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What is a quantum dot TV?

These teeny tiny dots make for some seriously big color.

Updated February 19, 2021

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If you’ve been following TV tech trends for a few years, you’ve maybe heard of “quantum dots,” which sound awfully futuristic. Yet when we describe them as “microscopic nanocrystals,” it’s hard not to concur: this is some fancy technology.

When blue light hits quantum dots, they emit red or green light, depending on their size.

While not all quantum dots are technically equal—not every TV brand uses the same supplier, nor engineers their TVs the same way—the basics of how quantum dots work are the same from one TV to the next. Depending on their size (in nanometers), quantum dots have a chemical makeup that emits red or green light when struck by blue light. This stimulus-response relationship allows for quantum dot-equipped LED/LCD TVs to utilize blue (rather than pure white) diodes in their backlights, which in turn allows them to simultaneously shine much brighter and produce much more saturated versions of red and green.

The shorter story is that quantum dots allow TVs to produce much more highly saturated versions of red and green, two of the primary colors for just about every digital display. Because digital color is additive—primary colors are added together to make secondary and tertiary colors; red and green make yellow, blue and green make cyan, etc. This expansion of the primary colors makes for a correlational expansion in all of the millions of colors they can create.

Quantum dot displays go a full step beyond the color capabilities of traditional LED/LCD TVs.

For this reason, it’s still important to do research and read reviews, even if you know a TV has quantum dots. While it might have a leg up on similarly priced models without quantum dots, the tech is not an outright promise of stellar picture quality. On the other hand, we’ve yet to review any quantum dot TVs that weren’t pretty decent performers, so it’s probably a safe bet if your time or options are limited.

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We help you find the best stuff and make the most of the stuff you already own.

Category: Technology

Source: USA Today

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