60 comments

Everything you need to know about 4K TV refresh rates in one post

by on June 28, 2016
 

Stephan Jukic – June 28, 2016

One subject that comes up very often in discussion and comments about 4K TV displays is the question of their refresh rate. The reasons for this are pretty straightforward. One the one hand, refresh rate sped is an important part of how well movies and other content on your TV display and especially how well content displays if it comes with fast paced motion sequences (as is the case for most popular home entertainment content.

On the other hand, the TV manufacturers themselves have themselves added a whole pile of confusion to the 4K TV refresh rate mix by throwing around all kinds of specific jargon to describe their own TVs’ respective refresh rates. What’s worst about their tactics is the fact that a lot of what they say is either vaguely dishonest or outright false in some cases, and only serves to confuse consumers more instead of helping them out.

This is where this post comes in. We’re about to cut through all the jargon, misleading marketing terminology and confusion in general to lay down for all you readers the three core things you need to know about refresh rate: What it really is as far as content is concerned, what the native and “enhanced” refresh rates of the major 4K TV brands are and what the mix of both these first two things really means for real display performance

All premium modern 4K TVs, such as this Samsung KS9500, come with native refresh rates of 120Hz

All premium modern 4K TVs, such as this Samsung KS9500, come with native refresh rates of 120Hz

What is 4K TV refresh rate, really?

At its most fundamental level, refresh rate is exactly what its name indicates. It’s the rate at which your TV display refreshes the picture in a single second. The higher this number goes, the more likely you are to have a smooth, natural looking and fluid picture quality, especially for fast paced content and even more particularly for fast paced high resolution content like that which you’re going to be watching on your 4K TV. However, there is a sort of variable upper limit at work to just how much this content can be enhanced by a higher refresh rate and this upper limit is a bit content dependent (more on this shortly).

You see, when it comes to the video presented on your 4K TV’s screen, details beyond those already in the source video itself can’t actually be added to the picture by the TV display itself. Furthermore, for the vast majority of native 4K and other movie, TV show and streamed sports or documentary content you’re going to watch on your 4K TV from any source, HD or 4K, the actual refresh rate of the source footage itself is never going to be greater than 60Hz, at last so far as far as content transmission technology is concerned.

With some footage, especially movie content from film reel sources, the frame rate equivalent of refresh rate might even be 24 frames per second, which are upconverted to 30fps for TV viewing and then shuffled around in certain ways so that they display at the equivalent of a 60fps frame rate that will match the 60Hz refresh of most digital content.

4K TVs on the other hand offer actual, totally real native refresh rates that in the vast majority of cases are either set at 60Hz or 120Hz (60 or 120 images, or frames per second in essence). With older HD TVs, the common refresh rate tended more towards 60Hz or less (with many models offering 50Hz real refresh rates) but because 4K TVs are widely considered to be a sort of premium home entertainment technology, 60Hz quickly became the hallmark of only the more economical or smaller ultra HD models and pretty much all premium 4K TVs from every major brand now offer native 120Hz refresh.

How does native refresh rate mesh with content frame rates?

This of course begs the question: How does a native 120Hz refresh rate mesh with content that only presents at 60Hz or possibly even a lower frame rate? Well, quite simply, even at their native refresh rate, most 4K TVs take 60Hz video and then sort of “enhance” it by two different means, both of which are commonly used depending on which TV model one is viewing.

Frame Interpolation at work

Frame Interpolation at work

The first of these methods is called frame interpolation, and it is a technology run by your 4K TV’s processing engine by which two or more different real content frames are blended together by the TV to create a sort of falls intermediate frame between the real ones, which essentially fools a viewer’s mind into seeing a smoother sort of picture. In 120Hz 4K TVs, this technology is very common and it usually works at its best in higher quality models.

The next possible method of frame rate enhancement is called black frame-insertion (BFI for short) and it works by shutting off all or part of a TV’s backlight rapidly during the extremely brief moments between frames and thus producing what are essentially dark TV-generated frames between real content frames. This may seem like an odd sort of method for making a picture seem smoother but it works at reducing motion blur because it essentially tricks the mind in how it views image transitions during the flow of content frames, as we’ll describe in slightly more detail by going a bit into what is called motion blur.

Black frame insertion, in this case from an Eizo monitor but with the same principle at work

Black frame insertion, in this case from an Eizo monitor but with the same principle at work as in 4K TV displays

What about Motion Blur and Judder in 4K TVs?

Motion blur is the content display problem both of the above motion control technologies are designed to avoid in both 120Hz and 60Hz 4K TV models. It should however be noted that 4K TVs with native 120Hz refresh usually deliver their motion control tricks better than their 60Hz counterparts.  In either case, motion blur as we viewers perceive it is in fact a blend of different factors. First, there is the electronic blur crated by the frame transitions on your TV screen as it handles 60fps or lesser content. Secondly, a large part of motion blur is also caused by our own mind noticing frame motion in content and then subconsciously making assumptions about where moving objects in an image will go next. Third, and least manageable is the motion blur caused by the original cameras as they filmed a piece of content during fast movement.

