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[Guide] Cracked Screen? Give that beast new life on your TV with XBMC.

OP mailme45

16th October 2014, 07:45 PM   |  #1  
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Hello all! My first attempt at any type of guide or help, so give me pointers if you notice a better way to go about this than what's here.

This was done by me on my Ultra that broke, but I would imagine the same works for any other device that has a Snapdragon 800, and probably earlier chipsets as well. SPMC and XBMC have documentation about the supported hardware.

Doesn't it suck when you crack the screen on your baby and she no longer responds to touch input? We've probably all been there with one device or another. But don't let that busted phone gather dust, turn it into a full fledged media center! These quad core beasts can do so much more than the phones of a few years ago. I take no credit for anything here, as I'm just passing along my experience so others can make use of a disabled phone.

I have used Plex, Chromecast, etc, but no combination of those gives me the control of XBMC, and the ability to play mostly any codecs without the need for transcoding.

A few things before I get into the steps:
1. I started with a rooted phone, but you don't necessarily need one. It just helps later on if you want more control over the device functions.
2. I recommend using the most up to date firmware possible, I am on 4.4.4 myself, using this rom here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2800414
3. You'll want a usb OTG cable like the one I used here, along with a cheapo wired usb mouse so you can control the phone until it is set up to work with a remote.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
4. You'll also need an MHL adapter. I used this one here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
5. You'll need wifi, assuming you have moved the sim to your next device.
6. You will want some form of controlling XBMC remotely. I use Yatse for Android, installed on my replacement phone and it's a godsend.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ewidgetfree&hl

Here we go.
1. Clean that busted phone up. Reset to factory settings, flash a new rom, OR just remove any non-essential apps. I only have my phone signed into Google so I can access the Play store, which you will want to do as well.
2. Install this if you are rooted. It will allow the phone to disable the screen when the MHL adapter is plugged in, saving battery and keeping it nice and dark around your TV. The wizard should guide you through a fairly simple set up. What you are looking for is for the app to disable/suspend/standby the screen when it detects MHL.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...reenstandby&hl
3. Install SPMC. This is a forked version of XBMC for Android, and frankly, it's better suited for this application. It has more features, and takes better advantage of the hardware.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...semperpax.spmc
4. After installing SPMC, you can use it as a launcher, meaning the phone will boot directly into SPMC. Just press home and you'll be given the option.
5. Launch SMPC, go into Settings-Services-Webserver and check Allow control of XBMC via HTTP.
6. At this point, you can now control SPMC with Yatse or another similar XBMC remote app on another device. Depending on your situation, you may still want that mouse to do a few more things before you connect to the TV.

Options Options Options
I use XBMC in my living room on a dedicated PC. My media resides on a NAS, wired via gigabit ethernet to an AC wireless router. Since I wanted to use this broken phone as a sort of satellite system in the bedroom, I set up a MySQL server on the same NAS. It can be daunting, but XBMC provides great documentation and this method makes getting your media onto the phone very easy.
http://kodi.wiki/view/MySQL
If you do not have another XBMC or do not wish to share the library between devices, skip this section.
1. If you have another instance of XBMC, give this a serious look, as both the library and the playback status will be synced among all devices. You can stop in one room and resume in another.
2. Running the current version of SPMC, and XBMC 13.2, I had no issues with MySQL, despite the warning to use the same build date.
3. If you have this type of setup, all you need to do is copy the advancedsettings.xml file you created from your original XBMC install, and paste it into the userdata folder deep inside the SPMC file structure. This is usually found inside sdcard/Android/data
4. Once you do this, launch SPMC and your existing library will be there.
5. I have not tried this, since I went through the trouble to set up MySQL before, but you can alternatively use Media Browser 3 to serve up your library, and it does appear
to be easier to set up. Download the XBMB3C plugin inside XBMC/SPMC to allow for this.
http://mediabrowser.tv/download/#server

Add Media
Alternatively, you can navigate to videos inside SPMC, select files, and then choose Add Source to add your media from wherever to your new library. There is lots of documentation over at the official XBMC site, so go there if this is your first foray into this type of thing.

