MHL Blog

What’s Trending: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality (Really?)

MHL LLC Staff Writer

January 4, 2017

I am sure by now that most readers have seen a TV commercial with an actress or actor wearing a Virtual Reality (VR) headset.  Others have probably played Pokemon Go, which introduced Augmented Reality (AR) to the masses, and oh-by-the-way is also the most successful U.S. game of all time, reaching $600 million in revenue, in 3 months.

Pokemon Go

The main difference between VR and AR is the latter uses your real environment as a background for placing objects.  VR is completely virtual, immersion, another world.  AR is gaming and other objects like maps being overlaid on your current environment.

You have may have used AR, and not even realized it.  Does your computer or phone allow you to put on virtual hats while you are video chatting?  This is just one example of AR, in this case, you are augmenting the reality of the “far end” of the video call (the person or group you are talking to).

Another example of Augmented Reality is the Ikea App, which allows users to place virtual solid objects in their home, to see how they look with their existing furnishings.  Check it out at: IKEA AR App Youtube Video

But this is just the beginning of where VR and AR might go.  Developers are scrambling to be the first to market with object oriented software specifically designed for the Microsoft HoloLens AR headset.  For example, Rosstin Murphy, an IBM engineer, has been developing software that lets the end user visualize the data from IBM’s analysis tools using the MS HoloLens.  Check out a video of his work at: VR/AR Data Visualization Youtube Video  

Wait, what about audio?  Listen closely the next time an ambulance or fire truck goes by, you will hear the siren frequency drop, due to the Doppler Effect. As we walk around these virtual worlds, the audio needs to follow.  As a police car goes by, we need to hear the Doppler effect of the siren, and that changes if we are in a car or stationary.  Pyschoacoustics is nothing new; surround sound can be physical and/or virtual.   Thunder can come from above, footsteps from below, in a full 3D space, using just a headset.  But imagine having your own personal headset that is customized to your own hearing, and the shape of your ear, so when you plug in your headset, your “audio relationship” with the room will be more natural.  

To achieve this new reality, whether VR or AR, large and increasing amounts of data need to transmitted to the headset.  We will dig into this topic some more in future blogs.

Enabling High Performance Video Over USB Type-C With MHL/superMHL

MHL, LLC Staff

July 1, 2016

 USB Type-C MHL Use Case

Just when you thought you knew everything you needed to know about USB…the new USB Type C comes along.  The new USB Type-C is a both a new connector and a new standard in device connectivity.  It combines power, control, audio, and video signals into one universal connector for computers, mobile devices, even IoT devices like USB powered light fixtures.

Before we delve into the benefits of the new USB type C, let’s quickly review USB Type A and B.  The first USB 1.0 connectors debuted about 20 years ago.  The Type A connector plugged into your computer (technically known as the ‘host’) and the Type-B connector would plug into your printer or scanner (also known as a ‘device’). 

Consumers quickly learned about miniaturized versions of the USB connector, mini-USB and micro-USB; the lesson often learned soon after they misplaced their phone charger and needed to borrow or buy a new USB cable to charge their phone. 

The USB Type-C interface specification promises to change the way computers, consumer electronics and mobile devices connect and interact. The slim, rugged and reversible Type-C connector extends the capabilities introduced by the USB 3.1 SuperSpeed+ specification by using up to 2 USB 3.1 interfaces to provide a total bandwidth of potentially 20Gbps.  This allows faster transfer and streaming of large files such as HD movies and 3D images. 

USB Type-C’s high-power capabilities mean it can supply up to 100W to allow fast battery charging and the provision of power to larger devices such as laptops, monitors and TVs. Type-C also introduces several other unique features, including new Alternate Modes which can enable the USB connector and cable to carry other content like video streams; although so far, only DisplayPort and MHL®/superMHL® Alternate Modes have been defined.

To help foster the innovation and adoption of USB Type-C and MHL superMHL in phones, MediaTek and Lattice Semiconductor recently released power-efficient reference designs that drive 4K UHD over a USB Type-C connector.  Lattice’s USB Type-C port controllers and MHL transceivers can easily be paired with MediaTek’s Helio™ X20, the world’s first mobile processor with Tri-Cluster™ CPU architecture and ten processing cores (Deca-core).  Read the press release here.

Guest Blog: FilmOn.TV Global Television, on Television

Check out this blog from FilmOn. FilmOn offers subscription packages covering more than 500 TV channels including sports, news and entertainment from across the globe. Speaking of sports, the MHL team will be inside the gifting lounge of the ESPYs on Tuesday, July 16, in L.A. Get a behind-the-scenes preview of these sporting super stars before the big event, and let us know who gets your vote in each category and why, by following us on Twitter @MeetMHL and #mhlscores.

Read on to see the blog from FilmOn…

Karin Vogel

Director of Consumer Marketing, MHL, LLC

Guest Blog: FilmOn.TV Global Television, on Television

By Kim Hurwitz, SVP, Programming, FilmOn.TV Inc.


MHL, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways that you fill my Android heart! I can now get more than 500 channels from the FilmOn app on my phone simply by plugging into my MHL®-enabled TV set. Instead of having to buy, yet another, OTT set-top-box to get access to the world of FilmOn.TV on my large-screen, I can now plug-and-play and charge up my phone whilst doing so. Even more, I can use my TV's remote control to stop, pause, play and rewind my favorite FilmOn content on thine smartphone.

