Third part MHL adapters with added functionality start to appear

DVDO Mobile Third part MHL adapters with added functionality start to appear

If you wonder what MHL stands for, then we're not surprised, as it's still a fairly new standard and it might potentially die a pre-mature death, although this isn't very likely considering the industry backers. MHL stands for Mobile High-definition Link and it looks just like a micro USB connector, but beyond delivering USB connectivity, it also carries an HDMI signal and power.

If you wonder what MHL stands for, then we're not surprised, as it's still a fairly new standard and it might potentially die a pre-mature death, although this isn't very likely considering the industry backers. MHL stands for Mobile High-definition Link and it looks just like a micro USB connector, but beyond delivering USB connectivity, it also carries an HDMI signal and power.

The tricky thing here is that there are extremely few devices that feature an MHL connector on the receiving end and as such you'll need an adapter to hook up to your MHL touting smartphone or tablet. The neat thing with MHL is that a single cable can in theory provide data connectivity, 1080p video, 7.1-channel HD audio, remote control support and the ability to charge the connected device. Well, that's the theory at least, but with as far as we're aware, a single MHL sporting TV set currently on its way into the market, we'll all have to rely on said adaptors for now.

Some of the early adaptors have been very basic and just being a simple dongle which is connected to the port on the device. On the other end of the dongle you'll find an HDMI port and a micro USB port in general, as the dongle requires power to work which it can receive via the micro USB port. In general these dongles are quite cheap at US$10-30, even from the device makers themselves.

DVDO Mobile Third part MHL adapters with added functionality start to appear

Today we spotted a new model from a company called DVDO and the device in question is simply called the DVDO Mobile. Beyond being just a standard dongle, the DVDO Mobile adds an integrated 50cm USB cable and a 20cm micro USB cable, both of which can be wrapped around the DVDO Mobile for storage. What makes this a really neat solution though is the built in AC charger, which means that you get an all-in-one device that will allow you to charge your USB device while being able to take advantage of the MHL connectivity on your smartphone or tablet as well. On top of that, the DVDO Mobile doubles up as a standard USB to micro USB cable for when you need to access your mobile device from a computer.

As neat as this all sounds, there's no word on pricing or availability, but we'd expect this to be the start of what is likely to be a growing market of peripherals that aren't likely to have a huge appeal for most consumers, as it's just as easy, if not easier, to plug in a notebook to a TV or projector than a smartphone or a tablet. We should also add that the USB-IF is non-too keen on the MHL standard either, as it claims that it breaches the USB standard by sending video over its connectors (as the USB-IF owns the patent for the USB connectors) and as such violates the USB standard. We'll see how things play out, but despite its drawbacks, we'd rather have a single port for video and data on our smartphone, than a pair of ports, as most people aren't very likely to make use of that micro HDMI connector anyhow.

Source: DVDO

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