I've found that I just have to turn the phone on when I walk into the bedroom, and it will boot directly into SPMC. From that point I can use Yatse on a different device to control the media center. When I am done watching content, the shutdown option inside Yatse will shut the phone off, and it just goes into a powered down charging state.

Mostly everything should play after the install, but you may need or want to adjust some settings inside SPMC/XBMC. Again, look to the official XBMC wiki for help if you need it.
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17th October 2014, 09:21 AM   |  #2  
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If you're rooted, you can probably do without the USB OTG cable. You could use ADB to install packages and the shell (or a wrapper like this — worked well for me a few months back) to control the screen. This might also be useful if your screen is dead.
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17th October 2014, 12:01 PM   |  #3  
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There is a new specific xbmc for android that comes preconfigured with the most important repositories for those that really don't want to dabble with all of that kind of stuff. Just install and all the main plugins are automatically installed for you. You can find it here http://www.tvaddons.ag/tvmc-android/
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17th October 2014, 01:30 PM   |  #4  
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Is TVMC anything more than XBMC 13.2 with preconfigured settings? Seems redundant slightly because SPMC (version 13.3.2) actually contains fixes to XBMC 13.2 to enable hardware acceleration on more devices. With the Z Ultra specifically, under XBMC 13.2 official, even though hardware acceleration was enabled in the settings, it was not working. SPMC is built by official XBMC team members and contains "fixes" that were left out of the official spin for whatever reason. The settings are also mostly preconfigured, at least the defaults are different than regular XBMC, and for me at least, everything worked right away.
17th October 2014, 02:31 PM   |  #5  
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What are the possibilities for a phone that does not support MHL? (Oppo Find 5) I had the same idea after I broke my screen, but I am not sure now what to do. A mediacenter seemed great to me. A webserver is possible too, but I don't like how it won't use it's media capabilities anymore.
The device supports wireless screen (Miracast?) but I don't think that works great and I can't get it to work really.
17th October 2014, 02:38 PM   |  #6  
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Well, Android Lollipop will support Chromecast Mirroring, so if you are able to find a rom for that device when Lollipop makes its way around, that would work. There seems to be a good amount of development for that phone on XDA, so you might just need to wait it out a bit.
17th October 2014, 02:58 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaTeNL

What are the possibilities for a phone that does not support MHL? (Oppo Find 5) I had the same idea after I broke my screen, but I am not sure now what to do. A mediacenter seemed great to me. A webserver is possible too, but I don't like how it won't use it's media capabilities anymore.
The device supports wireless screen (Miracast?) but I don't think that works great and I can't get it to work really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mailme45

Well, Android Lollipop will support Chromecast Mirroring, so if you are able to find a rom for that device when Lollipop makes its way around, that would work. There seems to be a good amount of development for that phone on XDA, so you might just need to wait it out a bit.

This may be worth a look if you are interested in chromecast mirroring.
http://forum.xda-developers.com/hard...evice-t2812193
19th October 2014, 06:07 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailme45

Hello all! My first attempt at any type of guide or help, so give me pointers if you notice a better way to go about this than what's here.

This was done by me on my Ultra that broke, but I would imagine the same works for any other device that has a Snapdragon 800, and probably earlier chipsets as well. SPMC and XBMC have documentation about the supported hardware.

Doesn't it suck when you crack the screen on your baby and she no longer responds to touch input? We've probably all been there with one device or another. But don't let that busted phone gather dust, turn it into a full fledged media center! These quad core beasts can do so much more than the phones of a few years ago. I take no credit for anything here, as I'm just passing along my experience so others can make use of a disabled phone.

I have used Plex, Chromecast, etc, but no combination of those gives me the control of XBMC, and the ability to play mostly any codecs without the need for transcoding.

