60Hz vs 120Hz For TVs
TVs work differently than monitors so it’s not always better to have higher refresh rates. Here’s a short comparison between 60Hz and 120Hz for TVs.
By Joseph Moore
Choosing between a 120Hz and a 60Hz TV mostly depends on what type of content you are watching. 120Hz TVs are better for playing video games and watching native 24FPS content.
Most new TVs support 120Hz though, so you should focus on other important TV specifications as well, such as the panel type, response time speed, input lag, HDR performance, etc.
Wondering whether you should purchase a 120Hz TV, and if the upgrade from 60Hz is worth it?
Well, given that most modern TVs support 120Hz, you won’t have much of a choice if you want a brand new TV.
However, unless you’re looking for other specifications related to new TVs such as 4K Ultra HD resolution, HDR and OLED technology, switching over to a new TV solely because it supports 120Hz won’t be worth it for most people, excluding gamers with compatible consoles or gaming PCs capable of 120FPS.
In this article, we’ll go into details about what exactly a 120Hz TV offers as opposed to the standard 60Hz TV.
120Hz TV vs 60Hz TV: Content Source & Type
First, it’s important to know the difference between true 120Hz and ‘fake’ 120Hz.
Some TV manufacturers may advertise a feature of a TV as ‘Motion Rate 120Hz’. This isn’t a true 120Hz refresh rate as the TV can only display up to 60FPS, and simulate the rest to make motion appear more fluid.
This is referred to as motion smoothing or framerate interpolation (also known as the ‘soap opera effect’), which you can learn more about here.
So, make sure that the TV you’re interested in supports a native 120Hz refresh rate!
Now, most new 4K TVs support 120Hz – some of them only at lower 1080p and/or 1440p resolutions, though there are high-end 4K 120Hz TVs available as well.
Having this in mind, don’t forget that in order to make use of a 120Hz refresh rate, your device must support it too.
In fact, all new PC gaming graphics cards support 4K at 120Hz and over, but as far as consoles go, the Xbox One X and S support 120Hz at 1080p and 1440p, while the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S support 120Hz at 4K, too.
However, if you are watching content up to 60FPS on your 120Hz TV, the image won’t be any different than it would be on a 60Hz TV. And since that makes for the majority of content, many find 120Hz unnecessary for TVs.
An exception to this would be watching native 24 FPS content from a media source such as Blu-ray.
As the source feeds the display 24 frames per second, a 60Hz TV has to alternate between adding 3 and 2 frames in-between those 24 FPS in order to produce the picture.
This method is referred to as ‘3:2 pulldown‘ and can introduce slight judder in certain scenes, though many don’t notice it all.
On the other hand, a 120Hz TV adds 5 frames in-between those 24 frames per second (5:5 pulldown), which offers a smoother viewing experience, since the number of frames added is always the same.
What’s more, some 60Hz TVs can remove this 24p judder by changing their refresh rate to 48Hz or 72Hz when 24FPS content is detected, so you don’t have to rely on 120Hz for that alone.
All in all, if you have or plan on getting a gaming PC or a console that supports 120Hz, you should definitely get a 120Hz TV as it makes for a more responsive and immersive gaming experience.
Keep in mind that to get the most out of 120Hz, you should also be able to maintain around 120FPS (Frames Per Second). 60FPS will look the same at 60Hz and 120Hz when using a variable refresh rate (VRR), so in order to benefit from a high refresh rate the most, you’ll need to have over 60FPS.
If you’re not using VRR, 120Hz can make 60FPS content appear a bit smoother as screen tearing is less noticeable and you get lower input lag.
A lot of console games are limited to 30FPS or 60FPS, so the difference between 60Hz and 120Hz won’t be noticeable when it comes to motion clarity. However, you do get a lower input lag at high refresh rates, which is great for competitive gaming.
If you just want to watch movies and TV shows, 120Hz is really not necessary. In case you’re sensitive to 24p judder, make sure that the TV has a feature that can fix it.
