DSCC forecasts 8.9 million MiniLED TV sales in 2021

Mike Wheatley

The industry research firm Display Supply Chain Consulting has just published an optimistic forecast for MiniLED backlight technology in its latest report, saying that it expects to see “significant market uptake” in the next year.


DSCC said in a report that it expects MiniLED display shipments to grow from just 500,000 units in 2020 to more than 8.9 million in 2021, as major television brands rush to embrace the technology.

MiniLED is a relatively new display technology that’s essentially just a more advanced version of Liquid Crystal Display, but it offers some big and noticeable performance improvements, including a wider contrast ratio and deeper blacks.

MiniLED TVs use LED backlights just as regular LCD displays do, but those LEDs are much smaller (hence the term “mini”), which means tens of thousands can be used, instead of just tens of hundreds. The more LEDs you use, the more control you have over local dimming, which directly controls the brightness on different areas of the screen. And so MiniLED, with its refined local dimming controls, enables more precise shading and colour reproduction.

The thickness of the panel is also reduced, compared with displays using conventional full array local dimming.

MiniLED also has a higher peak brightness than OLED. And although OLED is superior in terms of the deeper blacks it produces, MiniLED can still achieve deeper blacks than to LCD.

It all adds up to a much more accurate picture, and MiniLED is also much cheaper to manufacture than OLED, so the potential is clear.

Indeed, big name brands including Samsung Electronics and several Chinese firms are expected to launch their first premium MiniLED TVs in 2021. They'll join TCL, which was the first company to sell MiniLED TVs, such as its Series 6 and Series 8 models that were launched this year. Samsung recently trademarked several marketing terms that appear to be related to MiniLED, including the phrases "QLED+", "QLED Neo" and "QLED Platinum".

That explains why DSCC is expecting such a big jump in shipments next year. Samsung, it said, is believed to be targeting sales of 2 million MiniLED TVs.

DSCC notes that lower-end MiniLED TVs will have a “cost-advantage” over LG Display’s OLED TVs though they will, as expected, be more expensive than conventional LCD TVs.

The report notes that MiniLED’s growth will not be restricted to TVs, as the technology is being adopted in other industries too. Apple, for example, is said to be using MiniLED as a backlight for its new iPad Pro model that will be released in 2021.