Tag Archives: HDMI

How to reliably connect a monitor that has a DVI input (like a Dell U2412M) to HDMI

I wrote in Asus Zenbook UX31A (or any Intel HD4000/HDMI graphics) fix for no HDMI output to an external monitor in Windows 8 (should work for Windows 7) about a technique for connecting the DVI port of a monitor to HDMI output from a PC with Intel HD4000 graphics.

In that article I alluded to a potential problem in the way the Intel HD4000 chipset implements HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection).

I now know, through buying and experimenting with different cables and HDMI/DVI adapters, that I was wrong….

I have tested the following recommended components on the (micro) HDMI output of both a Microsoft Surface RT and an Asus Zenbook UX31A and the results are repeatable – in that no other cables/adapters (that I have purchased thus far) work – apart from the following:

If you want to reliably connect the DVI port of a monitor – and in particular, a Dell U2412M, to micro or regular sized HDMI, you need one of these:

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This is the HD-9002 “DVI-D Male to HDMI Female Adaptor / Convertor – 24+1 Pins – PC Card to HDMI TV” from Cabling4Less.co.uk – which at the time of writing, is £2.49 inclusive of delivery from their eBay listing or £4.80 from their Cabling4Less website.

While you can see (obviously) that this is a male DVI connector, what is not so obvious, is that the other end of this adapter is a female full size HDMI socket – for connecting to an HDMI or micro HDMI cable of your choice.

Now, while the Cabling4Less adapter did the trick with a number of HDMI cables I imagetried, an honourable mention must go to the “Premium 1.5m Gold Micro HDMI Cable to Connect Amazon Kindle Fire HD to TV LCD” from juicebitz for £3.85 delivered.

Not only does the quality of manufacture seem to be a cut above most cables (juicebitz say that they manufacture the cables themselves) but it has immediately removed the little one pixel sized random green dots that I used to get in dark areas of photos with other cables I used.

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Asus Zenbook UX31A (or any Intel HD4000/HDMI graphics) Black Screen in Windows 8 workaround (should work for Windows 7)

This is Part 1 of a two part article – only separated to make it easier for those with this particular problem to search for this.

This is a very niche article, I grant you, but of you are reading it, chances are, you have this problem and while my experience is specifically with the Asus Zenbook UX31A, searching the internet reveals that it seems to be a common and generic problem with Intel HD4000 graphics.

The Problem:

Randomly (it’s not reliably reproducible) you boot your PC or return from sleep or hibernation and you are presented with just a black screen. Hitting the power button for a hard reboot doesn’t help, you just get booted back up into a black screen.

The Explanation:

I am indebted to Seth Eliot for pointing out, that when you have a black screen, this is normally because the PC is outputting a display on the (micro) HDMI port – even though you don’t have a screen connected to the HDMI port. Worse than that, the HD4000 graphics seem to have made your non-existent HDMI monitor the default display.

The Workaround:

imagePress the Windows Key and “P” together, followed by tapping the Up Arrow twice. This should select the projection screen dialogue (try it on your PC BEFORE you have this problem to simulate the action) and two presses should select “PC Screen only” and bring Windows back to your PC screen.

And if that doesn’t work?

Well, you could try turning it off and then back on again …….

Note: This is NOT a fix for the BLUE screen login problem – where you have the blue Windows login screen but no user/password box to allow you to login. I haven’t the faintest idea how to fix that!

Asus Zenbook UX31A (or any Intel HD4000/HDMI graphics) fix for no HDMI output to an external monitor in Windows 8 (should work for Windows 7)

This is Part 2 of a two part article – only separated to make it easier for those with this particular problem to search for this.

This is a very niche article, I grant you, but of you are reading it, chances are, you have this problem – and while my experience is specifically with the Asus Zenbook UX31A, searching the internet reveals that it seems to be a common and generic problem with Intel HD4000 graphics and HDMI output to an external monitor.

