Get 4K video from your phone’s USB port with the new MHL 3.0 spec

MHL logoThe Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) standard already lets you connect certain phones, tablets, and other devices to your TV using adapters that connect to the devices' micro-USB ports. But the consortium has just announced that an upgrade is coming: the new MHL 3.0 standard adds support for 4K displays. This will allow mobile devices that support the standard to output 3840×2160 (also known as 2160p) video at up to 30 frames per second, an upgrade from MHL 2.0's 1080p.

The updated standard can transmit data and video simultaneously, and a device connected via MHL can draw up to 10 watts of power to charge your device. Backward compatibility with MHL versions 1.x and 2.x, HDCP 2.2 DRM support, and 7.1 channel surround sound support are also part of the standard.

Get 4K video from your phone’s USB port with the new MHL 3.0 spec

The MHL standard competes with a few standards (as well as Apple's proprietary AirPlay), all of which are designed to put your phone or tablet's display up on your TV. There's SlimPort (used most prominently in Google's Nexus 4 and 2013 Nexus 7), a DisplayPort-compatible spec which like MHL uses the micro USB port to connect over HDMI. There's also Miracast, an Airplay-like standard that uses a Wi-Fi-equipped receiver to beam video to your TV without the use of cables (Miracast support was baked into Android beginning in version 4.2, but it's also included in a smattering of other devices). Neither standard supports 4K video at this point, making MHL 3.0 slightly more appealing for those on the bleeding edge of TV technology.

The new standard will be available to download from the MHL Consortium in September. The standard is backed by a number of companies that make up the consortium, including Nokia, Samsung, Toshiba, Sony, and Silicon Image, Inc.

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: 4K, mobile phones, smartphones

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