bad idea. :p
 

Mr_Loon

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@ Binky :

These few questions might well have got lost amongst the TV out debate :

What sort of hinge design are you looking at for your concept?

Could you do a little sketch to show how you would fit in the speakers + wires as well as the hinge?

What size speakers do you anticipate being able to use?

What use would the second enter button serve (can't think of any old PC games that needed 2 enter buttons)?

What sort of battery size (dimensions & capacity) would you propose to use? 

Do you have any thoughts as to hardware specs, SOC, screen resolution , nand size etc?

Additional Question :

When you say 'slightly larger than P1' what do you mean by slightly? And which measurements would be larger?
 

Binky

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Hinge: Colour-gradiated sections are cylindrical and sticking up out of the base - generally quite similar to the P1

Wires: see diagram

Speakers: same size as current pandora, possibly slightly longer left-to-right

Second enter button: Is ueful when games need dpad+enter to navigate menu - the keyboard enter button can be inconvenient to reach. Dropped from concept by popular disdain.

Battery: Same as current pandora

Specs: Who cares? This is an external case concept, not a complete proposal. It might be of note that the middle (top-to-bottom) of the unit is quite wide, so allowing for a PCB with a greater area.

Size: 15cm by 9cm, with tapered edges (see first post) to retain pocketability.This requirement for the top and bottom to be smaller than the middle is why the screen and battery cannot be any bigger that they are.
 
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Mr_Loon

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I can't see how it is physically possible to fit a 5" 16:9 screen to a device the same size (front to back) as the current Pandora but maintain a similar bezel size / proportion.

The specs would have a major impact on battery size / life and therefore unit size / usefulness.

Instead of the dedicated buttons for USB, WIFI & Bluetooth I think it would be good to have 'Macro' buttons that could be used to run user selected scripts such as toggle wifi, toggle shoulder buttons between mouse buttons & keyboard modifiers, go into / come out of low power mode etc.

The keyboard layout is looking a lot better now. :)
 
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