MHL is a simple but powerful idea – sending power and video data through the same cable. This is perfect for smartphones and tablets, as you can keep your phone charged whilst it’s connected to an external display, whether it’s a projector or HDTV. It’s a critical requirement for the continued displacement of laptops in favour of mobile devices, as it means that these can be used for an unlimited duration, allowing for long presentations and streaming full HD films with ease. It’s also good in cars, where it can send data to your in-car stereo or display whilst keeping the phone charged.
The MHL Consortium (made of Nokia, Samsung, Silicon Image, Sony and Toshiba) continues to promote the technology, and has recently released a list of MHL-enabled products as of March 7th, 2012. We’ve got the full list down below.
As you can see it contains pretty much every new top-end phone from Samsung, HTC, LG and Huawei, as well as one each from Meizu, Lenovo, Acer and ZTE. The list also contains TVs which have the technology built in, allowing for convenient MHL connections over just one cable. Again, pretty much every new large HDTV (for Samsung 46″ – 65″ and Toshiba 40″ to 55″) has the technology on-board. Samsung also have a number of LED and HDTV monitors with MHL technology, which should be great for connecting your phone up to your monitor.
Pioneer have also released the first automotive unit with MHL installed, the AppRadio 2 in-dash unit. It’s basically a touch-screen meant for in-car operation, and should allow you to stream music and radio from your phone, as well as giving you access to your phones call functions. It’s pretty sweet, but will cost you $400 – reasonable if you’ve got an expensive car stereo, but probably not if you’re running on the default model or a cheaper upgraded unit.
So what do you think about the MHL tech – if you’ve got any of these phones, do you make use of it? Will you be looking for MHL on your next phone? Let us know via the comments!
Edit: There’s also a funky-fresh MHL video which explains a few sample applications. Here it is: