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Nano technology explained
LG’s Nano technology explained

08 Feb 2011 | Rasmus Larsen |

LG recently unveiled new TVs at CES 2011 in Las Vegas with their innovative Nano LED technology. In this article we take a technical dive into the Nano technology and compare it to other LED local dimming technologies.

LG’s Nano technology

The term Nano refers to something very small and LG has named the new LED technology Nano because they have created a very slim film with tiny 10^-9 m. The Nano technology is brand new but it is actually a variant of a LED system.

With the very tiny nano holes LG has enabled local dimming and ensured that no clouding or bleeding occurs. With local dimming a screen can control light output in zones on the panel to enable extremely deep black levels and a high contrast ratio.

LG Nano LW9500
LG Nano LW9500 with Nano technology

At the same time the Nano technology enables LG to create very slim TVs that with a Full LED backlight. Slim TVs have traditionally been linked to the inferior Edge LED method. Edge LED is used in most LED based LCD-TVs today but unlike the general belief, Edge LED does not improve picture quality. It simply reduces thickness and lowers power consumption.

LG Nano LW9500
The Nano technology creates extremely thin TVs

But what differentiates the Nano LED technology from typical LED local dimming systems in terms of user perception? Mainly the fact that it’s extremely thin but still incorporates an increased number of local dimming zones that should improve picture quality and reduce halos.

We know for a fact that slim TVs are extremely popular and that most picture quality enthusiasts prefer to have local dimming in their LED flat panel TVs, so this should be a powerful cocktail.

LG Nano demonstration at IFA 2010

LG tried something similar in 2010 with the IOP (integrated optical plate) LED system where LEDs were placed behind some optical plates that enabled local diming. This too aimed to create a slimmer TV with Full backlit LED and local dimming but it never really made it into the limelight. The Nano technology is considered to be the next step, and a much slimmer solution.

A technical comparison

In the following tables we will compare the Nano technology to last year's IOP LED technology from LG.

In order to create the Nano based panels, LG has found it necessary to increase the number of LEDs behind the actual LCD panel. The new 47-inch and 55-inch Nano TVs utilize 1,440 and 2,304 LEDs, respectively. See a comparison to the 2010 IOP LED technology from 2010 below.

The Nano technology also has more local dimming zones with 240 zones for the 47-inch Nano TV and 288 zones for the 55-inch Nano TV. More local dimming zones means better light control and therefore less halos (light halos around white objects on black backgrounds).

Lastly, the Nano technology is thinner than the IOP technology. This also translates into thinner TVs.

LG says that the Nano structure will ensure 99 % light homogeneity to prevent issues such as clouding and backlight bleeding. LG also says that the Nano technology has none of the banding issues that we found in our LE8500 review in 2010.

We will try to confirm these improvements and take a look at the Nano TVs in practice in a review soon. Stay tuned for more information or subscribe to our Newsletter or RSS feeds.

To learn more about LG’s 2011 flat panel TVs see this article:
LG 2011 TV line-up - with full spec list

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