The refresh rate of your TV affects your viewing experience because it affects how the motion will appear on your screen. In fast-paced sequences, a higher refresh rate will make a big difference, but other than that, it might not be that noticeable.
If you ask yourself: why is my 120Hz TV only showing 60Hz, the answer could be quite simple. Your TV might have an action motion plus 120Hz, which is not a true 120Hz refresh rate. There might also be a problem with a setting that you can easily adjust. Finally, your TV might be showing 60Hz because this is compatible with the frames per second of the video source.
Understanding the different refresh rates and how they affect your TV experience will help you make the best of it. Keep reading to learn more about it.
120Hz TV Only Showing 60Hz: Reasons and Solutions
The speed of the TV affects the viewing experience in fast-paced games, sports events, and movie sequences. A higher refresh rate makes the motion appear smoother on the screen because the screen refreshes at a higher rate.
This is why action movie and gaming enthusiasts invest in expensive TVs with higher refresh rates. However, when a 120Hz TV shows 60Hz, it can be quite disappointing. This could happen for several reasons, and you can fix it accordingly.
You Need to Adjust Your TV
The 60Hz refresh rate might be the default setting of your TV. In this case, you need to go to the settings and change the rate to 120Hz. This way, when you watch content that supports this high refresh rate, you’ll be able to see smoother sequences, and the motion will appear more natural.
In most cases, people won’t be able to detect these minor differences, especially when they’re watching movies. However, they can be more obvious in games.
Your Video Source is Set to Refresh at 60Hz
We said that a higher refresh rate would be better, but this is not always true. It’s only true if the game or movie you’re watching is designed to operate at this higher refresh rate. So, at a 120Hz rate, the images and frames will look more vivid and natural.
However, pumping up the content beyond what it was created for pushes your TV to create extra frames to compensate for the missing ones. As a result, the images will appear too fluid and washed out, which is what we call the Soap Opera Effect. It’s not what the creators of the movie or the game designed it to look like, and the visual quality will be compromised.
You Don’t Really Have a 120Hz TV.
Most people make the mistake of missing the fine print that can make all the difference. For example, some TVs are sold with a feature that mentions that they can deliver action motion plus 120Hz. This means that you actually have a 60Hz, which mimics a 120Hz TV.
The TV doubles the refresh rate, so action scenes or fast-paced sequences will appear smoother and more natural. However, this is not what a real 120Hz refresh rate will look like.
Is a Higher Refresh Rate Always Better?
In general, most movies are designed to be displayed at 24fps. This means that a 120Hz TV won’t be able to display these movies the way their creators intended. The TV will render some frames twice and others three times to compensate for the extra frames. As a result, the images and colors can look quite different from what they’re supposed to.
However, if you’re setting your TV to 60Hz, this will be an improvement from the 24Hz. Some frames will be rendered twice, but they won’t be that washed out. In addition, the background and the camera panning motion will appear smoother and more natural.
On the other hand, more PS and Xbox games are currently designed to be refreshed at a higher rate. These games need a 120Hz TV to be able to keep up with the detailed images.
Some movies like the Hobbits, which has a 48fps, and the Gemini Man, which has 120fps frames per second, will appear better on a 120Hz TV. However, since most movies don’t support these high frames per second rates, you won’t actually notice a big difference.
A 120Hz TV will only show 60Hz if it’s not adjusted, and the 60Hz is the default setting. This can also happen if the video source is set to a lower refresh rate or the TV isn’t a 120Hz device in the first place.
Picking a higher refresh rate for your TV isn’t always a good idea because if you’re showing 24fps content, it will look too washed out and artificial. However, a 120Hz TV will be much better if you’re watching a fast-paced action or playing a fast-sequence in a video game, as the motion will be more natural.