Sunday, April 14, 2013

Is MHL a mega trend? Mobile High-Definition Link becomes a mainstream feature in 2013 in phones, TVs, more. Make the connection.

KEY MOBILE TRENDS: MHL, the mobile home, television, ecosystems, 1080p, MTK, screen-mirroring.

Mobile device and alternative platform vendors: Is MHL on your device roadmap? No! Better get crackin'.

I came across a story about a series of bargain 1080p television sets Walmart will begin selling under the brand "Hisense." For $378, you can buy a 40-inch 1080p LED smart television stuffed with features including a Mobile High-Definition Link connector.

MHL has been around for several years already, and most high-end Android-based smartphones currently on the market support MHL. And I have noticed more higher-end audio and video equipment supporting MHL and even some newer in-car entertainment systems.

But now as mainstream equipment on the receiving end is becoming MHL enabled, now is the time to ask if Mobile High-Definition Link has become a smartphone "hygiene" feature.

Samsung announced two Mega smartphones the other day, the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and the Galaxy Mega 6.3. The latter is the hardware leader of the two, but neither is a killer device. But notable is the fact that the Mega 6.3 supports MHL, the 5.8 does not. So let's call MHL a semi-mega trend at this point.

Asus, Huawei, HTC, Lenovo, LG, OPPO, Pantech, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Xiaomi, ZTE, and several other Android vendors already support MHL on many of their higher-end smartphones. In February, MediaTek announced an MHL-enabled smartphone platform which can be expected to help drive the feature even lower and deeper into the market. And now that MHL is trickling down to many living-room black boxes, it could be time for all vendors to make the connection. Link up while you still can.

The $378 Hisense K360M 40″ 1080p LED TV with MHL support:
Mid-level smartphones now make MHL connections to mid-level TVs.

Some good MHL use cases shown here:

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