LG leaps quantum dot rivals with new TV

Samsung is widely expected to launch a line of LCD TVs with "quantum dot" technology at CES 2015, but LG has pipped it to the post with the first official announcement.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier
2 min read


You'll hear a lot about the awesomeness of "quantum dot" TVs at CES 2015, but don't leap to any conclusions.

In fact, LG just announced its first QD-equipped TV, with 4K resolution, natch, three weeks before the start of the Las Vegas tech show on January 6, jumping the gun against rival Samsung.

LG says the new TV's quantum dot technology will allow a wider color palette and improved saturation compared to standard LCD TVs. It claims an increase in "color reproduction rate" (a new one on me) of 30 percent. If that doesn't sound impressive enough, here's some technobabble ripped from the pages of Diamond Age press release:

"The technology works by harnessing nano crystals that range in size from 2 to 10 nanometers. Each dot emits a different color depending on its size. By adding a film of quantum dots in front of the LCD backlight, picture color reproduction rate and overall brightness are significantly improved."

Like other TV makers who discuss quantum dots at CES 2015 are sure to do, LG makes clear that the new technology contains no cadmium or any other toxic metals.

Watch this: What is quantum dot?

It didn't release any other details about the TV, including size(s), price, model number or shipping date.

Now remember those conclusions you shouldn't leap to? We explained how quantum dot works way back in 2013, and we liked its effect on the Sony KDL-55W900A , but we don't expect a revolutionary improvement in picture quality.

Wider color gamuts require new color specs like DCI or Rec 2020, and content that adheres to those specs is nonexistent today. And quantum dots or no, they're still LCD TVs, and we don't expect them to match plasma's quality, let alone that of OLED.

If last year is any indication, this is not the first early announcement LG and Samsung will make far in advance of CES 2015. Stay tuned, and of course we'll have complete wall-to-wall coverage from Vegas starting the first weekend in January.