Xiaomi has just announced its new television set, the Mi TV 4. The Mi TV 4 is a high-end set that features a 4.9mm thick frame, virtually no bezel, and a modular system that separates the panel from the rest of the electronics.
Mi TV 4 range notable is, of course, the design. The thinness helps, undoubtedly, with the processing section only extending less than a third up the way of the display Dolby Atmos, though rather than the ceiling-mounted speakers you’d expect to find in a movie theater with support for the all-around surround sound standard, Xiaomi takes a different approach. Upward-firing speakers in the front sound bar bounce audio off the ceiling for the overhead effects. The rear speakers are wirelessly connected, so only need power and can be more flexibly placed.
CEO Hugo Barra explains it, the vast majority of the cost involved in a TV is in the panel; the motherboard – which does all the processing, and is the part you’ll probably want to upgrade more frequently – is only about 20-percent of the overall cost. Most TV designs, though, integrate them together so you can’t upgrade one without the other.
Xiaomi’s approach is to separate them, and indeed owners of the company’s 2016 TVs will be able to buy the new Mi TV 4 processing bar and get upgrades to the newest features. That includes an interface known as PatchWall, which promises AI-style recommendations and endless-scroll for figuring out something to watch.
Ports include three HDMI, two USB, ethernet, AV in, an antenna port, S/PDIF digital audio output, and the subwoofer connection. Xiaomi will have three sizes on offer, starting at 49-inches, through 55-inches, and finally 65-inches. The top-spec, largest of the three will cost under $2,000 in China complete with the Dolby Atmos audio system when it goes on sale later in the year, Barra says.