A few things before I get into the steps:
1. I started with a rooted phone, but you don't necessarily need one. It just helps later on if you want more control over the device functions.
2. I recommend using the most up to date firmware possible, I am on 4.4.4 myself, using this rom here:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=2800414
3. You'll want a usb OTG cable like the one I used here, along with a cheapo wired usb mouse so you can control the phone until it is set up to work with a remote.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
4. You'll also need an MHL adapter. I used this one here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
5. You'll need wifi, assuming you have moved the sim to your next device.
6. You will want some form of controlling XBMC remotely. I use Yatse for Android, installed on my replacement phone and it's a godsend.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...ewidgetfree&hl

Here we go.
1. Clean that busted phone up. Reset to factory settings, flash a new rom, OR just remove any non-essential apps. I only have my phone signed into Google so I can access the Play store, which you will want to do as well.
2. Install this if you are rooted. It will allow the phone to disable the screen when the MHL adapter is plugged in, saving battery and keeping it nice and dark around your TV. The wizard should guide you through a fairly simple set up. What you are looking for is for the app to disable/suspend/standby the screen when it detects MHL.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...reenstandby&hl
3. Install SPMC. This is a forked version of XBMC for Android, and frankly, it's better suited for this application. It has more features, and takes better advantage of the hardware.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...semperpax.spmc
4. After installing SPMC, you can use it as a launcher, meaning the phone will boot directly into SPMC. Just press home and you'll be given the option.
5. Launch SMPC, go into Settings-Services-Webserver and check Allow control of XBMC via HTTP.
6. At this point, you can now control SPMC with Yatse or another similar XBMC remote app on another device. Depending on your situation, you may still want that mouse to do a few more things before you connect to the TV.

Options Options Options
I use XBMC in my living room on a dedicated PC. My media resides on a NAS, wired via gigabit ethernet to an AC wireless router. Since I wanted to use this broken phone as a sort of satellite system in the bedroom, I set up a MySQL server on the same NAS. It can be daunting, but XBMC provides great documentation and this method makes getting your media onto the phone very easy.
http://kodi.wiki/view/MySQL
If you do not have another XBMC or do not wish to share the library between devices, skip this section.
1. If you have another instance of XBMC, give this a serious look, as both the library and the playback status will be synced among all devices. You can stop in one room and resume in another.
2. Running the current version of SPMC, and XBMC 13.2, I had no issues with MySQL, despite the warning to use the same build date.
3. If you have this type of setup, all you need to do is copy the advancedsettings.xml file you created from your original XBMC install, and paste it into the userdata folder deep inside the SPMC file structure. This is usually found inside sdcard/Android/data
4. Once you do this, launch SPMC and your existing library will be there.
5. I have not tried this, since I went through the trouble to set up MySQL before, but you can alternatively use Media Browser 3 to serve up your library, and it does appear
to be easier to set up. Download the XBMB3C plugin inside XBMC/SPMC to allow for this.
http://mediabrowser.tv/download/#server

Add Media
Alternatively, you can navigate to videos inside SPMC, select files, and then choose Add Source to add your media from wherever to your new library. There is lots of documentation over at the official XBMC site, so go there if this is your first foray into this type of thing.

I've found that I just have to turn the phone on when I walk into the bedroom, and it will boot directly into SPMC. From that point I can use Yatse on a different device to control the media center. When I am done watching content, the shutdown option inside Yatse will shut the phone off, and it just goes into a powered down charging state.

Mostly everything should play after the install, but you may need or want to adjust some settings inside SPMC/XBMC. Again, look to the official XBMC wiki for help if you need it.

Im confused. How does the phone charge while its hooked into the TV?
19th October 2014, 06:37 PM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roseysdaddy

Im confused. How does the phone charge while its hooked into the TV?

The mhl adapter is powered.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...L._SL1500_.jpg
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21st October 2014, 12:20 PM   |  #10  
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Question One port to rule them all
Quote:
Originally Posted by adfurgerson

The mhl adapter is powered.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/...L._SL1500_.jpg

I have a Galaxy Note 2 with the same issue,
What is confusing me here is the phone has one MicroUSB into which three things need to plug into it
  1. Power
  2. OTG for Mouse and Keyboard
  3. MHL adapter

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