Refresh Rate / Response Time: What is it all about?

You may have definitely come across a term called either “Response Time” on your LED or LCD TV user guide. So what is it all about? If you take a look at specifications of a LED or LCD TV, you will definitely see this specification. Technically speaking this is the amount of time taken in order to one pixel to go from active (black) to inactive (white) and then back to active state again. In laymen’s term lower Response time means that you would get better pictures on your TV.

Now the “Refresh Rate”, is it something different from “Response Time”? No it isn’t. Refresh Rate too talks about the same feature which we discussed above regarding your LED/LCD, but from different angle. Technically “Refresh Rate” can be discussed in the following manner.

  • Refresh Rate – In televisions, refresh rate is the number of times the screen is redrawn within a single second. It is expressed or measures in hertz (Hz). As an example TV with a refresh rate of 120Hz redraws the screen 120 times per second.
  • Hertz (Hz) – Hertz is a unit of frequency equal to one cycle per second. In other words, 1Hz means that within a second there will be a one cycle of activity.

So going back to the laymen’s term again, higher Refresh rate means that you would get better pictures on your TV.

Now that you have the basic understanding about the Response time/Refresh rate, we can look at how does it affect your LED/LCD TV or what to look for when you are about to buy your brand new LED/LCD TV.

If you take a look at older and most of the current TVs with higher response time or lower refresh rates, you would get smear or blur around fast moving objects making them unacceptable for action movies, sports or video games. For example, when watching a baseball game on an older TV the ball could appear to have a comet like tail when moving quickly across the screen. This distracting or the nuisance lag time is commonly known as “motion lag, trailer effect, fast motion blur etc. So the solution to overcome this would be to buy a LED/LCD TV with either lower response time or higher refresh rate.

As we discussed above, Response time/Refresh rate being one of the most important specifications it has become one of the key marketing specification as well. As a result manufacturers of TVs are currently competing on this specific feature. And this intense competition made TV manufacturer to double the original refresh rate of 60Hz to 120Hz and even more to 240Hz. So this means with latest technology you would get the crystal clear images even with fast moving images on your TV.

However there are certain drawbacks as well. Considering the TV market which is currently flooded from various TV manufacturers, all of them couldn’t keep up to both new technology and as well as quality in order to survive. As a result some of the manufacturers have cut cost at the expense of quality even though they have the latest technology such as Refresh rate of 240Hz. Therefore obviously the reliability has decreased even with some of the latest technology. So when you are about to buy a brand new LED/LCD you should look for the brand name of the manufacturer (consumer’s best option is to go with a Tier 1 manufacturer who traditionally are much more trustworthy about specification integrity) while looking for latest technology in Response Time or Refresh Rates.

So as the final note, in terms of refresh rate you should always look for a TV with higher refresh rate. If you are looking from the angle of Response time TV with a lower response time will always give you better quality pictures.

Just Click Here to compare different Refresh rates/Response times of various TV models.

 

You may also read following Technical information of LED/LCD TVs,