The Problem:

The internet is awash with folk having problems getting any output from the micro-HDMI port on their Intel HD4000 graphics chipset PC’s – and this includes the Asus Zenbook UX31A, as this thread on the Intel Community site attests.

I have the problem myself, in that I found it impossible to drive a Dell monitor in extended mode via the micro-HDMI (most Zenbook UX31A users would use the micro VGA dongle – so wouldn’t come across this problem, but those who, ahem, have lost their VGA dongle are now forced to go the micro-HDMI route….).

I am therefore indebted to Cognus who has written this article over at Eightforums, which seems to suggest that the problem is fundamentally due to a chipset design error in the way Intel implements HDCP and it is probably not possible to fix it via a driver update. This has enabled me (via trial and error) to develop a repeatable process which will, if a little inelegant, drive an external monitor via (micro) HDMI.

The (temporary) fix:

Presuming that the screen is working on your Intel HD4000 laptop, here are some pictures of the technique I use to get the micro HDMI to output to an external monitor:

1. In Windows Device Manager, right click Intel® HD Graphics 4000, select “Properties” and then select the “Driver” tab:

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2. Click the “Uninstall” button and be sure to select the “Delete the driver software for this device” checkbox:

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3. You will then see that your display device completely disappears from the list of devices:

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4. Select the top item in the device list (which will have the name of your PC) and in the Action drop-down, select “Scan for hardware changes”:

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5. At this point, there will be a bit of screen flashing and your external (micro) HDMI monitor should spring into life. You will also note that Windows has detected your HD4000 graphics display, but has installed its default driver:

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6. Keep the faith, because very quickly, Windows seems to decide that that is not the right driver, and automatically installs Intel driver version 9.17.10.2932:

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7. Hit “Restart later” – because you are going to need to repeat this process every time you can’t get an external monitor to work via HDMI – so there is no point in restarting and putting you back to square one:

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Of course, if anyone has a better process (I have tried the latest Intel V9.17.10.2875.01 video drivers – and it doesn’t make any difference) please do comment.

Acer Aspire Revo R3700 Desktop – first impressions and real world review

©Woody – please link to this page only – as no part to be reproduced without permission of the author.

What is it?

I guess that I am one of the first folk in the UK to have purchased an Acer Aspire Revo R3700 from Ebuyer. Ebuyer say that it is “exclusive” to them – but I suspect that is “exclusive” because the spec of the PC they sell, differs from the US spec in that it has a 160GB HD (as opposed to 250GB on the US version) and comes with Limpus Linux pre-loaded (more on that later). Otherwise this is the standard Revo 3700 with the new ION2 graphics, 2GB of DDR3 and an Intel Atom D525 running at 1.8GHz.

What does it look like – and what do you get in the box?

Visually, the main unit is quite stunning in a very glossy piano imageblack – the same sort of finish as Samsung/LG TV’s – so this wouldn’t look out of place beside one. Handy if you were thinking of using it as a Media Centre PC – which I guess a lot of folk will buy it for. In fact, given that it has optical sound out (SPDIF) – this makes it even more suitable for those who would plumb the pure digital output into an AV amplifier to go for the full Dolby surround sound etc.

image(The only problem is, that as you can see, the SPDIF is on the front of the unit – rather than the rear – Doh!). Video output is also catered for with a standard VGA socket and HDMI.

Note also, the Multi card reader handily positioned on the front of the unit (where you need it) which supports MultiMediaCard (MMC), Secure Digital (SD) Card, xD-Picture Card and Memory Stick.

Included in the box (and very well packed and sealed to avoid scratches) is a matching keyboard and optical mouse and a VESA bracket that will allow you to mount the Revo onto the rear of Monitors and TV’s  – which have the necessary fitting (most modern models come with this these days).

At first, the keyboard does seem a  bit of a disappointment. It is quite thin and light – and a lot smaller than it would appear from photographs. The keys also look like a luxury version of what you would find on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum (that dates me ….).

imageHowever, when actually being used, I found nothing to complain about. I guess that if you are a touch typist (I am not) or are writing a book, then you might want something more upmarket – but it does the job.

