Selasa, 28 Agustus 2012

A screen's refresh or frame rate is referred to as the speed at which it switches images one after the other. Anything recorded on visual data is actually divided into pieces of images that are chronologically pieced and timed together to give the illusion of motion. A simple way to prove this fact is by looking at old film reels.

Most screens refresh at around 30Hz (or 30fps if it's a video media), which means that the screen flashes 30 still images in one second. The generic standard of most HDTV's is set at around 60Hz, but many more advanced models are capable of pushing this rates to 120Hz, 240Hz and even 600Hz.

Why care about the refresh rate?

Why is it important for some people to have higher screen refresh rates? The answer lies in image fluidity. The increase in flashed images when refresh rates go up usually results in increasing the detail and sophistication of any kind of movement, thus making it look a lot more fluid. This provides added depth to anything that you are watching on your HDTV. Not only would you be able to see everything in clear detail, as you will also see each micrometer of movement in any direction very clearly. Also, another good benefit of higher screen refresh rates that is connected to increased movement fluidity is the apparent elimination of screen lag.

And now for a simple comparative analysis about some of these refresh rates:

120Hz versus 240Hz - 120Hz is probably considered as the most standard of all of the higher refresh rates, because it does not veer too much from the HD standard 60Hz (although it is still double the amount). 240Hz on the other hand, may be a little bit too much for the average viewer although it is undeniable that those kinds of refresh rates would still create superbly fluid images. When it comes to choosing which is better between the two though, practically we would have to say 120Hz.

Higher refresh rates usually only interpolates video data in order to produce additional frames. What are you going to do if you need to pull a 1080p MP4 file that is only set at 60Hz? The image on the HDTV would probably produce a more fluid quality as it attempts to transform it to 240Hz, but it would be too unnatural for you to watch properly.

240Hz versus 600Hz - if 240Hz worsens the problem of overflowing image fluidity, how about trying to crank up the refresh rate 10 times than that of the standard one? 600Hz HDTV's aren't exactly that bad, I mean, they are always marketed as the best kind of HDTV that can produce the "most fluid image that you have ever experienced", but then again, the issue lies with practicality. 600Hz might totally eliminate any sign or trail of motion blur in the video, but it would drastically alter its image quality. Depending on the one observing the change, the sheer unnaturalness of image could be quite annoying.

In fact, there are a substantial number of people that quickly became unsatisfied with higher refresh rates. They named the unnecessary motion fluidity given by these HDTV's the "Soap Opera effect". Anything that has their refresh rates drastically altered would seem to look like it was filmed using cheap and economic studio cameras. And that is only when they started watching everything in 60Hz (yes 60, not yet 600).

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