If you are planning on getting a TV and you are someone who does his research before buying stuff, you would have undoubtedly bumped into the term refresh rate alongside the usual terms like resolution, screen size, etc. If you are a gamer reading this, you probably know what you need and even if you do not, that is probably okay because we have all been there, read on.
What is a Refresh Rate?
To put it simply, a refresh rate is the number of times your screen/ display refreshes itself in one second. Typically, higher the refresh rate, the better. It was a general consensus in the past that IPS displays tend to have wider viewing angles but lower refresh rates, but that has changed drastically and the recent panels can achieve refresh rates as high as 120 Hz on high end and mid-range budget TVs.
How is fps Related to Refresh Rate?
FPS is short for Frames per second and also first person shooter, but here we will be dealing with the first one. Refresh rate and fps can be directly related, the higher the refresh rate, the more fps it can receive.
For example: Consider the refresh rate to be a jar. The bigger the jar, the more water it can hold in a given second when the water is being poured in it constantly.
If your video is running at 60 fps and your monitor can only display 50 Hz, then it is highly probable that you will observe screen tearing and artefacts in the video being displayed since the rate at which the frames delivered to the TV are quicker than the rate at which it can process and display them and this is where the technologies like V-sync, Free-sync and G-sync come in, about which we will explain in the future iterations of this series of “In-short”.
Is 60 Hz Good Enough?
The short answer is yes, it is good enough if you are getting it for an economic price. The long answer is that it depends on what you want from your TV, if you expect to connect it to your high end gaming PC and run games at very high FPS (frames-per-second), then no, it is not good enough for first-person online shooting games.
The 60 Hz TVs are adequate for most people since the television channels are either broadcasted at 60 Hz or 50 Hz which fall well within the 60 Hz cap. So, even if you are planning on watching a lot of fast paced sports channels, unless your broadcaster can go beyond the 60 Hz cap, you will most likely not notice a difference between a 120 Hz TV and a 60 Hz one.
When Do I Need More than 60 Hz?
Even if you are a gamer, it is unlikely that you will go beyond the 60 fps (frames per second) mark for most games when running them at 1080p, unless you have an absolute beast of a system.
If you do, you will probably be wise enough to not game on a TV in the first place, owing to input lag and other reasons. So even for casual gaming and console gaming, it does not make much sense to go beyond 60Hz, but that extra refresh rate of a 100/120 Hz is extremely useful for content making like slow motion videos or fast passed super smooth butter-like sequences.
High refresh rate is also useful for online fps games which need high fps, haha got you there! We meant high refresh rate is also useful for online fps (first person shooter) games which need high fps (frames per second).
Getting a TV with high refresh rate also future proofs your investment by making it compatible with future consoles and television channels which will be broadcasted at higher than 60 frames per second.
In-short: What should I get?
If your budget is less, go with the one that has 60 Hz and it should probably be good for most of the tasks. If your budget lies in between the mid-range and premium end, go with a TV that has 100/120 Hz. While you are at it, do not get fooled by brands that sell you TVs with unrealistically bloated numbers with buzz word, to know to prevent from being tricked, click here!
If you would like to know about a budget TV that has good picture quality and offers passive cinema-like 3D, the 42 incher from AOC is a good place to start, click here to know more about it.