Why Sony replacing OLED with Mini-LED for its flagship TVs will be great for consumers

Why Sony replacing OLED with Mini-LED for its flagship TVs will be great for consumers

Sony has announced its 2024 lineup of smart TVs, and its flagship Bravia 9 lineup doesn’t have an OLED panel, marking a shift to Mini-LED. Here’s what it means.

Sony, like LG and Samsung, has just announced its 2024 lineup of smart TVs. These TVs include the new Bravia 9, Bravia 8, and Bravia 7 lineup. A Mini-LED panel powers the Bravia 9 and 7 range of TVs, while the Bravia 7 has an OLED panel.

Unlike brands like Samsung and LG, which have used OLED or QD-OLED panels in their flagship TVs, Sony’s Bravia 9 is based on Mini-LED tech.

Does this mean that Sony is ditching OLED panels for its flagships? While this has surprised many, rumors have hinted about such a move for some time.

However, Sony has stressed that it will continue to make flagship OLED TVs. According to FlatpanelsHD, the A95L was destined to be released in 2024 but was prioritized and launched in late 2023. Sony says the flagship SoC and Pentonic that powers the A95L is supposedly making its way to other TVs now.

To improve the performance of Mini-LED-powered TVs, Sony has developed a new micro-processor – the smallest in the world in its category. With this micro-processor, Sony has increased the number of LEDs in each panel, which increases the number of local dimming zones. According to Sony, the new TVs have 320% more dimming zones than their predecessors.

This translates to a granular control on the dimming zones, offering OLED-like darker scenes while the brighter sections remain bright without the light spilling over to the darker zones. So, if Sony is to be believed, it has been able to develop a tech that uses a Mini-LED panel offering color saturation, deep blacks, and power consumption similar to an OLED panel but without worrying about burn-in.

Why Sony replacing OLED with Mini-LED for its flagship TVs will be great for consumers

Though it sounds impressive, however, we will have to wait for independent reviews and experts to test the claims.

That being said, cost could be one of the biggest reasons Sony is making a move. The Japanese company doesn’t make its OLED panels and relies on vendors like Samsung Display for the supply. These OLED panels are costlier compared to LCD or LED panels. This is why moving away from dependency on competing businesses and developing its in-house technology is cheaper in the long run.

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Reduced raw costs of raw materials also directly translates into higher profits, allowing Sony to further its research and development. Moreover, the end users could eventually benefit from reduced costs.

Furhthermore, markets like the United States have a demand for bigger TVs. These premium TVs generally use OLED panels, and Samsung, Sony’s supplier, doesn’t make OLED panels bigger than 85-inch. This makes it difficult for Sony to sell more premium TVs to its target audience.

While the new Bravia 9 series only comes in three sizes – 65, 75, and 85 inches — Sony can introduce high-quality bigger TVs without worrying about supplier limitations, once again benefitting the consumer.

Why Sony replacing OLED with Mini-LED for its flagship TVs will be great for consumers

OLED panels are not bright compared to QLED, LED, or LCD panels, which is this technology’s biggest drawback. This forces brands to invest a lot in researching ways to make these panels brighter without impacting the viewing experiences.

Mini-LED panels, in contrast, are way brighter, easy to produce, and, with the right technology, can offer an OLED-like viewing experience.

Last but not least, pixel burn-in is another critical issue that can have a massive impact on user experience. This is one of the significant reasons buyers are apprehensive about investing a massive amount in an OLED TV. By replacing OLED panels in its premium TVs, Sony wants to become an obvious choice for buyers looking for large premium TVs.

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