MHL 3.0 standard announced: lag-free mobile games on your 4K TV

MHL 3.0 standard announced: lag-free mobile games on your 4K TV
The MHL Consortium just announced the next version of its wired connectivity standard which you can meet on many smartphones lately, mainly Samsung, HTC and LG ones.

MHL 3.0 is backwards compatible, which means it will work with your existing dongles, and can use just five pins to function, so it's connector-agnostic and can be rolled into the microUSB port, just like what we have now. The Consortium jazzed things up significantly, introducing 4K video support for that expensive TV you haven't even bought yet, but will do in a year or two.

A fast bi-directional channel allows you to hook up peripherals such as touch screens, keyboard and mouse, while doing the 4K streaming, and your phone or tablet are also charged by your TV in the process. Here's the full changelog:

  • 4K (Ultra HD): Support of 4K formats up to 2160p30
  • Simultaneous high-speed data channel
  • Improved Remote Control Protocol (RCP) with support for peripherals such as a touch screen, keyboard and mouse
  • Power charging up to 10W
  • 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

The MHL 3.0 standard specs will be available on the Consortium's website next month, so that manufacturers can grab them, and start equipping our smartphones and tablets with 4K-capable wired connectivity.

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11 Comments

1. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Well... I really wish Sony would implement this for the roumored Honami Mini... that would barely make up for using MHL instead of microHDMI lately

8. cdgm2509

Posts: 30; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

my Xperia T has MHL support

9. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Yeah dude I know, that is my point. Hopefully they implement version 3 soon. Because as it is right now I see less benefits for current mhl ports than the old microhdmi

2. WirelessCon

Posts: 311; Member since: May 11, 2010

People actually attach their phones to TVs?

4. dmat3889

Posts: 14; Member since: Mar 14, 2013

Yep. It works quite well too. using the MHL adapter with the HDMI makes the tv run almost instantaneous with the phone. Its nice when you want to stream content to a tv or play a game on a larger screen.

5. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Yeah, same here... I have always run my Movies and TV shows digitally... first with my PMP Archos AV500... and after that Moto Atrix (Multimedia Station) and then Samsung GS3 with MHL... And today Sony Xperia Acro S with a simple microHDMI cable.. The advantage of the Xperia Acro S is that it brought a charging dock and it leaves the microUSB port alone so you can plug in a USB Mouse, or flash drive with the OTG cable... couple that with a BT keyboard and microHDMI port, and you got yourself a nice android computer experience.... I gave a small and not-so-formal PPT presentation with my phone early this year. And what really makes the difference with Sony is that they have been adding CEC compatibility to its microHDMI enabled devices... so you can basically control your phone with your TV remote through the HDMI connection alone... no need of MHL or MHL compatible TV.... I know that MHL is becoming the standard, but the advantage does not outweighs the compromises for me... MHL Pros: - charging through MHL compatible TV - control phone with TV remote Cons: - need an additional adapter (plus the HDMI cable) - occupy microUSB port (until MHL 3.0 devices show) - charging (assuming you have a compatible TV) is very slow or even not happening - if there is not a compatible TV, you need to also plug the MHL adapter to an AC charger. Also extremely slow charge. microHDMI + CEC Pros: - control phone with TV remote - microUSB port available for USB OTG or PC connection - no need to "power" the Mirroring - charging happens with your microUSB (faster) - CEC has broader compatibility with TVs, and there is no need for adapter to use projector and monitors Cons: - needs microHDMI cable (albeit very cheap). Or adapter from Micro to HDMI - no "one cable charging and mirroring"

10. Charlie_boy

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

what made you switch from the Galaxy S III to the Acro S? Is it only from the difference of the MHL implementation (since Samsung uses a different pin config)?

11. buccob

Posts: 2963; Member since: Jun 19, 2012

Lol, not at all... I was robbed. After that I start looking for a less expensive option and, seeing that my wife had a good experience with her Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro, I decided to try a Sony device... The waterproofing always interested me, and it was just the right time cause the Olympus Water proof camera of my wife had just broken down and decent water proof Sony Xperia were getting attention... I wanted the Xperia V but the lack of 3G band for my country was an instantly no-go... and the Acro S looked like the better option overall... The only downside was the S3 processor... but everything else was similar or better than the Xperia V. The Acro S was the last Sony Xperia with microHDMI port I believe... and it is the only one with a charging dock included in the box... And the dock holds the phone in portrait which allows to use all other ports while docked... Newer models have the dock pins on the same side as the microUSB which I find stupid, because you are not able to use OTG while dock... After using it for a couple of month, Sony earned my respect for their high end models, and I decided to also get an Acro S for my wife... And now I will patiently wait for the Honami or Honami Mini to see how they fare so I can upgrade... I will miss all the advantages I wrote down but the bigger RAM and faster processor might balance this out...

6. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Same here, it is an amazing technology, beeing able to show your recorded videos on the big screen is very good

3. rihel_95

Posts: 305; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

Though 4k is getting hyped by supporting hardware, but software side its still lagging with very few content. And its pretty much impossible to stream and too heavy to store.

7. marbovo

Posts: 658; Member since: May 16, 2013

Imagine with 8K...

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