MHL vs. Miracast
By Manmeet Walia, Sr. Product Marketing Manager
In recent years, cell phone technology has evolved to offer very powerful devices that handle a lot more than simple voice communication. They act as multimedia players, set-top boxes, game consoles, cameras, and even PCs. However, the screen size of a device that fits into the palm of your hand can never be satisfactory for a rich multimedia experience. Hence there is a strong need for interface technology that can connect mobile devices to a bigger screen, like a digital television (DTV) or a monitor.
Two protocols have emerged to address consumers' need for big-screen connectivity: the wired mobile high-definition link (MHL) protocol and the wireless Miracast protocol. MHL provides high-definition (HD) audio/video connectivity between a mobile device and a larger display while simultaneously charging the mobile device's battery. While MHL offers HD multimedia connectivity between a mobile device and display device, it will need to prove its value to overcome the convenience of wireless Wi-Fi-based technologies. Miracast, created by the Wi-Fi Alliance, allows a mobile device to share HD audio/video with a compatible display over Wi-Fi by using data compression. An alternative to Apple's AirPlay Mirroring, Miracast works as a peer-to-peer screencast.
With the advent of these two protocols, the "wired versus wireless" debate has yet again come to the forefront, this time for mobile multimedia connectivity. This article discusses how MHL and Miracast can both compete and co-exist in next-generation consumer mobile multimedia electronic devices. Each of these technologies provides an interface to the larger screen but offer different approaches to connectivity, performance, latency, power delivery, quality, security, and convenience.