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LG unveils most advanced LCD TV, QNED Mini LED

Battle over Mini LED TV likely to unfold in 2021 between LG, Samsung

(LG Electronics)
(LG Electronics)
LG Electronics on Tuesday unveiled the highest-end category of its LCD TV lineup, the LG QNED Mini LED.

LG’s announcement came earlier than its archrival Samsung Electronics’ plan to reveal new TV technologies and models for 2021 on Jan. 6, when the virtual edition of the Consumer Electronics Show kicks off.

The LG QNED Mini LED TV features LG’s proprietary technology that combines quantum dot and mini LED technologies.

For the 86-inch backlight, the company has used around 30,000 mini LEDs that are about a tenth the size of LEDs currently found in LCD TVs. The more and smaller the LEDs used for the backlight, the better the color gamut gets, in terms of brightness.

“It is the most advanced LCD TV technology and is very close to OLED technology,” said Nam Ho-jun, head of home entertainment technology research at LG.

The Mini LED uses 10 to 15 times more LEDs for the backlight than Samsung’s premium LCD TV lineup QLED, Nam said.

LG has also applied about 2,500 dimming blocks to create deeper blacks than existing LCD TVs.

“Having over 2,000 dimming blocks in LCD TVs means that the technology has advanced by five times,” the LG executive said.

Due to the use of backlight, the QNED Mini LED TV can’t be thinner than LG’s unrivaled OLED TV technology, the company said.

While the thinnest OLED TV is about 4 millimeters thick, the QNED TV can’t be less than 10 millimeters thick.

In addition to the largest number of mini LEDs and dimming blocks, LG has combined cadmium-free quantum dots to its existing Nanocell filter to complete the new QNED technology.

The quantum dot material makes the filter display almost pure colors, providing the highest quality of colors among LCD TVs, the company said.

It is a major difference from Samsung’s QLED technology, which applies an additional layer of quantum dot sheet to the LCD panel.

LG will position the QNED Mini LED TV on top of its LCD TV lineup to absorb demand for premium LCD TVs with “reasonable prices” next year.

An 8K QNED model could be half the price of a OLED TV, while a 4K model could be slightly cheaper than an OLED model, the LG official said.

The QNED Mini LED technology enables mass production of TVs in various sizes from 55 inches to over 100 inches, the company said.

However, LG also has plans for Micro LED TVs to compete with Samsung in the larger-size market.

Earlier this month, Samsung unveiled its Micro LED technology that uses micrometer-sized, self-luminous LEDs for large sizes over 100 inches. Micro LED differs from Mini LED in that the particles emit lights themselves. LG has said it has also completed the Micro LED technology, but seems to be considering marketability and gauging the timing of joining the market.

“We believe that OLED is more adequate for less than 100 inches, while Micro LED could be better for larger sizes,” Nam said. “We have internal plans for Micro LED TVs for home use as well.”

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
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