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Consortium Previews MHL 3.0 Spec

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 five-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 60 fps, 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 30 fps, 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.

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 vs. a 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.

It will be available at in early September.