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Cable Technology Feature Article

April 02, 2013

Sceptre Set to Bring Out New Televisions with MHL Edge

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) technology has been on the rise since making something of a debut at the 2008 CES (News - Alert) event. Some estimates figure that more than 200 different products currently involve MHL in one way or another, and that list is about to grow at least somewhat thanks to recent news from Sceptre, who recently announced a new line of LCD and LED televisions that would boast the technology in the not too distant future.

Sceptre is set to add the MHL technology to televisions measuring at least 32 inches in both LCD and LED display classes, going up to its 58 inch display systems. At last report, Sceptre already offered a line of MHL capable devices, but these were limited to the 32 and 47 inch LED devices, so this represents a fairly significant expansion of Sceptre's MHL offerings.

With MHL technology added to a television, two major possibilities become available. One, the display can mirror what's on the mobile device, allowing users to play video or music from a mobile device onto a larger device. Two, the mobile device involved in the MHL system can also be used to control the functions of the television itself with a connection to the remote. So not only can an MHL system use a mobile device essentially like a set-top box with mobile Web functionality but the equivalent of a high-grade remote control as well. The mobile device can also be recharged from the television, which is of course getting its power from an always-on current.

Several companies already offer MHL-enabled displays, including some fairly major names like Samsung, LG, Sony and Toshiba (News - Alert), so seeing Sceptre join the list is something of an interesting new development. While Sceptre systems don't often lack for quality--I've seen some very nice monitors come out of Sceptre in the past--they also have a tendency to show up at lower cost, which has proven to be somewhat of a point of concern among many watching the MHL development cycle. Since many Sceptre products can be had for under $600, getting MHL into more homes may well prove feasible now than it was previously.

Perhaps the only downside to MHL is that it's a wired technology--a cable is required to connect the mobile device to the television--and that makes it somewhat limited in scope. Of course, losing the cable would also lose the power charging capability, which would be a pretty substantial loss, but then being able to control streaming video content and the like from the phone directly to the television would also be pretty nice in its own right.

Still, MHL is looking to make its way to more systems, and if things keep going like this, we may well see MHL included as an option on more televisions to come.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli

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