MHL's new adapter can handle 8K video and link your devices

If you thought MHL's existing adapter spec could handle just about everything under the sun, you ain't seen nothin' yet. The MHL Consortium has taken the wraps off of SuperMHL, a new connector format that's ready for hardware you can't even buy yet. It can play gigantic 8K videos at 120 frames per second, and it's also ready for wider color ranges (up to 48-bit) that present a more natural-looking picture. Also, you can link multiple SuperMHL devices -- it's possible to steer your TV, receiver and Blu-ray player using one remote. Think of it as a supercharged version of the years-old HDMI-CEC control standard.

Other perks? You can now charge devices that use up to 40W of power, so you won't have problems juicing up a high-end tablet (or theoretically, a laptop) while it sends video to the TV. There's also support for all-encompassing sound technologies like Dolby Atmos and DTS-UHD, and the connector is reversible much like USB Type-C. If there's anything holding the technology back, it's the wait. The spec will be available near the end of January, but it's going to take much longer than that for device makers to build it into TVs and peripherals. It'll be a long, long while before you're watching 8K movies on a next-generation streaming media stick.