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General discussion

60Hz vs 120Hz

Nov 13, 2007 7:07AM PST

Like many of you, I am in search of a practical way of viewing all programing on these new HDTVs, I've gotten most of the tech stuff down, but I am still confused about refresh rates. Can someone let me know if it makes a great difference between a set with a 60Hz refresh rate and one with a 120Hz rate?

Discussion is locked

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60hz vs 120hz
Nov 13, 2007 2:39PM PST

Its basicly how many still picture frames the tv will show a sec.

the more frames the smoother motion should look, from what I see it looks better in some cases with average speed motion, but with fast action it makes the picture look boxey in parts of the screen.

But the 120hz can be turned off or on and most sets with 120hz have a lot more to offer with it, from better blacks, colors, and inputs.

good luck

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60hz vs 120hz
Nov 14, 2007 1:22AM PST

Thanks, at least it's getting clearer.

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60Hz vs 120Hz
Nov 14, 2007 2:38AM PST

Let me see if I can confuse the issue a little more (my limited understanding of this subject): The importance of 120Hz comes into play when we are dealing with film-shot material rather than video-shot material, keeping in mind that film is 24fps and video is 30fps or sometimes 60fps. A 60Hz display refreshes it's image 60 times per second and 120Hz doubles that. For video, there is no problem displaying a smooth image on a 60Hz display because the number of video frames will divide evenly into the display rate. But when using film material that is 24fps, the frame rate will not divide evenly into the 60 frame display rate, so the 3:2 pulldown technique is put into play. This means that for every 3 video frames that display once, there is a single video frame that is displayed twice. This allows an even frame rate to be divided into an odd-numbered display rate. This 3:2 causes artifacts, such as blurriness or choppy frames during fast motion.

Now, the 120Hz display rate can be divided evenly by both film's 24fps as well as video's 30fps or 60fps, thus eliminating the need for the 3:2 pulldown math. But keep in mind that video-shot material will look good on both a 60Hz and a 120Hz display, especially HD video. Film-based material won't look as good on a 60Hz display as a 120Hz display because of the need for the 3:2 pulldown. As far as standard-def material, this will look crummy regardless of the display rate.

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60Hz vs 120Hz
Nov 14, 2007 8:30AM PST

That was not quite as confusing as I thought, I'm looking two units, one from Sony the other from Samsung, both offer a 120HZ refresh rate. My next problem centers around how the set actually looks in my house as opposed to the store. So my next question is have any of you seen the latest (retail available units) from either Sony or Samsung or better yet, I am looking for a 46-50 1080p set with the aforementioned 120HZ refresh rate for a 20 X 20 room. I've read many of the editor's choices but I would really appreciate input from folks with these units (or comparable ones) and how your experience has been.

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samsung or sony 120Hz
Nov 14, 2007 10:35AM PST

I am in the same boat as you man. I have been investigating this for like a year now and feel it's time for me to jump in. Basically my first choice was the Pioneer Elite 1080p 50" plasma, then it was between the new 52" Sony with 120Hz and the Samsung LNT-5271F. Now, in my eyes the better of the 3 is the Elite, hands down, B U T, . . . . I do ALOT of gaming, and though they do say burn in is not an issue, do I really want to take that chance with $5000 -plus?? So now it was between the Sony and Samsung. I spent hours at best buy comparing the two sets and after playing a couple of my favorite blueray and HDDVD movies on them (not the whole movie, just clips) lol I truly believe the Samsung is the winner hands down. Even in the looks department, it's a very sleek sexy set. The Sony as nice as it is, is starting to look dated. The picture was not even that close in my opinion. Do it for yourself man, don't take anyones word, use your own eyes and some of your own movies and see for yourself. Good luck!

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Samsung or Sony 120Hz
Dec 3, 2007 11:11PM PST

I agree, 120 is SO worth the upgrade. But I've been trying to figure out the Sony vs. the Samsung. And I haven't found any technical reasons the Samsung is better-- but hanging out in Best Buy for an hour and comparing it visually, the Samsung just looks superior!

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great report !
Dec 15, 2011 3:55PM PST


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picture is great
Apr 24, 2010 10:20PM PDT

i have a forty six inch 1080P 60Hz samsung and my picture is great no slow down or blur. And what these sales people don't tell you is nobody broadcast at 1080p and 120Hz. Most stations are 720 or 1080I and 60HZ. Also samsung tv have there hdmi connections on the back of the set . sony puts there on the side. which means you will have a bunch of cables sticking out the side of your set. but i honestly think the picture is just better on the samsung. but no matter what set you get i would buy the warranty , because no matter what brand you choose you may just get a bad set

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Sony is way better
Nov 27, 2010 7:02AM PST

I just got a Sony 46" LED 120Hz sony looks perfect. Samsung do not look near as good trust me.

