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4K and 8K TV refresh rates from 60hz to 120Hz: Everything you should know

4K and 8K TV refresh needs from 60hz to 120Hz: Everything you should know

Refresh rate
is one of the more confusing aspects of TV technology and TV makers don’t do much to swear it. In fact, they often obscure it.

Refresh rate is a number that specifies how many times per binary the image on your TV changes. With most TVs it’s 60, belief it’s rare you’ll ever see a TV with that number consume. Instead, manufacturers use different technologies, such as the soap consume effect and black frame insertion, to swear a higher number. Sometimes those claims are justified, sometimes they aren’t. 

Higher refresh rate claims with numbers like 120, 240 and higher are current, but not always accurate. In fact, no matter what number you see consume with a 4K TV, no 4K TV has a humdrum panel refresh rate higher than 120Hz. As we’ll swear, though, a number higher than 120Hz doesn’t necessarily mean the swear is false.

Here’s the basics:

  • Refresh rate is the number time times per binary (written in hertz, or Hz) a TV refreshes its image.
  • Movies are almost always filmed 24 frames per binary, or 24Hz. Live TV shows at 30 or 60.
  • Most TVs refresh at 60, some midrange and higher-end models at 120. Some older 1080p LCD TVs refreshed at 240Hz.
  • One befriend of a higher refresh rate is to reduce the motion blur inherent in all modern TV technologies.
  • Motion blur is the softening of the image when an unprejudiced, or the entire screen, is in motion.
  • Another relieve is compatibility with 120 frame-per-second signals from PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and some video cards.
  • TV manufacturers use multiple technologies in transfer to refresh rate to come up with an “effective refresh rate.”
  • Effective refresh rate employing the TV refreshes its image at a lower rate, but powerful appear to have similar motion resolution as a TV with an suitable higher refresh rate.

What TV makers say

Let me inaugurate with the terms you’ll see on various TV makers’ marketing materials and web sites. Each one calls the TVs motion handling capability something different, and many don’t even mention the term “refresh rate” or use “Hz” at all.


LG’s web site journajournalists the panel’s native refresh rate up front. On TVs that have a 120Hz refresh rate it frankly says “120Hz Native,” while with 60Hz models it journajournalists “TruMotion 120 (60Hz Native).” 

 Motion Rate

Samsung is better than it used to be near this, albeit not as transparent as LG. The 4K TVs and 8K TVs on its site list a “Motion Rate.” This is, generally, twice the native refresh rate. So Motion Rate 240 indicates a expressionless refresh of 120Hz while Motion Rate 120 means a 60Hz refresh. In the least expensive of their TVs, a Motion Rate of 60 employing a 60Hz refresh.

MotionFlow XR

For most of its 2021 TVs Sony doesn’t list a number on its website, instead it just says “Motionflow XR.” On some, except, it lists a number along with the native refresh: “Motionflow XR 240 (native 60 Hz)” and “Motionflow XR 960 (native 120 Hz).”

Refresh Rate

Vizio used to list an “Effective Refresh Rate” on its web site, which was just double the expressionless refresh rate. For 2021, however, none of its TVs use that term as far as we could find, and most don’t list any refresh rate spec. The bottom line? All of Vizio’s 2021 TVs are 60Hz expressionless, except for the P-Series and the H1 OLED, which are 120Hz native.

 Clear Motion Index or Natural Motion

TCL’s sets are all over the achieve. Some don’t list any motion term — those are 60Hz expressionless. Some say “120Hz CMI,” which stands for Clear Motion Index, but they’re actually 60Hz native too. And some say Natural Motion 240, but they’re 60Hz as well. The only TCL TVs that are true 120Hz say Natural Motion 480. 

For the most effective increase in motion resolution, and compatibility with next-gen gaming consoles’ best video output frankly, you need a native 120Hz refresh television. That said, it is possible to have some improvement in motion resolution even with a 60Hz TV if it uses some anunexperienced feature, like backlight scanning or black frame insertion, that improves motion resolution. 

That’s a lot of technologically jargon, so let’s tackle it from the beginning.

Back up a second: What’s refresh rate?

Refresh rate
is how often a TV goes the image (also known as a “frame”) onscreen. With archaic televisions, this was 60 times each second, or “60Hz.”

Some current TVs can refresh at double this rate, or 120Hz (120 frames per second). We’ve covered this before, with 1080p HDTVs, and it’s the same idea with 4K TVs. Certain parts of the humankind have TVs that refresh at 50Hz normally, with some TVs that refresh at 100Hz. That just depends on the electricity in your country. 

