If you’re an enthusiastic gamer, you want to get the best TV for gaming that you can. There are lots of factors to be taken into consideration. The refresh rate is one aspect that’s essential so here are some tips for choosing the best TV refresh rate for gaming.
If you look at the technical aspects of a plasma refresh rate, 600Hz sounds great and would be the best TV for gaming but it’s not actually the case. Most plasma TVs show video at 60 frames per second (fps) which is the highest the eye needs to see a smooth picture.
Sub pixels of plasma TVs stay alight for 2ms when they’re excited. To make one frame display for 1/60 seconds, a panel excites the sub pixels so they stay bright.
Plasma TVs have a sub field drive refresh rate. The refresh rate is measured in pulses a frame. If the rate is 10 pulses per frame, your 60Hz TV has a sub field rate of 600Hz.
You get almost instantaneous transition from one frame to the next with almost no ghosting or motion blur. But it doesn’t actually mean your frame is refreshed 600 times a second. It’s the sub pixels that enable an instant transition from one frame to another.
You can choose TVs that have 60Hz, 120Hz or 240Hz refresh rate. If you’re considering buying a new TV, you need to weigh up your needs. Because 3D TV is now starting to be popular, the 60Hz isn’t a good choice because it’s not compatible with an active 3D shutter and is only passable with a passive shutter.
The 120Hz is good with passive TV but only passable for an active shutter. The 240Hz is excellent for all forms of 3D TV. If you’re a gamer, this is the refresh rate you’ll want to buy for the best possible picture quality.
If you have a TV with 120Hz but you’re watching content that’s only 60Hz, special technology is used to improve the picture. This is called Motion Estimation and Motion Compensation (MEMC). This adds an extra frame in between every frame within the content you’re watching. It predicts the minutest of movements and “guesses” what should come next.
Of course, you don’t see this happen. You simply see a crisper, brighter colored picture that’s a lot less blurry. If you watch a 240Hz TV but watch the same content, it will double that process again.
60Hz vs 120Hz
The higher the refresh rate, the clearer the picture is because it gives you more frames per second. However, it also means the TVs get more expensive as the refresh rates increase so you need to consider that fact as well.
A 60Hz is what you have watched for most of your life. Because the higher rates are quite new, they may look strange and even fake until you get used to them. When you watch standard TV, 60 frames per second is comfortable and once it’s sped up, it can make certain types of shows actually look worse.
For example, if you’re watching a documentary and they use a hand-held camera, usually you see the movement. When the Hz is increased, this smooths out that effect and it can really look fake and may detract from the quality of the documentary itself. The faster rate may also make some games appear a little strange. But it depends on the type of games you play and what else you want to get out of your TV.
120Hz vs 240Hz
If you have a TV with a 240Hz refresh rate, in layman’s terms this means your TV halves the amount of motion blur that may be caused by the 120Hz refresh rate. This is very noticeable when you have fast-action scenes like sports and games. The movement is much smoother so you get to enjoy what you’re watching even more.
The faster refresh rates have solved a problem with film that has originated on a Blue-ray disc. Movies are filmed and are supposed to be projected at 24 fps. US TV and videos generally run at 60fps. Because the lower figure doesn’t evenly go into the higher one, there’s usually some distortion. It’s not a lot but it does exist because of this problem. 24fps evenly goes into 120 and 240Hz so that distortion issue is eradicated.
There are also some 480Hz TVs available if you really want to spend up big. Obviously they should have a really good picture quality in every aspect but again, unless you really know what to look for, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between 240Hz and 480Hz.
If you want the best TV for gaming, logically you should buy a TV that has 240Hz or 480Hz so you get the best possible picture quality.