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samsung all the way.
Feb 25, 2011 4:32PM PST

i never trust anyone who says trust me. and by the way, i own many tvs, and samsung is definately superior.

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led is not ready yet
Apr 25, 2011 11:37AM PDT

I Had four of these led sets, (120hz) and returned them all to best buy, 2)Samsungs, LG, Sony, and all of them had a ghosting problems which i now believe is part of the sets makeup.
In An effort To complete with plasma's 600hz refresh rate which looks great, the only problem with plasma is it not as bright as LCD and LED.
I read all the reviews on led sets 120hz to the new 480hz and thought i knew enough to buy one, I was wrong.
LED Is too much money to just settle with its faults, I still don't have a set, Good luck

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Use light control to your advantage
Apr 26, 2011 12:51AM PDT

That's how you get around the problem of using plasma in a bright room. IMO even spending $2K on proper custom shades/blinds/etc. makes more sense than repeatedly exchanging HDTVs.

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60Hz vs 120 Hz
Dec 27, 2010 11:47PM PST

your message was extremely helpful and informative as I myself and trying to decide whether to upgrade from a 60HZ samsung tv (which I have now) to a 120 Hz samsung. I have heard many complaints from those with the 120 Hz tvs suggesting that when the auto motion plus 120 Hz mode is in fact turned on, is when they notice the soap opera effect, which is completely opposite of what you are claiming should happen. Are these claims just bogus? Why are they noticing it?

so basically when watching cable tv, the picture should be the same regardless of refresh rate its only when watching dvds or blue rays (which I do have) on a 60HZ tv that the difference should be noticed. Thanks for your adice

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Sep 9, 2012 3:31AM PDT

Thanks for this info. I was ready to buy a 60hz TV until I read this. I went with the 120hz.

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How do you turn on the 120Hz?
Dec 22, 2010 11:54PM PST

We purchased Samsung 46" 120 Hz LCD and when I turn on the tv it only shows @60Hz! We thought that we'd gotten the wrong tv, but the model number shows the tv @120Hz. From an earlier post I read, you can turn this on and off! How do you turn on the 120Hz?

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If you research this.
Dec 23, 2010 11:38PM PST

The on screen display is showing the signal source which will always be 60Hz. Sadly the makers didn't explain what the 120Hz is doing and folk are asking YOUR QUESTION repeatedly.

Google this and find the repeating answer. It's far too long for me to type it in every time it comes up.

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60hz vs 120hz
Nov 27, 2008 4:34PM PST

no, 120hz processing on your tv can not be "turned off." 120hz refers to the frame refresh rate, that is simply how your HDTV operates. Sort of like the resolution. If you have a 1080p tv, you are ALWAYS watching 1920x1080 lines of resolution, regardless of the source (standard def, dvd, blu ray, 720p hd cable, whatever), your tv will ALWAYS upconvert the signal to its native resolution...for 1080p sets, that resolution is 1920x1080.

Same thing with refresh rate. Your LCD likely has a rate of 60Hz or 120Hz. Regardless of the signal you input into the tv, your tv will ALWAYS process the frames at 60 or 120Hz, depending on your tv. This is why 120Hz is so basically eliminates extra processing or duplicate frames that result when a 24hz signal is displayed on a 60hz set. 24 is not a multiple of 60- the tv has to implement a process called "3:2" pulldown to display 24Hz content.

so the end result is that 120Hz is a BIG DEAL when watching blu-rays. Most blu-rays will output at 24Hz, so your 120hz tv doesn't need 3:2 pulldown (which causes judder because extra frames are inserted to even the ratio). A 60Hz set needs 3:2 pulldown to display 24Hz content, so it will not appear as smooth as it would on a 120Hz set.

But its critical to note that most cable tv sources, even HD cable, are broadcast at 60hz. thats why live tv appears smoother than films or blu-rays regardless of whether your tv is 60 hz or 120hz. A 60hz tv will process HD cable sources just fine, no 3:2 pulldown or extra processing occurs. the only real benefit of 120Hz vs 60Hz is noticed when watching sources that output at 24Hz....mostly blu-rays...maybe Dvds, not sure

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Best Buy BS
Nov 28, 2008 6:46AM PST

