Samsung’s PQI: What is it and What it Means for your TV

There are numerous acronyms for features in the television industry and most people don’t understand them all.

Take Samsung PQI for example, what does it mean? Is a TV’s PQI rating important when making a buying decision?

Nowadays most Samsung TVs advertise a specific PQI rating on the box. I’ll explain what is Samsung PQI and why it matters.

What is Samsung PQI

PQI stands for Samsung’s Picture Quality Index, a European-specific rating system that factors in multiple features (screen resolution, Hz rate, brightness, etc) that affect the perceived image quality of a Samsung TV.

Samsung does not reveal exactly how it calculates the PQI of its TV models. However, the PQI rating of Samsung TVs with features such as 4K or 120 Hz is much higher than standard HD TVs.

Remember, Samsung PQI is a ranking index that was created by Samsung and only applies to their TVs.

Does PQI Rating Matter?

PQI rating is not that important because it’s an index created by Samsung and it does not mention which factors are considered.

On that note, picture quality in general is subjective. I wouldn’t buy a TV based on the PQI rating alone.

What’s a Good PQI Rating for a TV?

A good PQI rating for a TV would be in the 3,000 to 5,000 range. These are considered high-end models.

Usually, TVs that have a PQI rating of 3000+ have 4K resolution and a 120 Hz refresh rate.

However, PQI only applies to Samsung TVs because it’s a trademarked term.

To give you a real-life example, Samsung’s Neo QLED QN90B has a PQI of 4600.

Samsung PQI vs HZ Conversion

There’s some confusion regarding Samsung PQI and Hz which I’ll clear up below.

Samsung PQI is not the same as Hz. Hz (refresh rate) is one of the many factors that contribute to the Samsung PQI score.

TVs that have a high refresh rate, such as 120 Hz, will have a higher PQI score. For example, TVs with 120 Hz usually have a PQI score of between 3000 and 5000.

On that note, TVs that are limited to 60 Hz usually have a PQI range of 100 to 3300.

So we know the Hz rate of a TV is one of the factors that affect its PQI score. But it’s not the only factor.

Why are these terms confused when they’re completely different?

PQI vs Motion Rate

The reason for the confusion is previously Samsung attempted to rank its TVs using another system called Motion Rate, which was measured in Hz.

For example, you would see TVs advertising a 100, 240, and even 400 Hz Motion Rate. There were even models with an 800 Hz Motion Rate!

The idea to use Hz to measure the Motion Rate was that all the motion features could make it seem like the TV had that refresh rate.

PQI replaced Motion Rate (measured in Hz) as Samsungs TV-score index.

Many people have heard about Samsung’s Motion Rate and assumed the new system, PQI, is also measured in Hz. It is not.

What is Motion Rate?

Motion Rate is a group of features that are designed to improve the motion clarity of a display. For example, features like Black Frame Insertion, Frame Rate Interpolation, and others.

The problem is the Motion Rate rating does not affect the actual refresh rate of a display.

There would usually be a small fine print under a TV model that says the native refresh rate of the TV is 60 Hz.

To clarify, the Motion Rate is not the same as the display’s actual refresh rate.

For example, you could have a TV with a 400 Hz Motion Rate and a 60 Hz native refresh rate. Many people were disappointed to find out the Motion Rate was not the same as the refresh rate.

Bear in mind, the native refresh rate refers to the number of times the panel can refresh in one second. The most common refresh rate nowadays is 60 Hz but more TVs support 120 Hz.

Today, Motion Rate is not used often, and PQI is mostly used in Europe.

PQI for Gaming

There’s no specific PQI for gaming because it’s an index that is affected by many factors.

However, I recommend looking for a TV that has the gaming features you need, such as 4K, HDR, and a 120 Hz native refresh rate.

Most TVs with a PQI of 3000 or more will support 4K at 120 Hz.

The Bottom Line

To summarize, PQI is one of those TV-industry terms that make people scratch their heads in confusion.

In my opinion, PQI is not a very important factor to consider when buying a new TV. The term was mostly created for marketing purposes as a way for Samsung to rank their TVs.

Remember, PQI is not measured in Hz like Motion Rate. Hz (native refresh rate) contributes to the PQI of a TV but it’s only one of the many factors.

Unfortunately, the factors that Samsungs uses to calculate the PQI of a TV are kept a secret, so it’s not a reliable ranking system.

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About Tim Gagnon

Timothy Gagnon is a tech blogger and writer. When he's not dissembling computers, he's researching the latest tech gadgets and trends.

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