According to a press release from the South Korean company, LG plans to introduce its first mini LED consumer TVs sometime next month. Mini LED is a new variant of LCD TV technology that offers, among other things, better contrast ratios.
The new lineup in the US includes a 4K TV (called the QNED90) and an 8K variant (the QNED99). Both are available in three sizes: 65-inch, 75-inch and 86-inch.
Much of the recent advertising and marketing power behind Mini LED TVs has come from Samsung, but that’s not the only company making them. TCL, Hisense and others have also introduced Mini LED sets.
LG calls its Mini LED technology “QNED”, which is just a marketing term that stands for “Quantum Nanocell Mini LED”. As far as we can tell, there’s nothing fundamentally different about these TVs that actually requires a different acronym when compared to other companies’ mini-LEDs.
Mini LED TVs have thousands of very small LED backlights, allowing more precise contrast control than traditional LED backlit TVs or edge-lit TVs. This should allow for deeper blacks in certain areas of the screen and reduce blooming around bright objects against black backgrounds (as can be seen with white-on-black credit sequences in movies played on LED TVs). Mini LED technology is also being used in other types of devices, including Apple’s most recent refresh of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro.
Mini LED should not be confused with Micro LED, another new display technology that is only now entering the market in sets that are much higher than what most households can afford. Micro LED backers claim that the technology offers the same peak brightness as Mini LED and the same perfect black levels per pixel as OLED, all without the risk of burn-in.
The new LG sets are priced below LG’s high-end OLEDs, but they still aren’t cheap. The 4K 65-inch costs $1,999, while the 4K 75-inch costs $2,999 and the 86-inch costs $3,999.
Meanwhile, the 8K version starts at $3,499 for the 65-inch model. The 8K 75-inch TV costs $4,799, and if you bump that setup up to 86 inches, you’ll get all the way to $6,499.
Each of these new sets has HDMI 2.1 ports, allowing for 120Hz content at 4K. The TVs also support HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision HDR standards, plus Dolby Atmos for audio. They run webOS 6.0.
Variable Refresh Rates (VRR) are supported on the 4K models, but not on the 8K models.
More detailed specifications are coming. While the QNED90 and QNED99 will be launched in North America first in July, they will move to other regions a few weeks later. But LG isn’t getting much more specific than that at this point.