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Old May 25th, 2009, 04:05 AM   #1
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120hz LCD TV - Why do they look so bad?

I was at a Sony store a few weeks ago and saw something very strange. At first I thought I was watching a BBC show, kind of like the old Dr. Who that was on PBS many years ago. It looked kind of low budget. Then I watched closer and noticed that it looked familiar, I thought maybe it was a behind the scenes portion of a feature film.

After several minutes I realized that I wasn't watching a low budget video, or a behind the scenes, but it was a feature film--Iron man.

Yesterday I was at Fry's and saw another 120hz TV and it looked just as bad.

Am I so accustomed to motion blur that I when it's absent the film looks cheap?

The look was very low budget and fake looking.

As much as I hate judder, I'll take that over 120hz any day!

Can someone explain what exactly a 120hz TV does to a film to make such a drastic difference?

thanks,
~Jay
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Old May 25th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #2
 
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I believe 120Hz displays work by duplicating the frame for every off-60Hz frame. I would guess that if the registration is shifted, the effect is blurring of the picture. My Samsung 46" HDTV uses an optional 120Hz mode, and personally, I prefer it over the 60Hz mode.But then, I'm too old to see well anyway.
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Old May 25th, 2009, 02:28 PM   #3
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I believe there are several types of 120hz TV's. Some place a black frame between frames so that they repeat the same progressive frame every other frame with black in between. Then there are the interpolated group that interpolate a 120 fps progressive image ( I believe this is what Sony,Samsung and LG do) the newer 240HZ displays from Sony and Samsung interpolate progressive frames from the interlace input at 240fps to give a very smooth image. Toshiba's 240 HZ is a 120hz panel with backlight refresh at 240hz. I think the important piece is still the quality of the scaler and de-interlacer. Going to higher refresh I think may make this conversion easier as there is more data to work with.

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Old May 25th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #4
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My Samsung 46" HDTV uses an optional 120Hz mode, and personally, I prefer it over the 60Hz mode.But then, I'm too old to see well anyway.
Does your 120 Hz TV have a "cine" mode? When you state your preference for the 120 Hz mode, is that for DVDs/Bluray or for everything?
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Old May 25th, 2009, 09:49 PM   #5
 
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pretty much for everything. but then again, to put things in perspective, i hate motion blur. i LIKE to shoot at 1/250 shutter speed and let my eye decide, in fast motion sequences, to blur things . I DO NOT want the camera to decide that for me....as most 60 or 48 fps cinematograpgers seem to want to do. i hate that...the judder, the stutter...the stammer. i will probably invoke the wrath of filmographers, but, really, give me a break. I hate "the film look". Truthfully, if I don't tell anyone I shot 1/250, everyone RAVES about the look. LOL..it's too funny. It's all so so shallow.....or even worse, predictable.
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Old May 26th, 2009, 09:26 PM   #6
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pretty much for everything. but then again, to put things in perspective, i hate motion blur. i LIKE to shoot at 1/250 shutter speed and let my eye decide, in fast motion sequences, to blur things . I DO NOT want the camera to decide that for me....as most 60 or 48 fps cinematograpgers seem to want to do. i hate that...the judder, the stutter...the stammer. i will probably invoke the wrath of filmographers, but, really, give me a break. I hate "the film look". Truthfully, if I don't tell anyone I shot 1/250, everyone RAVES about the look. LOL..it's too funny. It's all so so shallow.....or even worse, predictable.
I did a little history reading after reading this thread. It seesm that 24fps was chosen by fiat with the introduction of sound. Before that - films could be anywhere from 16 to 26 frames per second (as shot) - and worse, we projected at what ever management wanted to .i.e a cheap nickelodeon might seriously overcrank during projection. Studios got control of films cost since overspeed sound films would sound..well, you get the picture here.

I agree 24fps is more or less an 'effect' - a cultural one with long association with movie making. I also read am interview with James Cameron in the context of the current 3D craze and he goes on about how the low frame rate is more irritating in that mode as it is all more apparent in that mode.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #7
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The plasma screens have less of a problem with motion judder than do LCDs. Quite frankly, I find LCD televisions unwatchable as a result. They look great with still subjects, but that eliminates an awful lot of content especially movies. The best bargains right now are the 720p plasmas.
However, you still have to be careful about burn in despite the improvement in that respect.

I still use a CRT television (that never exhibits any of these problems), but I have a home theater with an LCD projector. An LCD projector doesn't display the motion problems that the LCD televisions do. At least it isn't distracting if it's there.

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Old May 27th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #8
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I own a 42" 120hz Vizio. I find the 120hz mode fascinating as indeed it does remove the "film" look from film and gives it not only more of a video look but almost a 3D video look.

The rest of my family hates the look except for sitcoms so I generally leave the setting off.

