HTC Explains: EVO 4G 30FPS Limitation Due to HDMI Hardware


The HTC EVO 4G is one super smartphone, so owners were none too pleased to find out that their handset capable of frame rates reaching towards 60FPS was capped at 30FPS by software restraints. Many have wondered why this is the case, and the answer given by a representative at an event promoting the HTC Aria is pretty straightforward: yes the phone is capable of higher frame rates, yes the 30FPS cap is a software limitation, but the cap is only in place due to hardware limitations on the part of the EVO’s HDMI-out.


While you will never be able to get more than 30FPS out of your device when connected via HDMI regardless, HTC would need to release an update that could turn the cap on and off based on the presence of an HDMI connection in order to get the full frame rate out of the EVO. Then again, that’s what the Android hacker community is for

[via BGR]

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  1. Well, what the point getting more than 30 FPS ? The human eye sees it smooth, particulary on a small screen like the Evo’s one and it saves battery..

  2. If you use one of the multitouch demo programs available on the Android Market, you’ll see that the 30fps limitation is quite visual — the touch point lags behind your finger for whatever reason.

    I would agree though, just make it a user definable option so we can turn it on or off to our liking — the user should be able to make the battery/smoothness determination.

  3. Credit should be given to AndroidGuys.com, and not BGR.

  4. The Droid X doesn’t have this limitation and it has HDMI.

  5. Yeah, and we’ve also had our phones longer Zach.

  6. Yeah, you’re right, the Verizon Motorola Droid X DOESN’T have this limitation. Instead it can’t use its HDMI port for anything except the Gallery app

    In other words, you can only use the handset to view videos and pictures through HDMI. So, no YouTube, browser/flash, or official API for apps to access the HDMI out.

  7. the hdmi output on my evo doesn’t even work.when i connect the micro hdmi cable to the phone it just freezes up.i have to take out the battery and reboot.

  8. Even if the comment from the HTC representative is truthful it is still shoddy workmanship.

    The capping is absolutely horribly implemented (there are other negative consequences besides just the cap itself). I will be making a video shortly with a more in depth look at the capping.

    If I had to make an assumption and guess I’d say HTC was taking a ton of heat on battery life from Sprint and they grasped at straws and hobbled the entire device with this limitation. It makes absolutely no sense to hobble the entire device due to HDMI support which is only partially active.

    @Raon – 1:
    The human eye can see above 30 FPS; you are believing a myth. It’s very noticeable to compare an uncapped N1 against the EVO 4G. You can hold both phones up with a simple spinning 3D cube and anyone will pick the N1 over the EVO 4G regarding smoothness of presentation. Basically the higher the FPS the smoother motion will look and this is important in games and other real time apps.

    @NeoteriX – 2:
    The multitouch lag is another issue and likely due to the touch sensor. Two separate problems there, but you are right that too is a bummer on this device.

    @Simon Belmont – 6:
    The so called “official API” you speak of for HDMI usage on the EVO is a hacked piece of crap! It’s not possible to output a full screen OpenGL game via HDMI with the “official API” for the EVO 4G. Try again. It’s an unofficial hack.

    Plain and simple HTC let the ball down big time on the EVO 4G. There are numerous issues and QA dropped the ball.

    I don’t exactly believe the HDMI excuse for the 30 FPS cap. Any engineer worth their salt would implement a switch to only cap the device when HDMI is in use and uncapped otherwise. Sounds like a cheap excuse for shoddy workmanship.

  9. It’s been said numerous times, Froyo 2.2 removes the cap. There are folks with rooted EVO’s who have Froyo, they confirmed the 30fps cap is lifted. Those EVO owners have said they get 52fps with Froyo.

  10. @Informed,
    You are dead wrong my friend. I’m an Evo owner and the Froyo ROMs have nothing to do with lifting the cap. It has to do with installing hacked kernels that allows us to remove the cap, though at the current time they are just dirty hacks that aren’t particularly meant for daily use.