Included in the box is a small laptop like external power brick and some paperwork/manuals – but I didn’t read them – who does?

Initial hardware and software configuration

On first power up of the Revo, you can access the BIOS by hitting image the Delete button – and F12 changes the boot order. All standard fare – and nothing worth mentioning. I did have a stroll through the BIOS, but found nothing worth tweaking (I have seen discussions that similar models have a BIOS setting that allows you to change the amount of memory reserved for the Graphics – but I couldn’t find it).

As I mentioned previously, this Revo comes pre-loaded with an Acer configured version of Linpus Linux. The less said about that, the better …. I did give it a whirl, but as it lacked any capability (that I could find) to change the screen resolution from a default 800 x 600, I gave up on it. Yes, there is a resolution changing applet – but it did zip. If you have a beard (that you take to stroking) I guess you might linger longer over this challenge, but I have a life – and more importantly, an impatient Mother – for whom this PC is ultimately destined as a general purpose Silver Surfing board….

To cut a long story short, I loaded up as little as possible to make this a working PC  and the least likely to confuse (my Mum). So, I installed Windows 7 Ultimate X64 (yes, I know it is a bit over the top, but I already had a copy and who knows, one day we might take it up to 4GB – so might as well future proof).

After running all the Windows updates, I could see that some of image the drivers remained as default – standard VGA drivers instead of ION2 for example. I guess that it would have plug-and-play updated by itself at some stage, but I was too eager to get the ball rolling. Acer publish updated Windows 7 drivers for the Revo 3700, but on checking, Windows Update had even later drivers, so I selected each item in Device Manager and just told it to update online from Windows Update. This included the Wireless LAN – which seems particularly sensitive – pulling in BTFon from neighbours some way down the road

Application software install

On top of all that I put Avast (the free version), Office 2010 professional, Live Essentials 2011, MyDefrag 4.3, Process Explorer, PDF-Xchange Lite, FireFox 3.6, IE9 Preview 7, Adobe FlashPlayer (in order to run BBC iPlayer) and AutoRuns – the later turned out to be particularly useful in that I was able to spot that one of the above had silently installed the Ask toolbar – grrrrrrr.

How did it all go?

Like the clappers. It took everything I could throw at it in it’s stride and I never felt that I had an underpowered PC – quite the opposite. CPU use seemed to amble along at less than 20% utilisation most of the time – in fact, it spent most of its time in single figures. The detailed performance data follows at the end, but it is worth mentioning that I downloaded some 1080P AVI’s from the HighDef Forum and they played in Windows Media Player 12 without missing a frame (as far as I could see) and at no imageincrease in overall CPU usage – testament to the CUDA offloading to the ION2 GPU (this means that the ION Graphics chip was doing the processing instead of the Atom CPU).

Oh – and although it has a fan – which vents through vents on the top – I never heard it once.

Conclusion

The keyboard is a bit tacky, but otherwise this is a very nice and nippy PC – which I would be more than happy to use on a daily basis or as a dedicated Media Centre.

Techie stuff – real world performance scores

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Boot Times

Time quoted is expired time until browser opens and web page loaded:

Resume from sleep: 7s

Cold Boot: 120s (15s for POST and 53s to login screen)

Temps (average observed)

CPU: 54C
System: 31C
Fan: 2647RPM

Real world CPU loading

Malwarebytes full disk scan < 23% CPU load total

IE9 Preview 7 (all at 1680 x 946 – with total CPU <30% (IE9 Preview approx 27%):

Galactic – 14FPS, 152.44kms.

FishIE Tank:

50 Fish – 60FPS

100 Fish – 53FPS

250 Fish – 37FPS

500 Fish – 25FPS

1000 Fish – 15FPS

Video Kaleidoscope – (Pyramid wheel and Aura) – Woody (what else?) 11FPS

Psychedelic – 1789rpm

Hallucinogenic – 603rpm