60Hz vs 120Hz TVs: which refresh rate should you buy?

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While TVs aren’t nearly as quick as gaming monitors, the latest high-end TV models are starting to bridge the gap – now boasting 120Hz refresh rates, respectively. This is perfect timing considering the latest next-gen consoles (PS5 & Xbox Series X) can now support 4K gaming at 120 frames per second. But is that the only use for these speedy 120 Hz TVs?

Many people ask us whether or not they should choose 60Hz TVs or 120Hz TVs – and the answer simply isn’t as easy as one or the other. There are a number of different factors to take into consideration when deciding what refresh rate is right for your next TV and we’re here to shed a little light on the biggest factors.

What is Hertz (Hz) in a TV?

Before we start, let’s take a closer look a the technology behind these TVs.

Hz, or Hertz, refers to a TV’s refresh rate – the number of times a TV (or monitor) refreshes the image you’re seeing. All TVs and monitors refresh in order to continue displaying smooth video – done at such speed that the human eye doesn’t detect it. The Hertz part of a TV’s refresh rate simply refers to the number of times a TV refreshes per second – with higher refresh rates relating directly to smoother visuals.

For example, a 60Hz TV will refresh the image you’re seeing 60 times per second. That means a 120Hz TV will refresh at twice that speed, delivering 120 refreshes per second.

How do refresh rates affect your visual experience?

Refresh rates can affect your visual experience dramatically, with the fastest refresh rates offering up the best smoothness when it comes to gaming. That being said, don’t confuse refresh rates with frames per second (FPS) – as these are two relatively different specifications.

monitor refresh rate

FPS, or frames per second, is the number of frames your GPU produces when playing games. We class this as the source device. While FPS is completely different to refresh rates (Hz), they do have an intimate relationship when it comes to the smoothness of gameplay.

What makes a 60Hz TV different from a 120Hz TV?

Well, the most obvious difference is the increase in refresh rate – with the 120Hz TV offering up twice the refresh rate of the 60Hz.

As we’ve already explained, this results in a pretty obvious boost in visual smoothness as the 120Hz TV is delivering information at twice the speed. However, that isn’t the only difference you’ll find when comparing a 120Hz TV to a 60Hz.

LG C2 25

As 120Hz TVs are still relatively tailored towards gaming, they’ll often come equipped with a bunch of gamer-specific features – including VRR (variable refresh rates), ALLM (auto low latency mode), and a game-optimization menu.

60Hz vs 120Hz: which should you choose?

Choosing between a 60Hz TV and a 120Hz TV really comes down to your personal needs. If you’re a gamer, then the logical choice is probably going to be a 120Hz TV – even if you don’t currently own a next-gen console or high-end gaming PC. The reason why? Because you want to future-proof your setup.

Alternatively, if you’re more interested in watching movies, TV shows, and general entertainment, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a 60Hz TV. Granted, they won’t up quite the same motion handling as 120Hz TVs, but they’ll be able to provide a similarly stunning experience nonetheless.

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