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To 120hz or not to 120hz (1 Viewer)


Apr 7, 2008
Real Name
I'm about to buy a 46-52 inch LCD and I can´t decide if to buy a 120hz one.

Prices are so variable, but in general, the difference between them is about 400. Comments?


Mar 2, 2008
Real Name
Have you thought about Plasma? I have both 120 lcd

and plasma. For motion and sports, the plasma seems to do better. It has a faster responce time and frame rate.

They are also about the same price or less.

Lee Gallagher

Mar 13, 2006
Real Name
Have never found 120 hz that works well.

Plasma doesn't have the slow refresh that LCD panels exhibit.

Allan Jayne

Senior HTF Member
Nov 1, 1998
The original purpose of 120 Hz (note that it's only advertised with LCD) is to further reduce motion blur due to the slower response of the pixels.

Some but not all models take advantage of the fact that 24 goes into 120 evenly and display film source absolutely evenly using 5:5 pulldown instead of a defacto 6:4 pulldown.

Still other models (not all) blend or interpolate the frames to display 120 unique poses per second when the source had 60 (regular 1080i or 720p). The lesser cost versions of this technology are far from foolproof and fall back on frame repetition (back to 60 poses per second) when the interpolation can't guess where subject matter moved to.


Second Unit
Dec 11, 2004
From what I've observed there is a lot of debates about this. I've seen a demo of 120hz compaired to 60hz and the difference was quite noticable. Some people say it gives the effect of the image moving more fluidly others say that it looks like the image moves at 1.5 times the speed.
I guess a real good 120hz set will not give that effect but I was compairing 2 Samsung sets of equal size and the difference was around 800$ Thats almost the price of a regular 42" 1080P LG tv... I don't think I could justify that. I mean how picky can we really be when 1080P with a 4-5ms refresh rate is not good enough? But everyones eyes and budgets are different.


Second Unit
Jul 10, 2002
I just got a Samsung LN52A650 and I can't decide if I like the 120Hz thing or not.

I run a PS3 for Blu-ray and was watching WALL-E @ 24Hz and noticed jutter in slow pans, so I turned on the 120Hz to medium and it turned it smooth as silk. I am assuming it interpolates and adds extra frames to get that effect. I then threw on a game on my Xbox 360. This game has a crosshair in the center of the screen. I noticed with the 120Hz on, the crosshair got fuzzy and distorted as I turned quickly. Not so with it off. So, it's off for now.

I need to find more info on how it works and play with it more before I make a final decision.

Oh yeah, one more thing. It only seems to make a difference on film based, 24Hz stuff. I was watching cable broadcast and it makes a very noticeable difference on shows like 24, but no difference on the news, etc. It does look a bit unnaturally smooth. It's pretty amazing stuff. I am just not sure if I really like it or not.

Bryant Frazer

Stunt Coordinator
Dec 1, 1998
I'm researching what's turning out to be a particularly difficult HDTV purchase for a friend (he requires coax audio out, and there just aren't that many attractive models offering that feature this year -- he nixed the Samsung 7 Series based on the glossy screen and reviewers' concerns about how the glass conducts light to the edge of the screen in a dark room) but had to chime in after reading this Cnet story on 120 Hz TVs

I have the Sony XBR set that's pictured in this article as having exceptionally good "anti-judder" technology, and I just gotta say that anyone who claims, as this writer does, to prefer watching movies with that feature turned on has screwy priorities when it comes to video quality. I like the fact that my 120 Hz Sony set can do essentially 1:1 pulldown of 24fps material, but the Motionflow feature is dreadful stuff. I'm shuddering just thinking about it. That feature is turned off on my set, and it stays off. (I used to turn it on occasionally, just for kicks, while we were watching TV, and my wife would throw things at me. She hates it even more than I do.) Not only does the "smooth" motion look unnatural, but everything gets that highly processed waxy appearance -- watching TV with Motionflow turned on is a little like hanging out at Madame Tussauds.

Maybe the implementation has gotten better since last year, but I'm quite happy with out it. Great TV otherwise, though. I still miss my CRT occasionally, but it's hard to argue with a 47-inch screen.

Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
Aug 19, 2002
Bryant agree 100% on the Motionflow crap.

And about your friend - He does know that coax/optical outs on a TV are absolutely useless for 99% of the sets out there, except when using the internal TV tuner?

For all but the most rare sets (LG makes one) the digital audio out only outputs 2.0 PCM, except from the internal tuner. In other words, you can't expect to run HDMI into the tv and a single coax out to the receiver and get DD 5.1 (or any other digital surround format) from the source (i.e cable box, DVD player) to the receiver. It just doesn't work that way.


Senior HTF Member
May 18, 1999
Kind of an old thread, but I'm shopping for my first HDTV. Looking for something reasonable in the 42"-47" range, not the really big screens now available.
Finding lots of affordable sets but they're always 60Hz. Is there a big difference compared to the 120Hz sets? Choices and online reviews seem endless but I trust the input from this forum rather than somebody just trying to clear out inventory or upsell me to something I don't need.
Lots of obscure brands I've never heard of, but would like to stick with LG or other manufacturers I've had good luck with.
Any suggestions as to what would be decent?


HTF Expert
HW Reviewer
Senior HTF Member
Jul 4, 2012
Chicago-ish/NW Indiana
Real Name
Buy a plasma, then you don't have to guess when to use Clearmotion, video mode or gaming mode...
And you don't have to figure out if you want 60, 120, 240, 480...

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