Mobile High-definition Link

Mobile High-definition Link

Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) is a proposed industry standard for a mobile audio/video interface for directly connecting mobile phones and other portable consumer electronics (CE) devices to high-definition televisions (HDTVs) and displays. The MHL standard features a single cable with a low pin-count interface able to support up to 1080p high-definition (HD) video and digital audio while simultaneously charging the connected device.

MHL is being developed by the MHL Consortium, a consortium of developers of mobile devices.



  • The HDTV charges the connected device.
  • Uses a single, thin cable to connect the mobile device to the HDTV.
  • The HDTV remote will control the connected device with guaranteed mixed manufacturer interoperability.[1]
  • 1080p uncompressed HD video.
  • 8 channel (e.g., 7.1 surround sound) uncompressed audio.
  • 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 dual-purpose the most popular mobile connection (micro USB) and the most popular HDTV connection (HDMI). Other than the connectors being used, no USB nor HDMI technology is being used. It is exclusively MHL signalling through the connectors and over the cable. 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 HDTVs.


Silicon Image originally demonstrated a mobile interconnect, based on its TMDS technology, at the January 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).[2] 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.[3]

A Working Group was announced in September 2009 to develop a specification based on MHL Technology.[4]

The MHL Consortium was announced by the companies of the Mobile High-definition Working Group on April 14, 2010.Nokia, Samsung, Silicon Image, Sony and Toshiba had been working on a specification since the Working Group announcement in September, 2009.[5][6]

MHL, LLC is the agent for overseeing the licensing and promotion of the MHL specification.


An abridged version of the specification was made available for download on April 14, 2010 from A nonrefundable fee of US$100 is charged.

The MHL 1.0 Specification was announced on June 30, 2010.[7]

Details on adopter agreement are also available on the MHL Consortium website.[8]

The Compliance Test Specification (CTS) was announced on December 21, 2010.[9]


Almost immediately after the specification was announced, articles appeared highlighting the use of the industry-standard micro-USB connector to send high-definition video and audio, as well as take in power, and use a command bus between the mobile device and the TV.[10][11]

Some writers confuse the origins of MHL with that of HDMI, while also stating that MHL is based on Silicon Image's technology released in 2008.[12]


Silicon Image announced a family of chips supporting MHL including a transmitter, a bridge and a port processor.[13]

Samsung announced at the 2011 Mobile World Congress that their 'Galaxy S II' mobile device features MHL output.[1][14]

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 following retail products are known to have MHL technology available:

HD Televisions

  • Toshiba Regza WL800A LED TV range (one of the earliest TV's to ship with MHL).[15][16][17]
  • Samsung's UN55D8000YF, UN55D6300SF LED TV range.[17][18]

Mobile devices

  • HTC Rezound phone
  • Samsung Galaxy Note phone
  • Samsung Galaxy S II phone
  • Samsung Infuse 4G phone (bundled with an MHL to HDMI adapter)
  • Galaxy Nexus phone
  • HTC Evo 3D phone
  • HTC Flyer tablet
  • HTC Sensation phone
  • HTC Sensation XE phone
  • HTC Amaze 4G phone

External links

References and notes

  1. ^ a b "MHL High-definition Link". YouTube. February 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  2. ^ "HDMI plugs into cameras, cellphones". EE Times. January 8, 2008.;?articleID=205600230. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  3. ^ "Consortium backs mobile interface for high def video". EE Times. April 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-14. 
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ "Leading Companies Form MHL Consortium to Advance Standard for Wired Mobile Connectivity". MHL, LLC. April 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-14. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Leading Companies Form MHL Consortium to Advance Standard for Wired Mobile Connectivity". Business Wire. April 14, 2010. Retrieved 2010-04-14. [dead link]
  7. ^ "MHL 1.0 SPECIFICATION AND ADOPTER AGREEMENT NOW AVAILABLE". MHL, LLC. June 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  8. ^ "Adopter Information". MHL, LLC. June 30, 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-30. 
  10. ^ "HDMI: getting simpler, or on the way out?". What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision. July 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  11. ^ "MHL Consortium Releases High-Definition Link Specs for Mobile Devices". Infotech Spotlight. July 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  12. ^ "MHL Consortium rolls out HDMI-lite spec for portables". CAT-iq Blog. July 2, 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-30. 
  13. ^ "Silicon Image Unveils First MHL Products". Silicon Image. October 4, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  14. ^ "The Samsung Galaxy S2 is Announced". MobileReview. February 15, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-15. 
  15. ^ Gorman, Michael (August 31, 2011). "Toshiba's new Regza WL800A HDTV hooks up with your smartphone via MHL". Engadget. Retrieved November 5 2011. 
  16. ^ "MHL now shipping on the Toshiba WL800A HDTV - YouTube". Retrieved November 5 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "MHL technology links up Toshiba TVs to the home". September 27, 2011. Retrieved November 5 2011. 
  18. ^ "Cracking Open the 55" Samsung LED TV (UN55D6300SF)". TechRepublic. June 1, 2011. Retrieved November 5 2011. 

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