I can finally use HDMI on my phone, and it’s not thanks to Samsung


Back when I got my Galaxy S II I was simply psyched to have a phone that had HDMI capability, and even a use for it with the video playback capability it has. I ordered the official MHL adapter, and was confused when I connected it to my DVI-only screen via an adpater – the same way I connect my laptop, desktop computer, PS3, camera, iPad 2 – and got 480p output. A bit of research later, and it appears that this is a bug/shortcoming of most of Samsung's mobile electronics, both tablets and phones. Seems that the devices cannot use a "dumb" one-way DVI adapter (the most common type, as HDMI and DVI is essentially the same thing) because it then has no clue what resolutions are supported on the receiving end, and unlike what seems to be every other device out there, it doesn't have to ability to simply guess and output something. 

Well, I wasn't really expecting Samsung to fix a software issue that has been included in every old and new device for years, so I just learned to live with it. I got some use out of the HDMI adapter while visiting a friend who has a HDMI-capable TV, and ended up giving him the adapter to use with his S II. Then, over Easter, my old monitor broke, and I ended up ordering a new one with HDMI despite being able to repair the old one to some degree (it's a time bomb now). I had to order a new MHL adapter, and I finally got it. At last, I can use my phone (and my Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus) with my own monitor. 

So Samsung, well, not being able to use a DVI adapter is just a massive fail. Apple offers both HDMI (that works with DVI) and VGA adapters for its devices, making them great for business use, while Samsung's HDMI enabled devices can't even use DVI properly. Despite me now having two Samsung devices in my arsenal, I have no real brand loyalty to the company, and this is one of the reasons why (though not the only one). All I kept thinking when I read Calob's post about Nokia's awesome customer service a couple of weeks ago was "my phone can't even use a DVI adapter, and Samsung doesn't care". Sometimes it's the smallest things that can make you realize that a company doesn't care. 

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.

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