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Can anyone explain to me why (at present day) the refresh rate of most LED LCD TVs is 60Hz? Is there a physical limitation to the technology of LED TVs that make it much more expensive to implement a faster refresh rate? Additionally, what is a "native" refresh rate, vs. a "simulated" refresh rate (eg. Vizio's Clear Action, Samsung's Clear Motion, Sony's Motion flow, etc...) in terms of the physical processes causing the real or simulated refresh rates? Is a simulated refresh rate even noticeable compared to a TVs native rate?

I used to own a Panasonic Plasma that was natively 600Hz. It was great for gaming and watching sports. Now that plasma's have unfortunately gone by the wayside and I have to get a new TV, I'm struggling to find reasonable deals on high native refresh rate LED TVs, which is why I was hoping to get a better intuition on what the real world differences are between native rates and simulated rates.

This webpage goes into a little detail on comparing native and simulated refresh rates for different brands, but ultimately falls short of describing the inherent differences of the native and simulate rates.

I want to emphasize that I am interested in better understanding the technology differences between LED TVs and Plasma TVs that result in limitations on their refresh rates, and understanding the technology that is supposedly simulating non-native refresh rates. Nonetheless, if this is still not the right community to be posting this question, please let me know and I will move it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I see LCD TVs advertised as having a native refresh rate of 120 Hz and 240 Hz all the time. \$\endgroup\$ – Dwayne Reid Feb 20 '15 at 21:28
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NTSC television refreshes at approximately 60 half-frames (i.e. it uses interlaced video) per second. Using the same rate (or a multiple thereof) for LCD TVs simplifies the electronics since it can just toss the whole frame onto the screen at the right time and then move on to dealing with the next frame.

Higher refresh rates can work one of two ways:

  1. Duplicating a frame for the full duration that it should be shown, such as having a 240Hz display show a frame 4 times when working with a 60fps source.

  2. Performing image analysis to tween from one frame to the next, i.e. analyzing two source frames in order to interpolate motion for the additional frames created in between due to the higher refresh rate of the TV

The former method uses the source's native rate, whereas the second simulates the higher rate of the TV through digital trickery.

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