While your 4K TV can’t really do much about camera generated motion blur in a piece of video, the technologies described in the sub-section above (frame interpolation and BFI) are designed to handle the first two causes of motion blur. Both trick our brains into making fewer assumptions about content movement and as a result we see less motion blur between frames as objects move in a movie or sportscast and so on.

dolphinsharpandblur

The better a 4K TV is at delivering its native refresh rate of either 60Hz or, more commonly, 120Hz and meshing that refresh rate with the actual frame rates of 24p, 30fps or 60fps content (60Hz content) from a video source, the more naturally smooth your image will look. This will of course mean less image flicker, less judder and of course, less motion blur. Judder in particular can be problematic for many ultra HD TVs when they play 24p content that has to be heavily processed to render on a 60Hz or 120Hz TV display (and at 3840 x 2160 pixels no less!) and one of the key differences between high quality 4K TV models with excellent motion processing engines and their cheaper, less effective counterparts is seen in how much better the former deliver judder-free movie content than the latter.

Great examples of 4K models with 120Hz refresh and superb judder management capacity for movies are premium TVs like the Samsung 2015 and 2016 SUHD models and LG’s OLED 4K TVs from this year or last year. Sony and Vizio premium TVs are also generally excellent at handling motion blur and judder.

CROPPED_60Hz

What about refresh rate and PC gaming?

While all video entertainment content for your 4K TV will fed into the television at 60Hz or less in terms of frame rate, 4K TVs today are also very often used as powerful and gigantic 4K PC monitors through their HDMI cables. This opens these TVs up to use as displays for high frame rate HD gaming and for 4K gaming as well (if your PC has a powerful enough GPU running inside it).

What makes most modern (2015 and 2016) 4K TVs particularly great as PC monitors is the fact that their refresh rates can often support two different things. On the one hand, all of the major brand’s 4K TVs of 2015 and 2016 will allow for 4K UHD gaming at a solid 60fps due to their nearly across the board support for 4k signal connectivity @ 60 hz and at chroma 4:4:4 sampling. And on the other hand, a large number of this or last year’s 4K TV models (but not all) also support Full HD gamming at 120Hz due to their native 120Hz refresh rate processing capacities.

Great examples of 4K TVs for 4K PC gaming at 60Hz and with chroma 4:4:4 include the Samsung JU7100, LG OLED 4K EF9500, Samsung’s 2016 SUHD KS8000 (or KS9000 and KS8500 and other KS-Series SUHD models) and more budget oriented TVs like Vizio’s P-Series 2016 models. 4K TVs with Full HD support at 120Hz for PC gaming use include the highly affordable Sony X810C and the X850C as well.

IMG20141017185308_1080

 

So what do all those enhanced frame rates in 4K TVs mean?

Now, before we go further, remember this one fundamental and simple point to avoid any confusion that might result from any so-called refresh rate beyond 120Hz: In the current 4K TV market, pretty much all models, from the cheapest to the absolutely most expensive 2016 LG OLED 4K TVs like the G6 offer actual native refresh rates of either 50Hz (quite uncommon with newer 4K TVs) 60Hz or 120Hz.

Any refresh rate number stated by a manufacturer that goes beyond 120Hz is essentially not real. Instead, it depends on even more intensified versions of technologies like frame rate interpolation, black frame insertion and backlight scanning.  These enhanced refresh rates typically range from 120Hz to 240Hz and are found in the 4K TV models of all the major manufacturers, each enhanced frame rate going by a different name, though they all do the same basic thing, which is to even further smooth out motion blur, judder issues and in general maintain smoother motion control when displaying either native 4K video content or non-4K video and gaming sources of entertainment on a TV screen.

TruMotion_web_large

As we’d said, the major brands all have their own names for all these “enhanced” artificial refresh rates and their numerical frequencies can also vary slightly. However, for the most part they are double the TV’s true native refresh rate.

Thus, if a 4K TV offers  a native refresh rate of 60Hz, it will have an enhanced motion processing rate of 120Hz, and a native 120Hz 4K TV will offer enhanced motion processing of 240Hz. Examples of these enhanced rates and their specific names include the following, by major TV brand and specific enhancement name for 2015 and 2016:

  • Sony: MotionFlow
  • 120Hz for 60Hz native refresh and 240Hz for 120Hz native refresh

 

  • Samsung: Motion Rate
  • 120Hz for 60Hz native refresh and 240Hz for 120Hz native refresh

 

  • LG: TruMotion
  • 120Hz for 60Hz native refresh and 240Hz for 120Hz native refresh

 

  • Vizio: “Effective Refresh Rate”
  • 120Hz for 60Hz native refresh and 240Hz for 120Hz native refresh
  • Vizio also offers a so-called “Clear Action” rate that’s twice even the reprocessed “Effective refresh rate”, with values like 480Hz and 720Hz for native 60Hz content and 960Hz for native 120Hz displays. These numbers are meaningless and simply exist to impress potential buyers with their size. Effective refresh rate and native refresh rate are what actually matters in Vizio 4K TVs.

