silicon image Silicon Image team up with Onkyo to deliver MHL equipped A/V receiver

New connectors and interfaces always cause problems when it comes to hardware compatibility and the Mobile High-definition Link or MHL is one of those interfaces that is far from widely adopted on anything but smartphones to date. That seems to be set to change, as Silicon Image, one of the driving forces behind the MHL standard has teamed up with Onkyo to deliver A/V receivers with MHL support.

New connectors and interfaces always cause problems when it comes to hardware compatibility and the Mobile High-definition Link or MHL is one of those interfaces that is far from widely adopted on anything but smartphones to date. That seems to be set to change, as Silicon Image, one of the driving forces behind the MHL standard has teamed up with Onkyo to deliver A/V receivers with MHL support.

In practical terms the MHL interface is a combination of HDMI and USB 2.0 and the advantage it has over a pure HDMI interface is that the device you connect up a smartphone equipped with MHL to can power your smartphone. So far it's mainly HTC, LG and Samsung that has adopted the MHL interface while Samsung and Toshiba have a handful of TV models that supports it. The downside is of course that you need a dongle to connect your phone to an HDMI port, but it looks like this might just start to become less of an issue.

Onkyo didn't reveal a lot of details in the press release about its new receivers as the company is planning on unveiling them at CES in a few weeks' time. What we do know though is that Onkyo is using Silicon Image's latest MHL chipset with supports something called InstaPrevue. This is a picture-in-picture solution for HDMI and MHL which allows a small preview window of other attached devices to be overlaid over whatever is being displayed on the TV, must as you can do channel previewing on some TV sets.

The question is how much life MHL has now since the USB-IF announced the audio/video devices class, as this allows you to do everything that MHL does, but presumably without the need of extra chips on the mobile device side. That said, MHL is already a somewhat established standard, but as we know, it's never clear cut which standard will end up being the dominant one and it's not always the best one that's the winner.