Not Dying Without a Fight! WP7 Gets Video Out Capabilities
Most people who jumped ship to Windows Phone 7 after the demise of its predecessor were happy and thrilled with the change. For the most part, we were led to believe that WP7 was the Windows XP of mobile phones (due to its success and very extended life span). However, we are a little less than 2 years into the life of this “iPhone killer” OS, and we have already been given the sad news that this OS will be canned shortly after Windows 8 hits the shelves. The worst part of all this is that current devices will not be upgraded to the new OS. As infuriating as this sounds, this is typical of Microsoft. We could potentially count on one hand how many devices were given official upgrades to newer versions of Windows Mobile back in the day.
We really should have nothing to look forward to in terms of advancement of this platform as it will fall into oblivion shortly, but for all the developers who have spent countless hours trying to hack and reverse engineer the platform, that is unacceptable. For this reason alone, you have people like XDA Forum Moderator ceesheim and the XDA Dev Team who simply put out one awesome mod after another, increasing the functionality of the devices running the doomed OS to above and beyond their conventional capabilities. This time around, they were able to enable video out through the USB connector to a PC. The hack that they wrote essentially disables the Zune driver on the device, which makes it undetectable by Zune on the computer (read: syncing disabled) and allows you to “mirror” what you have on your screen onto your computer. This is a particularly useful feature for presentations as well as watching videos on a larger monitor without having to transfer the videos onto the PC.
There are a few caveats on this. For starters, you must have a custom ROM on your device (meaning fully unlocked devices via HSPL in the case of 1st and 2nd gen HTC devices). Second, you need to patch the Qualcomm drivers that are blocked from factory from running. The functionality, as previously stated, will disable any and all syncing with the PC until you reboot the device. Moreover, the app will slow down the refresh rate on your phone’s screen, which means that you will feel that the device becomes more choppy and laggy. This is due to a registry entry that is modified to prevent USB traffic from overloading, and thus causing possible issues during usage. This goes back to normal after a changing the mode back to USB.
If you still haven’t thrown your WP7 at a wall from being enraged at the lack of an upgrade path, we suggest that you try this out. Please leave any and all feedback for the team, including what device you are using and what ROM. Maybe this is the beginning of a new life for the WP7 devices out there. Only time will tell.
With the software in this release it is possible to add functionality to a custom ROM that allows to switch the USB-port of a Windows Phone 7 device to Video Out and back to normal Zune sync.
You can find more information in the original thread.
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[Thanks to ceesheim for the tip!]
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