The 10 Best Reasons to Avoid a NanoCell TV Today

NanoCell TV on display at an LG exhibition room

The 10 Best Reasons to Avoid a NanoCell TV Today

Key Points

  • NanoCell technology is a recent invention by LG that incorporates nano-sized particles into the display to enhance color reproduction and improve picture quality.
  • NanoCell TVs have limited color accuracy and struggle to achieve deep black levels, resulting in less vibrant and realistic images.
  • NanoCell TVs have lower peak brightness levels, leading to a worse high dynamic range and a less immersive viewing experience.
  • NanoCell TVs have less effective local dimming and poorer viewing angles compared to other display technologies like OLED.
  • NanoCell TVs have a higher risk of screen burn-in and exhibit more motion blur compared to rival TV types.

Searching for the perfect TV for your home? As you make your way through your preferred retailer’s selection, it’s essential to consider all the options available on the market today. While NanoCell TVs have certainly garnered their fair share of attention in recent years, there are ten good reasons to explore some alternatives before you decide to buy a NanoCell TV. Understanding these downsides and drawbacks will help you make the wisest choice possible. After all, this is your TV we’re talking about — you want one that best aligns with your specific viewing habits. Let’s take a look.

5 Must-Know Facts About NanoCell TVs

  • NanoCell TVs are LG’s line of television displays equipped with proprietary nanotechnology. They claim the tech clarifies light and color levels to enhance overall picture quality.
  • LG’s NanoCell TVs are not the same as quantum dots. While both use nano-sized particles, there are some slight differences between the two 4K UHD display types. Nonetheless, both claim to improve color accuracy and widen the color gamut with more vibrant and lifelike images.
  • NanoCell technology claims to reduce color distortion and enhance contrast, making dark areas appear deeper and bright areas more vivid. However, many NanoCell TV owners have experienced less than optimal colors.
  • 4K UHD TVs need wide viewing angles so that everyone in the room can enjoy the same high-quality picture regardless of their seating position. While offering decent viewing angles in their own right, NanoCell TVs struggle to compete with the superior viewing angles of OLED TVs.
  • NanoCell TVs often come with attractive features such as high refresh rates, low input lag, and support for numerous HDR formats. However, they tend to suffer from burn-in as a result of their LED backlighting.

The History of NanoCell Technology

Though LG’s NanoCell technology is a relatively recent invention, there’s still a comprehensive history to report. As a television manufacturer committed to constant innovation, LG’s NanoCell tech is no exception to this commitment. But, to understand the invention of NanoCell technology, it helps to understand the invention of the LCD. That’s because NanoCell technology is just one blip in a long series of major advancements in LG’s display technology. The timeline dates back to the origins of the LCD. 

LCDs, or liquid crystal displays, first emerged in the 2000s. They were immediately appealing for the way they offered improved picture quality and thinner designs compared to traditional cathode ray tube (or CRT) TVs at the time. As LCD technology progressed, LG recognized the need to further enhance the television display’s performance. This led to the creation of IPS (or in-plane switching) panels. These new LED panels improved color accuracy and provided wider viewing angles than ever before. However, one goal still posed a challenge: achieving deeper blacks and more vibrant colors.

This is where NanoCell technology comes into play. LG’s NanoCell technology incorporates a layer of nano-sized particles into the display. These NanoCells fine-tune the television display to perfect its colors. NanoCells succeeded in helping LG enhance color reproduction, expand the color gamut, and improve the overall picture quality of its TVs. However, a new technology soon emerged: OLEDs, or organic LEDs. While NanoCell LCDs looked good, OLED TVs looked that much better. Alas, NanoCell still sees plenty of success — even if it’s not the best television display type on the market.

LG logo on display.
NanoCell technology is exclusive to LG televisions.

©TK Kurikawa/Shutterstock.com

Why Avoid a NanoCell TV?