What, pray tell, is FilmOn? It's the world's largest IPTV platform offering more than 500 channels of linear and on demand TV channels. From Horror to News to Movies to Comedy to Kids to International to Sports, and a dozen other genres in between, FilmOn is a digital platform featuring content curated from around the world and available on all devices. Smartphones - check. Tablets - check. Computer - check. Television set - check…especially with MHL-enabled TV sets! Talk about device-agnostic.

Here's the quick recipe so you too can enjoy this: MHL + FilmOn = Bliss

1.    Take your Android smartphone (it's probably already in your hand) and go here to download the FREE FilmOn app.

2.    Charge your phone by connecting it to any MHL-enabled TV set.

3.    Watch FilmOn TV on your television!

4.    Stir and repeat. Again and again.


For information on FilmOn, go to:

FilmOn Facebook page: 

FilmOn Twitter: 

For information on MHL, go to:

MHL Facebook page:

MHL Twitter:



MHL: Your Mobile Ticket to Cricket

By DVR Duddu, India Country Manager, Silicon Image (MHL Founder)

Game Cricket

You can almost hear the excitement reverberating through all of India now that the Indian Premier League tournament is underway. Why, because cricket is the most popular sport in all of India – so much so that the allocated tickets for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 match between India and Pakistan sold out within half an hour. Our country loves cricket so much that I vividly recall the 2011 Cricket World Cup finals when excitement for the game hit an all-time high, and articles mused that it was the one day where one billion people were expected to “play hooky.”

Nowadays, getting a ticket to one of these big games is nearly impossible, but that doesn’t mean that avid cricket watchers have to miss any of the action. With today’s mobile phone technology, sports fans can easily watch their favorite teams on their smartphones while riding in a taxi, bus, or even an auto rickshaw. Once cricket fans get to their final destination, they can continue watching the game on a bigger screen with MHL technology – and in high-definition!

MHL technology takes content and makes it accessible anytime, anywhere. It also makes watching cricket games a more social and fun experience. Open your favorite mobile app and check your fantasy scores, view the latest results and standings, and look at the photo streams from past games and highlights from matches from your mobile phone to the big screen – all while rousing your family and friends.

What’s really great about MHL is there is a good chance your current smartphone or tablet already has the technology built in. There is an installed base of over 220 million MHL-enabled products, but many people don’t know they have MHL devices that can easily connect to their HDTVs. With the right data plan and/or Wi-Fi access, the sports viewing possibilities are endless.

The MHL team is traveling around the globe to spread the word about the technology’s benefits – and the next stop is India where they will be heading to Bangalore to host a press event on April 23, 2013. Silicon Image is one of the Founders of the MHL Consortium and we’re looking forward to the MHL team speaking with local press about the technology, its future, and demonstrate all of the exciting use cases.

So what do you think about MHL technology and how would you use it? Let us know by leaving us a comment below.

Where’s my Cape? My girls have gymnastics tonight…

Guest Blogger: Krista Ladd, Director Social Media Marketing at Silicon Image



Woman Superhero

March 5, 2013

I am a professional woman in a dress and heels by day and a Super Mom in yoga pants and a sweatshirt by night (and weekends too!).  I have two beautiful girls - 6 and 4 years old - who keep me so busy that I barely have a moment to myself, but boy do I love to show them off!

I'm not one of those moms who talks about her kids non-stop, but if you ask me how my kids are doing, well, then you've just opened one big Pandora's box.  I'll show you pictures of our trips to the park, gymnastics, and soccer along with videos of our princess dress-ups and nightly dance parties.  And if you're really lucky, maybe I'll show you some of the hundreds of candid shots I have.

My kids' lives are kept on my Android smartphone.  All those great pictures and home videos are stored on this tiny device - like a vault of memories.  Just because I'm Super Mom doesn't mean that I carry my SLR camera and camcorder around with me everywhere I go.  My superhero arsenal is reserved for other mission-critical things like Band-Aids and hairbands.

Up until now, when I showed off these life moments I had to pass my smartphone around and repeat my stories over and over again like a broken record - "at the park, on our bike ride, etc., etc." - and just like what happens when I have to repeat myself with my kids, I get a little annoyed when I have to repeat myself with adults.

What solved my problem and let me share treasured photos and videos with others quickly and easily? Three letters: MHL.  When my friends are over, I simply connect my phone to our HDTV and show everyone how cute my kids are in high-def. The same is true when I go to the homes of our family and friends. And my parents! Don't even get me started. They always want to see the latest pictures of the kids, and they're even more thrilled when they are shown on the big screen…it's almost like they're right there with us.

This also happens when I hang up my cape and head to the office for my day job. When my co-workers see my kids plastered all over my walls, a lot of them will ask me how they're doing. That's when I connect my smartphone to my monitor and show them the latest pictures and update them on the girls' most recent funny antics.

Take it from this working mom, MHL is a great way to share your life's moments and, as all you other moms out there know, there's a lot of moments to share.  When I am not proudly showing my pictures and videos and instead just want to sit in silence, I get to use MHL to pacify my kids…..but THAT'S for my next blog.  :-)

Up…up…and away! - KL