Two of the most confusing letters thrown around in reference to LCD and TVs these days are "H" and "z." The confusion will just continue to mount this year, as numerous manufacturers announced 240Hz displays at CES, doubling the 120Hz spec in an attempt to lure buyers. But is it twice as nice?
Until proven otherwise, I'm saying no, 240Hz is not worth waiting for.
Before I get into why, it's probably worth writing a few sentences to sketch out what all these numbers mean. Standard LCD and plasma TVs refresh the screen 60 times per second, or 60Hz, which is plenty fast enough to eliminate flicker and create the illusion of motion from a series of still images. In fact, most sources sent to your display arrive at the nominal rate of 30 frames per second, and each frame is repeated once by the television to achieve 60 total fps.
The problem is that with LCD, some viewers can perceive motion blur in fast-moving objects on standard 60Hz models (motion blur like this isn't an issue with plasma or other display types, whether 60Hz or otherwise, because they use different methods to create the illusion of motion). To reduce blurring, most 120Hz LCD displays use interpolation--called MEMC for "motion estimation-motion compensation"--to create a new frame between each of the original frames, so there's one interpolated frame for every true frame. An interpolated frame is composed of the processor's best guess as to what should be there, based on the contents of each of the true frames. … Read more
In a room much too dark to use my iPhone camera to take decent pictures (my main camera's battery died and I could not find a charger) Viewsonic showed off its answer (or perhaps question depending on which began conception first) to Samsung's 22-inch SyncMaster 2233RZ, the 22-inch Viewsonic FuHzion VX2265wm.
Like the Samsung, the FuHzion has a 120Hz refresh rate. This is double what a typical monitor has. The 120Hz refresh rate allows the monitor to display a stereoscopic image. Once you put the "3D" glasses on, games on the screen will appear to have … Read more
Formerly a feature reserved for high-end HDTVs, 120Hz with dejudder is becoming more common at for less money, as evinced by Sony's 2009 KDL-V5100 series of flat-panel LCDs.
The three-size V-series includes the 52-inch KDL-52V5100, the 46-inch KDL-46V5100 and the 40-inch KDL-40V5100. Each offers the company's dejudder processing, known as MotionFlow, that we've reviewed in models such as the KDL-46W4100 from 2008. While we're not big fans of dejudder processing in general, some viewers like the smoother look, and Sony's version performs relatively well.
Last year Philips won our best of CES award with the Eco TV, and in 2009 other companies are following suit with their own green TVs. The Samsung UNB6000 series of Samsung LCDs is "eco-friendly", with the company claiming 40% or more energy savings over traditional LCDs. The sets also put a focus on energy usage by including a power indicator menu and an optimized energy savings mode, which dynamically adjusts settings to conserve power. We can't say we're fans of dynamic adjustments for image quality, but those that value energy savings over performance might prefer … Read more
The A950 series was Samsung's only LED-backlit LCDs in 2008, but the company is serving up several LED-backlit lines in 2009. The UNB7000 is the step-down from the top-of-the-line UNB8000 series, but includes nearly all the same features except 240Hz refresh rate. Here are the details.
Key features of the Samsung UNB7000 series:120Hz response time Slim design, around an inch thick LED-backlit Ultra Clear antireflective screen Internet@TV capable (Yahoo widgets) Built-in Ethernet Wi-Fi-ready, with purchase of additional adapter Energy Star 3.0 compatible
Pricing and availability of the Samsung UNB7000 series (estimated street prices):40-inch UN46B7000 ($2,… Read more
Today LG announced a series of LCD TVs with wireless capability, where external components connect to a separate module that sends the signals over-the-air to the TV.
"Wireless" HDTV has been tried before but it has never seemed to take off. The LH85 series, which consists of the 47-inch 47LH85 and the 55-inch 55LH85, aims to change that trend. LG promises uncompressed delivery of 1080p content without wires, courtesy of a proprietary 60GHz radio and multielement antenna array.
Blu-ray may still be a niche product, but it's a sure sign that the technology is going mainstream is that it's being built into TVs. Sharp has announced a full line of LCDs with integrated Blu-ray players, the LC-BD80U series, which is a new product category for CES 2009. While the initial details are scarce on the features of the built-in Blu-ray player, there are at least some specs available for the LCDs.
Key features of the Sharp LC-BD80U series:Advanced Super View antireflective screen 120Hz refresh rate, with dejudder processing Four HDMI inputs (three on the LC-32BD60U … Read more
While competitors like Samsung, Sony, and Vizio are rolling out new features such as 240Hz refresh rates, LED-backlighting, and interactive content to their LCDs, Sharp's new E77 lineup is fairly conventional, even by last year's standards.
Key features of the Sharp LC-E77UN series:1080p native resolution Advanced Super View screen 120Hz refresh rate and dejudder processing Four HDMI inputs Two component video inputs PC input RS-232 port Swivel stand EnergyStar 3.0 compliant 40-, 46- 52-, 60-, 65-inch screen sizes
While most of these features are pretty standard, Advanced Super View (ASV) is a … Read more
The difference between HDTV and standard-definition TV is pretty drastic, and there's not much any device--television, DVD player, or cable box--can do to make standard-definition look like high-definition. But don't tell Toshiba.
The 46XV545U, a 46-inch LCD TV, represents one of the company's latest attempts to persuade buyers that with the right video processing, "all your DVDs and TV channels will be displayed in near High Definition picture quality." If you believe that, I have a burning five-dollar bill I'll sell you for a grand. Every company touts their upconversion technology, but Toshiba's "SRT Super Upconversion" blares its trumpets louder than anything we've heard.
In our tests, SRT basically added artificial sharpness, aka edge enhancement, to standard-definition images. You may like the look (we didn't), but you won't confuse it with HD. Without SRT, the television's standard-definition looked a good deal softer than other TVs in our comparison, for what it's worth.
It is worth mentioning that, as with all other standard-definition processing, SRT is irrelevant if you use an external source that does the conversion itself. Such sources can include upconverting DVD or Blu-ray players, or cable box or satellite boxes set to convert everything to HD.
But enough about standard-definition video processing; how does this HDTV perform otherwise? Click through to find out.