Our minds are just acustomed to the look that 24 frames per second gives as being "real" or "quality" so that when it does not have the judder and is crystal clear it is harder for us to suspend disbelief and enjoy.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 10:00 AM   #9
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Personally, I don't like the 120Hz interpolation much, either, but some folks do, and I guess that's fine too. I had the same "BBC-ish" feeling from seeing "Transformers" on a 120Hz screen, and I believe the reason is this: England (BBC-land) is a PAL country, so their TV plays at 25fps, or 50 fields-per-second when interlaced. The film you saw playing was, of course, filmed at 24fps, which would be displayed via a pulldown on a 60Hz LCD monitor. On a 120Hz LCD interpolating the footage after the pulldown, it would probably look and move about like 48fps footage, which is pretty close to the 50 fields-per-second of the old, interlaced BBC stuff. I believe that's why they have a similar look. Just a guess, though.
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 10:31 AM   #10
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When film is projected each frame is flashed by the shutter blade and this shutter can be a 3 or 5 blade shutter. So the viewer sees temporal motion of 24fps but with flicker rate of at least 72 and more likely 120. I believe that there are some plasmas that will scan at 72 ( emulating a 3 blade shutter on a film projector) and it is possible for the 120hz LCD's to fully emulate a 5 blade shutter though I am not sure how many actually do this. However without either of these displays then 24p on a TV is a pure effect and bears no resemblance to a film projector.
I dislike the slow frame rates and would love things to move to at least 60P. Maybe we will start to see this in the future but until then 60i with 240hz displays will do. Higher frame rates do not exclude shallow depth of field, cinegamma etc. They just remove the judder imposed by economics and technology of the last century.

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Old July 3rd, 2009, 12:34 PM   #11
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Amen, Ron!

My feeling is that 24fps is an archaic holdover from the days when film was the only way to go. I do not chase the 24fps "will 'o the wisp" as the "flicker" (for those who can see it) does nothing to emulate the color, contrast, and dynamic range or color personality various film stocks had.

24fps does not make video "filmlike".

You hit the nail on the head with reference to cinegamma and shallow DOF having more to do with being "like film" than any frame rate.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #12
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This 120 Hz. and 240 hz. motion fiasco has been driving me nuts too! Best Buy, (an electronic store here in the states) has been running Transformers on these TV's non stop the last few months.

I asked one of the employees, (my first mistake) about what this effect was. He looked at me like i was from mars. He said he didn't see any effect. I laughed and said, dude...LOOK AT IT. He scratched his head, wandered around, asked some other associates. A complete waste of time. I told him it looked like ass. He said he LIKED IT!

It does not look 3D. It makes films take on the motion properties of video, or very much like a DV camcorder. Why would i want to buy a TV that makes my FILMS look like low budget video trash?

Seriously, I honestly can't understand why people would like this feature. The human eye naturally see's motion blur. Wave your hand around in front of your face. Thats motion blur. I think thats why people still psychologically prefer 24fps naturally for their films.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #13
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It does not look 3D. It makes films take on the motion properties of video, or very much like a DV camcorder. Why would i want to buy a TV that makes my FILMS look like low budget video trash?

Seriously, I honestly can't understand why people would like this feature. The human eye naturally see's motion blur. Wave your hand around in front of your face. Thats motion blur. I think thats why people still psychologically prefer 24fps naturally for their films.
The problem with 24fps is on a TV. 24 doesn't divide into 60 or 50 so there is no way of making whole frames play properly. The TV must therefore drop a frame or play one twice. So on a normal TV your films are NOT 24fps like they would be projected in a film projector. The result is judder. Hate to tell you but most people do not like judder. Judder isn't motion blur and the motion blur we see is much higher than 1/24 sec exposure. Remember 24fps was a technological and financial compromise. The least amount of celluloid that makes the projection acceptable, not good, but acceptable. Good would have been twice as much and was thought to be financially unacceptable. With the introduction of digital projection and 3D in cinemas we will likely see twice the frame rate maybe more.
The other problem is that if one wishes to shoot at lower frame rates then this requires a lot more skill in framing shots and letting the action take place in front of the camera to minimize the judder. Unfortunately there is a FAD of 24p where the shooters swing the camera around as if they were shooting video at 60fps. The result is terrible , unwatchable judder.
These new TV's try to recover some of the really poor shooting and editing we see on TV these days and make them watchable without getting motion sickness.

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Old July 5th, 2009, 04:35 PM   #14
 
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I think the fundamental problem is really one of harmonics. There's really no such thing as true 24fps on an NTSC broadcast. It's simulated 24p by adding pulldown to 60i. When you combine that with a 60fps display scanrate, you get strobe motion....much like the effect where a spinning object appears to spin backwards, also known as the nyquist rate. 120Hz displays were invented to help deal with this. So, perhaps what looks nice at true 24fps, doesn't work well with 60hz. There's this 24fps stutter motion, which is really the strobing of the pulldown fields with the display scanrate. People are so used to the effect, it blows their mind when the effect is removed. Sometimes, progress moves slowly. Most people don't like change and resist it.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 06:22 PM   #15
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To add my experience. I was in Fry's the other day and a Star Trek Blu-ray was playing on the TV as you walk in.

It must of had this higher Hz thing going on because the movie had incredible detail but it looked more like video than film.

I have to say, it did look like something different than video but it did not have the look of film.

Once I watched it I got used to the "new look" but it took me by surprise.

Maybe it is a sign of the times - Instant society, immediate here and now look to the movies?
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