• SGS3 MHL adaptor does not do MHL & USB OTG simultaneously

    By Chris Ward , November 1, 2012 - Leave a comment

    We’ve recently had the question asked on the Clove Blog if the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 can do MHL (video out) and USB On The Go simultaneously.

    There has been some speculation that, due to the new 11-pin connector design used on the SGS3 (and Note 2) for MHL, the MHL adaptor for the S3 would be able to offer MHL and USB OTG simultaneously. These comments appear to have come from an MHL spokesman and do not seem to have been proven to be true either way up until now.

    We have now had the chance to try an Samsung Galaxy S3 official MHL adaptor and an official Samsung Galaxy S3 USB OTG cable with the international Samsung Galaxy S3 and the international Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and can confirm that the simultaneous use of MHL and USB OTG cannot be achieved in this way.

    Theoretically, if the S3/Note 2 could themselves power the connection for the MHL adaptor (as has been mentioned previously), the microUSB port on the MHL adaptor would be left free and could therefore be used for USB OTG. However, the S3 (and the Note 2) are unable to power the MHL adaptor and a separate mains input from a microUSB charger is required.

    That’s not to say that the functionality is not built into the devices, but as things stand they cannot power the MHL adaptor without a secondary input and therefore the simultaneous use of USB OTG is not possible. We haven’t had the official Note 2 MHL adaptors in yet, but we have found that the SGS3 MHL adaptor works with the Note 2, so for the time being the same logic can be applied as to it not being able to power the MHL adaptor on its own. Once we’ve had the official Note 2 MHL adaptors in, we’ll see if it can do MHL and USB OTG simultaneously.

    The kind of setup that would be achieved by having MHL and USB OTG work simultaneously will be made possible by the Samsung Galaxy Note II Smart Dock, for which we await pricing and availability details. Seeing as the SGS3 MHL adaptor works with the Galaxy Note 2, it is possible that the Note II Smart Dock will be compatible with the SGS3. We will confirm this as soon as we have received stock.

    Chris Ward

    Better known as 'Wardy', digital media is where his interest lies. Responsible for many elements of the Clove website and external advertising activities, Wardy is our interactive media graduate. Always chilled out, there is never a time when you see 'Wardy' stressed. A keen music follower, he knows his DJ's and how to mix a few tracks together. Always eating, he remains stick thin and is the envy of the rest of us! A very deep character, there are some suprising twists to what Wardy knows and you'll never meet a nicer bloke if you tried!


  • Hmmm, if it’s power that’s the issue how about connecting the MHL adaptor’s microUSB connector to a USB hub (which will provide power) and connecting, say, a storage device to the hub?

    I’d kinda assumed the MHL adaptor’s microUSB port would only have he power pins wired up, but it’s possible they wired it all up.

    • I have a Note 2 hooked it up to a 4 way usb hum useing an $0.88 otg adapter i hooked up three thumb drives and a usb fan, it powerd them all and i was able to access all three drives. The hub dident need to be powered, if it was i was getting a charge.

  • Have you tried this experiment again using either a powered USB hub or even a USB Y cable (power + data)?

    I was actually surprised that you didn’t try this in your initial experiment before claiming that MHL + OTG simultaneously is not possible. In my mind it was pretty obvious that the phone wouldn’t have enough power to drive the MHL adapter plus an additional USB accessory all from its own port. I think the S3 can barely drive the MHL adapter by itself, let alone adding another accessory to power as well.

    If you could, please try this experiment and update your article. And this is the type of USB Y Cable I am referring to:

    It basically let’s you inject power into the cable by providing a second connector with only power pins and omitting the data pins…so as to not cause a conflict on the serial stream of data.

    • Hi Rob,

      Thanks for your comment. I am waiting for a USB Y Cable to arrive at the moment and will test when possible.

      • Little bit of an update. So I bought this MHL adapter:


        It was only $15 dollars when I bought it. He said it was an OEM but the pictures didn’t show Samsung. Surprisingly, when I got the Item it actually had the Samsung logo on it. And it shows the standard Samsung part number EPL-3FHU… So I’m not sure if this is authentic or a knockoff. But it does work.

        Then on to testing MHL + OTG. I made a quick power+OTG cable (basically I just cut up a couple USB cables and wired in a third connector that only had the power (+5 and GND) wires connected. I tested my home-made cable and it does work when plugged straight into the phone. I can charge the phone and use USB devices at the same time.

