Nano Cells vs QLED: the new TV tech coming your way

Confused by 4K, UHD and HDR? Well it's only going to get worse.

Here at CES 2017, LG and Samsung are going head to head over cutting edge TV technology and there’s a couple of new terms you’re going to see bandied around: Nano Cells and QLED.

Both of these relate to LED TV technology, not OLED so don’t get confused there, and both promise quite similar results, but what are they?

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Nano Cells is LG’s baby and according to them it’s the “next evolution” of LED TVs. And yes, despite all the well deserved fuss about LG’s OLED TV the company still has a lot of skin in the game when it comes to LED TVs.

Nao Cells are, as the name implies, just one nanometre in size. Arrayed on a TV panel they absorb additional wavelengths of light, which results in sharper and more accurate colours, with a wider colour palate on offer as well. It also gives you a wider viewing angle: the images look great even if you’re not in the “sweet spot” in front of the TV.

Nano Cells will be in all of LG’s 2017 Super UHD TVs so get ready to see a lot of marketing campaigns about the technology.

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Samsung, meanwhile, is all about QLED which is an upgrade to the quantum dot technology that TV manufacturers have been using for a while now. Samsung says that they’ve made some major changes in how they make these quantum dots and that means some big changes in what you see. Brightness is a big factor: QLED TVs are nearly twice as bright as Samung’s 2016 range.

Samsung also says, surprise surprise, that the colours are sharper, have better accuracy and that the viewing angle is wider.

Now TV manufacturers are always going to make bold claims — and of course their TVs will be the best of the best — but Samsung are actually saying that QLED is better than OLED!

Is it? Well this stuff is usually “horse for courses” but both LG and Samsung have definitely given the humble LED TV a shot in the arm. Check it out yourself when they hit the shops later this year.

EFTM coverage of CES is made possible by the hard work and dedication of the team, and financial support of our sponsors, including Intel, Samsung, Hisense, Nissan, Huawei, Vodafone, Alcatel, 360Fly and others - full details of our commercial interests and disclosures are here.
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After 20 years in the field of tech journalism, Nic has moved on to the brave new world of breakfast radio. But anyone who enjoys tech and games this much just couldn't let go...
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