60Hz vs 120Hz For TVs – Is It Worth The Upgrade?

Published: Last Updated on
60Hz vs 120Hz For TVs – Is It Worth The Upgrade

When it comes to choosing a TV, one important factor to consider is the refresh rate. This is measured in Hertz (Hz) and refers to the number of times per second that the screen is refreshed. The two most common refresh rates for TVs are 60Hz and 120Hz, and you may be wondering whether it’s worth upgrading to the higher refresh rate.

A refresh rate of 60Hz means that the TV screen is refreshed 60 times per second, while a refresh rate of 120Hz means that the screen is refreshed 120 times per second. The higher refresh rate can result in smoother and more fluid motion, particularly for fast-moving images like sports or action movies.

However, whether or not it’s worth upgrading to 120Hz depends on your individual needs and preferences. For some people, the difference in motion may not be noticeable enough to justify the additional cost of a 120Hz TV. Additionally, many TV shows and movies are filmed at 24 frames per second, so a 60Hz TV can already display these at their native frame rate without issue.

On the other hand, if you’re a gamer or watch a lot of fast-paced content, a 120Hz TV may be worth the investment for the improved motion and reduced motion blur. It’s also worth noting that many 120Hz TVs include additional features like variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM) that can enhance the gaming experience even further.

Ultimately, whether or not to upgrade to a 120Hz TV is a personal decision based on your viewing habits and preferences. If you’re unsure, it may be helpful to visit a store and compare the two refresh rates side by side to see if the difference is noticeable to you.

Related: Cheapest 120HZ 4K TV – 6 Models From 43″ to 75″

Understanding The Refresh Rate

understanding the refresh rate

These numbers (60Hz and 120Hz) refer to the display’s refresh rate or how many times the pictures change. The higher the number, the faster the HDTV, and the more frames get displayed every second. Again, it sounds good to have a higher number, but it does not automatically mean better.

While your TV can display so many frames per second, the TV show and movie you are watching might not have as many frames per second. Most source footage is not more than 60Hz, even Blu-ray (a 1080p picture at 60Hz). This translates to 60 interlaced and 30 progressive frames with a 1920-by-1080 resolution for every second of video.

On the other hand, movies that were recorded on films have only 24 frames per second. Through a process of 2:3 pulldown, it is converted to 30 frames by spreading the source frames. To match the 60Hz refresh rate of TVs, the 30 frames go through a process of interlacing (wherein they are combined and shuffled) to increase to 60 “frames” per second. When you have a 1080p60 TV set, the frames are reduced to 60 full frames, wherein any interlacing step is skipped.

what happens with higher refresh rate

Pulling down frames and interlacing has been used for a very long time because TVs have always been displaying 29.97 frames per second while functioning at 60Hz. It was also not a big deal because it added nothing to the picture.

The high-end standard is 1080p60, with most movies and shows keeping this frame rate and resolution. Interestingly, even Blu-ray movies have turned the frame rate down to 24 frames per second, making the footage closer to film.

What Happens When You Get A Higher Refresh Rate?

Now that you understand what the refresh rate stands for and what the film and TV industry standards are like, you know that most content has been designed for 60Hz TVs. What happens if you opt for a TV with a higher refresh rate?

The TV has to use “tricks” to produce this higher frame rate. It does so by interpolating new frames generated from the best “middle” frames to fill in the gaps. Specifically, the existing frames are combined and processed to generate images that can be added to the original 60 (or 24 frames from the film). These frames are not genuine because they were filmed and, instead, are generated by your HDTV set.

Is Worth It To Get A TV With a 120 Hz Refresh Rate?

worth getting a 120Hz tv?

Some TV models now boast a 120Hz refresh rate while some high-end ones have even higher (240Hz or 600Hz for plasma TVs). They all, however, add frames to supplement the original 60Hz or 24Hz. For the viewer, this can lead to a surreal effect and the so-called “soap opera effect.”

The additional frames and the unnaturally smoother animation are simply different from what you may be used to. The footage looks much faster, and certain scenes can be confusing and unsettling. If you are watching films where there is a lot of dialogue and interaction, it can lead to an unpleasant viewing experience. However, if you are watching sports or playing video games, additional frames reduce blur and stuttering, and you can view the action more clearly.

Related: Best 120HZ TV for Gaming – 5 Models From Budget to Premium

Thus, there is some benefit to investing in a TV with a higher refresh rate. If you are a sports fan or love those fast-paced action movies, you will find the enhanced detail better.

Another benefit is that these high-end TV models allow you to switch off the higher refresh rate and view at the default 60Hz or 24Hz. All you need to know is when to do it. Generally, you should disable this feature if you are watching shows or films where the actors’ faces are shown while they are talking. Otherwise, they may appear creepy due to the soap opera effect. Comedies and dramas do not benefit from the refresh rate, so switch them when watching these kinds of films and shows.

The same should be done when watching ordinary everyday content without any action. You tend to benefit from the feature when watching sports (you see more detail) or if you love playing games.

Gamers Will Love 120Hz

gamers will love 120Hz

In the past, HDTVs fell victim to motion blur, specifically when there were swift movements. This is because of ghosting, which refers to an afterimage left after the image changes. The newest LCD TV models have successfully eliminated this.

Still, tearing (an effect of some of the images hanging behind the others) or choppiness can be experienced at times. It becomes more apparent when playing or watching fast-paced sports games, including any content where the camera has to pan horizontally quickly. If you have a TV with a 120Hz refresh rate or higher, then you will see a significant reduction in these effects.


Are you considering upgrading your TV and splurging on a higher refresh rate? If you are a sports or action fan and love playing games on your HDTV, then every dollar you spend on it is worthwhile. Bear in mind if you watch it through the traditional terrestrial network, you might need an outdoor HDTV antenna too. But even if you only occasionally watch fast-paced movies or shows, the investment might still make sense, so long as you master setting the appropriate refresh rate based on what you are watching. You will have the best of both worlds and enjoy the best viewing experience at all times.

Sharing is caring!

You may also like