Wednesday, June 20th 2018

AUO Reportedly Shipping Mini-LED Panels for Gaming Monitors in 4Q18

According to a report by DigiTimes, panel-maker AU Optronics is looking to ship gaming panels with built-in mini-LED technology going into the 4Q 2018. This isn't a new display tech, and shouldn't be confused with Micro LED tech, which is hailed as the great coming of an OLED killer. Despite that, mini-LED remains a very interesting, likely crucial piece of technology in enabling much increased color accuracy and contrast ratios of current panel technology - thus also bettering HDR implementations.

Usually, a given monitor or TV features Edge-lit LED technology to achieve the backlighting necessary for image display (or in the case of OLED, there's no need for any of that, since it's a self-emissive technology). In recent times, contrast ratios have been increased by the introduction of local dimming (essentially, there are multiple LED lighting units across the entirety of the monitor or TV, which can be singularly controlled to achieve desired lighting ratios). Mini-LED technology brings this a leap further, allowing for an enormous increase in lighting zones - up to the tens of thousands, compared, for example, to the 384 local dimming units present on the recently released 4K, 144 Hz G-Sync monitors - of which AUO did sample specification-like panels but with this added mini-LED tech. Of course, these "tens of thousands" still pale in comparison to an OLED panel's pixel-count-like dimmable LEDs. As a bonus, panel thickness can also be reduced with mini-LED tech.
Sources: LED Inside: On Mini-LED Tech, LED Inside, DigiTimes, via Reddit
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17 Comments on AUO Reportedly Shipping Mini-LED Panels for Gaming Monitors in 4Q18

#1
bug
For gaming these could be more than enough. Then again, how many games properly support HDR today?
Posted on Reply
#2
Vayra86
bug said:
For gaming these could be more than enough. Then again, how many games properly support HDR today?
Local dimming is much older than HDR and is a pretty effective way of increasing static contrast ratios and improving the image.

HDR is just bonus
Posted on Reply
#3
PowerPC
HDR content will come once the tech is there and doesn't cost 10x more than other displays (OLED).
Posted on Reply
#4
bug
Vayra86 said:
Local dimming is much older than HDR and is a pretty effective way of increasing static contrast ratios and improving the image.

HDR is just bonus
Well, higher contrast restricted to sRGB just looks unnatural. You're right, of course, but I think better contrast is better used together with HDR.
Or maybe these can give us VA contrast for IPS panels? Cause that would be sweet, too.
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#5
lynx29
this could be excellent... and just what I have been waiting for. HDR600 and Mini-LED, 144hz or higher 1440p. thats what i want 4K is diminishing returns imo as is 240hz.

give me a better panel and HDR600 !
Posted on Reply
#6
PowerPC
lynx29 said:
this could be excellent... and just what I have been waiting for. HDR600 and Mini-LED, 144hz or higher 1440p. thats what i want 4K is diminishing returns imo as is 240hz.
You're dead wrong about 4K. How is clearly more real estate "diminishing returns"? I'd say 100Hz 4K with good HDR is all we need for the next 20+ years. It's all VR after that.
Posted on Reply
#7
Tomorrow
Likely the panel in question will be specced as follows:
32"
3840 x 2160
AHVA
144Hz
?ms
January 2019 (panel production date, products in Q2 2019)
HDR1000
1000+FALD
Flat
Mini-LED

So Mini-LED will allow FALD increase from 384 to 1000+
Tho curiously next month AUO will start producing a 200Hz VA panel with 35" 3440x1440 resolution and 512 FALD. Tho likely this will not be Mini-LED.
Source: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/news_archive/39.htm#panels_auo

Panels that will go into production in the near future:
AUO:
27" 2560 x 1440 TN 240Hz 0,5ms July 2018 No HDR/FALD Flat
27" 3840 x 2160 AHVA-IPS 144Hz 4ms June 2018 No HDR/FALD Flat
35" 3440 x 1440 VA 200Hz ?ms July 2018 HDR1000/512FALD Curved
43" 3840 x 2160 VA 144Hz ?ms August 2018 No HDR/FALD Flat
65" 3840 x 2160 VA 144Hz ?ms September 2018 HDR1000/384FALD Flat
32" 3840 x 2160 AHVA 144Hz ?ms January 2019 HDR1000/1000+FALD Flat Mini-LED

LG:
27" 2560 x 1440 IPS 165Hz 5ms December 2018 No HDR/FALD Flat
31,5" 2560 x 1440 IPS 165Hz 5ms December 2018 No HDR/FALD Flat Nano-IPS
34" 3440 x 1440 IPS 144Hz 5ms May 2018 HDR400/NoFALD Curved Nano-IPS
37" 3840 x 1600 IPS 144Hz 5ms Q1 2019 HDR1000/FALD? Curved Nano-IPS

