More on Troubleshooting Intelligent Proximity

Some time ago I wrote a post on this subject which BTW still applies today. Especially the use of the SpectrumView app on iOS. This is the most useful tools to troubleshoot Proximity issues as it give a clear indication of signal strength along with any interference that is in your environment.

Recently I was involved in some troubleshooting that on the surface seemed pretty straight forward but after some time looking a little deeper showed a reoccurring issue that went beyond the initial scope. While I am not going to go to far into the details there are some important things I learned around both how Proximity works but also interacts with other devices using Windows 10.

Turning Proximity Off:

The Proximity soft switch on the touch 10 does not disable the Proximity signal it only prevents clients connecting, see screenshot below of the Touch 10 interface switch. This is especially important if you end up with two Proximity capable devices in the same room. You will need to either turn Proximity off inside web interface or via SSH to stop the signal.

The easiest way is using the web interface to turn off the Proximity Signal. Go to Setup>Proximity and select the mode drop down and select Off and save. See below. Signal is now off.

 User Reported Issues:

Don't assume only one user is having the issue because no one else has said anything. Most of the time users will just grab the HDMI cable and get what they need done and move on. Users will mention it more to each other than you and some issues are harder than others to discover and seem limited but are much more far reaching. The only way to work this is out is test in multiple rooms with the same PC/MAC device experiencing issues. Do not immediately jump to it "must be a codec issue".

Windows 10 Audio Driver Issues:

This is pretty tricky to diagnose. The symptoms can vary quite a bit from dropping a Proximity session midway to not connecting to a codec via Proximity after coming out of hibernation. This is due to the way that Windows 10 shares access to Audio drivers and devices. Although I saw this predominately on Surface Pro and Surface Book devices other Windows 10 devices had some of the same issues. This means that it is more than likely a Windows 10 issue regardless of the hardware.

To change the exclusive-mode settings of a playback or recording device:
  • Right-click the speaker icon in the notification area, which is located on the right side of the taskbar, and select Playback Devices or Recording Devices. (As an alternative, run the Windows multimedia control panel, Mmsys.cpl, from a Command Prompt window. For more information, see Remarks in DEVICE_STATE_XXX Constants.)
  • After the Sound window appears, select Playback or Recording. Next, select an entry in the list of device names, and click Properties.
  • After the Properties window appears, click Advanced.
  • To enable applications to use the device in exclusive mode, check the box labeled Allow applications to take exclusive control of this device. To disable exclusive-mode use of the device, clear the check box. In our case we want to disable exclusive mode.
  • If exclusive-mode use of the device is enabled, you can specify whether a request for exclusive control of the device will succeed if the device is currently playing or recording shared-mode streams. To give exclusive-mode applications priority over shared-mode applications, check the box labeled Give exclusive mode applications priority. To deny exclusive-mode applications priority over shared-mode applications, clear the check box. In our case we want to deny exclusive mode applications.

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