 

  • Panasonic: Image Motion
  • 120Hz for 60Hz native refresh and 240Hz for 120Hz native refresh

A note on grossly exaggerated motion enhancement rates

One final note about the enhanced motion processing technologies of these major 4K TV brands is that they do in fact reprocess native video quality in ways that change its nature, so whether they actually help IMPROVE picture quality or not (more on this next) they can at least be said to do something to how content on your TV visibly displays.

Previously, many 4K TV brands included even more ridiculously high supposed content refresh rate enhancements that would reach up beyond 240Hz to levels like 480Hz, 600Hz, 720Hz and even 960Hz or more. These are possibly some of the most confusing numbers of all too many consumers and what’s worst about them is that they’re in essence completely arbitrary, added in and taken to extreme degrees more for the sake of impressing consumers with big numbers than for actually offering real content improvements.

Luckily, this has become less of a TV maker trend since 2015, as consumers become savvier and professional reviewers more often slam these TV makers for being disingenuous with these arbitrary numbers. On exception is Vizio, as we’ve noted above. They first offer their “effective refresh rate”, which is twice the actual native refresh rate and a valid measure of motion reprocessing, and then can’t seem to help themselves from also adding in the completely arbitrary “Clear Action” rates of 480, 720 or even 960Hz for even their 2016 4K TVs. This is a shame since these television models are genuinely great at 4K content rendering and display, without any of the silly “Clear Action” hype having to even be mentioned.

Graphics like this example fool buyers into thinking that refresh rates beyond 240Hz exist in today's 4K TVs. They do not and the stated rates beyond 240Hz do nothing for image quality.

Graphics like this example fool buyers into thinking that refresh rates beyond 240Hz exist in today’s 4K TVs. They do not and the stated rates beyond 240Hz do nothing for image quality.

Are these “enhanced” refresh rates worth the hype?

In very simple terms, since even the native refresh rates of today’s 4K UHD TVs often mean reprocessing actual content refresh/frame rates for the sake of reduced motion blur, most of the motion enhancement technologies we mention above don’t really do much for the stuff you view on your TV and for watching movies, TV shows and even sportscasts, native refresh is usually more than enough, especially in movies that come with a 120Hz native rate.

Motion enhancements like Sony’s MotionFlow or Samsung’s Motion Rate can however be useful for smoothing out some more heavily motion blur-laden content sources and for giving sports entertainment a certain smooth, sharp sheen. On the other hand, for movie content, these same technologies, one activated in your TV can also create the famous “soap opera effect”, which makes movie content look bizarrely and somewhat uncomfortably smooth. In other words, go for higher native refresh rates if you can in the 4K TV you buy but understand that further motion enhancement technologies in these TVs only sometimes offer an extra benefit.

maxresdefault

What’s the bottom Line?

The bottom line, in the simplest possible terms is this: For the vast majority of content, a native refresh rate of 120Hz in your 4K TV of choice will be just fine by itself. Some higher quality TVs can even offer excellent motion control with 60Hz native panels and in either case, the differences between 60Hz and 120Hz are minor since no 4K TV content reaches your TV at more than 60Hz anyhow. Real motion enhancement technologies (Those which are double native refresh rate) are a good bonus for activation in specific situations but no motion enhancement rate beyond 240Hz is anything more than an arbitrary piece of marketing fluff, so don’t even pay attention to stated rates like 480Hz, 720Hz or more.

Most 4K home entertainment content today doesn't need motion enhancement in a quality 4K TV.

Most 4K home entertainment content today doesn’t need motion enhancement in a quality 4K TV.

Story by 4k.com

60 comments
 
Leave a reply »

 
  • pika-tan
    June 28, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    How does a native 120Hz refresh rate mesh with content that only presents at 60Hz or possibly even a lower frame rate?

    The answer is pulldown, not motion interpolation or black frame insertion. For example, playing a 60fps video on a native 120Hz display, a 2:2 pulldown will be applied by the player.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      June 29, 2016 at 3:02 am

      You are only correct Pika-tan, that we did not mention pull-down, since we didn’t want to go into too many details there. However, as for the rest of your comment. Actually, 2:3 pull-down or 3:2 pulldown (same thing) are used for expanding content filmed at 24fps to fit a 60Hz (60fps) TV. However, for 60fps video to mesh on a 120Hz display, yes, frame interpolation and black frame insertion are both used, not 2:3 pulldown and certainly not 2:2 pulldown.

      Reply

      • pika-tan
        June 29, 2016 at 7:35 am

        If pulldown isn’t used, then the display did not have true native 120Hz then. Does HDMI 2.0a even support sending 4k120p videos over it?

