MediaTek debuts newest 4K TV chip with support for VVC decoding

Mike Wheatley

The chipmaker MediaTek has announced its latest flagship system-on-a-chip for mainstream 4K TVs, with new features including support for 4K at up to 144Hz, Dolby Vision, HDR110+ and VVC decoding.


The newly announced Pentonic 700 SoC will bring VCC decoding capabilities to high-end 4K TVs for the first time. Versatile Video Coding, also known as H.266, is a new codec that’s billed as the successor to the HEVC codec that’s widely used today.

One of the advantages of having a TV that supports VVC is that the new codec is said to be more effective with source material from Amazon, Google, Netflix and other streaming services. It’s said to have the edge over AV1, meaning it can deliver better video quality at the same bitrate, or similar quality at lower bitrates. That said, while Netflix and YouTube have both deployed AV1, no streaming services have yet announced support for VVC.

With the Pentonic 700 SoC set to be released to customers before the end of the year, TV manufacturers should - hopefully - have enough time to bake them into next year’s flagship models. If so, then the first mainstream 4K consumer TVs with VVC support should arrive soon, making them a bit more future-proof than most of today’s models.

“The Pentonic 700 is slated to power mainstream 4K smart TVs as part of MediaTek’s broader Pentonic chipset family,” the company said in a statement. “With the introduction of this newest chipset, the Pentonic series offers brands a full range of options for premium, high-end and mass market TVs to meet different market needs. Smart TVs powered by Pentonic 700 are expected to be released in Q4 2022."

It’s an important announcement because MediaTek’s chipsets are used by around 70% of the world’s smart TVs, according to the company’s own numbers. Its probably not lying, as its chips are used by Samsung Electronics, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Vizio and Xiaomi, to name just a few top brands. It’s worth noting that LG Electronics does not use MediaTek’s chips, though.

MediaTek said that in addition to VVC, the new chip platform supports 4K resolution at up to 144Hz, which is faster than its existing chips. It also throws in support for HDR10+ Adaptive and Gaming, and a nifty new feature called Dolby Vision IQ Precision Detail, which allows the TV to make use of ambient light sensors and display more accurate detail in darker scenes. That feature has just been made available on LG Electronics’ C2 and G2 OLED TVs, and it looks like a big deal.

MediaTek added that Pentonic 700 SoC also supports HDMI 2.1 features like auto low latency mode and Dolby Atmos decoding. Finally, the company said it also supports companion chips from MediaTek to enable WiFi 6 and WiFi 7 in smart TVs.

“Brands can also add on MediaTek’s Filogic Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E or Wi-Fi 7 wireless connectivity solutions to bring 4K smart TVs ultra-fast, reliable connectivity with low latency for the best streaming and cloud gaming experiences," the company explained.

One year earlier, MediaTek announced its flagship chip, the Pentonic 2000 SoC, aimed at premium 8K TVs. That chip is yet to appear in any new TVs, however it’s believed that the Pentonic 700 should be adopted much more quickly, given the dominance of 4K TVs in the smart TV industry.