Which MHL Cable should I buy?

MHL Cable choices

The chances are that if you’ve come to this post, you’re already aware that your device has MHL (video out capability), so I won’t explain what an MHL cable is used for (there are good definitions within the linked products below) and we also have this post, which explains what MHL does and shows off some of its coolest features.

MHL Cable

However, while MHL is an industry standard (meaning that in theory the same cable should be compatible with all MHL-enabled devices), that is not the case – some use an 11 pin arrangement, others use a 5 pin arrangement. The point of this post therefore is to tell you which MHL cable is compatible with your device.

Samsung Galaxy S4 / Samsung Galaxy S3 11 pin MHL Adaptor

We have created a video to show the description below in action, which you can view here

The Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S4 MHL adaptors are interchangeable with both handsets. That’s to say, the S4 MHL adaptor will work with the S3, and the S3 MHL adaptor will work with the S4. However, there are still some differences.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 uses MHL 2.0. This means that there is no power connection needed for the MHL adaptor to work – the S4 can power the connection itself. That being said, it is advisable to power the connection if possible (using your handset’s microUSB charger) in order to prevent battery drain. Both the S3 and S4 adaptors work with the S4 without the need to power the connection.

The situation with the Samsung Galaxy S3  handset is the opposite. Both the S3 and S4 MHL adaptors will need to be powered if you are using them with the S3. This isn’t a huge problem as the microUSB charger supplied with you handset is fine for this purpose, it just makes the setup slightly more inconvenient.

The other difference between the two adaptors is that the S4 adaptor has a 60MHz refresh rate, whereas the S3 has a 24MHz refresh rate. This means that the S4 adaptor will provide a better image on screen, whether you are using it with the S3 or the S4.

Galaxy Note range

All Galaxy Notes  include support for MHL. The rules for choosing  an MHL cable are the same as the Galaxy S device of the same generation and follow the same guidelines as above

  • Galaxy Note = Samsung Galaxy S2: available HERE
  • Galaxy Note 2 = Samsung Galaxy S3: available HERE
  • Galaxy Note 3 = Samsung Galaxy S4: available HERE

Samsung 5 pin MHL tip

Samsung’s change to 11 pins stopped their new adapters being compatible with older devices and vice-versa. Due to this, a small tip accessory was created to convert original 5 pin adaptors to the new 11 pin arrangement. This is available HERE. Be aware that whilst this will make older 5 pin adaptors able to output over HDMI on newer Samsung phones, the adaptor specification remains the same. Any new MHL features present on up to date adaptors designed specifically for newer devices will not be available.

11-Pin MHL adaptor

From the Galaxy S3 onwards, Samsung modified the MHL standard to produce a specific 11 pin adapter for their range of devices. As stated above there is some interoperability between the S3/S4 generation.

Samsung Galaxy S4 MHL Cable (demo video)(also compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3)

Samsung Galaxy S3 MHL Cable (demo video) (also compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S4)

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 MHL Cable (demo video) (the same generation and adaptor as the Galaxy S3)

5-Pin MHL adaptor

The original MHL specification. Most devices use this standard. The Samsung Galaxy S2 was the first device with this connection and the adapter for this is universal across all 5 pin handsets. For this reason, most of the devices listed below have links to a Samsung MHL adapter, rather than their own manufacturer, as this is the most readily available.

Sony Xperia Z (see a demo video for this here)

Sony Xperia Z Ultra

Sony Xperia Z1

HTC One (see a demo video for this here)

Sony Xperia T

Samsung Galaxy S2

Samsung Galaxy Note

Samsung Galaxy Nexus 

HTC One X

HTC One X+

HTC One SV

MHL 3.0

In August 2013, the MHL consortium announced the specification for MHL 3.0. Continuing the improvements to 2.0 that brought powered MHL, version 3.0 has support for 4K video (2160p@30fps). The full list of improvements is below:

  • 4K (Ultra HD): Support of 4K formats up to 2160p30
  • Simultaneous high-speed data channel
  • Improved Remote Control Protocol (RCP) with new commands
  • HID support for peripherals such as a touch screen,keyboard and mouse
  • Higher Power charging up to 10W
  • Backward compatible with MHL 1 and MHL 2
  • Latest HDCP 2.2 content protection
  • Enhanced 7.1 surround sound with Dolby® TrueHD and DTS-HD
  • Connector agnostic – uses as few as five pins
  • Support for simultaneous multiple displays

Other accessories that offer MHL capability

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Smart Dock – due early April. It’s possible that this will also be compatible with the Samsung Galaxy S3, but we will confirm this once we have received stock.

There was a similar product for Sony handsets called the LiveDock, but this has now been discontinued.

