Nowadays mobile devices are much more capable in handling HD (high definition) media decoding as compared to previous and in order to not limit its content playback on tiny internal screen, a consortium has been formed to look into new interface and standard definition to extend its usage beyond current capability. The consortium, consisting of five major industry players such as Samsung, Silicon Image, Nokia, Sony and Toshiba have recently drafted a new MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) with the intention to deliver high resolution uncompressed AV data streams from mobile devices to HDTV directly with extra enhancements.
Even though there are already some mobile makers utilizing mini HDMI for similar goal, but the new standard is expected to further improve it with few major advantages. First, the physical connector will have less pin counts (exact number of pin-out is still unknown but will be much lesser than existing 19-pins mini HDMI connector) and eventually smaller form factor, which is quite crucial for mobile manufacturers to simplify design and cost saving for much slimmer and stylish end products. However, it doesn’t sacrifice existing features provided by mini HDMI such as control signaling but instead, the new specification has defined an additional power rail to continue powering up mobile device (sourced from connected HDTV) so that users can enjoy the media streaming without depending merely on internal battery juice. Last but not least, it includes the HDCP (High bandwidth Digital Content Protection) so that protected media clips can be viewed and more importantly, a full HD 1080p contents can be streamed seamlessly and displayed on full HDTV without losses.
Currently the abridged version of specifications is already available for download at MHL Consortium official website (at $100 non-refundable purchase) and a full specification is planned to be released officially by mid of this year. Only one drawback, there will be adopter and licensing fee (details will be available in Adopter Agreement when it is available) as similar to HDMI technology that will definitely add some cost to end products.