Meizu Pro5 (16.04/devel) Convergence



  • Long ago I was utterly overwhelmed by the idea of convergence and that I could carry a fully-fledged desktop in my pocket - several years down the line and we've inched (to be fair to Canonical and UBports, leapt!) closer but it's still not ideal. I originally tried this with the first Nexus4 over Slimport but of course the Nexus was a little too slow to be considered a "desktop replacement"...and then came the beast that is the Meizu Pro 5! With aethercast!

    So, I picked myself up a Microsoft Wireless Display adapter and wham, there you have it.

    Well, almost.

    Two issues that still seem to be plagueing my dream of convergence and I just wanted to throw them out there to see if there were any forthcoming answers...

    First off, aethercast - the version that ships with 16.04/devel still suffers from the problem of a fuzzy resolution, if I remember rightly, this was to do with aethercast having a maximum resolution below 1920x1080 and therefore upsampling the lower resolution to fit a full HD screen. There was a patch that worked beautifully on modifying the aethercast to allow this and give a crystal clear Full HD display over aethercast - but it seems that the patched version (admittedly generated from the Vivid aethercast) no longer works on Xenial. Does anyone have the patched Xenial aethercast?

    Secondly, bluetooth-wifi coexistence - as soon as the wireless display is engaged, my otherwise speedy bluetooth mouse and keyboard grind to a stuttering halt. I've tried modifying iwlwifi.conf to a disable coexistence (which seems to work on laptops) but to no avail.

    I've slowly but surely been finding workarounds and scripts for other issues - but these two have evaded me so far 😕

    Any tips?



  • Hey @brywilson
    I don't have any answers for you, just more questions, sorry 😛

    There was a patch that worked beautifully on modifying the aethercast to allow this and give a crystal clear Full HD display over aethercast - but it seems that the patched version (admittedly generated from the Vivid aethercast) no longer works on Xenial. Does anyone have the patched Xenial aethercast?

    Got a link/copy of the patch itself? Or that vivid repo?

    I've slowly but surely been finding workarounds and scripts for other issues

    Feel like sharing?



  • A couple of years ago, I reported this bug on launchpad. It was also about the problem with the coexistance of bluetooth and wifi, but back then it was wifi slowing to a crawl. I can't remember if it ever got fixed and it may not be related to the issue described above. Just thought I'd mention it anyway.



  • Hey @doniks

    I've rooted around and actually found the link for that aethercast patch! It was from an old Ubuntu Touch Google+ post from two years back:

    https://plus.google.com/+ReinerKlenk/posts/hRn4nqxVf99

    And I remembered correctly - the aethercast was originally only meant to work up to 720p, but the very simple patch allowed 1080p. My own comedy workaround prior to this was to use an old computer monitor whose maximum resolution was 1280 x 720 - and then the aethercast image was crystal clear 🙂

    With regards to the other things, it was little scripts in Terminal to deal with the bugs in convergence, including:

    1. Losing wi-fi internet access, when wirelessly casting - this simply involved using nmcli to restart the Access Point without turning off the wifi radio

    2. Flipping between Staged and Windowed modes using a script instead of UT Tweak - I rarely use a mouse if I can help it (even on my laptop), relying instead on keybindings. I still find using the phonescreen as a touchpad (whilst very innovative!) a little clunky. The biggest improvement for me using the Pro5 for convergence was 16.04/devel's new Terminal with tabbed and multiple windows accessed by keymappings.

    3. I did try and play around with aethercastctl in some scripts to automate things (in particular, quickly connecting and disconnecting my phone from the screen when I had to take it with me suddenly), but it didn't work so well 😕

    In my ideal convergence world, I'd be able to access every part of the converged OS from the keyboard and without using the touchpad or a mouse. More than anything, I'd love to be able to navigate the Apps with arrow keys and tabs for selection, which (unless I'm missing something) isn't possible yet...

