What is MHL?
MHL is an interesting invention that allows playback of content on a larger screen from a smartphone, but not only. With a single cable connected between the TV and smartphone, it will obtain a connection (mirroring) that will duplicate the smartphone screen to another bigger screen, meaning the TV screen.
While most will use an MHL cable for television playback videos, this function can also be used to connect to other devices such as a projector.
Connecting a MHL cable between a smartphone and a TV for screen mirroring by cable
A MHL cable has a micro USB connector at one end, for connection to smartphones, and an HDMI connector on the other end, which plugs into the TV. Once the connection is made, everything we do on the smartphone, will be played on the TV screen.
We can play videos, music, we can surf the Internet, or even play Android games live on the TV set, without any lag.
If you use an MHL cable long enough, then you can stay in bed while editing a document, or on Facebook, seeing all the desired information on the TV screen.
If you have a Bluetooth gamepad connected to your smartphone, then you can turn a smartphone into an exceptional gaming console.
Another useful feature is that the MHL cable will charge your smartphone while it is connected to the TV.
Also, the TV remote can be used to access applications or files on the smartphone – all with MHL technology.
Compared to other wireless solutions (Miracast, Screen Mirroring) there are no blockages, lag or other problems. Content playback is fluent, uncompressed, and therefore is an optimal solution for those who want the best movie playback quality from the smartphone screen on the TV.
Over time, MHL has improved.
MHL early versions (MHL1 and MHL2) were those that supported Full-HD playback and 8 audio channel playback. With the launch of MHL3, this version allows streaming to recently emerged 4K TVs, also allows Dolby True HD 7.1 sound and DTS-HD.
With this standard, movie quality playback from your phone to the TV reaches the cinema quality.
Play a 4K video on your phone, then connect the MHL Smartphone with the TV and you have a quality 4K source, with matching sound.
The new Smart TVs, also older models are compatible with MHL, but it is mandatory to check that this option is in the TV specifications that you own, or want to purchase.
Most Android smartphones are compatible with MHL standard. Check the specifications of the smartphone to see if it is compatible with MHL, in order to purchase a cable or docking for MHL.
Unfortunately, at this time, the Apple devices are not compatible with MHL, but there is a solution provided by the manufacturer, that is using a Lightning Digital AV Adapter.
Windows phones do not support the MHL standard, so you will have to search for alternatives.