Unless you're a mobile phone industry insider, you might have missed out on MHL, despite its industry-wide support. Mobile High definition Link has reached a new milestone, as it now supports 4K
Your phone's battery charging cable might not be the most obvious candidate for transferring 4K video to a TV screen, but that's exactly what it can do with MHL.
This unlikely combination of capabilities actually has quite a reasonable explanation.
First, people don't want a multitude of connectors adorning the side of their phone.
Next, if you're going to use your phone to connect to your TV so you can watch a stored feature film, then you'd better make sure that your phone's battery doesn't run down in the middle of it. And what better way to do that than combine a 4K digital video connection with the one that supplies power to your phone.
The latest iteration of MHL is fast enough for 4K. And you can still change your phone through it because the most remarkable thing about MHL is that it uses the existing charging cable connection at the phone's end, and an existing HDMI connector at the other, as long as it is one that's compatible with MHL.
If the HDMI connection on your TV is not compatible, then you simply insert an adapter.
With 4K media players pretty scarce at the moment it's kind of surprising that your humble smartphone could step into this role. Remember, though, that you would need an unlimited data plan that really means "unlimited" if you're planning to download 4K films over a data connection. All of which highlights the paradox of mobile data economics: that 5K (and, no doubt soon to come 5G) mobile broadband is faster than most people have wired to their homes. And yet the most suitable connection for downloading 4K is also the most expensive.
We can't help wondering whether this might be a useful addition to some small cameras.