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120Hz TV Only Showing 60Hz

As an owner of a 120Hz television that was only showing 60Hz content, I was beyond frustrated. No matter how many times I adjusted the settings to try and get the higher refresh rate, nothing worked. After doing some research, I discovered there are several possible causes and solutions that could solve this issue. In this blog post, I’m going to share the steps I took to solve this issue as well as other solutions I discovered.

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. 

TV settings need adjustmentGo to the settings and change the refresh rate to 120Hz.
Video source set to 60HzEnsure the video source supports a higher refresh rate, otherwise, it’s best to leave it at 60Hz to avoid the Soap Opera Effect.
TV is not a true 120HzCheck the specifications of your TV to ensure it is a true 120Hz device. If it mentions “action motion plus 120Hz” or similar, it might actually be a 60Hz TV that mimics a 120Hz refresh rate.
Content not designed for 120HzUnderstand that most movies are designed for lower refresh rates, so a 120Hz TV may not make a significant difference. However, some games and select movies with higher frame rates will benefit from a 120Hz refresh rate.

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.