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Consortium Develops MHL 3.0 Interface Standard

Sunnyvale, Calif. – The Mobile High-definition Link (MHL) 3.0 interface standard announced today by the MHL Consortium doubles the bandwidth of the previous spec to transmit 4K (Ultra HD) video resolution and a wider color gamut to TVs.

MHL is a 5-pin, single-cable HD video/digital-audio interface for connecting mobile phones and portable devices to HDTVs and other home entertainment products such as A/V receivers. Like before, the 3.0 standard supports 3D video and 1080p video at 60fps, sends 7.1-channel PCM audio over a wired connection to a home-theater system, and enables a TV remote to stop, rewind, pause and play a mobile device’s content. The connection also charges mobile devices.

The new spec adds 4K formats up to 3,840 by 2,160p 30fps, support for 7.1-channel Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD, and the new 2.2 version of HDCP content protection.

With the standard, users can play 4K mobile games on a 4K screen with no lag, whereas the previous spec enabled play of 1,080p games with no lag. “With 3.0 you will be able to play at 4K as long as the display and content supports that resolution,” a spokesperson said.

There is also an enhanced ability to turn a smartphone into a desktop computer. Under the 2.0 spec, users can connect a keyboard and mouse to a smartphone via Bluetooth and use MHL to display smartphone content on a bigger screen. With 3.0, keyboards and mice can be connected to the phone via MHL, and the spec supports multiple monitors.

It also allows the ability to use a car’s touchscreen controls to make phone calls, play cellphone-stored music, navigate with the phone’s GPS, and the like while charging the smartphone. The previous spec supported control of select smartphone functions via a car’s steering-wheel-mounted controls.

The spec provides for 10 watts of charging versus maximum 7.5 watts, allowing for faster charging times and allow more powerful and current-hungry mobile devices to charge up during operation, the spokesperson said.

MHL 3.0 devices are backward-compatible with MHL 1.0 and 2.0 devices.

The MHL 3.0 specification will be available for download at in early September.