Screenbeam Mini2 Continuum Edition has "Wireless Dock" feature

Billy Cantor

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I have been trying to figure out why the "Continuum Edition" of the Actiontec ScreenBeam Mini2 is special (and harder to get, and $10 more).

After digging through all of the datasheets and user manuals and marketing materials, here is what I found:

Wireless Dock (UIBC) support
UIBC (User Input Back Channel) is basically a feature of Miracast which lets a wireless display have a keyboard, mouse and/or a multitouch surface.

The Continuum Edition of the ScreenBeam Mini2 comes with a special USB Y cable which provides both power and a USB A female port to the device. This means that you can plug a keyboard, mouse or wireless keyboard/mouse dongle into the ScreenBeam and then the ScreenBeam Mini2 will relay the keyboard and mouse input back to your phone (and then your phone will use that input to drive the display).

The ScreeBeam firmware has UIBC support, but the standard ScreenBeam Mini2 documentation does not mention any support for UIBC. Only the Continuum Edition has the special Y cable and the mention of UIBC (and UoIP) support. However the ScreenBeam PN listed in the ScreenBeam Mini2 Continuum Edition manual is just the regular ScreenBeam Mini2 PN so the only real difference between the regular and Continuum Edition may simply by the inclusion of a "Y" cable for power and data instead of a more typical MicroUSB cable for power.

Potential support for future wireless USB device support
It is especially interesting that the ScreenBeam Mini2 Continuum Edition "Wireless Dock" mentions UoIP (USB over IP) support. In theory that means that it might be possible to hook up other USB devices (printers, USB flash drives, USB HID devices and maybe more) in the future. But that might require a firmware update on both the Lumia and ScreenBeam Mini2 sides. In any case this is a very interesting option, especially if USB hubs were supported.

Potential wireless touchscreen and multitouch support
If a wireless display has a touchscreen and provides a USB output for that touchscreen, the ScreenBeam might effectively provide a secondary display that was touch enabled for Lumia phones. Wireless touchscreens was one of the main reasons for UIBC and some UIBC implementations including ScreenBeam support multi-touch so this could be really interesting.

Wi-Di 3.5 vs. Wi-Di 4.0
The ScreenBeam Mini2 is compatible with Wi-Di 3.5+ devices. The ScreenBeam Mini2 Continuum Edition is compatible with Wi-Di 4.0+ devices. This might seem like a limitation for the Continuum Edition device but perhaps the source spec version requirement change came with newer ScreenBeam Mini2 firmware. Again it is possible that the ScreenBeam Mini2 hardware is identical--although in theory it may be enhanced or optimized for Continuum.

Wireless display for tablets
Also interesting from the ScreenBeam Mini2 Continuum Edition documentation is the fact that it is designed for Continuum on non-Lumia Windows 10 devices. There are mentions of tablets as well. Hopefully we see lots of cool uses for Continuum and this "Wireless Display Dock" in the future.

No mention of direct streaming
Some of the ScreenBeam devices support streaming content directly from the Internet. This may or may not be a feature of the ScreenBeam Mini2 Continuum Edition--but I saw it mentioned in other documentation which seemed to be for the regular Mini2. This may or may not be a limitation of the Continuum Edition.

Miracast and Wi-Di compatibility
Just so that the point is not missed, this receiver will work with a wide array of Windows, Android and other source devices.
 

ashram

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In the continuum settings, there is an option to block controls from wireless devices.

That had me a bit confused for the past week. Not it all makes sense! A 100% wireless dock.
 

Nabiscuit

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I really appreciate the write-up. I think I'm going to get one, now...

I love Continuum - but it only really works with the Wired Dock. Using Continuum wirelessly with the Microsoft Display Adapter leaves a lot to be desired (even though it is probably going to be the most convenient use-case).

Can't wait to see if this device speeds things up. Using the Display Dock, Continuum is buttery smooth.
 

Billy Cantor

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Using Continuum wirelessly with the Microsoft Display Adapter leaves a lot to be desired (even though it is probably going to be the most convenient use-case).

Yeah. It's very telling that Microsoft has specifically been recommending the ScreenBeam Mini2 Continuum Edition over the MSFT offering. From other more-traditional Miracast reviews I have read, the Microsoft wireless display adapter works functionally but can have a fairly high latency delay compared to the competition. I expect that XBox One will eventually be a recommended Continuum adapter and that the standalone Microsoft wireless display adapter will probably get an update to make it more competitive in the future.

In the meantime, I too am looking forward to getting one of these wireless adapters in hand. The wired dock works really well (although Windows 10 Mobile still has a lot of maturing to do to be ready for prime time, including stability and performance of both Continuum apps and also of apps like Edge in full-screen mode).

Please let us know how you like the wireless dock, Nabiscuit. Maybe we can put together some best practices here so everyone can have an awesome wireless experience. It's just so cool to be able to walk up to a TV/monitor, mouse and keyboard...press a button on our Windows 10 phones, and magically have a full desktop experience.
 

jhoff80

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The Screenbeam Mini 2 (non-Continuum edition here) is definitely the best Miracast receiver I have tried. I still wouldn't want to do any serious work over it. Even just waiting for the cursor to catch up in Word would be infuriating.
 

jhoff80

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Just an FYI, since the Screenbeam Mini 2 Continuum edition is $70 and the Screenbeam Mini 2 is $50...

The Mini 2 + a $5 cable + firmware updates (freely available to both devices) = Mini 2 Continuum edition, so far as I can tell.

Mini 2: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUwpUvbUpU3342908
Necessary Y Cable: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUwpUvbUpU3342908

Firmware updates are performed through a PC app. You'll also want to make sure the input setting is set to UIBC.
 

ashram

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Just an FYI, since the Screenbeam Mini 2 Continuum edition is $70 and the Screenbeam Mini 2 is $50...

The Mini 2 + a $5 cable + firmware updates (freely available to both devices) = Mini 2 Continuum edition, so far as I can tell.

Mini 2: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUwpUvbUpU3342972
Necessary Y Cable: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ag=hawk-future-20&ascsubtag=UUwpUvbUpU3342972

Firmware updates are performed through a PC app. You'll also want to make sure the input setting is set to UIBC.

have you tried this?? if so, AWESOME.
 

jhoff80

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As it only has a single USB input, I tried it with a keyboard and used the phone screen as a touchpad. Haven't tried it with a hub or anything to connect a mouse and keyboard simultaneously.

Of course, results may vary for others, but I can say that it worked for me. The Continuum edition and non-Continuum edition also both are on the same firmware, so I feel pretty comfortable in saying they're the same.
 

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