updated 09:50 pm EDT, Wed April 14, 2010
Standard aims to provide HD video, power
Nokia, Samsung, Silcon Image, Sony and Toshiba have joined forces to create the Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) Consortium that aims to develop a new mobile audio/video interface for connecting mobile devices to HDTVs. The standard is designed to provide 1080p video and digital audio over a small cable, which also provides power to the device.
Although a number of mobile devices are currently using Mini HDMI connectors, the HDMI standard uses 19 pins without sending power to the mobile device. MHL technology is said to focus on a lower pin count, without sacrificing video resolution or other features such as control signals. The system also supports HDCP, allowing users to play protected content.
The standard could have a significant impact on other handset makers such as Apple, as many high-end devices offer HD video output via Mini HDMI. iPhone owners can purchase a component AV cable to output video and audio to a TV, although the accessory requires five connectors and limits the maximum resolution to 576i.
The MHL Consortium has already created an abridged draft specification for evaluation purposes, while the final release is expected sometime in the first half of this year.