LG unveils its first Mini LED TV — and it looks stunning

(Image credit: LG)

We're expecting to hear a lot about Mini LED TVs in the coming year, but LG's not wasting any time throwing down its marker. The electronics firm plans to unveil its first QNED Mini LED TV during CES in two weeks' time.

LG says its QNED Mini LED TVs will deliver much improved brightness and contrast over conventional LCD sets. The new models from LG will use Mini LEDs as their light source along with quantum dot and NanoCell technologies.

Mini LED technology uses small, bright LED lights measuring 100 to 200 micrometers wide for backlighting in LED panels. Those Mini LEDs are not only smaller than traditional LEDs, they're more energy efficient, too, so TV makers can build slimmer displays with brighter backlights that use less power.

Given those benefits, LG won't be the only TV set maker focusing on Mini LED-based TVs in 2021. TCL got the jump on the competition in recent years with sets like its 8-Series QLED Roku TV and and its 6-Series Roku TV. A report in November also suggested that Samsung planned to feature mini LED backlighting in many of its QLED 4K and 8K sets; the first batch is apparently coming in the first half of 2021, possibly joining LG's latest announcement at the CES virtual trade event.

LG's QNED Mini LED TV: What to expect

At CES starting Jan. 11, LG plans to show off its 86-inch 8K QNED TV. All told, the electronics giant is promising 10 new 4K and 8K models in its 2021 lineup across a wide range of sizes.

LG says its latest TVs will feature a new panel structure enhanced by Mini LED backlighting. That's expected to provide better contrast and deeper blacks than what you've seen from recent LCD screens.

With its Mini LED backlighting, LG uses up to nearly 30,000 tiny LEDs to provide a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 when combined with up to 2,500 dimming zones. That should produce first-rate HDR images and a wide color gamut in addition to the improvements in contrast and richer blacks.

At the same time, LG employs quantum dot and NanoCell technology — the first time that's been combined in a TV, according to LG — for more accurate colors. Meanwhile, the TVs will boast a 120Hz refresh rate from smooth and natural motion rendering.

"These TVs deliver an experience that set them apart from other LCD TVs and speak to our commitment to innovation and pushing the standard forward," said Nam Ho-jun, senior vice president of R&D for LG's home entertainment division, in a press release announcing the company's CES plans.

It's unclear just how much these new TVs will cost compared to LG's existing models, let alone comparable sets from other top TV makers. We imagine we'll find out more when CES 2021 gets underway in less than two weeks.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.