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LG Intros Quantum Dots To Boost Color Reproduction In 4K TVs

At CES, LG will unveil quantum dot technology for its new UHD 4K TVs, which is designed to give the TVs a 30 percent wider color gamut compared to LG's LED TVs. The color reproduction of these quantum dot TVs should come close to matching the company's OLED offerings, at a much lower cost. This move follows Sony's, which has been using quantum dot (Triluminos) displays in some of its smartphones and TVs for the past couple of years.

Although OLED TVs look brilliant, they haven't been able to capture sufficient market share, mainly because they cost too much. When 4K TVs started appearing, OLED TVs of the same size would only be available at 1080p, and even then their pricing was barely competitive to 4K IPS TVs. Further, it forced consumers to make a choice between OLED and 4K resolution, and it seems most would prefer 4K in that situation.

OLED technology also has a problem with the short life of its blue LEDs, so OLED TVs may not last quite as long as the more reliable LCD-based TVs.

Quantum dot technology can be the cheaper alternative to bring LCD's color gamut closer to that of OLED. A quantum dot is a nanocrystal that's made of semiconductor materials and has quantum mechanical properties. The dots range from 2 to 10nm in size, and depending on their size, they can emit different colors. The display makers can add a film of these quantum dots between the LCD backlight and the panel, and the result is a higher color reproduction rate and improved brightness.

The technology matches well with 4K TVs, which already must support 10-bit color depth, according to the UHD standard. These 10-bit color quantum dot TVs should be able to reproduce a more vivid and natural image compared to regular 8-bit LCD TVs.

"Quantum dot's vibrant and vivid color reproduction capabilities brings LG's LCD TVs to the next level when it comes to picture quality," said In-kyu Lee, senior vice president and head of the TV and monitor division at the LG Electronics Home Entertainment Company. "The addition of ULTRA HD TV with quantum dot technology to our TV lineup positioned under our award-winning OLED TVs further establishes LG as a leading provider of the most diverse and innovative TV display technologies in the industry."

Those who attend CES between January  6 and January 9 will be able to visit LG's booth and see how stunning these 4K quantum dot TVs really are in person.

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Lucian Armasu is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers software news and the issues surrounding privacy and security.