MiniLED vs OLED. A comparison




When it comes to modern TV displays, two competing technologies, Mini LED and OLED (Organic LED), vie for prominence. Both Mini LED and OLED incorporate “LED” or “Light Emitting Diode” technology, an electronic component that produces light. In this article, we will delve into the pros and cons of each.

A little history

Let’s begin with a brief history of these technologies. OLED tech emerged in the 1970s from the research laboratories of Eastman Kodak. In 1987, Kodak demonstrated the first commercially viable OLED material. The first OLED TV, boasting a mere 11-inch screen, hit the market in 2007. Since then, OLED has evolved into its mature form seen in some manufacturers’ products, with over 13,000 patents filed.

On the other hand, Mini LED, also known as mLED, is a more recent development. TCL introduced the first Mini LED television in 2019. Despite its name, Mini LED TVs are based on the well-established LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology, utilizing an LED backlight. The term “mini” refers to the small size of the backlight LEDs. LCD display technology has been around since the 1960s and has seen significant advancements over time.

How does OLED work?

OLED technology relies on specific organic compounds capable of emitting light when an electric current is applied to them. These organic semiconductors emit light through “electroluminescence”. OLED panels can achieve high contrast since each pixel can be individually turned on or off. However, this comes at the expense of generating more heat and incurring higher manufacturing costs.

While OLED technology allows for innovative applications such as rollable and flexible screens, the benefits in large-scale TVs are not significant. 

OLED pixels also have durability issues as the red and green pixels provide up to 45,000 hours in their lifecycle, whereas the blue pixels only provide around 15,000 hours resulting in colour degradation making OLED a less-than-ideal long-term option. 

How does Mini LED work?

In contrast, Mini LED technology, as used by TCL, utilizes a full-array style. This approach involves a greater number of smaller diodes evenly distributed across the back panel, resulting in more uniform lighting. The increased number of LEDs allows Mini LED panels to achieve higher brightness levels while generating relatively low heat.

Furthermore, the LEDs in Mini LED TVs are organized into blocks called local dimming zones. These zones can be individually controlled, enabling precise adjustments such as turning off, turning on, or dimming. The more local dimming zones a panel has, the better control it has over total contrast and picture quality. The light produced by the backlight panel passes through the LCD layer, which TCL refers to as the Quantum Dot layer. This layer adds colour to the display, and the combination of brightness and contrast control from the back panel, with colour application from the LCD layer, yields a wide range of colours.

Which one is better?

Now, the question is, which technology is better? OLED has long been known for its excellent contrast due to the ability to individually control each pixel. However, Mini LED has made significant strides with each new product generation. With increasing numbers of LEDs and local dimming zones, Mini LED screens are closing the gap and approaching OLED levels of contrast.

OLED screens have an advantage in terms of physical flexibility. The organic diodes can be printed on various substrates, allowing for flexible or even rollable screens. This is ideal for foldable phones or specialized flexible tablets but comes at a higher production cost.

On the other hand, Mini LED screens excel in overall brightness output. They offer improved contrast compared to traditional LCD screens and a wider range of colours. Mini LED screens are also more durable, promising a longer lifespan, and they have lower manufacturing costs, making them more affordable. Additionally, Mini LED screens exhibit lower latency, which is beneficial for gamers and eliminates the risk of burn-in.

TCL is your best source for MiniL ED TVs

Check out TCL’s Mini LED line-up. These are 4K resolution screens with a wide range of top-tier visual, audio, and software features. 

The current flagship model is the TCL C845 Mini LED TV with a super bright HDR capable display, increased dimming zones for incredible contrast, and runs at a blistering 144hz VRR for the ultimate gaming and cinematic experience.

To see the amazing quality of TCL's televisions for yourself, visit the showroom of your nearest in-store retailer.


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