Starting in 2015, it will be a lot easier to to stream 4K Video from mobile devices to TVs thanks to new technology
by Stephan Jukic – November 17, 2014
As of next year, mobile 4K video, which is going to be a major component of all 4K content creation, is going to become a lot easier to stream between mobile devices and Ultra HD TVs in your home.
This is coming thanks to a new technology called being installed on mobile phones and tablets called USB Type C connectors which will support the latest MHL 3 standard. MHL stands for Mobile High Definition Link and its latest iteration will allow a much wider data transmission capacity between mobile devices and other electronic viewing platforms (4K TVs in this case).
This is the latest news from the MHL Consortium and to anybody who has an interest in advanced mobile and advanced video technologies it should come as some great news.
The slower USB ports in the mobile devices of today will soon be replaced by new connectors based on the USB 3.1 protocol in the latest model phones from many manufacturers. This will create a much more powerful high-speed charging and data transfer capacity in these phones. The expectation is that this will be enough to make transferring the heavy weight of 4K ultra HD video much more easily doable.
Given that 4K and its 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution offers almost 5 times the pixels of Full HD video, the capacity to transfer the data is a crucial part of making it easy for mobile 4K camera owners to share their content to internet connected devices and the wider web much more conveniently.
The new connector that fits the new USB 3.1 standard for hih speed streaming is expected to arrive in certain mobile devices by late 2015 and in a majority of newer, higher-end phones by 2016.
The USB 3.1 Type C connector cables have also drawn attention from consumers and tech watchers for their user-friendliness since they look identical on both ends and can be flipped without a problem.
The MHL technology standard is complementary to existing USB and already functions with the existing connectors in mobile devices and TVs. Users who start with the new standard will have to plug a specific MHL cable between a USB Type C connector in a mobile device to an HDMI Type A connector in a TV. These cables will cost roughly $10.
Most newer 4K TVs will have MHL labels near their compatible HDMI ports and though the cables won’t support standard HDMI connectors in older TVs, adapters will be made available for signal conversions. Many older TVs will need these adapters since their HDMI ports are not likely to be MHL compatible.
However, support for MHL has been growing enormously over the last three years and the technology is already installed in over 650 million devices including numerous Sony and Samsung smartphones and tablets. Most HDTVs are also going to have MHL compatible HDMI ports by next year and the same will happen even faster for Ultra HD TVs. USB 3.1, which is already compatible with DisplayPort 1.2, will make things more versatile when it also has MHL support. Since the data transfer speeds of USB 3.1 can go as high as 10Gbps, it will be useful for plugging thumb drive SD memory into a phone for external data storage.
Mobile devices are expected to become one of the largest sources of homemade 4K content in the world over the next few years as more and more of the latest flagship phones and top-end tablets made by companies like Samsung, LG, Sony and others come with built-in 4K cameras. This alone makes the new MHL/USB 3.1 streaming compatibility a valuable technology.
Story by 4k.com