Mobile High-Definition Link

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Mobile High-Definition Link
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, United States
Area served Worldwide
Key people Judy Chen
Products Adapters, automotive accessories, AV receivers, Blu-ray players, cables, DTVs, monitors, projectors, smartphones, tablets, TV accessories

Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) is an industry standard for a mobile audio/video interface that allows consumers to connect mobile phones, tablets, and other portable consumer electronics (CE) devices to high-definition televisions (HDTVs) and audio receivers. The current MHL standard supports up to 4K (Ultra HD) high-definition (HD) video and 7.1 surround-sound audio, including TrueHD and DTS-HD, while simultaneously charging the connected device. MHL-enabled products include adapters, automotive accessories, AV receivers, Blu-ray Disc players, cables, DTVs, monitors, projectors, smartphones, tablets, TV accessories, and more. Also, to view a device through an MHL cord, the TV must have an MHL-certified HDMI input; otherwise, this connection will not work.

MHL was developed by the MHL Consortium, a consortium made up of leading companies in the mobile and CE space that includes Nokia, Samsung, Silicon Image, Sony, and Toshiba.


Silicon Image originally demonstrated a mobile interconnect, based on its transition-minimized differential signaling (TMDS) technology, at the January 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).[1] This interface was termed "Mobile High Definition Link" at the time of the demonstration, and is a direct precursor of the implementation announced by the MHL Consortium. The company is quoted as saying it did not ship that original technology in any volume, but used it as a way to get the working group started.[2]

MHL, LLC is the agent for overseeing the licensing and promotion of the MHL specification. A Working Group was announced in September 2009,[3] the MHL Consortium was founded in April 2010 Nokia, Samsung, Silicon Image, Sony and Toshiba, the MHL specification version 1.0 was released in June 2010 and May 2011 marked the first retail availability of MHL-enabled products.


An abridged version of the specification was made available for download on April 14, 2010 at MHL specification version 1.0 was released in June 2010.[4] Details on the adopter agreement can also be found on the MHL Consortium's website.[5]

The Compliance Test Specification (CTS) was announced on December 21, 2010.[6]

Market traction

The MHL ecosystem is continuing to grow with an installed base of more than 330 million products. The past year saw the release of the industry's first MHL-enabled AVRs, Blu-ray Disc players, laptop docks, PC monitors and projectors developed by the growing base of more than 200 global adopters (licensees). One area that is beginning to embrace the technology is the automotive sector, with manufacturers such as Hyundai, JVC-Kenwood and Pioneer viewing MHL as a compelling solution to integrate the phone into the car infotainment experience.

MHL 3.0 features

On August 20, 2013, MHL announced its 3.0 specification to address the latest consumer requirements for connecting a mobile device to displays, marking major advancements in the areas of audio and video transmission over an MHL link. Features of the MHL 3.0 specification include:·

  • 4K (Ultra HD): Support of 4K formats up to 3840 × 2160 at 30 Hz.
  • Simultaneous high-speed data channel
  • Improved Remote Control Protocol (RCP) with new commands
  • HID support for peripherals such as a touch screen, keyboard and mouse
  • Higher power charging up to 10 W
  • 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

MHL 1 and MHL 2

  • The TV provides power to the connected device (5 V DC/500 mA with MHL 1.0, 5 V DC/900 mA with MHL 2.0)
  • Uses a single, thin cable to connect the mobile device to the TV.
  • The TV remote will control the connected device with guaranteed mixed manufacturer interoperability (CEC).[7] (Also see Silicon Image's press release about MHL on December 14, 2010). Note: The built-in Remote Control Protocol (RCP) function allows you to use the remote control of the TV to operate the MHL mobile device through TV’s Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) function.
  • 1080p uncompressed HD video.
  • 8 channel uncompressed audio (e.g., 7.1 surround sound).
  • Supports High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP).
  • MHL is connection agnostic (i.e., not tied to a specific type of hardware connector). The first implementations used the 5-pin MHL-USB connector described below. Other proprietary and custom connections are also allowed.

By transporting the digital content in digital form, the full impact of the picture (whether still images or video) can be seen on TVs.[8]

Comparison with SlimPort / Mobility DisplayPort (MyDP)

SlimPort is an alternative to the MHL license, based on the DisplayPort standard integrated into common microUSB ports. SlimPort is offered both license and royalty free, and supports up to 1080p60 or 1080p30 with 3D content over HDMI 1.4 (up to 5.4 Gbit/s of bandwidth), in addition to support for DVI, VGA (up to 1366×768 and 720p at 60 Hz), and DisplayPort.

MHL adapters require external power while SlimPort does not require external power or extra cables and draws no power from the source to operate.[9]


Not all micro USB 2.0 ports are identical. Compare connectors for original Galaxy Note with the Note II

Standard Micro-USB-to-HDMI adapter (five-pin)

The first implementations use the most popular mobile connection (micro USB) and the most popular TV connection (HDMI). Other than the physical connectors, USB and HDMI technology are not being used. It is exclusively MHL signaling through the connectors and over the cable.

