Frequently Asked Questions About MHL™

1. What is the goal of the MHL Consortium?

The MHL Consortium is responsible for licensing and promoting the MHL technology as an industry standard open to anyone desiring to become an adopter, and to drive adoption of the technology into a broad ecosystem of specification-compliant products.

2. Who are the Promoters of the MHL Consortium?

The current Promoters of the Consortium are: Nokia Corporation; Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.; Silicon Image, Inc.; Sony Corporation; and Toshiba Corporation.

3. What are the benefits of membership?

  • Access to full suite of specifications
  • Access to compliance testing
  • Access to certification, trademark, copyright
  • Full-time management of trademark and copyright issues
  • IP Protection
  • Product listing on the MHL website
  • Participation in extensive co-marketing programs
  • Bi-annual Plugfest events to test for product interoperability
  • Quarterly newsletters

4. Who needs to become an adopter of the MHL Consortium?

Any company wishing to:
 i)  Gain access to any MHL specification
 ii) Obtain product certification
 iii) Sell branded MHL-enabled products to end users

5. How do I become an adopter of the MHL Consortium?

Register on our website to become an adopter and download the agreement. Sign two (2) copies and send to:

1140 East Arques Ave, Suite 800
Sunnyvale, CA 94085

6. What is the turnaround time to process an MHL adopter membership application?

MHL, LLC processes signed agreements within 24 business hours of receipt. Once processed, a membership invoice is issued and sent to the contact provided. Within 24 business hours of payment receipt, the account is activated and log in credentials emailed to the contact provided.

7. What are the membership levels and are there associated fees and royalties?

There is only one level of membership. The adopter agreement is available for download to anyone interested in learning more. Specific information on associated fees can be found in Exhibit B of the agreement.

8. How does a company gain access to the MHL specifications?

Any company that wishes to gain access to the specifications has to first become an MHL adopter. Once the company becomes a licensed adopter, access will be granted to the MHL extranet where the specifications reside.

9. What are the main features of MHL technology?

  • Charge your mobile device up to 10W during operation
  • Video Support for 1920x1080p60 and up to 3840x2160p30 resolutions
  • Full HD 3D media playback support
  • Content Protection with Hollywood mandated HDCP 1.4 or 2.2 encryption
  • Multi-display support with more than one external display at the same time
  • Concurrent USB data support for storage and HID devices such as touch screen, keyboard and mouse
  • 8 channels of uncompressed surround sound in LPCM, Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD
  • Fully interoperable remote control features to navigate and control mobile device media playback, apps and other extensive features
  • Uses only 5 pins and can share existing ports
  • No lag or compression when playing music, videos or gaming
  • All MHL specifications are backwards compatible to previous versions of the standard

10. Why is an additional connectivity solution needed, doesn’t a wireless solution offer the same capabilities?

MHL technology is optimized for mobile and it allows you to send uncompressed high definition video and up to 8 channels of surround sound from your MHL smartphone or tablet to any digital TV or display, all while charging your device. Once connected, you can use the TV’s remote control to navigate all your favorite apps, games, music and photos. Current wireless solutions based on Wi-Fi rely on heavy compression which can cause noticeable lag.  It is also very power-consuming and it does not have the capability to charge your mobile device while in operation.  As with Ethernet and Wi-Fi for laptops and USB or Bluetooth for keyboards and mice, we see wireless video and other technologies coexisting with MHL.

11. What does it mean that manufacturers can utilize existing connectors, and what is the impact?

MHL technology is connector agnostic, so you can utilize existing as well as proprietary connectors. The MHL specification defines a 5-pin interface that can be mapped to connectors currently in use. Utilizing existing connectors saves valuable space in devices by keeping form factors small, reduces implementation cost, and enables consumers to get more functionality and features from a single connector.

12. What is required for a product to be compliant?

MHL adopters will have to meet compliance requirements of the MHL specification by submitting their products for testing and certification to an MHL Authorized Test Center (ATC). A company must be an MHL adopter in order to submit any product for testing to an ATC. 

13. What is the difference between the full MHL specification and the abridged MHL specification?

The abridged specification is a shortened version of the full specification, the goal of which is to provide a preview of the complete feature set found within the full specification.

14. Does my membership allow me access to all versions of the MHL specification?

Yes, membership allows you access to the full suite of MHL specifications.

15. Why do the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Samsung Galaxy Note II not work with my existing MHL accessories?

MHL is a connector-agnostic standard designed for flexibility while maintaining interoperability.  Given this, Samsung made the decision to move from 5 pins to 11 pins for the products listed above. To ensure interoperability with MHL, Samsung has released a variety of accessories, which include:

  • Samsung adapter tip  
  • Samsung 11 pin adapter

16. What products utilize MHL technology on the market today?

MHL-enabled products include adapters, automotive accessories, AV receivers, Blu-ray Disc™ players, cables, DTVs, monitors, projectors, smartphones, tablets, TV accessories and more. Since the retail introduction of the first MHL-enabled devices in May 2011, the MHL ecosystem continues to grow with a steady stream of product announcements. There are hundreds of millions of MHL products on the market today.

17. How will devices enabled with the MHL technology work with legacy display products with digital inputs?

The large installed base of legacy HDTVs and displays can connect to MHL-enabled phones, portable devices and CE products through various cables, adapters or docks.

18. Where can I purchase MHL-enabled products?

Please visit our consumer site, where we provide you with a list of all MHL-enabled devices. Additionally, this website contains information on how to connect your device and where to purchase MHL adapters/cables.