What is mhl cable and what is its use

What is mhl cable and what is its use

Stay with jbq in the article What is mhl cable and what is its use.

If you start asking people what devices they cannot leave without, many will immediately say their smartphone, tablet, and other portable electronic devices, don’t they?


We work, communicate, get entertained and have fun with them, regardless of where we are and what we do. As a result, there is a powerful tendency among users to be able to connect their portable electronic devices to TVs.


Previously, the connection was possible wirelessly. However, there is a new technology called MHL which stands for Mobile High-Definition Link.


This technology lets you connect your portable electronic devices to compatible TVs, audio receivers, and projectors. In this short article, we will introduce MHL, explain its mechanism, and answer some frequently answered questions. Let’s get started. 

Who developed MHL in the first place

MHL, as a digital audio/video/data connector, is the result of a consortium of five mega-companies including Nokia, Samsung, Silicon Image, Sony, and Toshiba in 2010. So far, more than 30 versions of MHL have been manufactured that embrace new technologies and inventions.

MHL is supposed to be more convenient, is it

Wireless methods are already present in the market for mirroring mobile devices to bigger screens such as Apple’s AirPlay, Miracast, Google’s Chromecast, etc. Why should we abandon wireless methods and go for MHL? Well, there are some well-grounded reasons to do so as follows:


– MHL usually offers a higher level of video and sound quality.

– It is an excellent replacement when no cable or internet is available. 

– With MHL, your portable device will turn into a complete entertainment center.

– MHL or HDTV Cable is a nice gift for gamers as they experience a lag-free display with zero latency which makes gaming more exciting and convenient. 

jbq mhl

Is my portable electronic device compatible with MHL? What about the receiver?

What about the receiver

Let’s say you want your smartphone to be connected to your TV at home. How can you make sure both devices are compatible with MHL? Well, you just need to check the official MHL site out and see whether your smartphone and TV models are mentioned there. Now, you will face three scenarios. Firstly, both your devices are on the list which makes you sure about the connection. Secondly, your smartphone is compatible but your receiver is not. In this case, don’t bother yourself as MHL doesn’t work. Thirdly, your receiver functions with MHL but not your smartphone. Fortunately, there are some tricks here to connect. 


Also, iPhones or iPads are MHL-friendly but a device named Lightning to Digital AV adaptor can connect them to your recipient. Although some more recently released Android smartphones USB Type-C, they still need third-party adaptors. The same is true with some Samsung models as they need a different (11-pin) adaptor. It should be noted that third-party adaptors might reduce the level of quality but are practical when your device is not MHL-friendly. 

How does your portable device get connected

Four types of connectors facilitate the connection between your device and the display including Micro-USB-to-HDMI (five-pin), Samsung Micro-USB-to-HDMI adapter, and tip (eleven-pin), USB Type-C (MHL Alternate Mode), and SuperMHL (32-pin). What are the differences? That is exactly what we are going to discuss.

Micro USB to HDMI

Regarding the first method, Micro-USB and HDMI are the most common mobile and TV connections, respectively. In fact, passive cable and active adaptor are two types of connection here. In the passive cable method, your portable device gets connected directly via an MHL-enabled HDMI port. On the other hand, in the active adaptor method, the display device doesn’t have MHL but can convert the signal to HDMI. 


Samsung Micro-USB-to-HDMI adapter and tip

This method is only available on the Samsung Galaxy SIII, Note II, and S4 to maximize the functionality of the 5-pin design.

USB Type-C

Finally, USB-C is a 24-pin USB connector system with a rotationally symmetrical connector supporting the transfer of data and power charging at the same time (alongside MHL audio/video). It has also adopted a USB 3.1 which can transfer the data much faster than previous versions.

Super MHL

This is a reversible 32-pin superMHL connector with the ability to carry six A/V lanes over six differential pains which is the latest improvement to the connection methods. 

What are the main features of MHL 3.0

MHL 3.0 is one of the latest versions of MHL with great capabilities. It is compatible with 4K (Ultra HD) displays. It can be effectively used as a simultaneous high-speed data channel. MHL 3.0 is also technologically secured thanks to the latest HDCP 2.2 content protection. Additionally, it facilitates power charging up to 10W. Last but not the least, it follows Improved Remote Control Protocol (RCP) for a better interface. 

MHL or Wireless technologies, which one wins

Many people criticize that the era of wired technologies is over and everything should be adopted to wireless technologies. However, MHL can be greatly beneficial because of two main reasons. Firstly, it lets your portable devices be connected to larger devices while they are being charged. Also, with MHL, you don’t need to spend money on new connectors. 

Are interoperability and stability provided by MHL

Yes, indeed! All MHL cables and adapters go through the process of examination to make sure they are electronically sound and not malformed. Therefore, all MHL-related products come with official certification. 

What can we expect in the future

The use of MHL technology can be extensively expanded to various sectors including automobiles, education, medical, airplanes, fitness, etc. For instance, doctors can securely access their patient files and carry them around. Or, passengers will be able to connect their portable devices to the display on their seats and enjoy watching movies, playing games, and listening to music. Also, you can easily connect your smartphone to a projector in the class and engage in teaching without the need for bigger and more expensive devices such as laptops. 


MHL is trying to revive the old school technology in the modern era. While many use wireless technologies, MHL enables you to connect your portable devices such as laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. to a display device such as smart TVs. In this short essay, we had a short glance at what MHL is and what it can do for us.  

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