Handsets that you may expect to have MHL, but don’t

MHL is a relatively new standard when it comes to its inclusion with smartphones, so you could be forgiven for expecting it to be included with newly released handsets. however, some new handsets do not include it, but use other standards such as SlimPort, which we explain here. Here are a list of those that we are aware of that do not use MHL and the equivalent standard that they do use.

LG Nexus 4 – SlimPort

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About 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!

Comments

  1. does samsung galaxy grand duos I9802 have tv out/?? (via mhl).

    i read that it has usb OTG and tv out, on gsmarena.com

    i tried usb OTG,it does not have. so i want to confirm about tv out.

    • Avinash, We are not aware of it having TV out. If it does not have USB host it is unlikely to have TV out.

  2. does galaxy s ii MHL Adaptor work with galaxy note II?

  3. Do you have a MHL adapter to work with the HTC One?
    I have tried a SGS2 MHL adapter (official Samsung) and it gives a good quality picture but it lasts for less than a second before the screen goes blank for a second and the cycle continues.

    • Chris Ward says:

      Hi Gary,

      The SGS2 adaptor should indeed work with the HTC One. We have created this demo video which shows the SGS2 video adaptor being used with the HTC One. Perhaps the adaptor that you have is defective; do you have the means to try it with another handset?

      • Thanks Chris, after reading your reply I tried again and it works just fine. I can’t recreate my earlier problem either so must have been just a bad connection. Thanks again.

  4. Is there an MHL adapter compatible with the SGS3 mini?

  5. Thank you for your prompt reply even though it wasn’t the answer I wanted!!

  6. Can I connect thru my xolo q 800 smart phone to projector

  7. I have a SGS3 and recently purchased an adapter from tigerdirect.com.

    After connecting SGS3 to TV nothing happened. I didnt have my charger connected to it. I am wondering if this is a 5 pin or 11 pin adapter? inveo.com unfortunately doesn’t show me the product specs. And if I need get the 5 pin to 11 pin adapter, does it matter what model my SGS3 is? I have an i747.

    • Chris Ward says:

      Hi Joe,

      First of all, if you are using it with the SGS3 you will need to have a power source connected to it regardless of whether it is 5 or 11-pin.

      If you connect the power source and it’s still not working, it’s likely that it has the wrong pin configuration. If it’s 5-pin, it will not work. It needs to be 11-pin for the SGS3.

      The model of the SGS3 should not make a difference – as far as I am aware all S3 models have the same pin arrangement, but I cannot say for certain as there are so many.

      We have this adaptor in stock which connects a 5-pin adaptor to an 11-pin connection, but cannot guarantee that it will work with unofficial cables. We are also able to supply the official MHL adaptor for the S3

      • Thanks Chris. I connected the power source to the adapter last night with the same result, nothing. I assume that the adapter is the 5-pin now. The adapter I bought was on sale so that’s why I purchased it. It was the Inveo I14-42304. I will look into the 5 to 11 pin adapter now. Thanks for the input.

      • Chris, I bought a 5 to 11 pin adapter, connected it to my phone, connected the charger to the side of it, and connected it to HDMI. I now see HDMI 2 as an option from my input menu, but when I select it the TV still flashes “No signal”. Does it matter which version of the S3 you have? I have an i747. If I connect my phone to my TV with a USB cable it does not recognize it. I’m thinking the problem may be with my TV and not the phone or adapters. Have you ever heard of this?

  8. Mark Edwards says:

    I just got an HTC One SV, and have bought a 5 pin MHL adapter, having found this very useful page. I can’t get it to work, though, and further “Googling” has found Jon’s review 24/01/13, in which he says that MHL isn’t an option on the One SV.

    Does the One SV support MHL? Some reviews say yes, others no.

    Thanks.

    • Mark,

      We are not aware of the HTC One SV supporting MHL out. You may want to find those reviews that say it does and find out whether they tested it. The fact that you have a cable and it is not working is evidence of lack of support really, unless you are unlucky and have a faulty cable.

      • Mark Edwards says:

        That’s pretty much what I thought, given it doesn’t work.

        Can I ask why you list it on this page as needing a 5 pin adapter if it doesn’t support it?.

        Thanks for your reply!

  9. Michael says:

    Got s3 mini got a adapter to watch phone on tv but when tryed to put adapter in phone it wont go all the way in. Do the adapter’s not work on the mini’s only the normal s3/s4 coz my freind got s3 normal and it worked on his help

    • Hi Michael, unfortunately the Galaxy S3 Mini does not have video out capabilities so the MHL adapter for the standard S3 will not work. The cable should plug in all the way as it is a normal micro USB connection but you will not receive the video on the TV

  10. Hi, is the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini mhl enabled?

    Thanks.

  11. I’m planning to buy sony KDL 42W670 (uae model) which has mhl. Will galaxy s4 with its adapter support this model. Also can I use the tv remote and control the phone screen. (Is it CEC enabled?)