Funny thing happened today when I bought a new 46" 120Hz Sharp Aquos LCD HDTV at Best Buy.
My older TV had only component inputs for I knew I was going to have to buy a HDMI cable for the connection from my cable box to my new TV.
I had a choice between a 64$ Monster HDMI cable and a 129$ Monster HDMI cable, before I even reached for the 64$ cable, the sales guy told me I would only get the 120Hz from the 129$ Monster HDMI cable.
I told him I doubted that, and he showed me that the box on the 64$ cable said 60Hz on it and the 129$ cable says 120Hz on it I still told him that sounds like marketing BS to me, and he literally got very pissed off at me, told me he knew what he was talking about etc...
I really find it hard to believe you need these high end cables like this, sure a better cable will provide a better connection and less loss especially over a long distance, but this is a 4ft cable, and its a digital signal.
Also the thing that gets me, and maybe I am wrong here, but when a TV shows 120Hz that should not mean there is more bandwidth being used between the cable box and the TV (I would think) the signal between the cable box and the TV stays the same no matter what, and like the post above, the TV will show the picture clearer at 120Hz refreshing the screen more often, and taking care of the issues with 24fps movie video etc... I do not see why you would need a better cable for a 120Hz HDTV at all.
If you go to the Monster cable website they totally do make it sound like you have to buy the 130$ bad as hell cable for 120Hz sets, and I get sick of this BS, people really need to get over these over priced cables, I was pissed I had to buy a cable for 69$ I was not going to pay 120$ for a HDMI cable.
This same sales guy tried to sell me a UPS for the TV right away, and was getting upset cause I told him I had one already, he asked if it was for a PC, I told him yes it was, and he told me that would not work they are different! so I was bought to kill this guy before the HDMI mess ever started.
Anyway, I am curious what others think about these high prices cables anyway, so speak up, what you guys think?

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Monster Cable HDMI Test by a consumer
Dec 19, 2008 6:12AM PST

Just joined to give my 2cents in regards to HDMI cables. Global TV News (Toronto-Canada) did an Consumer Alert SOS story on expensive brand name vs. inexpensive generic HDMI cables. Global advertised that they were going to conduct tests on the 2 cables which they did not do. I was hoping that they were going to use lab testing equipment to show a difference and then rip the cables apart to look at the construction. This did not happen. Instead they conducted a test on one lcd screen (brand not mentioned) and switched between cables. They concluded that there was no difference in quality. Here is where I disagree. I recorded the show and paused a split screen comparison that was shown and noticed contrast differences in the backgroud scene and foreground had more vivid and cleare picture with the more expensive cable. (The split screen was a scene shot from inside a helicopter overlooking a panaramic view of mountains and a lake). My test was to call in my wife and ask if she saw a difference, and I quote, "What are you blind? Can't you see the picture on the left hand side is clearer than the right?"

I used my own money to conduct a visual test on my two identical Panasonic 42" Plasmas. I purchased the Monster 400 HDMI cable 1M and compared it the Monster M1000HD HDMI 1M cable. Put my Roger's HD PVRs on the same channel, pressed pause and did a comparison (again calling in my wife). We concluded that there is a noticeable diffence in color on the plasma using the M1000HD cable vs. the Monster 400 cable. So I went out and purchase a generic cable from the computer store PC Cyber and did another two tests against the Monster Cables and concluded by far the Monster Cables provided a better picture.

I then wrote into Global TV to have them retest the cables using the same test I did. I have yet to get a response.

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Sorry but no
May 21, 2009 3:56AM PDT

Since HDMI provides digital image and sound, there is no difference between the image qualtiy or sound of any hdmi 1.3 cables. Do your research and you will find that it is wise to get your digital cables for $5 on the internet. With cables that provide anolog picture and sound such as component cables, the quality of the cable can make a difference.

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Yeah, right
Dec 18, 2009 11:35AM PST

So I bought a Rolex on eBay for $5 and im sure its a great watch because the jerk that sold it to me said it was. I'm sure all the guts are up to standard (eg - 1.3 HDMI standard)because all online purchases are legit.

Seriously, a $5 HDMI cable? you get what you pay for - to a point. $150 cable seems insane but you have to look for a reputable brand or site that has a good track record. I bout a 3 pack of HDMI for $20 and I had drop outs all the time. I learned my lesson. Stay in the $25 area at least if you want a decent cable that meets standards.

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pricey vs. cheap HDMI cables...
Jun 1, 2010 2:55PM PDT

I just had to add my comment after reading your post. Yes, most time it's "you get what you pay for" but not always. I just purchased an LG 32LH40 (for those that don't know, it's 1080p/120hz) which INCLUDED an HDMI cable from the manufacturer right in the box. Funny thing is, being a new product, the HDMI cable that came with, didn't give the same picture quality as the previously purchased HDMI cable that I purchased online for $4.95 And even funnier, the manual included with the set, specifically said to use a 1.3 HDMI cable and the one included in the box that came with had no markings/specifications on it anywhere, but the $4.95 cable I'd ordered last year had 1.3 stamped on it & improved the picture and changed my HD cable box from reading 1080i only to 1080i HDTV (as it did even with my old set, unlike the new cable with the new set). Perhaps it depends on where one orders the cable & what brand it is, no matter the price??

