Folks in the industry often talk about how consumers really don’t care about technology; what concerns end users is that their products and services give them what they want, are easy to use and flexible, and are ready to go when they are. An industry group called The MHL Consortium is working to address all of the above. INTERNET TELEPHONY recently spoke with Judy Chen, director of business development at MHL LLC, to get the details.
Who started the MHL Consortium and when?
Chen: The MHL Consortium was founded April 14, 2010, by Nokia, Samsung, Silicon Image (News - Alert), Sony and Toshiba. The 1.0 Specification was released June 30, 2010, and certification testing started Dec. 21, 2010.
What does the specification address?
Chen: The MHL Consortium established a standard for a wired audio/video digital interface to connect mobile phones and portable devices to HDTVs and displays. MHL technology enables the delivery of HD video and high quality audio, while also keeping the mobile device charged and ready for use. Thin and portable cables can be developed and the TV remote control can control the connected device. No additional connections are required, as MHL technology utilizes the most common connections at the TV and at the device.
What happens when, finally, a mobile phone can seamlessly integrate with a home entertainment system and become an important mobile and CE source device?
Chen: A typical usage scenario would be an MHL-enabled mobile phone that contains a user’s personal content, such as high-resolution photos or HD video taken on the phone, connecting to a DTV and displaying the content on the big screen in full HD and digital audio. Downloaded mobile content such as movies, games and videos can also be displayed on the DTV in full HD with 7.1 surround sound audio. While the content is being played, the phone is being charged from the DTV so the battery doesn’t get drained. When the mobile phone is connected to the DTV it becomes an integrated home entertainment system component that can be controlled by the DTV remote control.
You mentioned MHL changes the dynamics of the mobile industry. How?
Chen: MHL technology opens up new revenue opportunities.
Chen: For content service providers it allows for enhanced revenues from premium content and discovery services enabling high-quality music, movies, gaming, TV and video; opportunities to tap into the cross-over with the consumer electronics marketplace; seamless integration across multiple service channels; high performance value-added handset features and margin; and new accessories attachments.evenue from premium multimedia content that will be more widely utilized and in demand; and to offer new applications needed to create, manage and utilize this content.
The MHL Consortium also provides potential benefits to consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers. Explain.
Chen: For consumer electronics manufacturers it can connect CE products with mobile phones and portable devices, opening new market opportunities. For mobile manufacturers it adds robust capabilities and features to the next generation of fully HD-enabled mobile phones and portable devices; it keeps form factor small, implementation costs low: and it utilizes universal connections for HD A/V delivery, charging, and control. For consumer electronics retailers it offers the potential for value-added handset and service offerings; new accessories attachment sales; cross-over sales between the mobile and CE consumers; and new opportunities for integrated sales from content, device, accessories, service and install.
What exciting things will be coming down the road from the MHL Consortium in 2011?
Chen: A full range of MHL-enabled products are expected by spring of this year from CE, mobile and cable and accessories manufacturers. We cannot say which manufacturers and when, but if you take a look at our promoters and full adopter list (http://www.mhlconsortium.org/adopters/adopter_information.aspx) you’ll see who is part of our growing MHL community.
Edited by Jennifer Russell