What is Mini-LED?
Mini-LED is a new display technology that promises improved contrast ratios and deeper blacks compared to LCD panels that are illuminated by normal LEDs (light emitting diodes). As the name suggests, mini-LEDs are much smaller than regular LEDs.
Diodes smaller than 0.2 mm are generally classified as mini-LEDs. They are used to illuminate a normal LCD panel, just like a traditional TV with LED lighting. The key difference is that there are many more mini-LEDs compared to older TVs.
While mini-LED technology may not match the image quality of an OLED or micro-LED display, mini-LED models are much cheaper to produce. The larger the panel, the greater the savings. Making large OLED TVs is still complicated and expensive.
How to improve the Mini-LED on traditional LED TVs?
Most modern LCD models use LEDs for backlighting. When you illuminate an LED through an LCD panel that displays a black or dark scene, blacks fade. The LCD panel can do a lot of work to «block» the LED light that shines from behind.
To combat this, TV manufacturers have resorted to local downsizing. By dimming the specific LEDs behind the LCD panel, blacks appear deeper because less light interferes with the image.
The problem here is that due to the size of traditional LEDs, only so many can be placed behind the panel. LED TV Quantum X of 65 inches PX65-G1 Quantum X cu light Vizio standard LEDs It has 384 local dimming zones, which are essentially individual LEDs.
In comparison, the mini-LED 65Q825 8-Series of TCL of comparable size it has about 1,000 local dimming zones and tens of thousands of micro-LEDs. This results in deeper blacks and less discolored dark scenes, as the adjustable regions are much smaller and provide much more granular control over the image.
This makes mini-LED technology an excellent remedy between traditional LED displays and OLED or micro-LED displays at a competitive price for starters.
Mini-LED Vs. Micro-LED: What’s the difference?
Micro-LEDs are even smaller than mini-LEDsand each micro-LED is placed on a pixel. Samsung, which has moved away from mini-LEDs in favor of micro-LEDs, uses three small LEDs per pixel in its current micro-LED displays. This means that each pixel can be turned on or off individually and can display a different color than the pixel next to it.
Finally, it provides the gold standard in terms of contrast ratio and color control. The downside is that micro-LED displays are still very expensive to produce. A 4K TV with micro LEDs requires 25 million micro-LEDs, and the manufacturing process is not easy. This means that the technology is not yet viable due to the costs associated with production.
This could soon change: the market research firm IHS Markit predicts a dramatic drop in the cost of producing micro-LED panels that should lead to about 15.5 million displays shipped annually by 2026 (compared to just 1,000 in 2019). This number includes not only TVs, but also smartphones, portable devices and other gadgets.
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) is a display technology similar to micro-LEDs in that it allows each pixel to emit its own light. That’s why OLED screens now offer the deepest blacks and the clearest color contrast on the consumer market. They are also expensive, but the price of production has dropped considerably since their introduction.
Can you buy Mini-LED TVs today?
TCL was the first manufacturer to launch mini-LED TVs with its 8 series models in October 2019. display less than 65 ″ (65Q825) debuted at $ 1,999 while model larger than 75 ″ (75Q825) started at $ 2,999. Both are available exclusively through The best purchase With discount. The CES 2020, TCL announced that the mini-LED will also make its place in its 6 series models.
Although the smaller 65 «does not offer great savings compared to LG’s OLED screens of comparable size, the 75» model is an excellent value, given how expensive large OLED screens are. Best Buy’s current comparable OLED display is for $ 4,300 (on sale) for LG B9 77 .
TCL seems to be the only company to market displays that use this technology. The mini-LED is new, so it’s hard to specifically buy an LED mini-TV right now. This is evident from the fact that mini-LED TVs are currently bundled with normal LED or QLED labels while being purchased online.
If you want a mini-LED TV, you will need to opt for TCL for now or consider other companies that are committed to technology. The mini-LED could still be a rather obscure choice, as companies like Samsung are advancing with the adoption of micro-LEDs, potentially throwing away the technology altogether (as they did with OLEDs).
Should you buy Mini-LED, OLED or QLED?
The display technology you choose comes down to a few key factors, such as price, panel size, brightness, and overall image quality.
If money is not an issue, micro-LED displays are the best option. They offer all the advantages of OLED, with a brighter screen and no sensitivity to screen wear. Unfortunately, there are currently no micro-LED displays for sale to consumers and there may be a year or so left.
OLED is the next logical choice. Each pixel on an OLED screen can generate its own light, which means deep blacks, strong contrast and no «halo» effect, as seen on traditional low-intensity LED TVs. It is also expensive, but prices continue to fall. OLED panels are available in sizes of 55 ″, 65 77, 77 88 and 88 ″.
Mini-LEDs offer a competitive alternative to OLEDs, offering some of the benefits without the cost associated with large panels. Because each pixel does not create its own light, deep blacks and clear contrast are not the same as OLEDs, but they are much better than traditional LEDs. For larger panels, you can save literally thousands of dollars by going the mini-LED route. This should become even better when more models appear on the market.
And then there’s QLED, where Q means Quantum Dots. Basically, it is a film with small light-emitting nanoparticles, which also tries to mimic OLED technology. This does not correspond to what is possible with mini-LEDs and OLEDs, but QLED is able to produce a brighter image than OLED. They are also much cheaper than OLED displays, especially for large panels because they are much easier to produce.
Finally, there are LCD panels with vanilla LED lighting, which are among the cheapest displays on the market. You may notice uneven backlight, but LCD panels can still be bright and vibrant if you are prepared to spend a little more. Our advice (with all the displays) is to see them in person before you buy, so you can compare the package and draw your own conclusions.
The future is bright (and very dark)
The mini-LED is just one of the many display technologies that are finding their place on the market. TCL has taken a leap forward with the 8 Series, which offers a real alternative to OLED displays at a much more affordable price for the consumer.
Finally, there Some things to look for when buying a TVBut do not lose sight of the important things: your budget and the desired size of the panel. And remember: if you are buying a TV mainly to play games, your priorities will be slightly different.