MHL Symbol

MHL Consortium Announces That MHL 3.0 Delivers Double the Bandwidth and 4K Ultra HD Resolutions

August 20, 2013 - Written By Cory McNutt

You might be asking yourself, “Exactly what is the MHL Consortium and why should I care.” This is the exact same question that I asked myself when I was assigned this story and I hope that my article will get you as excited as I am about the MHL. I went to my ever-trusty Google search and typed in MHL and this is what their mission statement says:

The MHL Consortium is comprised of Nokia Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Silicon Image Inc., Sony Corporation, and Toshiba Corporation. The MHL specification is an HD video and digital audio interface for connecting mobile phones and portable devices to HDTVs and other home entertainment products. It utilizes established connectors and features a single cable with a 5-pin interface, supports 1080p HD video and digital audio and simultaneously provides power to the mobile device. It also enables the TV remote to control the mobile phone and access its contents.

Nokia, Samsung, Sony, and Toshiba – some pretty heavy hitters in the electronics world and worthy of a closer look at what they are up to and why they are making some exciting news. When you take a look at the MHL enabled products on the market, they are never-ending: almost every smartphone made is on the list, as well as TVs from every manufacturer, and even most AV-Receivers. Most of us are MHL enabled and we had no idea!

MHL Scheme

Today, the MHL Consortium released a major update to how these MHL devices communicate with each other making a major advancement in audio and video transmissions from mobile devices to HDTVs over an MHL Link. With MHL 3.0 they have effectively doubled the bandwidth compared to previous versions and they can now deliver 4K, or Ultra HD resolution, allowing a more brilliant visual experience. Judy Chen, president, MHL, LLC said:

The new innovations in MHL 3.0 pave the way for the technology’s expansion into a broader set of home, office, and automotive applications. With an installed base of more than 330 million devices, MHL, as the world’s most widely adopted mobile TV-out standard, will continue to evolve to meet consumer needs.

For the real techno geeks out there, here is what the MHL 3.0 specification capabilities include:

  • 4K (Ultra HD): Support of 4K formats up to 2160p30
  • Simultaneous high-speed data channel
  • Improved Remote Control Protocol (RCP) with support for peripherals such as a touch screen, keyboard and mouse
  • Power charging up to 10W
  • Backward compatible with MHL 1 and MHL 2
  • Latest HDCP 2.2 content protection
  • Enhanced 7.1 surround sound with Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD
  • Connector agnostic – uses as few as five pins
  • Support for simultaneous multiple displays

I hope the advances you have learned today give you a new respect for the MHL and the work they do to provide us all with better living through electronics. Seriously, leave us a comment if you work with MHL standards, and how they affect our daily lives.