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Top 5 Common MHL Problems and Fixes

MHL or mobile high-definition link is very useful in mirroring your smartphone display to a larger screen without any lag. We recently had a discussion with Vipin Sawhney, India Country Manager, Silicon Image, who was polite enough to answer some MHL problems and queries we have received from our readers. Read on to know answers to some frequently asked questions.


Question – How Does One Know whether they need an active or passive MHL adaptor?

Answer – When connecting the Note 4 to an MHL HDTV or UHDTV, a passive MHL cable with an 11-to-5 pin adapter tip is all that is required. To connect the Note 4 to a non-MHL TV, an MHL Adapter is required.

Question – Why do some MHL adaptors require power and some do not?

Answer – Samsung MHL 2 and MHL 3 Adapters will not require external power as they can utilize the operating power from specific Samsung smartphone models. Compatible smartphones include the Samsung Galaxy S4, S5, and Note 4. In other cases, the Adapter will require external power so that the Adapter can operate and also charge the phone at the same time.

Recommended: MHL Questions Answers FAQ – Doubts Cleared

Question – Does MHL video out support both analog and digital signal conversion and output function?

Answer – MHL capable smartphone supports MHL Digital output by default and will support conversion with an external Adapter. With an MHL to HDMI Adapter, the MHL source output will be converted digitally to HDMI format. Finally, MHL can support analog conversion with the addition of an Adapter that converts MHL to analog RGB formats.

Question – Why do the Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S3, and the Samsung Galaxy Note II not work with my existing MHL accessories?

Answer – Samsung smartphone series starting from the Galaxy S3 have opted to create their own proprietary micro-USB pinout. As such instead of the standard 5 pins defined by USB specification, Samsung uses an 11-pin configuration. To ensure full compatibility, Samsung and other MHL accessory adopters have made available 11-to-5 pin adapter tips. With this adapter tip, all Samsung smartphones should work with your existing MHL accessories.

Question – Why do Some Samsung devices require a DVDO cable and an adaptor to use MHL with MHL enabled port?

Answer – Samsung Note 4 phones require an MHL 3 cable currently available from DVDO or Sony with an 11-to-5 Adapter tip to transmit 4K UHD resolutions to a 4K UHD MHL TV. The MHL 3 cable is important as it is rated to carry the high-speed signals used in MHL 3.

Question – How can one find out if the HDMI port on the TV is MHL Enabled?

Answer – With most TV manufacturers, the port is usually marked with “MHL” or “MHL/HDMI” for dual-function ports. This information can also be found in TV manuals or in most current 2014 TVs with an On-Screen Display designating the MHL connection port.

These were some of the MHL problems that we tried to fix. Stay tuned for more articles like this.

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Deepak Singh

Deepak Singh

The Author spent a significant chunk of his formative years resisting technology. He now keeps an eye on where the world is heading to, and drives a passive pleasure from this indulgence. His passion to write, learn and improve drives him each day. When his day ends, he enjoys the pleasant languor and detoxifies with family. You can connect with him on and TwitterView Author posts