What Does “Hz” Mean on a TV?

You’re shopping for a new TV, and you see a lot of advancements from your old one. One of those is the refresh rate. It’s measured in “Hz.” But what does that mean? Let’s take a quick look.

TV Refresh Rates

Understanding Refresh Rates

The Hz measurement on TVs refers to how many times the image refreshes on the screen per second. A 60 Hz TV refreshes 60 times per second, while a 120 Hz TV refreshes 120 times per second. Ideally, you want a higher number because that means less blurriness, especially with fast-moving images like sports or action movies. However, there’s a trade-off. A higher Hz number often comes at the cost of lower image quality. For most people, spending the extra money on a 120 Hz TV is not worth it when they could get a cheaper 60 Hz TV and spend that money elsewhere. Of course, if you watch a lot of sports or action movies and can afford it, then go for the 120 Hz TV!ย 

Refresh Rate (Hz) vs Frame Rate

The two main factors that affect how smooth a video appears are refresh rate and frame rate. We have already established that refresh rate is the number of times per second that a monitor can draw a new image, measured in Hz. The higher the refresh rate, the less time there is between each new frame, and the smoother the video appears. Frame rate is the number of frames per second that a graphics card can generate, also measured in Hz. A high frame rate means that there are more frames being drawn every second, resulting in a smoother video. However, even if a graphics card can generate a high frame rate, it won’t matter if the refresh rate is low – the video will still appear choppy. Therefore, both refresh rate and frame rate are important when it comes to creating a smooth video experience.

Is Hz the same as FPS?

While both refresh rate and FPS are related to each other and affect the smoothness of the displayed video or graphics, they are different. The refresh rate is the number of times the screen is redrawn per second, expressed in Hertz (Hz). On the other hand, FPS stands for Frames Per Second and refers to the number of frames that the GPU can render per second.

You may have a gaming system with a low refresh rate and high FPS or vice-versa. In both cases, the lower number will limit the performance. For instance, if the monitor has a refresh rate of 60Hz, while the GPU is capable of 120 FPS, the graphics will not be as smooth as it should be for a 120 FPS GPU. This is because the monitor is capable of refreshing the display only 60 times a second. Conversely, if the GPU can render a maximum of 60FPS, while the monitor has a refresh rate of 144Hz, then you’ll get a similar scenario.

So, to answer the question posed in the topic – no, FPS is not the same as Hz. They are related but different concepts that affect video or graphics quality.

Read also: Does Hz affect FPS?

Most high-end TVs come in 120 Hz

LG’s C1 OLED and Sony’s A90J OLED are two top TVs this year; both come in at 120 Hz. These are great options if you’re looking for the best of the best and don’t mind spending the money. RTINGS.COM did a roundup of the top 120hz, and both have been mentioned as some of the best.

What If My TV Isn’t 120 Hz?

If you don’t have a 120 Hz TV, that’s okay! Most content is not filmed or broadcast in 120 Hz anyways. Most movies are only 24 Hz. That means that even if you had a 120 Hz TV, the movie would still only be playing 24 frames per second. The different refresh rate is only really noticeable with fast-moving images like video games or live sports. If you don’t watch many of those, you’re probably not missing out on much by having a 60 Hz TV.

Does It Matter for Gaming?

For gaming, a higher refresh rate is always better. If you can afford it, go for a 120 Hz TV. If not, most consoles these days are capped at 60 FPS anyways, so you’re not missing out on too much.

What About Motion Blur?

Motion blur is when fast-moving objects appear blurry on the screen. It’s more noticeable on lower refresh rate TVs. If you watch many sports or action movies, you might want to consider a TV with a higher refresh rate to reduce motion blur. If you’re worried about it, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Make sure you’re watching native 120 Hz content. If it’s not, you’re not going to see a difference anyway.
  2. Enable motion smoothing or backlight scanning if your TV has it. These features help reduce blurriness and make images appear sharper.
  3. Make sure you’re sitting close enough to the TV.

The further away you are, the more noticeable the motion blur will be.

Do I Need a 120 Hz TV?

It comes down to personal preference. If you watch a lot of sports or action movies and can afford it, then go for a 120 Hz TV. Otherwise, you’re probably not missing out on too much by having a 60 Hz TV. 

Is a 120Hz Tv worth it?

For most people, spending the extra money on a 120 Hz TV is not worth it when they could get a cheaper 60 Hz TV and spend that money elsewhere. Of course, if you watch a lot of sports or action movies and can afford it, then go for the 120 Hz TV!

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About S. Santos

๐Ÿ‘‹ I'm a technology columnist and blogger with over 10 years of experience, currently serving as Blue Cine Tech's AV Editor. Specialising in gadgets, home entertainment, and personal technology, my work has been featured in top technology blogs. I'm dedicated to breaking down the complexities of the latest tech trends, from explaining the intricacies of Dolby Vision to optimising your streaming experience. This blog serves as a platform for my ongoing exploration of the ever-evolving tech landscape. If you see me at industry events like CES or IFA, feel free to say hello.

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