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Old February 27th, 2011, 09:05 PM   #1
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60Hz vs 120/240Hz vs Plasma TVs

My friend just got a 60" Sony 120Hz LED LCD, and after watching several TV shows (filmed in 24p), I really do not like how motion is displayed. As LCDs evolve, I don't think any 'good' LCDs will be 60Hz in the next year or two. I noticed that many consumer Plasmas are '600Hz' which results in a similar removal of motion blur.

Rather than spending several thousand dollars on high-end LCDs or Plasmas for client monitoring, most of us are left with consumer TVs, LCD and Plasma. For monitoring, these 120Hz and above TVs just do not look right to me. (FYI, I have an Eizo CG243W and Panasonic 1710w for critical monitoring)

I know it will eventually come up where a client watches a finished piece on their 120Hz+ TV and will ask why it looks so different from what they saw in the studio and/or edit suite.

What are your thoughts?
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Old February 28th, 2011, 10:54 AM   #2
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Re: 60Hz vs 120/240Hz vs Plasma TVs

Individual perceptions vary. But it's not, I think, the fault of the panels' refresh rate. A 120Hz refresh rate just means that it displays each 24fps frame 5 times (aka 5:5 pulldown). Then the next frame five times. Etc. IOW, each frame is displayed the correct amount of time (1/24th of a second) on your panel.

My Panasonic plasma runs at 96Hz, so each frame is displayed four times (4:4 pulldown). Using the THX cinema presets, motion looks at least as good as what I see in a theater. My wife says it's better.

It's possible what you are seeing is just artifacts from the various technologies. Could be artifacts from the decoding of the signal to get it displayed -- I've seen macroblocking from LCD panels where I don't get any from the same signal with a plasma. I in particular remember watching a diver at the last summer olympics -- when he started spinning he disappeared into a cloud of tan smoke -- something in the signal chain either couldn't handle the bit-rate or didn't supply a sufficient bit-rate (cable TV signals are notorious for compressing the heck out of what they send the customers, so bit-rate starvation and the resulting macroblocking problems, crushed shadows, etc. aren't necessarily the TV's fault).

Another place to look is the DVD or blu-ray player. If it's not putting out a 24 fps signal, it may be adding judder (3:2 pulldown) to convert the original 24 fps up to 30 fps before sending it to the panel for display. I personally find 3:2 pulldown rather annoying. Makes pans look especially jerky to my eyes.

IDK. Hard to say.

BTW, the 600 Hz sub-field drive stuff is more marketing hype than anything else. Plasma panels are driven differently than LCD panels. That's all. Don't confuse the sub-field drive frequency with the panel's refresh rate. Different things.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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Re: 60Hz vs 120/240Hz vs Plasma TVs


I know what you mean. I don't know what causes it but I do notice. All movement looks hyper-real. Less cinematic. A strange aesthetic indeed.
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Old February 28th, 2011, 03:36 PM   #4
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Re: 60Hz vs 120/240Hz vs Plasma TVs

I recently convinced some friends who were TV shopping that they needn't spend the extra money on a 120 HZ set (yes, there are still a few closeout models out there that don't have the higher frequency). Once they saw a demo with the function on and off, they were convinced.

This all gets into subjective matters but having feature films (especially classic ones) suddenly appear like they were shot on 60i video is to my eyes completely distracting. However, to the next person it might be appealing. The good news is that I think all TV's that offer higher refresh rates allow you to turn off the function in the menu (at least that I've seen) so you can be selective about it.
Charles Papert
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Old March 4th, 2011, 09:35 AM   #5
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Re: 60Hz vs 120/240Hz vs Plasma TVs

Bruce is right, it's not the refresh rate that's to blame here, as (as he explained really well), a 24p image will merely be repeated 5 times in a row on a 120hz Tv or 10 times on a 240hz one.
What's causing what you decribe (and don't like) is some motion interpolating functions introduced by manufacturers, often called natural motion, or fluid 'this', or smooth 'that'...
Just disable these functions (as Charles pointed out), and you'll find back the look you love so much!

Now, on a related note, we, in Pal land are not so lucky, as TVs use a refresh rate that's a multiple of 50 (due to our standard frame rates being 25 or 50). So playing a 24P BR film always requires some form of converting.
That's why so many of us are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the common multiplier 600hz Tvs which will be capable of correctly displaying 24P, 30P, 60P/i AND 25P/50p/i without converting and thus introducing motion judder.
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