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SuperMHL is on its way, with support for 8K video

Move over standard Mobile High-Definition Link -- superMHL is on its way, and it's bringing better video quality and support than ever before.


Amid the more over-the-top product launches we saw at the 2015 International CES last week, there were a few announcements that flew under the radar, such as the MHL Consortium introducing superMHL.

Mobile High-Definition Link allows you to stream AV content from a mobile device to a TV or other display, all using the one cable. The new superMHL standard will let users do the same thing with unprecedented quality and speed.

MHL also allows for what's called HDMI-CEC on the attached device -- basically you can use the TV remote to zoom around your mobile device. It's the basis of a few home entertainment devices, such as the Roku stick.

The most recent standard is MHL 3.0, which was introduced in August 2014. It brought in a number of changes such as support for 4K Ultra HD video (up from Full HD) as well as 7.1 Dolby TrueHD audio. It also bumped the available power for the device up to 10W and a few other nice touches.

But SuperMHL, as reported at Toms Hardware, looks set to leave MHL 3.0 in the dust. The new standard offers support for 8K resolution video with frame rates of up to 120 fps. It has support for HDR video -- that's High Dynamic Range -- and can pump through 40W of power for the attached device. It's got support for multiple displays and SuperMHL can even link together multiple MHL-compliant devices, all of which can then be controlled from a single remote.

The MHL Consortium says that SuperMHL will be backwards compatible with MHL 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 but it did use CES 2015 to reveal new 32-pin SuperMHL connector. This is reversible -- much like the new USB -- but both devices will need the new port. The new standard will still support micro-USB, HDMI Type A and USB Type-C however so don't throw out your old tech just yet.

The specifications for SuperMHL will be released later this month and from there it's just a matter of seeing what manufacturers start building gear that supports the new standard.