LG, The Best OLED TV Maker, Is Doing Mini-LED TVs Now Too

LG, The Best OLED TV Maker, Is Doing Mini-LED TVs Now Too
Image: LG

LG is officially getting into mini-LED TVs now. The company is known for crafting some of the most gorgeous OLED TVs on the market, and while its LED sets are respectable, they’ve rarely been lauded as much as its OLED sets. That could change with the new LG QNED MiniLED 4K and 8K sets.

Given some of LG’s biggest competitors in the TV space, like Samsung, introduced microLED TVs at CES 2021, it seemed a given LG would introduce TVs with new LED tech, too. So it’s not especially surprising the company is planning to offer a wide range of 4K and 8K mini-LED sets.

But I’m curious to see if they sell as well, or perform as well, as the OLED sets that have earned LG its reputation. As a refresher, OLED TVs are impressive because they’re controlled on a pixel by pixel basis, which means you can get incredible black blacks and remarkable contrast. While a star field might appear sort of grey on most LED sets, on an OLED set each star sparkles on a field of black, with no blooming around any of those points of brightness.

Mini-LED sets don’t have quite as impressive control as an OLED set, but because the LEDs are so tiny, the picture tends to have similar levels of contrast as an OLED picture and far, far better contrast than an LED picture, but with the added benefit of being a lot brighter than an OLED TV and producing a lot less heat. You won’t ever see a mini-LED set that can roll out of a tiny box as some of LG’s OLED TVs can, but you’ll still likely see a really attractive image on your TV.

LG's OLED line up for 2021. (Image: LG) LG’s OLED line up for 2021. (Image: LG)

Alongside the new mini-LED sets, LG also announced its 2021 lineup of LG sets. The new C1 series will range in size from 48 inches to the pretty gargantuan 83 inches and include all the goodies we’ve come to expect from a high-end TV. That means support for both Free Sync and G-Sync variable refresh rates, HDMI 2.1 on all four HDMI ports, and a new Game Optimizer mode which LG claims drops the response time of the TV down to a near unheard of 1 ms.

LG is also announcing support for virtual 5.1.2 surround sound, and a new G1 series of OLED TVs under the OLED evo branding, which promises an even better picture than the C1 series.

WebOS 6.0 looks a little different. (Image: LG) WebOS 6.0 looks a little different. (Image: LG)

In addition to new TVs, LG is also announcing a total redesign of its WebOS smart TV operating system. The new WebOS 6.0 does away with the distinctive, and sometimes deeply annoying, pop-up card system used by previous generations of LG sets, and opts for a UI that more closely resembles that of Google or Apple TV.

It looks like a big year for LG TVs. Stay tuned for later in the year when we hopefully get a chance to check out all these new sets in person.