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MHL Adapter Comparison

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By P0ll0L0c0, Senior Member on 20th April 2012, 12:53 PM
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I first bought a monoprice MHL adapter when they became available at around $11. I was very happy with it, but started looking for another to throw in the car for when I visited my girlfriend, or otherwise wanted to share video on the go. So I went on EBAY and bought a $6 cheapie adapter - that surprisingly worked at least as well. Later, I decided to buy a bluetooth joystick for gaming and bought a kit which included yet another MHL adapter, this one with an HDMI cable built in which made it convenient. This one cost roughly $12 in the kit.

You'd think I'd be done buying MHL adapters, but a thread which I now believe had false data - cited that the official Samsung MHL adapter output 60 FPS from the evo 3D. When I noted that all of my adapters output at 30 FPS - and the thread maker did not respond, I decided that it might be worth buying the Samsung Adapter as a test. To be sure - I bought the adapter directly from Amazon (not a vendor) at a premium price of $25.

I will note that to date I've seen no difference in Video Quality. I'll follow up this thread with a post reviewing video and gaming - but for now, all 4 adapters report 30 FPS from a stock EVO 3D, and I can see no difference in video quality. Where they do differ is in charge rate, and compatibility with the HTC dock - because some have bulkier micro USB plugs than the others.

One note - my original EVO 3D gradually lost HDMI output. Though presumably the output was digital, I got snow which varied by jiggling the port - and on some TV's I could get no output or strange colors and lines. I figured the port was shot and got a refurb insurance replacement - that fixed the problem. Since then - I've tried to use the HTC dock wherever possible to prevent further damage to my USB port. The HTC dock works great - with push button HDMI output and costs $15 at Radio Shack. The drawback is that you can use NO cases.

The following charging tests were done with Battery Monitor Widget. Having tested A LOT of battery monitors from the market - this is the only one that consistently works well. To set up this test - I connected each adapter to the dock (where possible) and only left wifi, phone and 4G on. All used the same USB charger (2.1A - though we max out at 1) and since a portion of the charge goes to the adapter, I wanted to see how much actually went to charge the phone. I didn't actively run programs - I stayed on Battery Monitor Widget's screen and monitored charge rates for about a half hour each. I can tell you that charge rates playing videos have been pretty consistent with the results - some MHL adapters drain the phone playing videos, others don't.
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20th April 2012, 01:15 PM |#2  
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First - the monoprice adapter ($11):

http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

This one works well - though it is NOT compatible with the HTC dock.

The best charge rate I got in a half hour: +179 MA

This result is better than on any of my previous tests, I'm a little surprised the result was so good for the monoprice. Using movies on my card through dice player - I believe I could play for at least 10 hours straight without running out of phone battery (stock). There's a little drain, though streaming would burn battery much faster.

Next - the EBAY adapter ($6):

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Micro-USB-MH...17687946872680

It appears the price has gone up since I bought it - but this one works great and DOES fit the HTC dock perfectly well.

The Best Charge Rate was +209 MA

Which is great. I was first shocked to play movies on it - and see that my phone got fully charged.

Next - The Phonejoy Video Game adapter ($12.90):

http://www.phonejoy.us/shop/mhl-male...ab-description

This one is a tight fit with the HTC dock, it makes me nervous to use it long term this way - because I think the dock port or the cable will fail.

However - it includes a full HDMI port (no cable needed) -and is designed such that the long micro USB cable puts little strain on your phone while gaming. It's a good design, but the only drawback is that at 3FT the cable is really too short to game on a big TV.

The best charge rate in a half hour: -9 MA

You read that right. It drains the phone while using it - I couldn't get it to charge for some reason. A definite negative.

Finally - the Samsung adapter ($25):

http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-MHL-HD...4923643&sr=8-1

It fits the HTC dock. It's certainly the prettiest, it's smaller than the others, glossy and feels expensive. Which at double the price (at least) - it is. But who buys electronics for the looks? Not I.

The best charge rate in a half hour: 219 MA

So the Samsung did charge the best overall. But are the extra 10 MA worth paying $25 instead of my $6 eBAY special? I don't think so.

I'll try to be detailed with a post later in the weekend, but right now - I see no video output difference using the EVO 3D. If any of these adapters has 60FPS capability - it's not with a stock device. I've been playing 720P videos and 1080P videos at 30FPS using Diceplayer - and noticed no quality differences. I've tested 3D videos on almost all of them - and they work great on my passive 3D TV.