In our TV buyer’s guides, we always include information regarding 24p judder-free support, what refresh rate is supported at what resolution, and more.
What Is VESA AdaptiveSync and MediaSync?
60Hz vs 120Hz Screen – Difference and Comparison
Many factors determine a TV’s picture quality, including the type of TV—LCD or plasma, LED or OLED—its refresh rate, and the video or film that is displayed.
Frame Rate and Refresh Rate
What Is Frame Rate?
Frame rate is how often a video source can deliver a frame of visual data to a screen for display. The frame rate is a property of the video source, not the display screen. Videos are often recorded at 24fps (frames per second) or 30 fps. In the U.S., the standard frame rate for broadcasts (NTSC) is set to 30fps, but if you were to view a video at this speed, it would seem jerky and slow. This is where refresh rate becomes important.
What Is Refresh Rate?
Refresh rate is a property of a display, such as a TV screen or computer monitor. It is measured in hertz and determines how often a frame’s visual information is displayed on a screen.
To make sluggish, if standard, frame rates seem smoother, screens “refresh” a frame more frequently by creating a duplicate of some images or creating a pseudo-transition with motion blur effects. This gives the appearance of a higher frame rate when there actually isn’t one. For example, if you have a 30fps video source, a 60Hz TV will display each frame two times a second. Thirty frames per second work nicely with 60Hz because 60 is divisible by 30.
Frame Rate Difficulties
Film can complicate matters, as it is typically shot at 24fps. This means that a TV with a 60Hz refresh rate cannot evenly distribute frames, and that film which goes to video broadcast at 30 frames per second will not look the same as it did in the cinema. TVs can use an interlacing process known as 3:2 pulldown to improve smoothness; however, this is an imperfect process, and more perceptive viewers may notice film judder, flickering, or “tearing” effects.
An example of film tearing.
In contrast, a TV with a refresh rate of 120Hz does not have to do anything special to display video or film, as 120 is divisible by both 24 and 30. This means that, in general, 120Hz will result in a smoother viewing experience.
The following video further discusses the main differences between 60Hz and 120Hz TVs.
Higher Frame Rates
Sporting events are often filmed at a higher frame rate per second than film or regular video, and some films, like Hobbit, are now filmed at higher frame rates, too. Filming at a higher frame rate removes some of the need for motion blurring, which means that smoothness of the video should look better on all modern TVs. However, some viewers will find the realness ironically fake looking after years of viewing video at lower frame rates per second.
To see how how a higher frame rate changes a viewing experience watch the video below.
Interlacing and Deinterlacing
An example of combing, which occurs when a modern, progressive scan TV uses a poor deinterlacing effect on interlaced footage.
Modern high-definition TVs, like LCDs and plasmas, use something called progressive scanning, which makes for inherently smoother imagery than older TVs were capable of producing. However, not all video footage is made for progressive scanning; many videos or films are broadcasted in interlaced form. To accommodate this, modern TVs employ a technique known as deinterlacing, which converts old interlaced footage to a non-interlaced (progressive) form. (See also 1080i and 1080p. )
Visual defects, such as combing, can occur when deinterlacing is used on footage that is not interlaced in the first place. If you’re picky, you may often need to change your TV’s settings to accommodate the range of footage it may come into contact with.
All modern TVs offer refresh rates of 120Hz or higher, but 60Hz TVs are still around and may be two to three hundred dollars cheaper, depending on TV size.
Some manufacturers now say they offer refresh rates of 240Hz or higher—usually for a much higher price—but in late 2013, CNET reported that this is often just clever marketing, and that a number of 240Hz TVs actually have a refresh rate of 120Hz (or lower), only with added smoothing effects. In any case, refresh rates higher than 120Hz probably do not add any obvious value outside of some decrease in motion blurring.
