Hi-def audio and video from your Android device to your HDTV. Nothing new or special about that, as many Android devices already allow you to stream seamless, hi-res audio and video from your phone or tablet to your HDTV. What’s responsible for that? HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) output.
But, here’s the awesome part about HDMI: it can also be used to charge your Android device while streaming uncompressed digital multimedia from your device to your HDTV. HDMI itself doesn’t do that. It’s MHL that does.
What is MHL and what does it hold in store for Android users?
MHL stands for Mobile High-Definition Link. It’s an interface standard developed by the MHL Consortium to enable mobile phones and other portable gadgets to link directly to hi-definition displays such as HDTVs.
Android devices and high-def display screens compliant with the MHL specifications enjoy the following perks:
Currently, however, legacy (i.e., non-MHL-compliant) HDTVs will not be able to make full use of MHL features without the use of adapter cables, dongles, or docks.
The MHL Consortium was originally founded by big players in the smartphone and tablet industry: Samsung, Toshiba, Nokia, Sony, and Silicon Image. Acer and HTC later on joined the Consortium as adopters of the MHL specifications. The good news for Android lovers is that Samsung, Toshiba, Sony Ericsson, Acer, and HTC are all supporters of the MHL standards, so you can expect greater support for the MHL specification in the coming months and see more Android devices and HDTV sets carrying the MHL Consortium’s stamp of approval.
Historically, Samsung’s Infuse 4G gets the credit for being the first mobile device to get MHL support. Other MHL-enabled devices include HTC Flyer Wi-Fi, HTC Evo View 4G, HTC Evo 3D, and Samsung Galaxy S II.
Will you be an MHL adopter, too? Or do you think legacy HDMI is enough for your needs?