Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dell XPS 13 9350 USB Type-C HDMI 2.0 4K 60Hz output with Dell U3415W Ultrawide (Failed experiment with Vizio SB4051-C0 5.1CH soundbar)


 photo Dell XPS-072105.jpg

So I have XPS 13 9350 for almost 11 months now, except early on I tried a USB Type-C to USB A hub which ends up being total failure, I haven’t bothered with this port. Lately my interest for USB Type-C has been resurged after Apple announced their Macbook Pro with four USB Type-C ports. Since I already got a regular USB A hub, my focus this time is on the HDMI 2.0 4K 60Hz output since there is no video output built-in for 9350. I did some researches online about this subject, the information seems extremely scarce. The built-in Intel 520 definitely supports quite high resolution output since those QHD+ touchscreen models can drive at 3200x1800 @60Hz. And an article HERE indicates via Displayport it can output max 3840x2160 @60Hz.

 photo Dell XPS-072134.jpg

My goal here is to output to my Dell U3415W Ultrawide screen at 3440x1440 @60Hz via the HDMI 2.0 input (The DisplayPort is already occupied with a i5 3xxx desktop paired with Nvidia GTX-960 Graphic card driving at 3440x1440 @60Hz). The only USB Type-C devices I can find that got someone confirmed working are the google USB Type-C to DisplayPort Cable, the Plugable USB Type-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter. Other options are docks such as the Plugable and Dell’s WD15, but they are way too expensive, not to mention not very portable.

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So I continued my research and happened to learn that Dell actually has released its own USB Typc-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter (Part#: 470-ABMZ).

 photo Dell XPS-145955.jpg

Price wise it’s the same as the google adapter at $40, 40% more expensive than the plugable adapter at $25. So I gave the Dell adapter a try since the support list specifically lists 9350 and HDMI 2.0 mentioned, and it worked! I’m able to successfully drive the U3415W at 3440x1440 @60Hz.

 photo Dell XPS-145857.jpg

Since it’s an adapter only, you need to supply your own HDMI 2.0 cable. I got the Monoprice 6ft one.

 photo Dell XPS-145830.jpg

 photo Dell XPS-U3415W 01.jpg

The monitor is being correctly recognized as the model no U3415W. Resolution and refresh rate all run at the optimal parameter!

 photo Dell XPS-U3415W Direct 02.jpg

Audio wise, unfortunately it only can output to the built-in stereo speaker.

 photo Dell XPS-U3415W Direct 03.jpg

Therefore, only stereo output is possible.

Since it was a success for video, naturally I would like to go one step further for the audio output. There are other two ways for output audio via the 3.5mm earphone jack or via the Bluetooth. But neither will give you the optimal performance with surround sound. I’m looking at output at least the compressed surround sound DD5.1 and DTS 5.1.

 photo sb4051-c0-1.jpg

The Vizio SB4051-C0 5.1CH soundbar offers HDMI input and output, allows extracting DD 5.1 and DTS 5.1 from the HDMI then route the video to the monitor. So my exact setup is as follows:

Dell XPS 13 9350 USB Type-C to HDMI 2.0 adapter –> HDMI input on soundbar, HDMI output->Dell U3415W monitor. This setup unfortunately did not work out. I have some doubt about whether the soundbar supports HDMI 2.0 would play into a factor, and I was right.

 photo Dell XPS-VIZIO sound bar 01.jpg

The Dell U3415W is being recognized as a DTV CP9687. Any resolution beyond 1080p gets 30Hz and below.

 photo Dell XPS-VIZIO sound bar 02.jpg

And this CP9687 chip seems only support Dolby Digital…


Lastly, the other test I haven’t tried yet is to hook up the HDMI to pass through a receiver to see if bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD is possible. To be continued…