LG's New Quantum Dot 4K TVs Promise Richer Color

Just offering a 4K (aka ultra HD) TV isn't enough anymore; now manufacturers have to sweeten the deal to compete with their rivals' models. LG Electronics has announced a new series of LED-LCD Ultra HD sets, to debut at the 2015 CES in early January, that uses what's called quantum dot technology to provide deeper, more-accurate colors and greater brightness for LG TVs.

In case you haven’t heard of quantum dots: The technology uses tiny nanocrystals that emit different colors depending on their size. A sheet of them sits in front of the LCD's backlight to deliver richer primary colors (red, green and blue) to the screen. Unlike with OLED TVs, manufacturers can produce quantum-dot LCD TVs economically on a large scale.

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While quantum dots are definitely a welcome addition to UHD TVs, LG is not the first manufacturer to offer such a device. Rival manufacturer Sony released quantum dot TVs back in 2013, and Chinese TV maker TCL announced a quantum dot 4K TV back in September. Samsung has been investing heavily in quantum dot technology but hasn't announced any products yet. However, CES 2015 is fast approaching.

Meanwhile, LG believes that there is enough room in the market for both quantum dot and OLED TVs — at least for the moment. LG said in a press release that quantum dot models will exist alongside its OLED sets (but didn't say if new OLEDs are coming at CES). Whether LG will continue offering both screen styles depends on which type, if any, consumers end up preferring. (Traditional LED-LCD screens are still an option, too.)

Tom's Guide will go hands-on with both the quantum dot and OLED TVs that LG offers next month at CES, along with all the other TVs that debut. Until then, start thinking about how much money you might want to spend on a UHD TV with gorgeous color. No matter which screen type you choose, it won't come cheap.

Marshall Honorof is a staff writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.