In short - right now, my $6 EBAY special is proving to be the best bang for the buck and unless I see better video quality in gaming or other content this weekend, the Amazon adapter is probably going back. It's possible that other adapters have lower quality - but the 4 above that I've personally tested seem to work equally well at video output, with the only differences being fit and charge rate.
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28th April 2012, 01:22 PM |#3  
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Due to the lack of replies, I thought no one was interested in this thread, so I didn't return to it. I only just realized that some users thanked me for it.

I just spent about 3 hours going back and forth between the Samsung MHL adapter and the EBAY cheapie. I'd watch 2 minutes of 720P MKV on one, then repeat the process with the other adapter. I then played a level or portion of a level on Shadowgun and then switch cables.

The end result is that I still don't see a reason to pay extra for the Samsung adapter. Every time I thought I saw a defect with one cable, I'd swap cables and catch the same video defect or game artifact. I was watching 3 FT away from a 1080P 32" LED - and could spot no definite differences after a few hours of testing.

That's proof enough for me - though it's possible with another device that we might see a difference in these adapters, I see none with a stock EVO 3D. I'm going to be returning the Samsung MHL adapter to Amazon.
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17th May 2012, 03:24 AM |#4  
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Thanks for the post! ...on another note, Maybe you should try a video player that utilizes hardware acceleration? Mx player?? Maybe the player is capping your fps? Just a guess

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk
22nd May 2012, 03:35 AM |#5  
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Perhaps this has been asked before, but I've been looking at some cheapies on eBay. The ones that plug into the mhl port, have an HDMI adapter, and an additional adapter to plug your charger into. Will this charge the phone while it outputs to the TV? If not, what's the best solution to output and charge at the same time?
22nd May 2012, 04:31 PM |#6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adeyo

Thanks for the post! ...on another note, Maybe you should try a video player that utilizes hardware acceleration? Mx player?? Maybe the player is capping your fps? Just a guess

Sent from my PG86100 using Tapatalk

Umm, I'm already using Mx Player. But on our phones it's not as good as Diceplayer. My FPS is not being capped by the software, at all times - connected to my TV it reports 30FPS. That's whether you're on the main screen or actively playing a video.
22nd May 2012, 04:34 PM |#7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkertz

Perhaps this has been asked before, but I've been looking at some cheapies on eBay. The ones that plug into the mhl port, have an HDMI adapter, and an additional adapter to plug your charger into. Will this charge the phone while it outputs to the TV? If not, what's the best solution to output and charge at the same time?

Yes, it'll charge - but like I pointed out in my extensive review, not all adapters charge at the same rate. If you get an adapter that I didn't review - it'll be a matter of luck how fast it charges.

Also - if you're running intensive software, like streaming video - you may not charge at all, and may instead drain the device.
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27th May 2012, 04:18 AM |#8  
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I'm using the stock Samsung MHL adapter, and I get a negative battery drain every time I output video via HDMI using MX Player... pretty disappointing. Using the stock power adapter. Have you been using an aftermarket power adapter that has a higher output to get the positive charge?
29th May 2012, 02:39 AM |#9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conradcbrown

I'm using the stock Samsung MHL adapter, and I get a negative battery drain every time I output video via HDMI using MX Player... pretty disappointing. Using the stock power adapter. Have you been using an aftermarket power adapter that has a higher output to get the positive charge?

That's really odd. Even if I used a more powerful charger, our phones max out at charging with a 1A rate. In general, I can confirm that the stock charger would give you the same results as above.

The only way I can explain your poor charging, would be if you are streaming via WiFi, your phone is trying failed data connections repeatedly, or perhaps most likely - you bought a bootleg Samsung MHL adapter.
10th June 2012, 12:19 PM |#10  
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Thank you for this info. I took your advice and bought two from Ebay for under $5 bucks each and no problems with playback or charging. Though i must confess I don't know how long it takes to completely charge the phone. The USB charger plus in the side of the adapter.
27th July 2013, 09:10 AM |#11  
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Just a fyi...
The length and quality of the cable between the charger and your phone will dramatically change the charge rate.
The longer the cable the less charge rate
The thinner the wires the less charge rate.
And as you can imagine a combination of length and crapy wire =

A lot of the cables on eBay are terrible as they are made as cheap as possible.

I have found that the coiled (spring looking) ones are almost always good as you can't make a decent 'coil' with crapy wire.
Hope this helps.

Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 4 Beta
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