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          June 29, 2016 at 6:47 pm

          Piak-tan, whether a display offers native 120Hz refresh is a separate matter from whether 2:3 pulldown was used on 24p content or not. Also, no HDMI does not support 4k at 120fps.

          Reply

          • chris lane
            November 2, 2016 at 8:49 am

            You forgot to mention that your 10 bit panel with 444 chroma can only support 4k 30hz with an hdmi cable. lololol


          • Aaron Hightower
            January 3, 2017 at 2:39 pm

            FYI, currently, there is only display that supports 4K at 120Hz input. That is the Microsoft Surface Hub 83″ 4K set. In order to get this to work you (A) have to remove a plastic cover that HIDES two DisplayPort 1.2 inputs. Each of those inputs receives two streams of 960×2160 video data (the 4K screen is split into four columns of 960×2160). But I don’t know of any HDMI versions of this technology that are available on existing displays at the moment. The surface hub, at the time of this writing, is slightly over $20,000 US. It is the product of work done both at Perceptive Pixel (Jeff Han) and Microsoft, who purchased PPI a few years back.

            I was running a company that was headed down this exact same path and had a hardware engineer who proposed the same solution (two displayport connections and four streams divided into columns). Also, the blurbusters website was started by Mark who had previously taken over ownership of my Wikipedia page on this topic. It’s an interesting area of research how display manufacturers move forwards with higher bandwidth displays that do better with motion portrayal.

            But I can speak towards the Surface Hub as I do have access to one. It’s legit. It works. It’s available now if you can afford it. Other display manufacturers will hopefully have lower cost options, but right now, you can get it if you have the funds. Surface Hub also has the best-in-class technology for touch as well.


      • John
        April 28, 2017 at 12:03 pm

        Okay I am currently looking at the SONY XBR930E. I want to run 4k 120HZ for my PC gaming as with two 1080Ti’s…I can push it. My current 4k at 60hz isnt enough. I assume with this Sony I can rock 4k 120FPS since it has a native refresh rate of 120HZ?

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          May 16, 2017 at 5:50 pm

          Hi there John, it should work well. the X930E delivers very good gaming performance and yes it rocks the 4K on its 120Hz native panel. A good alternative with even better display performance and slightly better gaming/PC display performance would be one of Samsung’s 2016 SUHD TVs such as the KS8000 or KS9000 models.

          Reply

    • Garzzo
      February 13, 2017 at 8:02 am

      Jesus, check your spelling and grammar if you’re going to going to present yourselves as savvy technicians will you? And don’t depend on “checkers”, know English.

      Reply

  • Ben Ballard
    June 29, 2016 at 1:20 am

    I think Samsung and Panasonic are the biggest offenders in the customer confusion over Motionflow refresh rates, with Samsung pitching in with PQI as well. PQI is difficult to explain to the customer as it is anyway, without having to explain about over inflated Motionflow rates and true native refresh rates!

    Perhaps you could illuminate people as to just WHAT Samsung’s PQI index means and how it’s measure please Stephen?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      June 29, 2016 at 2:45 am

      Hey there Ben, PQI is a much broader measure of display quality that Samsung introduced to apply for all of their TVs from, I think, 2015 to now onwards. With PQI, you have a scale that goes from 100 up to 2700 with the higher numbers being applied to better TVs. The metrics used to measure higher or lower PQI include resolution quality, color performance, noise reduction, motion control, contrast, peak brightness and dynamic range, including HDR. In other words, if you’re looking at just refresh rates, PQI numbers have nothing to do with them directly and trying to compare 60Hz, 120Hz or “Motion Rate 240” with something like PQI 2000 will only confuse the whole issue. PQI should be considered separately from refresh rate.

      Reply

      • Ben Ballard
        June 29, 2016 at 4:08 am

        So if PQI is an overall measure of picture quality…why is it Samsung only that are really using it? Sony, LG and Pana only use the Hz refresh rate and their “Motionflow”, “Clearmotion” etc values. I think Samsung are trying to flummox the customer into something they have problems understanding in the first place!

        Reply

        • Stephen
          Stephen
          June 29, 2016 at 6:51 pm

          Hello Ben, but even the Motionflow and ClearMotion values of these other TVs are qualitatively different from the PQI rating that Samsung has created. These others still refer specifically to picture refresh-related metrics, while PQI covers a wider rang of picture quality factors (aside from whetehr it’s reliable or not)

          Reply

  • Andrew
    June 30, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Fundamentally inaccurate especially talking about ’24Hz’!

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      June 30, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Hello Andrew, we are as always absolutely open to any particular correction suggestions on errors we might have made in our pieces. The technologies behind 4K TV display are complex and among all the other technologies we cover, it’s certainly not hard to make a mistake here and there. If you’ve found any particular errors you’d like to point out, please specify them. I’ll happily correct as warranted.

