MHL: Mobile High Definition Link

Orange Pi Development Boards

MHL Logo
MHL Logo

Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) is a new standard that allows to connect your MHL-enabled phone to an MHL-enabled device (e.g. a TV) to output video, connect power and allows communication between both device with only one cable (micro-usb to HDMI cable with MHL signalling).

The MHL Consortium has just been setup last year by Sony, Toshiba, Samsung, Silicon Image and Nokia.

The MHL™ Consortium is committed to enhancing the multimedia capabilities of mobile and portable devices. MHL specification version 1.0 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.

They have a few devices that will be MHL compatible soon, but the only device that has officially been annoucned that support MHL is the Samsung Galaxy S2.

An MHL-enabled device has a micro-usb connector connected to a USB switch that can select USB device, USB host and MHL link depending on the impedance. Once the MHL cable is connected to the television it can output audio and video as well as charging the mobile device. An MHL-enabled television remote control can also control the mobile device thanks to MHL standard protocol. If you have a TV that can not support MHL, you can still use it with an adapter for audio/video output and charging.

Currently there are no MHL-enabled TV, but such television should be available later this year (Q2 2011).

MHL 1.0 specification is not publicly available but the abridged draft specification can be purchased for $100 nonrefundable purchase via credit card at http://www.mhlconsortium.org/adopters/adopter_information.aspx. They are starting to work on MHL 2.0 which will support 3D among other thing TBD.

Watch the video below for an interview about MHL, how it is connected and why the MHL representative thinks it is better alternative than the dock system of the Motorola Atrix 4G.

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