LG’s NanoCell TVs represent a culmination of major advancements in LCD technology. However, while innovative and cutting edge, NanoCell still isn’t perfect. We can think of ten legitimate reasons to avoid a NanoCell TV at all costs. From color issues to contrast problems to price gauging and beyond, you should consider each of these ten downsides below before you make your purchase. Let’s take a closer look at each of these ten reasons below.

Color Inaccuracies

Consumers often criticize LG’s NanoCell TVs for having limited color accuracy. Both owners and critics alike seem to agree; NanoCell televisions do not display colors nearly as accurately as other rival technologies. This typically results in less vibrant and realistic images on the screen, affecting your overall viewing experience as a result.

Shallow Black Levels

Going hand in hand with this previous point, NanoCell technology also struggles to achieve deep black levels. As a result, LG’s NanoCell TVs have a reduced contrast and a less immersive picture quality overall. When watching a TV equipped with NanoCell tech, night scenes tend to look washed out and lack nuanced details. This is unacceptable for televisions of this price.

Reduced Brightness

A good HDR TV needs lots of brightness to perform at its peak. Unfortunately, NanoCell TVs tend to have lower peak brightness levels. This means a worse high dynamic range compared to the completion. With a lower peak brightness, HDR content can’t offer a wider range of brightness and contrast like it’s designed to do. Your viewing experience will be worse off as a result.

hdr10 vs hdr10+
HDR is an essential component of any good television in the 2020s.


Ineffective Local Dimming

Unlike a bioluminescent OLED TV, LG’s NanoCell televisions rely on a backlight to illuminate the screen. Specifically, most of LG’s NanoCell TVs use local dimming. This is a feature that supposedly improves contrast and black levels by dimming specific areas of the screen. Yet, NanoCell TVs tend to have less effective local dimming compared to offerings from other brands. This means a weaker backlight and a lower image quality overall.

Poor Viewing Angles

While NanoCell TVs and their In-Plane Switching (IPS) panels have superior viewing angles compared to your typical Vertical Alignment (VA) panels, they still fall short of the viewing angles provided by other display technologies such as OLED. This means that if you’re not sitting directly in front of the TV, the colors and contrast on your TV may appear more distorted or faded.

Risk of Burn-in

Like all LED displays, NanoCell televisions come with a higher risk of screen burn-in than OLED TVs. When LEDs display static images for extended periods, this leads to a ghosting effect that permanently discolors the screen. This issue of burn-in is especially prevalent in gaming because the game’s health bars and maps never move from the same spot while playing. 

No Optimized Content

The availability of 4K and HDR content is growing at a rapid pace. However, NanoCell technology is not the same as 4K HDR content. NanoCell TVs are exclusive to LG, meaning there’s very little content specifically optimized for NanoCell TVs. Compare this to 4K UHD content, which is readily available across brands and TV types. This lack of optimized content can seriously restrict your options and keep you from enjoying the highest quality content possible.

2160p vs 4k
4K HDR TVs optimize content for ultra high-definition displays. NanoCell TVs have no optimized content.


Prevalence of Motion Blur

LG’s NanoCell TVs tend to exhibit more motion blur compared to some other display technologies. Motion blur is particularly obvious during fast-paced action scenes or sporting events — anything where the camera moves often. This can result in a slightly blurry or dull image, affecting the overall clarity and smoothness of the visuals.

Better Options on the Market

While NanoCell technology certainly has its merits, other display technologies on the market look much better than it does. Take OLED or QLED, for example. These rival types have seen far more significant advancements in recent years. OLED or QLED alternatives offer superior picture quality, deeper blacks, wider viewing angles, and better performance overall, making them much smarter choices for many consumers.

High Price Point

As if all this wasn’t reason enough to avoid a NanoCell TV, the product line also comes with a higher price tag compared to rival TV types. For the high cost, you may be able to get a superior OLED TV for the same or less money. If you’re in search of a budget-friendly TV, you’re better off with more affordable alternatives that deliver comparable or superior performance to NanoCell.