  11. @Mike Leahy – Um, thanks for the information, but I never said it could output full screen games with OpenGL via the API. I simply stated that you cannot output anything other than media via the Gallery app and that the API (however hobbled it may be in the Sprint HTC EVO 4G’s case) cannot be used at all with the Verizon Motorola Droid X because they’ve got HDMI out restricted (if there even is any type of HDMI out API for the Droid X to begin with, which seems unlikely due to the aforementioned restriction).

    @Informed – Sorry to burst you bubble, mate, but Android 2.2 does not lift the 30 frames per second cap. Uninformed is right in this case.

  12. boriqua2000 – i had this problem with the amzer cords. with the molex cords the freezing has stopped. Just fyi – to you or anyone with that same experience.

  13. Mind if I jump back to the issue with the Evo freezing when hdmi is connected? I see posts all about it all over the net but no solutions.

  14. Just to put my penny worth in, people say you can’t see the difference, but I can, very slight tearing and jitter is reduced at higher fps, yet at 30, I can tell things aren’t moving along quite as smooth. At least this is what happens when I play a game on my pc.

  15. @Simon.. Oops.. somehow I read that wrong at 1st, but you are spot on with comment 6 (hrm… ;P Coffee is good.. ;P)

  16. After the Froyo demo earlier this year, an HTC official mentioned that Froyo increases fps, he also mentioned the EVO is one of several devices getting Froyo this year. Numerous folks have said this as well. When the EVO gets Froyo, we will see who the fool is.

  17. With Froyo most of the restraints and limitations of the Evo will be addressed.

    On another note, the Evo is a far superior device to the Apple iPhone and anything out there. Don’t forget it is still the only phone capable of working on a 4G platform, a network that will have 120+ million POPS within 4 months. Verizon’s mgmt. has said that they won’t have their 4G until the summer of 2011. Apple won’t have a 4G network in the US until 2012, only because of the exclusivity it has with ATT until that date.

    Spectrum holdings and Bandwidth are also important factors that should be considered. Sprint and its affiliate Clearwire have 150Mhz of spectrum in the 100 most populous cities in the US, this is substantial when you consider the limits of ATT and VZ’s 4G spectrum holdings. Remember, bandwidth is a finite resource and there are limitations, hence with video playing a larger role in our daily wireless fare you should begin to see data caps with all the carriers.

  18. That’s fine, just tell us where to change it, and we’ll do the work for them :)

  19. Wow, the Evo woes just keep coming. Makes me think ill just hold out another 4-6 months, if not earlier for the next, bigger smartphone.

  20. The Sprint EVO has had more problems than Tiger Woods. I am glad that I just went with the Incredible. It truly is Incredible.

  21. When I play a movie on my EVO, I can surely notice the 30fps limitation. The movie is choppy. Compare my phone to the HTC HD, or an iPhone and I can clearly see the difference. So this is the response I rec’d when I emailed HTC directly:

    Thank you for taking the time to contact HTC America Technical Support via E-Mail with your inquiry about the EVO 4G. The device has been locked at 30 FPS due to enhance overall performance in the device. By lowering the FPS of the device the CPU works less. This increases the battery life of the device. We are investigating the viability of claims that the limitation of 30fps can be overcome by software changes. As soon as we finish our investigations, HTC will announce its findings.




  22. When you watch froyo official video it talks about upping the fps. So o would assume that is going to happen when EVO gets froyo. I doubt they meant for nexus 1 only. I really hope this is true if not I will have to root my phone and I don’t want to. The 30 fps is very noticeable. But besides that I absolutely love love the EVO phone. Sure it has some issues and there will be better phones coming out buy I know this phone will keepme happy for 2 years.

  23. I don’t mean to sound stupid but what does root the phone mean? Thanks

  24. Does anybody know if android 2.2 will make droid x 24 fps go to 30 fps instead…?

  25. everityme i connect the hdmi cable on my evo it freezes and gota take the batery out and reboot it im pissed off

  26. this peace of shit is slower then the fucking moment wtf motherfuckers

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