    Oh and the browser too! On my laptop, I primarily use suckless' surf with keyboard links - I press Shift+Ctrl+F and every link on a webpage is highlighted with a little superscript number, allowing almost complete keyboard navigation of the browser....ah, one day Browser Next 🙂



  • @brywilson said in Meizu Pro5 (16.04/devel) Convergence:

    Secondly, bluetooth-wifi coexistence - as soon as the wireless display is engaged, my otherwise speedy bluetooth mouse and keyboard grind to a stuttering halt. I've tried modifying iwlwifi.conf to a disable coexistence (which seems to work on laptops) but to no avail.

    Any tips?

    I've answered this question several times in the past, but I don't mind saying it again. It is a known problem with the hardware that doing a wireless video stream hogs most of the traffic of the wireless controllers for these devices (this might also be an issue with other mobile platforms?). Therefore, to give the best possible experience, users are encouraged to use wired USB OTG connections to permit the use of mice, keyboards and other input/miscellaneous devices (e.g. wired rather than BT headphones/speakers). This allows the video stream to continue to use the WiFI connection for the best possible display, while giving you a smoother and expected level of performance for peripherals.



  • Hey @tartanspartan, I totally agree with you regarding freeing up the wireless traffic for the aethercast video stream - it seems the logical solution - but as far as I'm aware (and I could of course be utterly mistaken), there are no USB OTG mice or keyboards that can be used with the Meizu Pro 5's single USB-C connection 😕

    However, if you (or anybody!) know of any, then please please let me know!



  • You are quite right, but that is why you need a USB-C OTG dongle to allow several peripherals to be connected simultaneously to your Pro 5. I recommend the Laiwoch Muti Port adapter (link below), I've had a good experience with it. This allows two USB 3 connections. I'm not sure if the SD card ports work with Ubuntu Touch, but if not, use a separate USB SD card adapter. Also I haven't really been able to charge the phone while using the device, but maybe I've been doing something wrong. If anyone else can recommend a dongle which does either have working SD card ports for UT or allows power delivery, please recommend for us. Whatever you do, don't buy dongles with superfluous attachements like Ethernet and HDMI ports which UT can't handle- unless you also have a laptop or some device which can use them.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B074GWV4SD/



  • @tartanspartan I removed the referrer 🙂

    It seems it's "currently unavailable" but it's good to know that product, thank you.



  • I'm replying to myself here to stay within the confines of this topic - but I've been beating my head against the wall on this one...

    Basically, my ongoing issue with convergence on the Meizu Pro 5 (on 16.04/devel) is the "fuzzy" resolution using aethercast - and I know that it's purely down to the resolution being set in aethercast/src/ac/basesourcemediamanager.cpp to 720p and not 1080p.

    I scavenged an old laptop today, installed Ubuntu on it (I'm an Arch Linux user by default) and was trying to cross-compile a UBports xenial version of aethercast to upgrade the output resolution to 1080, as per this patch:

    https://launchpadlibrarian.net/267505693/p1.diff

    However, try as I might, I can't past these errors during cross-compiling:

    Get:1 http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports xenial InRelease [247 kB]
    Err:1 http://ports.ubuntu.com/ubuntu-ports xenial InRelease
    The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 40976EAF437D05B5 NO_PUBKEY 3B4FE6ACC0B21F32

    I've tried importing those keys - goodness me, I have - but to no avail.

    So, in a big shout out to @mardy (who is maintaining ubports/aethercast), is there any chance that you might be able to add these three lines to the code and recompile in the near future? The patch worked wonderfully on 15.04 and I briefly (before moving to 16.04/devel) had a crystal clear 1920x1080 UT desktop on my external monitor.

    Or is there an excellent reason that the 1080 isn't included by default? It seems a little odd, as almost all external monitors are at least 1920x1080 now - as I mentioned before, I had to trawl through our department's old IT storeroom to find a ten-year old monitor with a native 720p resolution - which is seemingly the only way to have crystal clear resolution using aethercast in 16.04/devel!

    I really appreciate that @mardy does so much for the community already - and I know that there's likely so many more important issues to deal with - but it seems a simple change to the code and would make for a wonderful early Christmas present.

    Or a late Thanksgiving one for any North Americans on the site 🙂


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