Sony has chosen Mini LED over OLED for its 2024 flagship TV, but is that a big deal?

The Sony Bravia 9 photographed on a wooden stand in a lounge environment
(Image credit: Future)

Sony's 2024 TV range has just been announced, and something we had anticipated for a little while has now been confirmed: the new flagship model is not an OLED of any kind, but a Mini LED set.

This is a big deal, for sure, but is it 'end of OLED' big or just 'year off' big'? It's honestly hard to tell at this stage.

Sony is at pains to state that it has not abandoned OLED. It says that the primary reason for not replacing the A95L this year is that it only made it into shops late last year so has only been on sale for a short time, and also points out that there is a new OLED TV in the range, in the form of the A80L-replacing Bravia 8. This all makes a lot of sense, although the lack of any new 'small' OLED models for a second year running does at least hint at a certain lack of OLED commitment from the brand.

And there is, with very little doubt, more to it than that. Sony has put enormous effort into developing the next-gen backlight system that it is launching this year in the Bravia 9, and there's surely an element of Sony not wanting that to be overshadowed in any way by a new QD-OLED model.

Sony is also presumably keen to make a success of this next-gen backlighting tech beyond just the Bravia 9. The company doesn't produce its own OLED panels, so it has to pay LG for the panels for its A80L, and Samsung for the A95L's QD-OLED panels. If it could convince us all that its new Mini LED tech was better than OLED, not only would it sell more TVs using more components that are produced in-house, but perhaps it could even start selling those components to other brands in the future.

OLED is now very much cemented in the minds of many as the premium TV tech, so convincing everyone to go for Mini LED instead will be no easy task, but Sony is making some fairly compelling arguments, which I go into in detail in my Sony Bravia 9 hands-on.

My guess (and it really is just that) is that Sony is working on an A95L replacement for next year, but that it's also hoping that the Bravia 9 is such a huge success that it paves the way for the brand to gradually pivot from OLED to Mini LED entirely.

Of course, I could just be reading too much into it, and this could just be the OLED Gap Year that Sony says it is, with some sort of dual-flagship approach resuming next year. Only time will tell.


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Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons has been writing about TV, AV and hi-fi products (not to mention plenty of other 'gadgets' and even cars) for over 15 years. He began his career as What Hi-Fi?'s Staff Writer and is now the TV and AV Editor. In between, he worked as Reviews Editor and then Deputy Editor at Stuff, and over the years has had his work featured in publications such as T3, The Telegraph and Louder. He's also appeared on BBC News, BBC World Service, BBC Radio 4 and Sky Swipe. In his spare time Tom is a runner and gamer.