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TV Shopping: What Does Hz Mean?

Q. I’m shopping for a new TV but I am very confused about the Hz rating on some sets. I see 60Hz, 120Hz and even 240Hz. What does it mean? Do you really get a better picture if the Hz number is higher? — Harry, Culver City, California. 

The Hz number refers to the Hertz level of the set. And what that means in laymen’s terms is the Hz number tells you how quickly the set ‘refreshes’ the picture.

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That’s an important feature when reducing the amount of motion blur during fast-moving scenes, particularly when displayed on LCD and LED sets. (Think sports.) In theory, if your set ‘refreshes’ more often, it will keep your picture more stable and less likely to show any blur.

However, before you assume that a higher number guarantees a better picture — and therefore, a higher price for the set — some display experts differ on the importance of the Hz level. While most agree that a 60Hz set can have blur issues and that a 120Hz set will look significantly better, some believe that the jump to 240Hz will have a smaller impact. Better, yes, but not dramatic.

So when shopping for a new set, keep the Hz level in mind, but don’t buy a set just because one has a higher number than another.

Harry, hope that helps. Happy Viewing!

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Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at swann@tvpredictions.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.

— Phillip Swann

Photo credit: Free photo from Pexels.com.

About TV Answer Man (1503 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

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