- 48 FPS and Beyond: How High Frame Rate Film Affects Perception – Tested
- Compare frames per second: which looks better? – Frames Per Second App
- Fake refresh rates: Is your TV really 120Hz? – CNET
- Unnecessary deinterlacing, when is deinterlacing not needed, with examples – 100fps
- What does refresh rate on my HDTV mean? – HowStuffWorks
- Why 24p? Is it intrinsically better than other frame rates? – Ask MetaFilter
- Wikipedia: Hertz
- Wikipedia: Refresh rate
60Hz or 120Hz for
Posted on 09/28/2020 10:23 AM 15 comments
Choosing between a 120Hz and 60Hz TV mainly depends on what type of content you are watching. 120Hz TVs are better for playing video games and watching content at 24fps.
However, most newer TVs support 120Hz, so you should also focus on other important TV specs like panel type, response speed, input lag, etc.
- Content source and type
Wondering if you should buy a 120Hz TV and if you should upgrade from 60Hz?
Well, given that most TVs today are 120Hz, you won’t have much of a choice if you want a new TV.
Unlike other specs associated with new TVs such as 4K Ultra HD resolution, HDR and OLED technology, switching to a new TV just because it supports 120Hz isn’t worth it for most people, except for gamers who have there are compatible consoles or gaming PCs.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at exactly what a 120Hz TV offers compared to a standard 60Hz TV, and then you can decide for yourself if it’s worth the upgrade.
120 Hz and 60 Hz TV: source and content type
First of all, you need to know the difference between true 120 Hz and “fake” 120 Hz.
Some TV manufacturers may advertise the TV feature as “120Hz Motion Speed”. This is not a true 120Hz refresh rate as the TV can only display up to 60fps and mimic the rest to make motion look smoother.
This is called motion smoothing or frame rate interpolation, which you can learn more about here.
So, make sure that the TV you are interested in supports a refresh rate of 120 Hz!
Most newer 4K TVs support 120Hz, but usually only at lower resolutions of 1080p and/or 1440p, although high-end 120Hz 4K TVs are also available, such as LG’s new OLED TVs with HDMI 2.1.
To use the 120Hz refresh rate, your device must also support it.
All new PC gaming graphics cards support 120Hz or more, but for consoles, Xbox One X and S support 120Hz at 1080p and 1440p, while PS5 and Xbox Series X/S also support 120Hz at 4K.
So, if you are watching content up to 60 fps on a 120 Hz TV, the picture will be no different from that on a 60 Hz TV. And since this applies to most content, many people consider 120 Hz unnecessary for TVs.
The exception is when viewing original content at 24 frames per second from a media source such as Blu-ray.
Because the source is sending 24 frames per second to the display, a 60 Hz TV must alternate between adding 3 and 2 frames between these 24 frames per second to produce an image.
This method is called “3:2 pulldown” and may cause slight judder in certain scenes, although many people don’t notice it.
On the other hand, a 120Hz TV adds 5 frames between those 24 frames per second (5:5 spread), which results in a smoother viewing experience because the number of frames added is always the same.
Some 60Hz TVs can eliminate this 24p jitter by changing the refresh rate to 48Hz or 72Hz when 24FPS content is detected, so you don’t have to rely on 120Hz alone.
In general, if you have or plan to purchase a gaming PC or console that supports 120Hz, you should definitely buy a 120Hz TV as it provides a more responsive and immersive gaming experience.
Keep in mind that to get the most out of 120Hz, you also need to be able to maintain around 120fps (frames per second). 60 FPS will look the same at 60Hz and 120Hz, but in order to benefit from the high refresh rate you need at least ~90 fps.
Most Xbox One games are limited to 30 or 60 fps, so the difference between 60 and 120 Hz won’t be very noticeable when it comes to motion clarity. However, you get lower input lag, which is great for competitive gaming.
If you just want to watch movies and TV shows, 120Hz is really not needed. If you are sensitive to 24p jitter, make sure your TV has a feature that can fix it.
60 hertz vs 120 hertz. How much more does 120 Hz consume the phone’s battery than 60 Hz watch online video from R13 in good quality.
1 year and 4 months ago
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