Samsung:
31,5" 3840 x 2160 VA 120Hz ?ms July 2018 HDR?/FALD? Curved
34" 3440 x 1440 VA 144Hz ?ms Q3 2018 HDR?/FALD? Curved
43,4" 3840 x 1200 VA 144Hz ?ms September 2018 HDR?/FALD? Curved
49" 5120 x 1440 VA 120Hz ?ms September 2018 HDR?/FALD? Curved
Posted on Reply
#8
lynx29
PowerPC said:
You're dead wrong about 4K. How is clearly more real estate "diminishing returns"? I'd say 100Hz 4K with good HDR is all we need for the next 20+ years. It's all VR after that.
i have had several 4k monitors, and they don't appeal to me. even with a 1080 ti gaming just felt more choppy to me. and scaling in many games is horrendous and 1440p 27" just seems to have perfect scaling no matter the game, no settings tweaks or mod ui tweaks needed. I wish there was a 3k option, something in between 4k and 2k, might be my sweet spot. prob will never come to market tho since that would be very niche rez
Posted on Reply
#9
Vayra86
PowerPC said:
You're dead wrong about 4K. How is clearly more real estate "diminishing returns"? I'd say 100Hz 4K with good HDR is all we need for the next 20+ years. It's all VR after that.
View distance / screen diagonal / resolution are a real dynamic and the higher the res, the less you can see of the increased pixel density. This is a form of diminishing returns.
Posted on Reply
#10
RH92
lynx29 said:
this could be excellent... and just what I have been waiting for. HDR600 and Mini-LED, 144hz or higher 1440p. thats what i want 4K is diminishing returns imo as is 240hz. give me a better panel and HDR600 !
Imo you are wrong about 4K , i for myself know that i can't go back to any lower resolution . On top of that in the next two years 4K will be within reach of mid-low end GPUs so yeah . Agree on the rest though .
Posted on Reply
#11
PowerPC
lynx29 said:
i have had several 4k monitors, and they don't appeal to me. even with a 1080 ti gaming just felt more choppy to me. and scaling in many games is horrendous and 1440p 27" just seems to have perfect scaling no matter the game, no settings tweaks or mod ui tweaks needed. I wish there was a 3k option, something in between 4k and 2k, might be my sweet spot. prob will never come to market tho since that would be very niche rez
This is not the fault of the screen, though.

Vayra86 said:
View distance / screen diagonal / resolution are a real dynamic and the higher the res, the less you can see of the increased pixel density. This is a form of diminishing returns.
"the higher the res, the less you can see" ... no?
Posted on Reply
#12
Vayra86
PowerPC said:
This is not the fault of the screen, though.


"the higher the res, the less you can see" ... no?
... at a typical viewing distance and without having to tilt your head all the time.

This ties into ergonomics (and health) and the ability of our eyes to discern detail. When it comes to gaming / moving images, a vastly more important metric is motion resolution - things like refresh rate + the FPS you can get stable, no ghosting, motion blur reduction tech etc. When it comes to static images, there is a point where the increased pixel density only serves to create somewhat smoother edges on text because 1:1 pixel mapping for it will make it too small. That is also diminishing returns. The image quality payoff for the increased performance requirement is very bad @ 4K.
Posted on Reply
#13
PowerPC
Vayra86 said:
... at a typical viewing distance and without having to tilt your head all the time.

This ties into ergonomics (and health) and the ability of our eyes to discern detail. When it comes to gaming / moving images, a vastly more important metric is motion resolution - things like refresh rate + the FPS you can get stable, no ghosting, motion blur reduction tech etc. When it comes to static images, there is a point where the increased pixel density only serves to create somewhat smoother edges on text because 1:1 pixel mapping for it will make it too small. That is also diminishing returns. The image quality payoff for the increased performance requirement is very bad @ 4K.
What you are talking about again is performance requirements, not the screen itself. It's not diminishing returns just because the video hardware or software isn't there yet. With proper scaling in games and windows you'd never have to tilt your head, unless your screen is too big, which is also another problem altogether.
Posted on Reply
#14
lynx29
I like 4k, don't get me wrong, but it just looks weird at 27/28", I think 32" 4k might be sweet spot.

HDR600/32"/4K/120hz/Mini-LEDorMicro-LED is going to be my sweet spot I think. time will tell.
Posted on Reply
#15
PowerPC
lynx29 said:
I like 4k, don't get me wrong, but it just looks weird at 27/28", I think 32" 4k might be sweet spot.

HDR600/32"/4K/120hz/Mini-LEDorMicro-LED is going to be my sweet spot I think. time will tell.
Agree, 32" 4K is a good place. I'd say 35" or bigger is good too, if you don't mind minimal head tilting and a bit lower ppi.
Posted on Reply
#16
medi01
Vayra86 said:
Local dimming is much older than HDR and is a pretty effective way of increasing static contrast ratios and improving the image

HDR is just bonus
"Why FALD actually sucks 101", Lol. HDR is amazing.

bug said:
Then again, how many games properly support HDR today?
Horizon (PS4). Not that it's an only game, just that I've seen it and was very impressed.
Posted on Reply
#17
Vayra86
PowerPC said:
What you are talking about again is performance requirements, not the screen itself. It's not diminishing returns just because the video hardware or software isn't there yet. With proper scaling in games and windows you'd never have to tilt your head, unless your screen is too big, which is also another problem altogether.
Performance is just one side of the story; you're saying it yourself but you've convinced yourself its not a form of diminishing returns, but it really is: 'with proper scaling' = if you have to increase scaling to get the proper detail resolution to read things, you're effectively diminishing your gained 'screen real estate' with the scaling factor. At 1440p/27 inch the PPI is almost the same as it is on 1080p/24 inch = 100% useful added screen real estate. Go 4K/27 inch and you will not maintain your 1:1 scaling because that means you're crawling inside the monitor to read text proper. Go bigger on screen diagonal and you'll ALSO need scaling because you typically will sit further away - and if you don't the ergonomy becomes an issue.

Its not rocket science...

medi01 said:
"Why FALD actually sucks 101", Lol. HDR is amazing..
Not sure where you're going with 'Why FALD actually sucks', care to elaborate?

BTW you won't hear me saying HDR isn't a very nice thing to have... its just a shame the sticker gets stuck on panels that can't properly use it and there is the eternal early adopters problem of hardware without content for it.
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