Are you wondering if your TV can support a 120 Hz refresh rate, what are the requirements, and how can you check it?
TV refresh rate, TruMotion, variable refresh rate, and hardware requirements are all surrounded by many myths and different opinions.
In this guide, I have answered and explained the most common yet confusing questions you may have.
Just to give you an overview, by the end of this guide you will be able to know:
- Different ways to check the refresh rate of your TV
- Difference between refresh rate, TruMotion, and variable refresh rate (VRR)
- Are all OLED TVs have a 120Hz refresh rate
- Which HDMI version support which refresh rates, etc
So without further ado, let’s start with some basics.
What is 120 Hz?
In simple words, When your TV has a 120 Hz refresh rate, it means that the screen will be refreshed 120 times per second.
If you love sports, games, or action movies, a 120Hz TV is a must-have. The smooth motion makes you feel like you’re right there in the action. Plus, you won’t have to worry about motion blur.
So how do you check your TV’s refresh rate? Let’s take a look.
How Do You Check What Hz (Refresh Rate) Your TV Is?
The specifications and user manuals that come with every TV include information about the refresh rate and resolution it supports, but often we don’t keep them handy.
If you don’t have access to the specifications and user manual of your TV, you can still check if it supports 120 Hz refresh rates by going into the settings menu and looking for a “refresh rate” or “display frequency” setting that allows you to select between 60 Hz and 120 Hz.
You can also try connecting your TV to a device that is capable of outputting a 120 Hz signal and seeing if the TV is able to display it properly.
Finally, you can look for menu options or settings on your TV that allow you to adjust the refresh rate, if the 120 Hz option is available, your TV is 120 Hz compatible.
Nonetheless, if you’re not sure whether your TV supports 120 Hz or you just can’t get the specs of your TV on screen or you can’t find out using the above methods, there are a few ways to find out.
Method #1 (UFO Test)
A good way to make sure your TV supports 120 Hz is to connect a PC with a good graphics processor (GPU) and run the UFO test from the 120 Hz HDMI port.
It will provide you with information about display resolution, color depth, refresh rate, and more so that you can get a sense of how well your TV performs in relation to other displays on the market.
This is an excellent method for determining if your TV can support 120 Hz refresh rates without having to consult any product specifications or manual instructions.
Method #2 (Using PC/Laptop Via HDMI)
If you are not able to use the UFO method properly and still wish to be certain about your TV’s refresh rate, you can use a Laptop/PC to get the display information easily.
Here’s how to check the refresh rate of your TV using a PC or Laptop:
- Connect the TV to a PC or laptop via HDMI.
- On PC, Go to “Settings”, then select “System.”
- Select “Display Number 2,” which should be the TV, and choose “Advanced Display Settings.”
- Select “Display Adapter Properties for Display Number 2.”
- In the new window, select “Monitor,” and the maximum refresh rate will be displayed.
- Make sure the display resolution is set to “recommended” to ensure the maximum refresh rate.
Method #3 (Using Model Number On Panelook)
You can also find exact information (refresh rate, resolution, etc) about your TV display by using Panelook.com, which has a very large database that contains information about all TV displays around the world, and you just need the model number of your TV.
Here’s how to do it:
- Find the model number of the TV, which can usually be found on the TV itself or in the documentation that came with it.
- Go to Panelook.com and enter the model number.
- The website will display the technical specifications of the TV, including the refresh rate.
- If the TV is an OLED, the model number may be the panel model rather than the LCD module model.
Now coming to which TV brands do offer 120Hz refresh rate TVs, let’s see.
In addition to Samsung, LG, Vizio, Sony, Hisense, TCL, and Philips, most major TV manufacturers offer models that have 120 Hz displays.
Now, let’s come to the other main technologies of TV displays, which are TruMotion and the Variable Refresh Rate (VRR).
Does TruMotion 120 mean 120Hz Refresh Rate?
The TruMotion feature is used by many TV manufacturers to reduce motion blur by displaying the same frame multiple times in rapid succession, resulting in a smoother image.
It can improve picture quality when watching fast-moving images like sports, action movies, or while playing games.
Important: However, TruMotion does not actually change your TV’s refresh rate, instead, it changes the way frames are displayed on the screen in order to give the appearance of higher refresh rates
Now let’s look at the most interesting one out of all of them, Variable Refresh Rate.
What Is Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) On TVs?
Imagine you’re playing a fast-paced video game and the action on your screen is moving really quickly. If your TV’s refresh rate isn’t able to keep up with the game’s frame rate, you might see weird artifacts like screen tearing or stuttering.
It’s kind of like when you’re watching a movie and the sound and picture aren’t perfectly synced, it can be really annoying and distract you from the action.
That’s where VRR comes in! It’s a fancy way of saying that your TV can automatically adjust its refresh rate to match the frame rate of the content you’re watching. So if you’re playing a game that’s running at 120 frames per second (fps), your TV will adjust its refresh rate to 120 Hz to keep everything looking smooth and seamless.
So if you’re a gamer or just want to watch movies and TV shows without any weird visual hiccups, VRR is definitely something you’ll want to look for in a TV or monitor. Just keep in mind that you’ll need compatible hardware and software to take advantage of it.
|Refresh Rate||The number of times per second that the TV updates the image on the screen. A higher refresh rate can result in a smoother image.|
|TruMotion||A feature that improves the smoothness of fast-moving images and reduces motion blur on TVs. It is typically found on TVs with high refresh rates.|
|Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)||A technology that allows a TV to adjust its refresh rate to match the frame rate of the content being displayed, helping to reduce screen tearing and other visual artifacts.|
Does normal HDMI support 120Hz?
It depends because the maximum refresh rate that an HDMI connection can support depends on the version of HDMI being used and the capabilities of the devices being connected.
HDMI 1.4 and earlier versions support refresh rates up to 60Hz. HDMI 2.0 and later versions support refresh rates up to 120Hz.
The following table shows all HDMI versions and their respective HDR, refresh rate, and resolution compatibilities:
|HDMI Version||Highest Resolution||Refresh Rate||HDR Support|
|HDMI 1.0||480p||60 Hz||No|
|HDMI 1.1||1080i||60 Hz||No|
|HDMI 1.2||1080p||60 Hz||No|
|HDMI 1.3||1080p||60 Hz||No|
|HDMI 1.4||4K (3840×2160)||30 Hz||Yes|
|HDMI 2.0||4K (3840×2160)||60 Hz||Yes|
|HDMI 2.0a||4K (3840×2160)||60 Hz||Yes|
|HDMI 2.0b||4K (3840×2160)||60 Hz||Yes|
|HDMI 2.1||8K (7680×4320)||120 Hz||Yes|
Note: It’s important to note that even if a device has an HDMI 2.0 or later port, it may not be able to support a refresh rate of 120Hz due to other limitations, such as the graphics processor or display panel. In order to take advantage of a higher refresh rate, both the source device and the display must be capable of supporting it.