LG's 2023 Lineup
OLED is a superior television type to NanoCell — and sometimes cheaper, too.


Best Alternatives to a NanoCell TV

  1. LG OLED C1 55″ 4K Smart TV 2021
  2. LG OLED C1 55″ 4K Smart TV 2021
    • Fourth-gen a9 AI processor automatically adjusts both sound and picture
    • Combination of Game Optimizer, fast HDMI, HGiG, and Auto-Low-Latency Mode
    • Built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
    • Dolby Atmos, Dolby Vision, and Cinema HDR
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/20/2023 11:34 pm GMT
  3. LG Z2 77-Inch Class OLED
  4. LG Z2 77-Inch Class OLED
    • 8K resolution (the sharpest, most vivid resolution ever in an OLED)
    • Self-lit OLED pixels
    • 8K AI upscaling (transforms 4K content)
    • a9 GEN 5 AI Processor 8K
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/21/2023 01:40 pm GMT
  5. LG A2 Series 55-Inch Class OLED Smart TV (2022)
  6. LG A2 Series 55-Inch Class OLED Smart TV (2022)
    • 8 million self-lit OLED pixels deliver deep blacks and over a billion colors
    • α7 Gen5 AI Processor 4K
    • Built-in access to Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV app, and Disney+, plus over 300 free LG channels
    • Control the television with your voice via Alexa and Google Assistant, or use the LG Magic Remote
    • Auto Low-Latency Mode and HGiG compliant
    • Cloud gaming support for NIVIDA's GeForce Now
    Buy on Amazon

    We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.

    09/21/2023 11:51 am GMT

In Review: Reasons to Avoid a NanoCell TV Today

Strolling through the entertainment section at your local box store or browsing the inventory of your nearest electronics store, you’re bound to see more than a few NanoCell TVs. Don’t confuse this prevalence for positivity, though. We just went over ten very good reasons to look past these NanoCell TVs in favor of another TV type. For this price, you may be better off securing an OLED or QLED television instead. For guidance on where to go from here, take a look at the alternate options listed above.

Let’s review the ten reasons to avoid a NanoCell TV at all costs.

  • Known to display inaccurate colors
  • Inadequate contrast levels
  • Unsatisfactory brightness levels
  • Issues with local dimming
  • Limited viewing angles
  • Possibility of burn-in
  • No optimized content
  • Motion blurring issues
  • Can’t compare to OLED
  • Not worth the expensive cost

The 10 Best Reasons to Avoid a NanoCell TV Today FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is NanoCell technology?

NanoCell technology is LG’s proprietary display technology that incorporates nano-sized particles into the TV’s display. These tiny dots enhance color accuracy and widen the color gamut, resulting in more vibrant and lifelike images on the display. It’s a similar concept to quantum dot (QD) televisions.

What do NanoCells do to picture quality?

NanoCell technology reduces color distortion, enhances contrast, and improves color accuracy, making dark areas appear deeper and bright areas more vivid. It also offers wide viewing angles, ensuring a high-quality picture from any seating position.

Are NanoCells the same as Quantum Dots?

While NanoCell TVs and quantum dot TVs both utilize nano-sized particles, there are slight differences in the way they enhance color reproduction. It helps to think of NanoCell technology as LG-specific, while quantum dots are available from a much wider variety of manufacturers.

Are colors on NanoCell TVs still accurate?

Some NanoCell TV users have reported limited color accuracy, leading to less vibrant and realistic images. However, the extent of color inaccuracies can vary depending on the specific model and user preferences. NanoCell technology also struggles to achieve deep black levels, resulting in reduced contrast and less immersive picture quality (particularly in dark scenes).

Do NanoCell TVs have good brightness levels?

NanoCell TVs tend to have lower peak brightness levels compared to some other TV technologies. This can result in a less impressive high dynamic range (HDR) performance, as HDR content requires high brightness levels for optimal viewing. Some put the blame on NanoCell’s reliance on a backlight with local dimming.

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