        Then I used my cable on the power port of the MHL adapter and it did power up the adapter (I got my screen showing on TV) and it charged my phone to. But my USB devices weren’t recognized 🙁 Just nothing at all the laser on the bottom of my mouse didn’t even light. So its starting to look like you might not be able to do HDMI + OTG at the same time 🙁

        I did order this cable which supposedly works for Power + OTG:


        So I’ll test that when I get it.

        It is still possible that my home-made cable wasn’t working correctly (although I doubt it because it works great when plugged into the phone directly). It’s also possible that the MHL adapter I bought wasn’t actually authentic and it doesn’t have the OTG pins routed to the power connector. But the adapter looks pretty authentic.

        So I’m losing hope that you can do both at the same time 🙁 I was really thinking it would work…here’s hoping the new cable I ordered will have different results.

        • Hi Rob,

          Sounds like you’ve had a good go at it. I’ve also got a USB Y cable for an external hard drive to try so I will give that a go sometime this week.

        • Did you have any luck with the new cable ? It would be awesome if i could run a ps1 emulator on my tv whilst plugging in my ps3 controller using Usb OTG !

  • I can confirm the MHL adapters for the S3 can’t do simultaneous MHL+OTG as the only cable used has 5 conductors and the Micro-B socket on the adapter is wired up to connect to a DCP (charger port). The 11 pin connector is wired to put the OTG part of the S3 connector into Host Mode (pin 5 on the OTG pins, the standard 5 a default 5 pin cable would have, is shorted to ground). The MHL pins replace the D+/D-/ID connections (those are pins 2, 3 & 5 on the 6 pin MHL section). What this means is that the S3 can power the MHL adapter on its own or charge itself, depending on whether a DCP is attached. This will vary from adapter to adapter. That’s what the ID pin, which places the OTG connections into Host Mode, will do for you. The S3 can provide 5V at 100mA for things like MHL adapters, Memory Sticks, Mice, etc.

    I have also used a powered Hub to connect to a KeyBoard and Mouse and later next week will try connecting a large HD with the idea of playing movies from the HD. If all goes well, next step will be wiring my 11 pin connector to operate the MHL and OTG ports at the same time.

    • Thanks for the thorough explanation Joe, let us know how you get on with your own version that you wire – will be interested to see it in action!

  • Hey Joe Perkins. How do you plan on making use of mhl+otg simultaneously? Wouldn’t you then need an mhl cable which had all 11 conductors coming out of it to carry mhl+otg out of the phone?

  • What about (official) Samsung SmartDock? It has USB input ports and HDMI output…has anyone tried this?

  • Hey all, so I have been trying the MHL cable and the OTG cable with no results either, even with a Hub. When I take the MHL cable out of the equation, so just the OTG and the Hub I can hook up a bunch of stuff at the same time. I think that the pin out is just not right and I am thinking it’s on the MHL adaptor, specifically on where the power connects to it. Because even with the HDMI cable not connected the GS3 cannot see the OTG. Take a look here for my video findings on the GS3 OTG and a HUB. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIVCBsBIK7U&feature=youtu.be
    I will be posting my MHL OTG and HUB video soon too.

  • Hi,
    Going back to being able to use USB OTG and MHL at the same time, I have looked at both the OTG plug and the MHL plug on two adapters and it looks like the centre 4/3 pin positions for each device are mutually exclusive. The MHL plug picks up 4 pins (digital video and audio?) from the rear set of 6 pins and two pins (+5v & 0v?) from the front set of 5 pins of the 11 pin socket. The USB OTG picks up the front 5 pins of the 11 pin socket.
    It doesn’t look like it would be possible to have a plug with the 4 MHL rear pins and the 5 USB front pins fitted at the same time – the centre 3 and 4 pins would occupy almost the same positions on the plug.
    Hope I’m wrong, but I can’t find anyone selling a fully populated 11 pin plug anywhere 🙁

      I discovered the Samsung Smart Dock on the web which seems to prove USB & MHL can work simultaneously! On rechecking the MHL plug on the adapter lead I have using a better microscope I noticed it had all 11 pins fitted, so the comments I made previously were incorrect, sorry.

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