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Nov 16, 2012 11:39PM PST

Sorry you are wrong to assume it's crap because it's online.....I had the same problem when I bought my tv years back. Saw the price the stores were charging for HDMI cables and about choked. So I went to Amazon and bought one for $4.99, this was 4 years ago, I have never had to replace it. The picture is great, even when watching Blue-Ray, or using the Playstation 3. I suppose there would a difference in picture had I bought a $150 HDMI. But, since I am not in the habit of lining up my tv's next to each other and watching them at the same time (which I'm guessing most people agree with) I see no reason to spend that kind of money. Without a side by side comparison no one would notice the difference. It's not like people come over and say "hey your HDMI cable must be cheap", they simply can not tell a difference. So my advice, buy the cheap one, in the end the difference is so small it's not worth all that money. Use the money saved to buy some new video games, something you'll notice and enjoy a lot more than a stupid cable.

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You fool
Jan 3, 2013 5:13PM PST

It's digital man. That means either te connection is there or it isnt. Doesnt matter how cheap the cable is. Is the connection is made that's as good as you are going to get it. "Drop Outs"? What are you, a Mennonite using pay as you go in the cold cellar? Shame on you for posting. Shame, shame.

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You fool
Jan 11, 2013 12:42PM PST

While I agree that a digital connection is there or isn't I don't agree with you comment regarding cheap cables and drop outs. Cheap is cheap buddy and while you may think you are getting the best, on a cheap budget, maybe you don't have the capacity to see the difference. I have worked in this industry for a long time and drop outs are very much an issue with cheap cables (especially with HDMI cables). Any time a customer calls and claims that the picture just disappeared off the nice big LCD screen I asked what brand off cables are they using, it always ends up that they bought it from some online discount retailer for $5 or less. I then explain that the cables are the issue and that spending a little more money on a better quality cable would solve this problem. And it always does. You also have to conside that the capacity for information is also matched to the cables performance. Hence 3D and 4K TV will require HDMI 1.4 compatibility.

Hope your cheap online cables will provide you the quality you need for the next generation of TV's. Truly you don't know what you are missing

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thats right
Apr 24, 2010 9:59PM PDT

i bought my HDMI cables on amazon for about 10 dollars each. i have a klipse surround sound system, yamaha amp, a hd cable box ,xbox 360 and a samsung 46 inch tv . so thats fifty bucks. and my picture is great. Everything monster cable makes is over priced. i once brought a monster cable surge protector and it fried. 120 dollars for a six foot cable is insane. that would have been 600 dollars for me. so go to amazon buy some cables and then go to bestbuy and by some monster cables (you can return those) and tell me can you see a 550. dollar difference. don,t buy those over priced cables. there not worth it

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expensive vs cheap cables
Aug 28, 2010 11:28PM PDT

The prices are stupid, and my situation was a wall mounted TV needed 30 ft of cable to go up the wall, across the attic, and back down the opposite wall to the cable box. The cable companys onlysuggestion was to purchase several sets of cables and connect them. Instead, I found a place call Skycraft Parts and Supplies (Orlando, Fl) which sells every type of gizmo and gadget. They made a 6 strand 30 ft HDMI cable harness with gold plated fittings-cost $80 bucks! And that included the installation! That was a bargain and it's been working great for 6 years. Shop around!

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HDMI cords
Nov 23, 2012 3:15AM PST

rimmyron is correct. I was told by a cable installer that one hdmi cord is just as good as another, so, don't spend a whole lot of money buying the expensive gold ones. Go on internet and get cheap ones. And that goes for the component/rca cords too. He said the only thing gold is good for is jewelry.

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Rating on HDMI...
Dec 31, 2008 3:58PM PST

Not sure if you are aware of certified rating of HDMI connection. But version 1.3a is capable of 10.2 Gbit while most are version 1.2a is capable of 4.96 Gbit. On cables, this is all certified rating. You might think cable is just cable. But not really true. High end components need high quality cable to transmit such a fast data output. All HDMI cables will work but quality difference will be seen and heard. But quality cables like Monster, I doubt there will be much of any difference from your HD cable box to HDTV. But try that feeding Blu-Ray at 1080p/24 (5:5) with Tru-HD stream into that HDTV. You will notice a difference.

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Been there, done that
Apr 26, 2010 5:41AM PDT

The $20 blujeans cable did just as well as the $130 Monster we tested. Yes there are some cheap (read, junk) cables floating around, but if you do a little due diligence and get some of the better versions of the less expensive examples, you'll do just fine, especially for shorter runs. Monoprice, Bluejeanscable & Amazon premium worked well when we compared connecting & viewing several different components vs a Monster Cable purchased at BB. We did get two defective cables from Monoprice, but the replacements did fine as well. FWIW, Bluejeans cable is run by HT enthusiasts, so you'll get decent support there if so needed.