UltraCast is a proprietary technology that builds on MiraCast, the current Wi-Fi certified industry standard that allows for transmitting content from mobile or laptop devices to TVs, projectors and monitors. Although the video streaming market already uses a few wireless transmission standards, MediaTek says that UltraCast uses “advanced video-smoothing algorithms to preserve picture quality while ensuring latency between streaming devices is minimal”.
Any smartphone manufacturer using a MediaTek Helio-based chip should soon be able to add support for the standard in the form of a firmware update. As for Ultra HDTV support, the technology will be compatible with all Ultra HDTVs sporting MediaTek chipsets, which currently include the MT5595 SoC running Android TV 5.0 and MT5596 SoC running Android TV 6.0. Some of MediaTek’s current TV partners include Sony, Vizio, Philips and Sharp, among others.
The company is making UltraCast an open platform to be used by third-party smartphone, DTV and set-top box manufacturers so that more devices are on-boarded with implementing it in existing
The three current wireless transmission standards are called WiGig, Wireless HD and WHDI. WiGig is also referred to as 802.11ad and transmits in the 60GHz frequency, but requires devices to be close and within line of sight. Wireless HD is a bit more commonly adopted, transmits in the 60GHz frequency at up to 33 feet (10m) and is capable of 4K, but most current products only transmit in 1080p. WHDI, on the other hand, transmits in the lower 5GHz frequency at up to 100 feet (30m) and is also capable of 4K in version 2.0, but most existing products only stream in 1080p.
“MediaTek can offer a better, more affordable experience and a smart, cost-effective alternative for device makers,” says SR Tsai, senior general manager of MediaTek’s Home Entertainment business group.