Good and EVOHacks

Great strides being made in HDMI mirroring hack for HTC EVO


If you don't know it yet, then commit the name orrebmas to memory right now. That way, when you see it in skywriting, you'll know immediately that the HTC EVO 4G just got even better.

For about the past month, orrebmas has been working very hard to get full HDMI mirroring working on the EVO so that your big screen can display everything being shown on your little screen. As is/was the case with SD card transfer rates, 3G speed, and previous graphics performance, HTC has crippled the phone's HDMI function, limiting it to outputting personal recordings, photos, and only a few apps.

Fortunately for everyone who wants to be able to do much more when connecting the EVO to their HDTVs (e.g., play games, watch movies, surf the web), orrebmas has been making an astounding amount of progress in the past few weeks.

He's had to reverse engineer the HDMI chip's drivers to output pixels without the help of a register or programmer's manual . . . and he's pretty much done it.

A few weeks into the project, he was able to mirror a screen from his EVO (running the Sense-based Fresh ROM) to his TV at 720p HD resolution. Soon after that, he got audio working, increased the refresh rate by 10x, and figured out how to get the drivers to fully initialize the HDMI chip.


His goal is for the HDMI output to average around 35 fps average, which he says is "ambitious in itself since there has to be scaling and rotating to get the right display on the TV." The next milestone, he says, is to package everything he has into an .apk that people can test on their EVOs and then begin improving functionality.

Some people have expressed concern over how open orrebmas has been about his progress, citing competitive attention and premature excitement as reasons for him to keep more details to himself. In response, he said:

This project's goal is to enable everybody to use HDMI out like it's supposed to be used, so being secretive only hurts this project as it limits the input from community on how to improve and ideas to implement.

However, the main project thread at the xda-developers forum was closed over the weekend and one of orrebmas's YouTube videos is now marked private. His other one (below) is still live at the time of this writing, but there's no telling when that might change.

He seems to be very dedicated to this project and is devoting as much time to it as he can, so while I know we're all very excited for the first release, it's better to wait patiently (and quietly) for his next progress report. Bumping old threads or creating new ones for the sole purpose of asking for updates will only take away time that orrebmas and other devs (Shinzul, of 4G on CyanogenMod fame, has his eye on this) could be spending on the hack.

When there's something to be shared, it will be shared. Sit tight and get your donations ready in the meantime!

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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