During the global pandemic, we've looked even more to our televisions to provide entertainment and escapism with a wealth of streaming options at our fingertips. Now, even as we start to look past the impact of Covid-19, the television continues to form a key part of how we relax and unwind. We live in a time of true innovation, with fast-moving technologies shaping the TV market. Quality should be at the heart of the television experience, and that's why TCL is embracing Mini LED technology to bring stellar picture quality within the reach of more people.
Here, we evaluate the benefits of Mini LED over OLED and Micro-LED televisions.
Life in full colour
Although LED technology has been the most commonly used tech in TV displays for almost two decades now, there have been multiple iterations of the standard Light Emitting Diode. The key limitation has always been that the size of LEDs sets a limit on how many can actually be incorporated into the TV display. The result is reduced control over the screen light levels, leading to an image that cannot faithfully replicate colour, shading and other factors key to a great picture. With a drastically decreased size of just 0.025 standard LEDs, it is possible to layer millions of them together.
Uniquely, TCL combines these tiny crystals with QLED technology to allow for further enhancement to colour. These ‘dot crystals’ enable for much more precision in the specific lighting zones across the screen, meaning the micro and macro details of the colours and images on display can be reproduced with incredible fidelity. This colour reproduction is so elite that the newest generation of Mini LED TV sets boast true-to-life colours, or 100% colour volume. That means that you can view every image on-screen not only as intended, but as they deserve to be viewed.
No need to turn up the brightness
Beyond the colourful capabilities of Mini LEDs, they are also a market leading solution when it comes to brightness, even outshining the more expensive OLED alternatives which typically produce around 200 nits, a figure which is easily surmounted by the 500 nits of modern Mini LED TVs. It’s not all about brightness for brightness’ sake however – the dynamic range of light and dark gives superb contrast to images and accentuates the depth of darker tones. Those areas of lighting are able to convey shadow on areas of blackness, very close to the ‘deep blacks’ that OLED models can produce, at a fraction of the price.
Tomorrow’s picture quality, today
So, why choose Mini LED, over the likes of OLED or Micro-LED? Like Mini LED, OLED offers impressive colour reproduction and good dark contrasts thanks to self-emissive diodes. The downside of this is OLED TVs have a much shorter lifespan than Mini LEDs due to the organic components involved. They are also susceptible to screen retention or 'burn-in', a common issue with older plasma TVs where displays did not properly transition images or even became permanently discoloured.
Micro-LED units, at their best can offer the most outstanding picture quality of any commercial technology and operate by layering even tinier crystals than Mini LEDs – as many as 25 million – with every pixel on screen utilising three specific lighting diodes to control the colour and brightness. An impressive and complex arrangement, the tech is currently prohibitively expensive - a Micro-LED set can cost tens of thousands of pounds.
TCL aims to place innovative technology within the reach of as many people as possible, so that sky-high prices or less durable hardware should not be a gatekeeper to an incredible entertainment experience. By embracing Mini LED, the company seeks to put outstanding, next-generation image quality within reach right now. To deliver on this mission, TCL’s brand new Mini LED 8K TV X92 Series brings together 8K resolution, thousands of ultra-small Mini LEDs and QLED (quantum dot nanocrystals) to deliver the apex of image clarity, dynamism and realism. Also launched earlier this year is the Mini LED 4K TV C825 (opens in new tab), with direct Mini LED backlight, QLED, 4K HDR Premium and 100Hz Motion Clarity Pro for the best 4K HDR performance.