Mobile High-Definition Link Powers Phones Over Video Cable
Whether you’re hooking your HDMI-equipped smartphone up to your TV to watch a video, surf the web, or enjoy a game, the last thing you want happening is your phone’s battery dying halfway through. Sure, you could plug in your charger as well as the HDMI cable, but why not simplify things? A new standard called the Mobile High-Definition Link, or MHL, proposes to draw power directly from the TV, as well as giving you some new options to control your phone.
MHL uses a connector that’s compatible with HDMI, so smartphones designed with MHL in mind could still connect to plain-old HDMI equipment. The A/V capabilities of the system are very similar to HDMI, capable of 1080p video and 7.1 surround sound, but it’s the power and control aspects that make MHL interesting. You could just plug you handset into your TV and sit back on your couch, never worrying about the battery dying, and use your TV’s remote to control things; an MHL-enabled TV would send its remote signals over the interface to your phone.
For MHL to take off, it’ll need some big names behind it, but with companies like Nokia, Samsung, Toshiba, and Sony already involved, there’s a decent chance of it succeeding. We sure hope they do, because this sounds like a great idea. The initial specification for the interface is now available, so there’s nothing in the way of getting these TVs and smartphones to market; look for the Samsung Galaxy S II to be among the first.