The original HTC EVO 4G was dubbed the best smartphone on the market. Its HDMI port was one of many different factors that helped put it over the top, but its successor – the HTC EVO 3D – is missing one. Don’t worry, though, as HTC is one of many hardware partners teamed up with MHL to usher in a new standard of hard-wired connectivity between your smartphone and your television.
MHL stands for Mobile High-Defintion Link and essentially turns your microUSB port into an HDMI port. Using one of MHL’s cable, you can simply plug the USB end into your phone and your HDMI end into the television without having to worry about signal degradation in the conversion and without needing to setup weird converter configurations.
Not only does MHL send video and audio through the same cable to your HDTV, it also charges your phone in the process. There is currently no setup that can feed HD signal to an external source while charging the device using the same connection port. (You can set a phone inside of a multimedia desktop dock and have it charging while multimedia signals are throughput via an actual HDMI port, but that’s not really the same thing.
The only downside to MHL is that you must have the technology inside both the phone and the television, but the company behind it has gotten the likes of Samsung, Sony, Toshiba, Acer and more to back it. These are major television and handset manufacturers and if they start incorporating MHL technology into all of their televisions you can expect the rest of the industry to follow.
The HTC EVO 3D shares space with the Samsung Galaxy S II as the only two smartphones with this technology, but I’m sure more will join the ranks as MHL continues to gain traction. A big “thing” for mobile now is physical downsizing. How can we make technology simpler, cheaper, and more convenient? MHL is yet another piece to that puzzle and it looks to fit very well.