The television refresh rate is one of the many Television specification confusing TV buyers today. If you shopped for a TV recently, you may have heard the refresh rate of 60Hz, 120Hz, or 240Hz.

What does refresh rate mean? Why refresh rate matter? How does refresh rate work? Which is the best refresh rate? All these questions are answered below.

What is Refresh Rate?

Refresh rate in television refers to the number of times the TV images are refreshed in every second. Still images must be refreshed to create a sense motion illusion.
In other words, the refresh rate is the number of images a TV display can show in every second.
Therefore, the more times the images are shown per second, the better the video clarity. Thus, the faster the refresh rate the better the video watching experience.

How is Refresh Rate Measured?

Refresh rate is measured in Herts abbreviated as Hz. Hearts in physics simply means the number of cycles per second. Therefore, the refresh rate is expressed as the number of image refresh per second.

Video Frame Rates and Refresh Rates in Analog TVs

It is worth noting there exists a difference between refresh rate and frame rate. Frame rate is the traditional video technology using analog camera devices.

Recall that Analog devices created a video by taking many still images displayed repeatedly within the shortest time possible to create a sense of motion. Those still images are referred to as video frames.

The number of frames depended on the frequency of the electricity. Therefore, the frame rate differed from one part of the world to another.

To be precise, the rates were 25 frames per second in Europe and 30 frames per second for North America. However, these are very low rates and videos will be slow.

To solve this manufactures divided each frame into two fields based on odd and even lines on the screen. Such doubled frame rates to 50 frames/second and 60 frames/second.

Old and even lines led to two types of screen refreshing namely interlacing (i) and progressive (p). Interlacing involves refreshing even line first then odd lines. Progressive refreshing involves refreshing line by line without skipping any line.

Traditionally, the TV refresh rate was designed to match the video transmission frequency. Thus, American TVs had a refresh rate of 60Hz while those in Europe had a refresh rate of 50Hz. American TVs, therefore, had better video experience.

Refresh Rate in Modern Flat TVs

Modern TVs defy analog refresh rates beyond 50Hz. You will never see any flat TV with 50Hz. The lowest refresh rate you will find is 60Hz.

Other rates available are 120Hz, 240Hz, and 480 Hz. Most TV in the market today have either 60Hz or 120Hz. The 240 Hz refresh rate is rare.

60Hz vs 120 Hz TVs

Which is TV is better than 60Hz or 120Hz? Theoretically, its obvious 120Hz is better though other factors might influence this theoretical fact.

So, should I choose 60Hz or120Hz? It depends. Most TVs nowadays come with 120Hz. You’ve limited choice as a result. But if your old TV is 60Hz, it is not a good idea to buy 120Hz TV. Below is why.

Beware in mind that 120Hz TVs run 60 frames per second (FPS) then reproduce the other 60Hz to attain 120Hz. They do so either through Black Frame Insertion (BFI) and Motion Smoothing technology.

What does the above mean? The pictures would be no better when you 30FPs or 60PFS watch TV programs on a 120Hz TV.


There is no need to buy a smart TV in 2020 merely based on 120Hz. There may no much difference with the 60Hz.

Unless you just prefer 120Hz, there is no need to chuck out additional bucks just because of 120Hz. If you watch sports online or you are a frequent gaming guy, you may consider 120Hz.

120 Hz and beyond will be a choice of future. And that future is not any time soon. But if you have enough chums, you can buy one to be ready for the future.
You have the knowledge now. So is up to you to decide.