You may not realize it, but a few modern smartphones and tablets like the HTC Evo 3D, HTC Flyer, and Samsung Galaxy S II feature something called MHL, or Mobile High-Definition Link -- a new standard that allows a phone to play 1080p video and up to eight channels of audio over a special micro USB-to-HDMI cable that also charges the device and lets viewers control playback with their existing TV remote. The technology's flown under the radar since it first shipped on the GS II because there haven't been any MHL-enabled TVs available to make it all work, but the Toshiba Regza WL800A is the first of the new breed -- and in addition to MHL and now-standard features like 3D support and YouTube playback, it features a built-in camera that can recognize up to four different viewers and automatically adjust preferences like picture settings and channel presets. That's pretty slick.
Unfortunately, the WL800A is only scheduled to ship in Australia in 46-inch AU$2,329 (US$2,478) and 55-inch AU$3,137 (US$3,337) versions, but with Samsung set to announce the sure-to-be-popular US variants of the Galaxy S II later today and major partners like Sony lined up to support MHL, we're expecting see a lot more MHL-enabled TVs Stateside relatively soon.
Update: And just like that, Kanex has announced an MHL-to-HDMI adapter so you can power MHL-enabled phones while playing content on a regular HDMI television.
Source: Toshiba AU, via Silicon Imaging PR and CNET AU