The nomenclature for 2021’s newest television technologies just got a lot more complicated — and confusing.

LG Electronics announced out of Korea Monday night that it will introduce its first-ever “LG QNED Mini LED TVs” at the upcoming virtual CES 2021 on Jan. 11th, 2021.

In case that terminology sounds familiar, it’s because “QNED” has been referenced by past reports out of Korea as an acronym for quantum nano emitting diode (QNED) displays in development by various parties, including LG rival Samsung. These have been referred to as displays using a combination of quantum dots, some of which produce self-emitting light and others that produce colors when excited by backlights.

It appears that LG has to an extent co-opted the term ahead of others to refer to LG’s latest spin on its first-ever Mini LED backlit LCD displays, and to underscore the fact that only its organic light emitting diode (OLED) TV technology uses self-emissive materials — at least, thus far — while LCD TVs continue to require backlights.

The use of self-emissive materials to make light means a television will have the ability to control brightness down to the individual pixel level, affording more lifelike black reproduction with better shadow detail and color.

Tim Alessi, LG Electronics USA product planning director, told members of the press that the new LG QNED MiniLED television lines, which will involve several series of models, will feature new color enhancement filters consisting of a hybrid combination of both LG’s NanoCell technology and quantum dots like those used to expand colors in so-called “QLED” televisions marketed by other brands.

Alessi told us that LG has applied for a trademark to the full term “LG QNED Mini LED TV” — the exact wording used together to provide a distinction from quantum nano emitting diode (QNED) technology, so that hopefully people won’t be confused.

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Quantum dots are microscopic particles of heavy metals that give off a range of colors with up to 100% color volume when excited by photons, typically from backlit sources.

But these nano particles used to date have not been self-emissive — like LG’s OLED displays.

The LG QNED Mini LED Television series will make up LG’s 2021 top-of-the-line LCD TVs, but the company will continue to position its self-emissive OLED displays as its premium television offerings for picture quality going forward.

LG QNED Mini LED TVs are said to “represent a giant leap forward in LCD TV picture quality”. LG said the technology produces “brightness and contrast far superior to that of conventional LCD televisions.”

The Mini LED backlighting is comprised of up to almost 30,000 tiny LEDs in 2,500 dimming zones (in an 86-inch model). These add “advanced local dimming technology” to produce “high peak brightness and a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.”

The 2021 LG QNED Mini LED TV lineup will feature 10 new 4K and 8K models covering a wide range of large screen sizes measuring up to 86 inches, the announcement from Korea stated.

“The arrival of LG’s QNED Mini LED TVs offer a compelling option for consumers,” LG’s announcement said. “Thanks to a new panel structure enhanced by LG’s advanced Mini LED backlighting, these TVs deliver a truly immersive viewing experience in the LCD space. As the first TVs to combine quantum dot and NanoCell technology in one product, LG QNED Mini LED TVs produce incredibly accurate colors while the advanced LED backlight offers better contrast and deeper blacks for images of exceptional vibrancy and realism.”

The new LG QNED Mini LED LCD TV models will have native refresh rate panels “of up to 120Hz,” indicating some models may have 60 Hz panels as well, but the announcement added, “these TVs render motion smoothly and more naturally.”

LG said the technology produces advanced HDR image quality, a wide color gamut and high color accuracy.

“Our new LG QNED Mini LED TV series is a premium home entertainment option that expands and improves the LCD TV space and gives consumers another terrific viewing choice,” stated Nam Ho-jun, senior vice president of R&D at LG’s Home Entertainment Company. “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.”

LG’s top-of-the-line 86-inch 8K QNED TV will be on display in LG’s virtual exhibition booth during CES 2021 starting January 11.

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By Greg Tarr

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