OPINION: Chipset maker MediaTek has announced the Pentonic 700 smart TV System on Chip (SoC) that’s aiming to ‘elevate’ the performance of 4K smart TVs.
Since 4K/120Hz, VRR and Dolby Vision IQ all become part of the TV lexicon over the last few years, TV manufacturers have been trying to incorporate these new technologies to varying levels of success.
LG has led the pack, the first to really embrace 4K/120Hz, Dolby Vision Gaming and Dolby Vision IQ as soon as they appeared, and in the gaming market that’s given them a competitive edge. TVs such as the C2 and G2 OLEDs are one of few that support HDMI 2.1 at 48Gbps across all four HDMI inputs, with 4K/120Hz, ALLM and VRR able to be engaged on all of them.
That presents owners with minimum fuss in terms of set-up, as well as knowledge you’re getting the highest possible level of performance that’s currently achievable. It’s part of what makes LG’s OLEDs so attractive to gamers.
Competition can raise TV performance further
With MediaTek’s announcement that it’s bringing a new SoC to the market, one that can support better 4K/120Hz performance and Dolby Vision IQ with Precision Detail (a feature LG supported because their processor is currently the only one powerful to do so), we should see the playing field levelled some more, offering customers a wider choice in the TV brands they can choose from.
And competition can only be a good thing in this context. We think LG’s TVs are great and the steps forward they’ve made in bringing new technology to the TV market, but we do like to see other ideas and interpretations and the MediaTek’s Pentonic 700 should, hopefully, give rise to that. Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and Philips all use MediaTek processors and and this new chipset should open up new avenues to them.
It’s a chipset capable of producing 4K VRR at 144Hz (useful for PC gamers), supports the latest video standards such as the new VVC codec, along with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7 support, Dolby Vision IQ with Precision Detail, and HDR10+ Adaptive Gaming compatibility.
The hope is (or at least my hope) is that the Pentonic 700 could filter its way down into more affordable TVs. It’s designed specifically for 120Hz TVs so it’s not likely to appear in cheaper 60Hz LCD panels, but perhaps it could make a path for mid-range sets to include if the price and technology align.
The first TVs with the Pentonic 700 chip are set to roll out from distribution plants in Q4 2022. That’s probably too late for most TV manufacturers so 2023 – perhaps even CES 2023 – is when we’ll start to hear more about what MediaTek supporting TVs can do. Competition means every will be stepping up their game, and with premium 2022 TVs delivering a high level of performance, how good can next year’s models get?