      Reply

  • $$Money
    June 30, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    How about Panasonic Backlight Motion Rate (BMR ) LED TV2016 FHD And 4K
    all model Got so Many Hz
    Basic LED TV 32 TO 55 (BMR 200HZ)
    Smart LED TV 40 TO 65(BMR 400HZ)
    VIERA 4K PRO LED TV (BMR 3000HZ) *DX900K
    Is it true panasonic tv better in motion ?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      July 4, 2016 at 9:31 am

      These are basically the false refresh rates for these TVs. No 4K TV today offers more than 120Hz native refresh. I have heard of native 240Hz refresh as well but this is extremely rare if the case at all. These Panasonic rates are either the brand’s equivalents of frame interpolation technology (the 200Hz rate possible) or simply flat out made up (the ridiculous 3000Hz rate mentioned in the last TV you list)

      Reply

  • Steve Mullen
    June 30, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    “… offer actual native refresh rates of either 50Hz (quite uncommon with newer 4K TVs) 60Hz or 120Hz.”

    In PAL countries, 50Hz for decades has not been offered because flicker is too great. Thus 100Hz is the norm with 60Hz and 100Hz optional for showing NTSC video.

    In the USA only 60, and 120 are available.

    Reply

  • Steve Mullen
    June 30, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Motion blur is an artifact of LCD technology — on for 100% of the frame time — and our eyes.

    Your descriptions of the technology used to reduced it was excellent. Missing are the side effects. Inserting a black image once in every frame or as every other frame. It decreases brightness by about 50%. The back frame is registered by the eye creating a 30Hz artifact with 60Hz panels and a 60Hz artifact with 120Hz panels. Thus flicker is introduced. The better solution is presenting random blocks rather than a black frame. This causes the eye to reset thus avoiding blur and prevents the eye from seeing a single shape and so flicker is avoided–and brightness is decreased less. Which brands use this tek?

    The other technology is to generate frames that are presented between real frames. This works until the motion estimation system fails and something there is lost or something not there is created. Both are artifacts. Motion estimation at 4K is hard and requires super fast hardware and great software — not cheap. Which brands have this top-end solution?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      July 4, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Hello Steve and thank you for the additional details. I will be editing this post slightly and will make mention of the brightness reduction caused by black frame insertion.

      As for your question at the end, the 4K TVs for 2016 which we’ve found to work the best at motion interpolation are Samsung’s SUHD models, Vizio’s P and M-Series TVs and LG’s OLED models in particular.

      Reply

  • Steve Mullen
    June 30, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    For those of us who watch film — shot at 24fps — because judder is part of the film experience because the frame rate is so low. When shooting at 24fps the shutter-speed is usually 1/48 th second which means film inherently has motion blur.

    Quadrupling the frame rate from 24Hz to 120Hz makes film look like video. Creating intermediate frames makes film look like video.

    The correct solution — used in theaters — is to present each frame three times each second. I don’t think any 4K TV does this. Correct?

    Even were the panel rate reduced–the 24 frames must be extracted from the 60Hz signal. That requires a way to detect 3:2 pulldown and the apply reverse pulldown to get 24 true frames. I don’t think any 4K TV does this. Correct?

    It seems that today the 60Hz signal with 3:2 pulldown is treated as though there pulldown weren’t there. (No attempt is made to detect pulldown.) Correct?

    This would seem likely to create a mess. So how do 4K TVs handle 24fps content that is transported within a 60fps signal?

    Reply

  • Robert
    July 4, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    If I change the refresh rate using nvidia control panel, say to 80hz when the tv’s native is 60hz, will it hurt the screen? I have a vizio d55u-d1.

    Reply

  • Ryan Germann
    August 7, 2016 at 6:46 am

    Are there any FreeSync compatible 4K TVs on the horizon? My primary use will be as a computer monitor with some PC gaming.

    Reply

  • Fawaz Amjad
    August 14, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    HELLO STEPHEN,
    So I have this Xbox One S console and I am just trying to figure it out how can I eliminate judder issue when I am playing fast action paced games and same conditions also applies to my dish cable box for watching movies.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      August 17, 2016 at 11:33 am

      Hello Fawaz, While I can’t help you on the Dish cable box issue, I would suggest you turn your TV to its version of game mode for gaming with the Xbox One S to see if this reduces judder. Also bear in mind that the console doesn’t output games in 4K resolution, only Full HD.

      Reply

      • Fawaz Amjad
        August 17, 2016 at 7:25 pm

        Stephen, I can let you know that game mode is not a good solution because it makes the video quality more degraded. Unless if you may know the good settings for the game mode for my Samsung 4k TV then in that case I could give it a shot. But frankly, I don’t like game mode in my tv. I am just wondering how other Xbox gamers post videos on YouTube with really smooth motion quality and yet I can’t figure it out myself the settings they use or perhaps how they set up their consoles. I have BenQ monitor as well (60Hz) in my room but even when I had XB1 NOT XBox One S, it was having the same issue with judder in ‘Standard’ film mode. I haven’t tried plugging in XB1S yet and I will try that to see if the new upgraded version XB1 will also have judder issue or not.

