Mini LED / Micro LED: what are the differences?


Mis à jour le 26 August 2021.

It is not easy to compareTVs when you are not familiar with the different display technologies and do not master the technical vernacular used by manufacturers. For example, many people confuse mini LED TVs and Micro LED TVs or think they are the same thing. So what are the differences between the two? Are mini LED TVs comparable to Micro LED TVs? What are the advantages of both technologies? Here are some answers …

Mini LED: the new generation backlight

Mini LED technology is offered by TCL on the TCL C825 QLED mini LED TV range and by Samsung on its Samsung QN85A 4K Neo QLED TV ranges, on the Samsung QE50QN90A Neo QLED television as well as the Samsung QN900A 8K Neo QLED TV range. These are in fact QLED LCD televisions equipped with a backlighting system using mini LEDs.
Hailed by specialist magazines On Mag and Les Numériques, the TCL 65C825 uses a QLED panel with a mini LED backlight offering high brightness (up to 1000 nits).

More powerful and more flexible than a classic LED backlight, the mini LED backlight uses very small light-emitting diodes placed in large numbers behind the LCD panel. By multiplying the number of LEDs in this way, it is possible to generate a stronger light intensity to optimize the display of HDR images but also to manage the brightness of the image with more accuracy. The management of the backlighting by zones can indeed be done in a finer way to obtain a better contrast by simultaneously displaying deep blacks and very bright whites. The image gains in depth and detail.

Mini LEDs are much more compact than conventional LEDs while maintaining a high luminance potential. Their very small size makes it possible to manage the backlighting by zone with great finesse.

TCL is a pioneer in mini LED backlighting technology and has succeeded in drastically reducing the size of mini LEDs while maintaining high light power and also reducing the distance that separates them from the rear of the panel. Called OD Zero, or zero optical depth, this means that the distance between the backlight and the display layer in televisions with this technology is zero. The luminance and the contrast are optimized, the thickness of the screen panel is also very reduced. Samsung is also a player in this market with its Neo QLED TVs which use tens of thousands of mini LEDs forty times smaller than conventional LEDs offering increased light power while maximizing contrast.
Entry ticket into the world of Samsung QLED mini LED TVs, the Samsung QN85A rangeoffers high brightness peaks (up to 1500 nits) and a very good level of contrast.

This new backlighting technology reduces or even eliminates the halo effect (blooming) around very bright objects on a dark background while allowing more detail to be displayed in very dark scenes and in very bright areas.

Micro LED: reinvented TV

The Micro LED is a new type of diode used by Samsung . Micro LED technology is directly related to OLED diodes since Micro LED televisions do not require any backlighting to operate. A Micro LED indeed produces its own light.

Each pixel of the image of a Micro LED TV is thus made up of three Micro RGB LEDs (one red, one green and one blue).

Micro LED technology is quite expensive for the moment, but has a bright future and should compete very seriously with OLED TVsa few years from now.

Very bright with peaks at 2000 nits and the theoretical possibility of reaching or even exceeding 100,000 nits, Micro LEDs offer a much higher efficiency than OLEDs which generally peak at 900-950 nits for the best of them. This high brightness is a serious advantage for the display of HDR programs (Dolby Vision, HLG, HDR10 +). Just like OLED TVs, Micro LED televisions also offer an infinite contrast ratio since they are completely extinguished to produce black.

The major difference between Micro LED and OLED technologies is based on the materials used for their manufacture. There are no organic components in a Micro LED since the carbon in OLEDs is replaced by gallium nitride (GaN), a very stable component with a longer lifespan. As a result, there is no marking phenomenon of the diodes and their stability over time is ensured. Samsung is currently the only manufacturer to offer Micro LED televisions (99 ”and 110”) whose prices are still very high (over 100,000 €).

Understand LED, OLED and Micro LED TV technologies

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