Mini LED TVs will be the novelty of 2021 from Samsung and LG

In 2021, a new generation of high-resolution TVs with Mini LED technology will arrive on the market: here's why they'll be better.

The year 2021 will be the year of consecration of Mini LED technology for screens, especially those of televisions. But it will also be the year of confusion for users, who will be bombarded with new business acronyms that are difficult to understand. Acronyms that will make their debut at CES 2021, which will be held only in virtual form online from January 11 to 14.

While once the choice was only between OLED and LCD technology, the arrival of Mini LED upsets the cards: unlike what you might think by reading the name, in fact, Mini LED is an evolution of LCD and not OLED. It was chosen by both the leading companies in the display market, Samsung and LG, who will bring it to market under their respective names: QLED (Samsung) and QNED (LG). Samsung QLED TVs, however, have already been on the market for some time combined with another trade name: Quantum Dot. Only the new QLEDs (which will likely be sold under a new acronym) will feature a Mini LED panel.

What does Mini LED mean

The name Mini LED would suggest a miniaturized version of OLED technology, but that's not the case. It is an evolution of the historic LCD liquid crystal technology, with a backlit panel that emits light to the crystals.

Liquid crystals, when "on" and "off" with the passage of electric current, polarize in one direction or another making the individual pixel turn on and off. OLEDs, by comparison, are "self-emitting" displays in which each pixel is made up of LEDs that turn on, with no liquid crystal layer between the light and the viewer.

In a Mini LED LCD screen, however, a myriad of tiny white LEDs generate the light in the back panel. Then the light is passed by the usual liquid crystals to be "colored" by turning each color on or off.

The advantage of Mini LEDs is that they allow you to create many small light-emitting zones (dimming zones) and, consequently, to turn on only the parts of the screen really needed to draw the images. So they consume less and have almost no halo effect from the rear panel.

The color rendering and brightness are similar to those of OLED panels, but the production costs are lower.

CES 2021: Samsung and LG's Mini LED screens

Before talking about the Mini LED TVs that Samsung will present next year, it's good to clarify one thing: we're talking about Mini LEDs, not Micro LEDs. This additional acronym indicates an even different technology, which Samsung adopts only on its top-of-the-line TVs.

For the rest, the Korean giant hasn't unveiled any products yet and probably won't do so until January, but it has recently registered some new trade names that hint at the arrival of this new technology: QLED+, QLED Z, QLED Neo, QLED Platinum and QLED Matrix. We don't know yet which of these trade names will characterize Samsung's future range of QLED TVs with Mini LED technology.

In contrast to its direct competitor LG has just unveiled its intentions: at CES 2021 it will unveil its first QNED TV with Mini LED technology. It also announced its main technical features: almost 30,000 LEDs in a single panel, contrast of 1,000,000:1, almost 2,500 dimming zones (i.e. zones that can be turned on or off even partially).

The first model will be the 86-inch LG QNED 8K TV, a top-of-the-line model that will be positioned at the top end of LG's offering.