        Reply

  • Ambuj
    August 15, 2016 at 6:19 am

    A 4K tv 55 inches is claiming the refresh rate 60 htz with 60 fps. Will it be sufficient to watch action movies on this with good experience? Or I should search a 4k tv with the refresh rate of 120 htz? please guide

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      August 17, 2016 at 9:28 am

      Hello Ambuj, I’d recommend the 120Hz TV over the 60Hz model overall, though even at 60Hz most name brand newer 4K TVs still perform remarkably well with most fast action content sources in either native 4K or upscaled HD.

      Reply

  • Andrew
    August 24, 2016 at 10:49 am

    The LG 65 inch 4k 65UH5500 UHD TV simple states a refresh rate as below. Does this mean that it has no motion enhancement technology and it will perform soley at a 60Hz rate without any of the black frame insertion or backlight scanning? For a 65 inch tv is this likely to be enough or is it worth the money to get something with some motion enhancements?

    Motion Enhancement Technology: 60 Hz Refresh Rate

    Reply

  • Chris
    September 16, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Hello Stephen,
    I liked the article and now understand some things I never knew about but if you could point me in the right direction I would appreciate that.
    My question is, so what is a good tv to buy if I’m looking for a 60″ or 65″? I want to buy one with the best quality or second best depending on price.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      October 3, 2016 at 11:43 pm

      Hi there Chris, I’m going to give you two suggestions here: The first if price is not something you’re worrying much about and the second for a much more budget conscious purchase which still offers stunning quality.

      If you don’t mind paying top dollar for the best performance, without a doubt the single best 4K TV in the 60 to 65 inch range would be one of LG’s OLED models (if you’re in North America, in Europe there are also excellent Panasonic OLEDs but we haven’t reviewed them yet) The OLED C6 and B6 TVs both deliver incredible picture performance, great motion control and superb upscaling. They’re also fully HDR-ready for both Dolby Vision and HDR10. The LG E6 is even better than these two but quite a bit pricier. All of these models will cost you between $3500 and $5000 though depending on whether you buy the C6/B6 TVs or the superior E6 model.

      If on the other hand you are on a considerably tighter budget, the best 4K TV in the 65 inch range for less than $2000 is probably Vizio’s 2016 P-Series model. It’s an LCD TV but it offers excellent local dimming, superb black performance, full HDR specs for both standards mentioned above and delivers some truly amazing color performance. It also handles motion exceptionally well and delivers great black performance/contrast, which is one of the most important of all display specs.

      Reply

  • Naeem Ahmadi
    October 8, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    these are true but i think you missed a fact .
    the thing is,the actual benefit of having 120 hz refresh rate over 60 hz is that a 120 hz tv can display a 24 fps movie exactly in 24 fps simply by showing each frame 5 times (bacause 120 is a multiple of 24). but a 60 hz tv cannot do that because 60 is not divisable by 24,so inorder to display a 24 fps movie it has to do 3-2 pulldown,and this process causes judder and decreases the quality.
    so i think,for a 24 fps input like most movies,120 hz refresh rate has better quality than 60 hz refresh rate.

    Reply

  • James A. Fleming
    October 19, 2016 at 11:30 am

    I am 77 and my wife is 72. We are looking for a TV that fits our special needs. We have more trouble hearing than anything else. I am sure our vision is not what it once was. Please help me choose a TV you think meets our needs the best. I am looking for a 55 Inch because that is all we can put in the space we have. I would like a smart TV and one that maybe our computer could hook to,Thank you for any help.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      October 19, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Hello there James. Im not sure what your budget is or how much you’re interested in the latest display technology but the perfect TV for the needs you describe is probably the 2015 X930C HDR television from Sony. I say this because it offers the best of both worlds. On the one hand, it delivers a superb level of picture quality, high brightness, excellent color performance and it comes with true HDR specs for color and black levels (which are extremely important for image quality). Also, this particular model comes with some of the best and most powerful built-in 4K TV speakers we’ve ever seen in any 4K TV yet. Thus, if you’d like some great audio power right out of the box, the X930C is a good choice. It will save you money on having to buy an external sound bar or speakers. Many 2016 TVs deliver equal or possibly slightly better display performance but none come with near the same audio power as the X930C.

      The X930C is also extremely compatible for hooking up to a PC for use as a large monitor.

      I wish you luck.

      Reply

  • Surya
    October 20, 2016 at 9:26 am

    I’m planning to buy a 4K tv that claims to support [email protected] , does that mean it will support [email protected]? And is that good enough for PS4 pro and other 4K content.

