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Not just OLED: LG is about to release its first Mini LED TVs


A large flatscreen TV mounted on a white wall
Enlarge / A promotional image depicting one of LG’s new Mini LED TVs.

LG plans to introduce its first consumer Mini LED TVs sometime next month, according to a press release from the South Korean company. Mini LED is a new variant of LCD TV tech that offers better contrast ratios, among other improvements.

The new lineup in the US includes one 4K TV (dubbed the QNED90) and one 8K variant (called the QNED99). Both are available in three sizes: 65 inches, 75 inches, and 86 inches.

Much of the recent advertising and marketing muscle behind Mini LED TVs has come from Samsung, but that’s not the only company making them. TCL, Hisense, and others have introduced Mini LED sets as well.

LG calls its Mini LED technology “QNED,” which is just a marketing term that stands for “Quantum Nanocell Mini LED.” As far as we can tell, there’s nothing fundamentally different about these TVs that actually calls for a different acronym compared to Mini LEDs from other companies.

Mini LED TVs have thousands of very small LED backlights, allowing for more granular control of contrast than traditional LED-backlit or edge-lit TVs. This should allow for deeper blacks in certain parts of the screen and reduce blooming around bright objects against black backgrounds, as you may see with white-on-black credits sequences in movies playing on LED TVs. Mini LED is also used in other types of devices, including Apple’s most recent refresh of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Mini LED is not to be confused with Micro LED, another new display technology that is just now hitting the market in sets priced far beyond what most households can afford. Micro LED claims to offer the same peak brightness as Mini LED, the same per-pixel perfect black levels as OLED, and no burn-in risk.

The new LG sets sit below LG’s high-end OLEDs in pricing, but they’re still not cheap. The 4K 65-inch will retail at $1,999, while the 4K 75-inch comes in at $2,999, and the 86-inch costs $3,999.

Meanwhile, the 8K version starts at $3,499 for the 65-inch model. The 8K 75-inch TV will go for $4,799, and bumping that set up to 86 inches will take you all the way to $6,499.

Each of these new sets has HDMI 2.1 ports, allowing for 120 Hz content at 4K. The TVs also support the HDR10, HLG, and Dolby Vision HDR standards, plus Dolby Atmos for audio. They run webOS 6.0. Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) are supported on the 4K models but not the 8K ones.

More detailed specs are forthcoming. While the QNED90 and QNED99 will launch first in North America in July, they’ll head to other regions a few weeks later. But LG isn’t getting much more specific than that at this time.



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