Disagreements About What Qualifies as a mini-LED

Paul Gagnon, Senior Research Director for Consumer Devices at Omdia, spoke with Brian Berkeley, host of The Display Show, about what exactly constitutes mini-LED.

PG: “I would say there’s some friendly disagreement in the industry about exactly what qualifies as a quote unquote mini-LED set. There is no standardization of this terminology: is it the density? is it the number of zones? is it the size of the chip? All of those are criteria but nobody can agree on what classifies a product as a mini-LED set or not. And I worry a little bit about the industry because this is something that has in the past – and other features – actually caused them to fall from popularity. The example that I like to look at is frame rate: you know, high refresh rate LCDs, years ago, we had 240 hertz refresh rate LCD TVs and 120 hertz sets and what happened was, that in the marketing of products we started to see some creativity – we’ll put it that way – creativity in terms of the terminology. So you saw 480 hertz or 960 hertz that were using things other than just the native refresh rate of the display to claim higher and higher speeds and feeds. And ultimately that led to consumers becoming confused in the devaluation of that feature and today a much smaller percentage of sets are 120 hertz or higher refresh rate. That’s increasing again because of things like gaming but I do worry that something like mini-LED, because there isn’t really a well agreed upon definition in the industry, kind of starts to head in that direction where any set with full array local dimming might be claimed to be a mini-LED by some TV brand or another. That’s a risk for companies like Samsung, who want to position it at the high end”.

Brain Berkeley: “And to your point, I’m already seeing a range of performance levels. The things that are labeled mini-LED, it’s like well, this one may have a huge number of actual LEDs but the number of zones is less in one case over here versus another case. That makes a huge difference in the performance level and you can’t just lump it into one category; and that’s potentially a real problem in the messaging for all the companies who are involved”.

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