August 23, 2013
The Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard for connecting smartphones and tablets to HDTVs and other home entertainment products will receive an upgrade allowing support for 4K video. MHL currently supports up to 1080p, but the need for 4K resolution will increase as more 4K TVs are sold. The backward compatible MHL 3.0 will also support simultaneous data and video feeds and provide power to charge the mobile device.
Mobile device connections to TVs currently do not go beyond 1080p resolution, but this is not a major issue as 4K is not common. However, as demand for 4K increases and more units are being sold, the Mobile High-Definition Link Consortium decided to address the issue early by adding 4K support to MHL 3.0, reports GigaOM.
The standard allows supported devices to use the micro-USB port on a phone or tablet to connect to a TV. MHL 2.0 allows 1080p resolution, but version 3.0 will increase the resolution to 3840 x 2160 (2160p), provide 7.1 surround sound, and support multiple screen displays.
Another new feature of MHL 3.0 will be users can charge their device with up to 10W while connected. MHL 3.0 requires a wired connection in contrast to wireless solutions such as AirPlay and Miracast, although these two do not currently support 4K.
Device manufacturers such as Asus, HTC, Samsung, Sony, and Roku use the MHL standard. According to the MHL Consortium site: “The MHL 3.0 specification will be available for download on the MHL extranet to members in early September.”