superMHL – The Reversible 8K Video Interface

With all of the video interface technologies out now – DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI, MHL, etc. – there’s certainly a lot of overlap in technologies that ends up confusing people. That was my first inclination when looking at this video connector. I quickly dismissed this when I heard some of the perks that superMHL brings to the table.

The superMHL interface supports HD audio and video at resolutions up to 7680 x 4320 at 120 frames per second and up to a 48-bit color depth. This is great and is leaps and bounds above the resolutions that the current generation connectors are capable of. What got me interested in the video interface are the perks that go with the connection. superMHL uses a reversible connector, much like the new USB-C interface. This may seem silly, but if you’ve ever plugged in a cable into a device that you can’t see, it’s frustrating. Reversible connectors are generally a good thing and simplify plugging things in. superMHL also supports up to 40-Watts of power for charging and powering devices and the ability to connect additional displays in daisy-chain.

Press Release:

Features New Consumer-Friendly, Reversible superMHL Connector for CE Devices

SUNNYVALE, Calif., and LAS VEGAS Jan. 6, 2015MHL Consortiumtoday announced the superMHL™ specification, the next-generation of MHL® technology for CE and mobile devices. Building on its market leadership, superMHL delivers significant mobile advancements such as higher resolution and frame rates along with 40W of power charging, while broadening MHL’s reach in home theater connectivity by supporting 8K video resolution and expanded audio formats. With superMHL, consumers can link their mobile devices, set-top boxes (STBs), Blu-ray Disc™ players, AVRs, streaming media sticks and other source devices to TVs and displays. The release of a new reversible superMHL connector supports enhanced video formats to deliver lifelike, immersive content between home theater products and displays.

Features of superMHL Include:

  • Delivery of up to 8K 120fps video
  • Deep Color support up to 48-bit color depths
  • Wider color gamut to view content the way filmmakers intended
  • High-Dynamic Range (HDR) support to strike the perfect balance of bright spectral highlights along with shadow details
  • Immersive surround sound with support for object audio such as Dolby Atmos®, DTS-UHD™, 3D audio, and an audio-only mode
  • Advanced connectivity configurations to link multiple MHL devices together (TV, AVR, Blu-ray player) and control them via one remote
  • Power charging up to 40W
  • Content on multiple displays when connecting a single device
  • New reversible superMHL connector
  • New support for the MHL Alt Mode for the USB Type-C specification

Introducing the superMHL Connector

superMHL mandates a minimum set of feature requirements so consumers are guaranteed a full video experience on their 4K or 8K devices. To support these advanced features, MHL has introduced the new reversible superMHL connector. This 32 pin connector can carry concurrent video, data and power charging all in a slim, consumer-friendly form factor. A reversible design means that consumers don’t have to worry about the plug’s orientation or the cable’s direction eliminating frustration and offering a high level of flexibility.

“As the world’s leading TV brand, Samsung continues to innovate as an MHL Promoter to create the first 8K interface and the release of a reversible, consumer-friendly superMHL connector,” said John Ryu, vice president of Visual Display, Samsung Electronics. “superMHL is designed for higher performance to deliver the best possible TV resolution so consumers can enjoy superior color, incredible contrast and true-to-life picture.”

With more than 750 million MHL devices on the market, superMHL is backward-compatible with previous MHL 1, 2 and 3 specification versions and supports the latest HDCP 2.2 content protection for the secure delivery of premium content.

“MHL enables consumers to share what they love – photos, videos, music and ideas – with the world around them. Our goal is to make content more meaningful and accessible,” said Rob Tobias, president, MHL, LLC. “With the release of superMHL, consumers can experience content beyond resolution, focus on the picture instead of the pixels, and live in a world where TVs are truly windows into the future.”

The superMHL specification will be available for download at the end of January 2015 at:

MHL at the 2015 International CES – Las Vegas, Nevada

MHL LLC will showcase an 8K TV with the superMHL audio/video interface in MHL’s booth along with other MHL use cases. MHL will be in Booth 21466 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center from Tuesday, January 6, 2015 to Friday, January 9, 2015.


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Shane Paris

​Shane is the founder and Technical Editor-in-Chief here at That's It Guys. He enjoys Star Trek, 80s and 90s action movies, and everything tech related. Shane is highly skilled with computer hardware, software, and electronics.