    Reply

  • Robin W.
    October 21, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    first of all, thxx for this great info on this web page. But…I just want to be 100% sure, soooo….acording to this page the samsung ue43ks7500 SUHD TV should be native 120hz???????? I realy need to know for sure. and is native 120hz also active in game mode??????? thxx for the help.

    Reply

  • Kris
    November 18, 2016 at 8:08 am

    Great information but terrible writing. Did anyone spell check this?

    Reply

  • Jason
    November 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Hello, is a 4k tv refresh rate of 60Hz able to run light gun shooting game with a video game console.? Keeping in mind that a light gun controller is originally designed to operate with 50 / 60Hz crt TVs. The understanding i have is they wouldn’t operate on any tv above 60Hz because of the higher refresh rates of HD TVS. So , if the refresh rates of both tv and light gun match – it should work , right ?????

    Reply

    • Keith
      January 21, 2017 at 11:30 am

      No modern TV will work with that type of light gun. There were two basic ways they worked
      One was to look at the scanning dot on the CRT not going to work as LCD etc do not have.
      The other is to blank the image in the next frame,change the object to a white square then detect at hit/miss then put image back.The NES light gun and the like wont work due to timing problems between the display and the program.

      Reply

  • Randyman
    November 28, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    Hello There,
    I am looking at getting a 4K HDMI splitter to take signals from 4 devices and output them onto two different options: 1) a 4K Samsung TV (120Hz) and 2) a projector. The Signals will come from a 4K blu ray player and my directtv box equipped for 4K. I can only find 30Hz available in these splitters and it sounds like this may be ok since the TV will take the 30 Hz input and upscale it to 120. Am I getting that right or could there be an issue with how the 4K content looks on the TV? Do you know of a particular splitter that is optimal and not too expensive (4 in 2 out).

    Reply

  • Sam
    November 28, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Stephen, In your experience/expertise, is it worth paying $300 more for a 240 refresh rate of Samsung UN65KS8500 rather than just getting the UN65KU7500 with 120 refresh rate? Thanks

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 5, 2016 at 7:19 am

      Hey there Sam. First of all, the 240Hz and 120Hz rates you refer to are the motion interpolation rates of both TVs. In real native refresh rate, the KS8500 is the model which delivers 120Hz refresh and the KU7500 delivers a native 60Hz rate. They offer 240Hz and 120Hz motion interpolation respectively. However, in reality, the 240Hz of the KS8500 does nothing extra while the 120Hz of the KU7500 will actually create a more notable benefit in comparison to that TV’s native 60Hz rate. A sor of rule of diminishing returns applies to fake refresh rates the higher they are claimed to go, at least with current technology.

      That said, the following is what you should keep in mind: Some TVs with particularly good motion handling can come with a native 60Hz rate and perform as well as other TVs with native 120Hz refresh and some TVs deliver excellent motion handling for reasons beyond just refresh rate. In the case of the two TVs you mention, the KS8500 delivers virtually perfect motion blur control, motion interpolation and also comes with perfect 24p content playback judder control. The KU7500 does a reasonably good job on all counts but not as well as the KS8500. This is only partly due to their different refresh rates.

      Bottom line: Unless you’re very picky about fine motion handling details or doing some sort of competitive gaming, you probably won’t even notice a difference with either TV when watching most movies and TV shows.

      Reply

  • Chet
    December 1, 2016 at 5:01 am

    Nice read buddy thanks.

    Reply

  • Joe
    December 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    I just bought an LG 65bp and the images are stunning but I’m very disappointed in how it handles motion. I’ve experimented with different picture modes and true motion settings but it either Judders a bunch or creates a pixelated halo around the subject or makes the picture too soft. I’m considering returning it and getting a Samsung 55 to mitigste the effect. Have you found optimal setting options? Sports don’t look that good.

    Reply

  • Vince
    December 5, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Here’s how I understand things regarding frame rates.
    When film was first invented, way before TV, the makers experimented with different frame rates. 24 frames per second was the lowest frame rate possible, without introducing visible juddering. This was chosen because it was the cheapest option, fewer frames of celluloid to process and print. So all subsequent film was made at this frame rate. We all expect that ‘film look’.
    In the 1980’s, video was invented. As this didn’t involve costly celluloid film processing, the frame rate was not an issue. So the manufacturers used a higher frame rate. This resulted in a different look, one which became associated with cheap music videos and low production value soap operas.
    When something is filmed at a higher frame rate, ie ‘The Hobbit’, it looks unlike conventional film.
    Most people see this look as cheap, as they associate it with the MTV videos of the 1980’s, and low production value soaps.
    I am in a minority, I like the so called ‘soap opera effect’. To me it’s superior to 24 frame film, which now to me looks like soft, blurry, grainy and cheap, compared to a higher frame rate, which to me, looks more true to life. I hate motion blur and grain, though many love it.
    I have read a lot of TV reviews, stating that applying the technology to increase frame rate create the hated ‘soap opera’ effect. So, I decided to have an in store demo.
    Results were so very subtle, that I can’t help but feel things have been over exaggerated. No soap opera effect visible from what I saw. I suspect that no matter what the TV is doing, if the source is 24 FPS, nothing will change the look to any great extent.