    • If you want to use a true MHL cable then we are not aware of one being available yet that is supported by the S4. There is MHL to MicroUSB cables that work with the likes of the Galaxy S2. Don’t believe you can use your remote to control the phone screen.

  12. Hi Chris…..
    I have Samsung Galaxy s4. but I could not connect it with my LCD TV. When i Connect the MHL adapter to the S4, a message would be displayed ‘HDMI connceted , but after 5 or 6 seconds an anoter message should be displayed ‘HDMI disconnected’. sometimes S4 needs a restart. Chris could u help me to find out the problem and to solve it.. (SORRY FOR POOR ENGLISH, I AM NOT GOOD IN ENGLISH)

    THANK U……

    • Chris Ward says:

      Hi Nishad, not sure what the problem is here. The fact that the s4 needs a restart suggests that it is not a loose connection on the cable. Which cables are you using to connect the handset – the official s4 cable or another third party one?

  13. It is not official s4 cable which is not available here. I bought it from a third party .(duty paid shop) . Perhaps it may be the problem of cable as you think. Thanks chris. I will contact with you after buying a good one.

  14. Hi Chris, interesting info on MHL here! Thx for that. I recently bought a new Yamaha AV receiver with MHL support (RX-V500d). How should this connect to my Samsung Galaxy S2? What is difference with connection for non-MHL receiver?

    • Hi Plottee, you can use the official Galaxy S2 adapter to hook up to the Yamaha: http://www.clove.co.uk/samsung-galaxy-s-ii-i9100-mhl-adaptor
      I don’t know the full workings of the receiver but having a quick look at the specs I would expect there to be an option to enable the MHL Link so you can receive from the S2.
      I can’t comment on other devices without specifics but I can see that the receiver has standard HDMI input so micro HDMI devices can use that and if you are able to enable phono output from the headphone socket then there are inputs on the back for that too

  15. so galaxy s2 adapter will work with my sony xperia sp??
    pls reply fast
    pls pls

  16. for Samsung S Duos what adapter to be used to see mobile in HDTV

  17. Jidhin George says:

    Hi,
    I have ”htc one x+” and i’d like to know whether the Samsung 11pin MHL works with it or can i connect any standard MHL cable?

  18. How can 60Mhz (s4 adaptor) be beter than 24Ghz (s3 adaptor)? Or did you mean 24Mhz for the s3 adaptor?

    @clove, what is “true MHL”? From what I read MHL does not impose a standard on the cable hardware. So an 11-pin Samsung MHL adaptor is “true MHL” as long as it abides by the specs of MHL.

  19. Hey have a question. I got a HTC one S right now connected to a MEDION touch screen with an MHL adapter with usb + hdmi 1.5, I just can’t get the touch screen to Work with the phone. fx if I go into notes ot msg. I can’t type on the screen. is there a way?

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hi Patrick, I don’t think this is possible. The MHL adaptor and HDMI cable are only used to send audio/video to a secondary screen.
      To have the separate MEDION touch screen work with the phone then data would need to be sent back down the connection to the phone from the screen – this setup does not allow for this.
      Personally I am not aware of any readily available hardware/software combination that could allow for this.
      I would suggest perhaps looking at the XDA Developer forums to see if anyone has information on achieving this

      • Thx on the fast reply. Well I am gonna Work with it atleast do some coding perhaps. I atleast think it would be cool if it would Work like that. cause the screen has speakers on it so when I Watch youtube the sound comes from it, also when it rings. Just need that detail about being able to touch for picking up the phone or texting.

        anyway Cheers

        • Josh Bethell says:

          No problem Patrick. It very well may be made to work with a bespoke application written for the job.
          The issue will be in getting the touch input information from the screen to the phone through the MHL/HDMI connection.
          The MEDION must allow this when connected to standard computers (I assume you do not need anything other than a standard HDMI/Displayport connector?).
          Perhaps a look at the application required to make the MEDION work with a PC would be the first step.
          After that, you may be limited by the MHL specification and how the cable transfers data

  20. hi, I have a samsung grand duos,, i like to watch a video that is saved on my grand thru my tv.. but when i try to connect it on my LCD TV using a USB cable, it doesnt show any indication where i can choose to see the storage files from samsung grand .. unlike when i was using a different phone, when i connect it to tv, it automatically shows an option where i can open the files from my cellphone. but now im using samsung grand, it doesnt work, but the samsung grand says that it is connected to a USB .. what should i do.

    • Josh Bethell says:

      Hello Angela, most Samsung devices will not allow you to view video files in this way. The USB connection is mostly just for mass storage so you can store and copy files.
      Please refer to the reference manual for your device to see if true video out capabilities are supported – unfortunately I am not familiar with this device model