TCL was the first TV manufacturer to introduce Mini LED TVs. And now the company’s latest innovation in the mini LED space is here: OD Zero Mini LED TVs. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Creating Thinner Mini LED TVs
Modern LCD TVs rely on LED backlighting to illuminate the display stack. These LEDs are covered with lenses to spread the light and get wider coverage. But to make sure the backlight is distributed evenly across the display, there is a space between the backlight plane and the display’s diffuser plate. This space is called optical distance.
The optical distance can vary between LCD TVs, from 10mm to 25mm, depending on the size of a LED and the type of lens. Mini LED TVs, which, as the name suggests, feature a lot of smaller LEDs than regular LED-backlit LCD TVs, have a lower optical distance. But it’s there. This space is one of the reasons why direct-lit LCD TVs are thicker.
Now, TCL has reduced the optical distance to zero in its OD Zero Mini LED TVs. The OD Zero part of the name highlights the zero optical distance.
The company achieved this feat by reducing the size of an LED further and stuffing more of them in the TV. In addition, the company optimized the lens to get more efficient coverage of light on the display. As a result, TVs featuring OD Zero Mini LED technology are much slimmer than both LED and regular Mini LED TVs while delivering the high brightness that Mini LED TVs are capable of.
What Are the Benefits of OD Zero Mini LED TVs?
OLED TVs have long been champions on the thickness front because of their self-illuminating pixels. They don’t need any backlights or optical distance, resulting in a thin profile. But now, thanks to TCL’s innovations, OD Zero Mini LED TVs can significantly close the gap.
Another benefit of QD Zero Mini LED TVs is more precise contrast control. As OD Zero TVs have more mini LEDs than regular Mini LED TVs, there is potential for more local dimming zones, thus a better contrast ratio. For those of you unaware, local dimming technology allows a TV to dim the backlight in the darker areas of the scene to produce deeper blacks. Typically, the higher number of dimming zones results in a better contrast ratio.
TCL says its X9 8K TV featuring OD Zero Mini LED technology has around 100,000 LEDs and over 2,000 local dimming zones.
The increased number of mini LEDs will also help on the brightness front. The OD Zero TV can produce more light and offer higher peak brightness by packing thousands of tiny LEDs. And this will potentially benefit the HDR performance of the TV as it will be able to bring out even the smallest of highlights in a scene.
Can You Buy an OD Zero Mini LED TV Today?
TCL unveiled the first OD Zero Mini LED TV in the form of TCL X12 in 2021. But unfortunately, it was exclusive to China. However, the company is set to bring its 85-inch X9 8K TV to the US in 2022. The TV has a suggested price of $9,999.
Apart from the X9, TCL has also showcased its X11 OD Zero TV at CES 2022, but it didn’t reveal its pricing or availability details. Hopefully, we’ll see the X11 and other new OD Zero Mini LED TVs in the years to come.
You Might Want to Wait
Although OD Zero Mini LED technology shows promise, it’s still relatively new and expensive, considering the TCL X9 8K TV price. Adding newer and more mini LEDs will certainly be pricier than using the regular mini LEDs or LEDs in a TV. So unless you want to pick an 8K TV this year and the OD Zero concept sounds enticing to you, it will be better to wait until the technology trickles down to 4K TVs and becomes cheaper.
It’s also likely that more TV manufacturers will adopt it for their TVs, as they did with Mini LED technology or quantum dots. This will undoubtedly help bring the price of OD Zero TVs down and give consumers more options. But we haven’t seen any announcements as of January 2022.