    Reply

  • Aimen
    December 11, 2016 at 12:33 am

    So is there no 4K TV out there that will keep films looking like they were intended? 24fps motion blur etc…
    Movies look so bad now on the new TV.s of 2016. I can’t decide which one to buy, should I buy an older model until the technology get’s better?

    Reply

  • Rob
    December 11, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Please can you tell me if 1500 pqi is good enough to watch sport (football) without motion blur or juddering

    Thanks

    Reply

  • Mo
    December 11, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Hi.

    I was trying to choose between the Sony 43″ XBR43X800D and 49″ XBR49X800D. Both are 60Hz but the 43″ uses a VA panel while the 49″ is an IPS panel. Does the panel used affect motion blur in any way?

    Also, I was leaning more towards the 49″ so is 60Hz still fine or will motion blur be noticeable at that size?

    Thanks.

    Reply

  • Djordje Antonic
    December 25, 2016 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Stephen,
    I’ve just bought Philips 43psu6401. I do not know if you had an opportunity to test it since you have been testing higher end TVs.
    How to set it up properly?
    I would like to eliminate juddering when watching movies, TV program and gaming. I’ve connected it to PC (ATI 7850 gpu). When gaming, at some points there are like double player effect, even when I limit fps at 60.
    The thing that bothers me the most is occasional judder, when watching TV program and movies (from USB 2.0 stick or USB 3.0 HDD). Should I return the TV if not possible to avoid juddering?

    Reply

  • Phillyblunz
    January 11, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    24p on a 120hz display should not use frame insertion.

    According to frame times it will just display each frame 5 times.

    60fps on a 120hz display is the same, displays each frame twice.

    Reply

  • Mike
    January 18, 2017 at 4:41 am

    Im looking at the LG 4k’s and can’t decide on the 120hz or 240hz? I watch sporting events. I just don’t want to over purchase.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      March 15, 2017 at 2:37 pm

      Hey there Mike, the 120Hz and 240Hz really refer to native rates of 60Hz and 120Hz. The larger numbers you’re seeing are for motion interpolation. That said, a 120Hz native refresh (240Hz motion interpolation) 4K TV is generally better performer for handling movement, though this can depend and some 4K TVs deliver excellent motion handling despite their native 60Hz panels. I’d recommend you go for a TV based on its overall picture quality and not worry too much about refresh rate. I say this because how well the TV delivers black levels, color and brightness will affect your enjoyment of movies and etc much more than a slight difference in motion handling. What specific models are you deciding between?

      Reply

  • Nick Martelli
    April 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Hi! I’m looking at the lg OLED g7. Do you know if the native refresh rate is 60 or 120 for this panel? Thanks

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      April 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Hi there Nick, the G7 has a 120Hz native refresh rate, all premium 4K TVs do and a model like the G7 absolutely qualifies for that category, it’s probably one of the best 4K TVs in existence along with some of its other 2017 OLED counterparts and cousins.

      Reply

  • Erick
    April 26, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Stephen,
    I have an interesting question I think. I want to put a 40″ 4K TV in a virtual pinball (VP) machine. I already realize talking with other VP techs, that I definitely need a 120 native refresh rate, and a 4K TV with super judder management. The TV also must be 40-43″ in size. I also know I need a latest technology video gaming card, and i5-i7 processor to handle the 4K TV. What is the best TV choices for my needs?

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      May 16, 2017 at 5:49 pm

      Hi there Erik. What you want doesn’t exist unfortunately, at least among the models we regularly cover and review. There are no 40 to 43 inch 4K TVs with native 120Hz refresh rates since models of this size are rarely found among the premium TVs with such a refresh rate. Thus, the best I can suggest is a 49 inch model and among these the models I’d most recommend is the 49 inch KS8000 or KS8500 from Samsung (same basic TV except that one is curved). These models offer excellent motion handling, 120Hz native refresh and give you the added benefit of superb HDR, 4K and 1080p console gaming performance with very low input lags of around 20ms if the TV’s game mode is activated. If you insist on a 43 inch TV, then my alternative suggestion would be something like the 43 inch MU7500 from Samsung. It also offers good motion handling though like I said above, it will only come with a 60Hz refresh, which will probably work fine anyhow.

      Reply

  • Erick
    May 2, 2017 at 8:03 pm

    When are you going to post my questionIsent you over a week ago?

    Reply

  • Erick
    May 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    I’m wanting to upgrade my virtual pinball LED monitor to a 40″ 4K. I know I need a 120 native refresh rate, low judder, and low blurring when the pinball is in motion. I also realize I will need to improve the computers graphic card, processor, and a couple other things. What are the best 3 choices of 4K TVs for me?

    Reply

Leave a Response