MediaTek on Tuesday announced the MT5598, its latest system-on-chip designed for contemporary smart television sets which supports a variety of HDR technologies and 120Hz content, as well as 4K resolutions. Like many of the company's recent offerings, the MT5598 isn't a flagship solution but one that's meant to power smart TVs in the entry-level and mid-range segment of the market that are focused on providing consumers with maximum value for their money. UltraHD (4K) Blu-ray support is also part of the package, with the chip extending the same feature to streaming services such as YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.
The Taiwanese semiconductor company claims the chip is meant to allow for the highest quality standards in the online streaming space, suggesting it will be able to do so at a reasonable price. The silicon should become available to manufacturers in the coming weeks and may be commercialized by mid-2018. As is the case with the majority of new chipsets, the MT5598 is advertised as placing a large focus on artificial intelligence services and related applications ranging from smart home controls and voice-based interactions to content analysis and advanced personalizations technologies. TVs powered by the chip should have enough raw processing power to learn your viewing habits and better adapt to your needs while still providing you with all functionalities you'd expect from traditional platforms.
The newly announced silicon also boasts a proprietary dynamic range remapping engine designed for transforming SDR offerings to HDR content with no visible tradeoffs and with the goal of improving the end-user viewing experience. The technology works in conjunction with the company's Super Resolution System that doesn't transform the entirety of an SDR image but approaches picture enhancement in a more selective manner so as to highlight certain portions of any given frame without creating artifacts in other zones less suitable for such processing. The MT5598 is likely to find a home in the value-oriented segment of the Android TV market but should also be capable of powering devices utilizing proprietary operating systems. MediaTek has recently been shifting its focus away from premium offerings due to the poor reception of the Helio X30 and while it intends to return to making high-end mobile solutions by 2019, it's currently more interested in pursuing dedicated AI chips and more accessible silicon like the MT5598.