Samsung Micro-USB-to-HDMI adapter and tip (eleven-pin)

The Samsung Galaxy S III, and later Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S4, use an 11-pin connector and the six additional connector pins in order to achieve functional improvements over the 5-pin design. However, if consumers have a standard MHL-to-HDMI adapter all they need to purchase is a tip. With the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung also released a Samsung 2.0 smart adapter with a built-in 11-pin connector. Samsung 2.0 smart adapter does require external power and is able to work with HDMI TVs.[10]

MHL cable

Passive cables are also available at retail that allow consumers to connect an MHL-enabled device directly to an MHL TV.

Products announcements

  • MHL announced on August 20, 2013 the MHL 3.0 specification with major advancements for mobile and CE connectivity
  • MHL announced on August 26, 2013 its MHL Experience Program with SEGA, PowerA, Nyko, MobiSystems, Green Throttle and FilmOn.TV
  • MHL announced on May 28, 2013 that it had reached 200 adopter milestone
  • Samsung March 14, 2013, Samsung release Galaxy S4 with MHL 2.0
  • HTC February 19, 2013, HTC release the New HTC One with MHL
  • MHL announced on January 7, 2013 that there was an installed base of more than 220 million products and greater than 200 products in the marketplace.
  • Hyundai announced on January 4, 2013 that it would be showing working versions of future vehicle infotainment systems, including MHL technology.
  • Silicon Image expanded its MHL product line with four new products that included the latest MHL 2.0 features on September 25, 2012.[11]
  • Roku unveiled the 'Roku Streaming Stick' on January 4, 2012 in an official blog post entitled 'There’s a Better Way to Build a Smart TV'. The Streaming Stick is said to include everything comprised in a Roku player—built-in WiFi, processor, memory and software—and will deliver all the channels found on the Roku platform today.[12]
  • LG Electronics available on December 4, 2011 AT&T Wireless and LG Electronics Nitro HD (AT&T) / Optimus LTE (LTE carriers), a True HD AH-IPS panel display on the device with MHL output abilities for any TV equipped with HDMI input.[13][14][15]
  • HTC announced at the 2011 CTIA that their 'EVO 3D' mobile device supports MHL output and in addition that the HTC 'Sensation' will also have this capability, as well as its successor, the 'Sensation XE'. The HTC Rezound, which is a sister device to the Sensation XE also has the MHL port.
  • Samsung announced at the 2011 Mobile World Congress that their Galaxy S II mobile devices feature MHL connections.[7][16]
  • Onkyo and Silicon Image announced the world's first A/V receivers featuring InstaPrevue and MHL technologies.[17]

MHL-enabled devices

References and notes

  1. Jump up ^ "HDMI plugs into cameras, cellphones". EE Times. January 8, 2008. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  2. Jump up ^ "Consortium backs mobile interface for high def video". EE Times. April 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  3. Jump up ^ "Leading Companies Form Mobile High-Definition Interface Working Group to Drive Industry Standard for Mobile Wired Connectivity". Silicon Image. September 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
  4. Jump up ^ "MHL 1.0 SPECIFICATION AND ADOPTER AGREEMENT NOW AVAILABLE". MHL, LLC. June 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  5. Jump up ^ "Adopter Information". MHL, LLC. June 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
  7. ^ Jump up to: a b "MHL High-definition Link". YouTube. February 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
  8. Jump up ^ "Play Mobile Games on Your Television with MHL". FlashMush Reviews. 23 October 2012.
  9. Jump up ^ Klug, Brian (5 December 2012). "Hands on with the Analogix SlimPort microUSB to HDMI and VGA adapters". AnandTech. AnandTech, Inc. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  10. Jump up ^ "MHL 2.0 HDTV Smart Adapter".
  11. Jump up ^ "Silicon Image Unveils First MHL Products". Silicon Image. October 4, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
  12. Jump up ^ "There’s a Better Way to Build a Smart TV". Roku Official Blog. January 4, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  13. Jump up ^ "LG Nitro HD Delivers First True High-Definition Experience for AT&T Customers" (Press release). AT&T Wireless. November 28, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-28.
  14. Jump up ^ "WORLD’S FIRST HD LTE SMARTPHONE ANNOUNCED IN CANADA" (Press release). LG Electronics. November 8, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-08.
  15. Jump up ^ "LG LAUNCHES OPTIMUS LTE, FIRST 4G HD SMARTPHONE IN KOREAN MARKET" (Press release). LG Electronics. October 4, 2011. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  16. Jump up ^ "The Samsung Galaxy S2 is Announced". MobileReview. February 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-15.
  17. Jump up ^ "Onkyo and Silicon Image Announce the World’s First A/V Receivers Featuring InstaPrevue and MHL Technologies." (Press release). Onkyo US. December 21, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-06.

See also

External links