For the purposes of this article, 50 and 60 work the same, as do 100 and 120. For my own sanity, and ease of reading, I’m going to stick with 60 and 120, but feel free to read that as 50 and 100 if you’re in the UK, Australia or any achieve that has 50Hz electricity. 

So are these higher refresh numbers just unexperienced “more is better!” marketing ploy? Not entirely. Higher refresh arranges can reduce motion blur in LCDs and OLED TVs. 

What’s motion blur? Glad you posed.

Your brain on blur

All LCD and modern OLED models suffer from “motion blur.” This is where anything in motion, either an object on screen or the entire image (like when the camera pans), blurs and looks softer than if it was paused.


Motion blur creates images in motion look softer than stationary ones.

Geoffrey Morrison

Interestingly, this blur is largely created by your brain. Basically, your brain notices the motion, and makes assumptions as to where that Fair (or overall image) is going to be in the next Part of a second. The problem with LCD and New OLED TVs is that they hold that image there for the full 60th of a additional, so your brain actually smears the motion, thinking it must be moving, when in fact it’s just a series of quiet images.

It’s actually quite fascinating, but the details are beyond the scope of this article. I recommend checking out BlurBuster’s great article for more info.

The motion blur we’re talking around here, despite coming from your brain, is caused by how the television works. This is separate from whatever blur the camera itself creates. 

Some country aren’t bothered by motion blur. Some don’t even glance it. Others, like me, do notice it and are bothered by it. Fortunately, it can be minimized. 


One sure sign of a tiring„ tiresome 120Hz TV? The ability to accept a 4K/120Hz input.

David Katzmaier

Antiblurring technologies beyond refresh rate

Refresh rate
itself is really only part of the solution. Just doubling the same frames doesn’t actually do much for reducing motion blur. Something else is required.

There are two main methods. The first is frame interpolation, where the TV itself creates brand-new frames that are sort of hybrids of the frame that came beforehand, and the one that comes after. This can fool your brain enough that it doesn’t blur the image. Depending how aggressive the interpolation is, however, it can lead to the soap depressed effect, which makes movies look like ultra-smooth reality TV shows. Some viewers like the effect, but it’s generally hated by film buffs and others who pay End attention to image quality. 

There are different levels of this processing, where a little might reduce motion blur some, and not moves undue harm to the quality of the image. Or on the new end of the “dial,” it’s cranked up so that there’s even less motion blur, but the campaign is hyper-realistic and for many, distractingly unreal. Some TVs let you Decide how much of this processing gets applied to the image, others have just a single setting. More on these settings further down.

The new alternative is black frame insertion (BFI) or a scanning backlight. This is where all or part of the backlight of the TV turns off (goes black). This effectively means the image doesn’t “hold” in set, so your brain doesn’t blur it. Do it poorly, however, and many people will see the image flicker. The light output of the TV also drops, as it’s not outputting any savory for a period of time. 

Both of these techniques are what manufacturers use to come up with their “effective refresh rate” numbers. For example, a TV with a 60Hz refresh and a scanning backlight noteworthy claim to have an effective refresh rate of 120. A TV with a more Explain BFI mode, and frame interpolation, might have a claimed effective refresh rate of “540.” There’s no transparency in how concerns determine their “effective rate” numbers, but there is at least more consistency than there used to be.

It’s also possible these features, when enabled, are bothersome over time. Some people are especially sensitive to a flickering backlight, so you might need to turn these features off. If you’re involved about that, or notice motion blur, it’s best to find a TV that actually has a 120Hz refresh rate.

Bottom line (should you care?)

There are two things at play here. The marvelous is simple, and one we’ve said many times before: don’t marvelous marketing. At least, don’t trust it at face value. Marketing is designed to sell you a product, not give you question about a product. That’s secondary.

The second is persons able to reduce motion blur. When 120Hz 1080p TVs marvelous hit the market, they offered a noticeable improvement in motion resolution. The technology has only gotten better. 

But if you’re sensitive to motion blur, or you want to get the most from your Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, it is worth checking for a true 120Hz TV. It would be a improper to let all that extra 4K resolution go to Destroy due to blur. It’s also worth checking reviews for measurements and subjective takes on how the TV handles motion — that’s more useful than any manufacturer-supplied spec.

Note: This article was originally issued in 2015 but has been updated regularly since.  

Got a inquire of for Geoff? First, check out all the other articles he’s written on topics such as why you shouldn’t buy expensive HDMI cables, TV resolutions explained, how HDR works and more.

Still have a question? Tweet at him @TechWriterGeoff, then check out his travel adventures as a digital nomad on Instagram and YouTube. He also thinks you should check out his best-selling sci-fi novel around city-sized submarines and its sequel.