MediaTek and Portrait Displays announce Calman Ready chips for TVs

Mike Wheatley

TV colour calibration expert Portrait Displays says it’s teaming up with the semiconductor manufacturer MediaTek this year on a next-generation video processor that’s integrated with “Calman Ready functionality”.


The idea behind the collaboration is to make it easier than ever for users to achieve precise, optimised picture settings on modern TVs, so they can view content exactly as the creator intended. While neither Portrait Displays nor MediaTek can be considered a household name, the two companies play a key role in the TV viewing experience, with the former renowned for its industry-leading calibration software, and the latter being the primary manufacturer of computer chips for televisions.

So the announcement of the world’s first premium smart TV chip with Calman Ready functionality is a big deal. The new MediaTek Pentonic 1000 chip is likely to wind up at the heart of most flagship 2023 televisions that go on sale this year, with its customers including Samsung Electronics, Sony, Panasonic and Philips. Those TV manufacturers will now be able to offer a more simplified implementation of Portrait Display’s Calman AutoCal software.

The partnership will enable TV brands that use MediaTek’s new chip to join the Calman Integrated Solutions program, and professional calibrators, amateur enthusiasts and retailers alike will be able to learn about calibration, and perform it more easily, the companies said. Essentially, they’re making it easier for anyone who wants to connect directly to the Calman calibration software and automate the process of calibrating their TV, with options for 8K, 4K, HDR, Wide Colour Gamut and HDTV signal support.

The companies promised that the integration will enable a number of professional calibrations, including “3×3 colour correction matrixes to 1D/3D-LUT generation for high-precision colour gamut, and grayscale corrections.”

The MediaTek Pentonic 1000 chip has already been hailed as a major breakthrough, as it’s the first bit of smart TV silicon that supports four HDMI 2.1 ports running at 48 Gbps, in addition to a solid performance boost. In addition, MediaTek’s Intelligent View technology enables the latest Pentonic chips to support multiple picture-in-picture and picture-by-picture screens, so high resolution displays will be able to show different bits of content at the same time by splitting the screen into sections. In this way, TVs will be able to run multiple apps simultaneously, streaming from different sources at the same time.

Statements from the likes of Philips and Sony suggest that both brands are going to take full advantage of the collaboration between Portrait Displays and MediaTek.

“In addition to Sony’s integrated image processing algorithms, our strategic collaboration with Portrait Displays and MediaTek allows us to take the Smart TV visual experience to the next level,” said Yoshihiro Ono, Head of Home Entertainment Business Group of Sony Corporation. “With accurate color calibration, customers can enjoy movies and TV shows precisely how they were meant to be viewed,”

“In collaborating with Portrait Displays and MediaTek, all Philips OLED TV series launched in 2023 will achieve an outstanding level of high-quality picture performance utilizing Calman Ready and MediaTek Pentonic 1000,” said Ken CM Liao, Senior Director of Global Product Management of the OBM BG at TPV Group.

MediaTek’s current Pentonic chip family includes the Pentonic 1000 for 4K TVs, the Pentonic 2000 for 8K TVs, and the older Pentonic 700 4K chip. The company said the first TVs powered by MediaTek Pentonic with Calman Ready technology will launch in the first quarter of the year.