2021 marked several milestones in the tech world – and the growing prominence of mini LED display technology was chief among it.
With adoption rising, you can expect more tech giants to growing their catalogs to include mini LED-enabled products.
With mini LED being the latest standard in display resolution and taking over from OLED, you might want to understand the technology behind it and what its impacts could be for the tech industry.
What is The Mini LED Display?
The Mini LED display structure comes with much smaller LED chips. Despite this, its screen resolution remains better than most conventional options.
Ideally, you can qualify a diode as a “mini” if it is smaller than 0.2mm in size. However, considering that the word itself has been used more loosely these days, most manufacturers simply qualify their chips as “mini” if it is smaller than an LED and can allow for more brightness.
Mini LEDs can hold more LEDs, keeping them neatly at the back of an LCD pixel. A result is a display option with brighter images. Besides this, the technology has also made it more convenient for manufacturers to achieve more precise and accurate backlighting control.
Over time, industry experts expect that there will be even more innovation in the Mini LED development space, which would improve pixel and brightness control, reduce backlight bleeding, and provide sharper image contrasts. So, you can expect to see more Mini LED TVs coming.
With optimal flexibility, Mini LED works for both home and commercial applications. Mini LED also helps manufacturers to cut costs by reducing their reliance on other manufacturers while building TVs and other screens.
Mini LED Displays: How Mini LED Display Technology Works
So, you might ask – what is it about Mini LED that makes it so interesting?
The basic principle behind the Mini LED display panel is for the backlight to sit just behind the lCD substrate. Of course, manufacturers can also add other substrates to optimize color and picture quality.
As expected, the chip holds thousands of small LEDs that are turned off or on depending on the user’s preference and the image in question. The LEDs are placed in groups to optimize their lifespan and responsiveness, as well as to sync the backlight to the image. With so many LEDs, the TV or monitor can light the screen more accurately to optimize screen lighting.
Besides this, Mini LEDs have dimming zones that can refresh as quickly as LCD substrates. When a zone has minimal lighting or is off, that part of the screen will look comparatively darker. When on, the area brightens automatically.
Overall, the brightness of the LEDs will primarily depend on the color and on-screen action requirements.
For instance, the QNED Mini LED TV released by LG in 2021 comes with up to 30,000 mini LEDs, with over 2,000 local dimmings “blocks” as the mini LED backlight. This is more than enough to power the TV’s 86-inch, 8K resolution. LG has also added that the TV can offer a contrast ratio of 1,000,000 to 1.
Mini LED or OLED: Which is Better?
Understanding OLED Display
Organic Light Emitting Diode – or OLED, as it is called, is arguably the standard in screen display options. An OLED screen comes with a single panel that houses an organic substance that glows on its own. The OLED screen works without a backlight, with each panel emitting its own light and being controlled on its own.
While the standard backlit panels reduce the brightness of the backlights to optimize contrast and black levels, an OLED display easily turns individual panels off in black areas. This provides an opportunity for optimizing contrast significantly.
Mini LED vs. OLED
To understand the details of the Mini LED vs. OLED battle, it’s important to understand how they work.
And, to be fair, Mini LED and OLED TVs do have some characteristics in common. For instance, both of them use organic light-emitting diodes to bring their displays to life. The difference, however, is in how they produce the color on the display itself. Given the significance of color to a screen, this is one of the major points of divergence for both display variants.
The OLED screen creates pixels by firing just one diode – whether green, red, or blue. This essentially means that with OLED screens, any pixel can only come in one color at a time. So, if you need to generate an image with black lettering in front of a white background, for instance, you’d need to get different pixels in the region – or, what we call “subpixels.”
On the flip side, the Mini LED TV uses smaller diodes – each of which can release different color variants as opposed to just one. This allows the TV to basically create each subpixel on its own, leading to images with sharper colors.
To put it into context, OLED displays emit light while Mini LED displays simply transmit it. You can also get a much higher contrast ratio with an OLED screen, while it also offers you similar brightness levels. And for gamers, OLED screens can provide similar response times for quick-paced action shots, giving you an impressive viewing experience.
However, the black uniformity and contrast on OLED are poorer than on Mini LED displays. Just as well, OLED screens can’t display deep blacks like mini LED screens. So, the overall viewing experience takes a bit of a dip there.
What Are The Benefits of Mini LED Display?
Backlit LCD Technology
Just like mini LEDs, LCDs themselves are transmitted. They don’t produce any light on their own, unlike the light-emitting diodes in OLED, microLED, and other displays.
Back in the day, the ideal backlight for an LCD screen would have been the cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL). However, back in 2010, manufacturers moved from these CCFLs to LED-backlit LCDs. With LED consuming between 20% and 30% less power than CCFLs and having wider color gamuts and high-speed switching, it was the better option.
The Mini LED display comes with the same inherent benefits as LEDs. but, it also adds its own benefits, making it an even better upgrade to the fundamental LED-backlit LCD.
Improved Contrast Ratio
Another significant benefit of OLED displays is the fact that they come with higher contrast ratios – especially over traditional IPS LCD panels.
With OLEDs, you get natural blacks – while LCDs can generate higher gray shades. The flagship LCDs – such as Apple’s IPS Retina Display – can produce deep blacks, but they don’t compare to OLEDs.
With LED-backlit LCDs providing limited local dimming features, Mini LEDs easily address this issue. Their LCD panels come with higher local dining capabilities, with smaller LEDs providing the same emissive characteristic of OLED.
Any LCD that uses Mini LED technology basically uses LEDs measuring between 0.1 and 0.9 mm for backlighting. These LEDs can be turned on or off for optimal dimming, allowing the production of deeper and richer blacks – as well as a higher contrast ratio.
Relative Cost-Efficiency Over microLED TVs
Mini-LED displays also tend to be less expensive than their microLED counterparts. Mini LED is more practical and economical – both for manufacturers and you; the user. For instance, a Mini LED display can easily be applied in an IPS LCD panel, providing plane-switching benefits to optimize the display’s lifespan and durability.
An IPS LCD panel combined with Mini LED for backlighting can also optimize image quality – enough to rival both micro-LEDs and OLEDs.with its combination of deeper blacks, higher brightness, and optimal contrast ratio, Mini LED is surely hard to beat.
What Mini LED Means For Devices
The Mini LED display was first introduced in 2021. And since then, several companies have already signed on to use it in making their products.
Already, there are rumors that Apple could be developing Mini LED products – especially the iMacs. The company already rolled out Mini LED displays for several of its screens; including the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro from 2021.
The rumors claim that Apple should launch some more Mini LED products as early as 2023. Hisense has also launched a new Mini LED TV, adding to the list of firms that are using the technology for display.
According to market analysts, the global Mini LED market is expected to rake in $10.9 billion in revenues and grow at a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 44.48% between 2022 and 2030. And, it is just one of the many new display innovations that are looking to challenge bigwigs like OLED and QLED.
With more computer manufacturers switching to this technology, it seems evident that we’ll be seeing Mini LEDs for a long time.
Is Mini LED Worth It?
In general, Mini LED does seem to be a good bet – both for manufacturers and users. Its mixture of top quality and cost-effectiveness ensures that you can easily get what you need from a display option without necessarily having to pay so much.
Of course, the question of whether it is worth it will depend primarily on what manufacturers think. If they see Mini LED as a viable investment, then they will use it more in their products. Once that happens, users would simply need to start figuring out which Mini LED display is better.
With the Mini LED revolution already in full swing, getting the best products should be your biggest priority.
With that in mind, give us a call, and let’s help you pick the perfect LED display for you.