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TV - 4K w 60Hz Refresh Rate or 1080P w 120Hz?
Old 12-01-2014, 03:34 PM   #1
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TV - 4K w 60Hz Refresh Rate or 1080P w 120Hz?

Never ceases to amaze what I learn beyond retirement related topics here, so why not...

DW has decided we need a bigger TV. Went to buy an HDTV 1080p w 120Hz, and Best Buy was selling a UHDTV 4K w 60Hz for "only" $100 more (same brand, same size), so "we" opted for the latter. Won't receive it until next Mon. But I've been wondering if we made a good decision ever since.

We don't want to get hung up/choose based on specs, but we're struggling with which will simply give us a better viewing experience. From what I gather 4K (even upscaling 1080 content) is sharper with a 4K TV. But higher refresh rates smooth motion/reduce blur (even if the content is shot at lower than 60Hz within reason). So there's a tradeoff between the two options, clearer stills/more blurry motion vs the opposite.

We aren't gamers, but we do watch sports and movies some.

What say ye?
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:41 PM   #2
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The one you didn't choose.
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:50 PM   #3
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The one you didn't choose.
Not disagreeing, but care to elaborate a little?
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Old 12-01-2014, 03:59 PM   #4
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Not disagreeing, but care to elaborate a little?
If I do I'll only show how little I know about this stuff. But, you asked...

- upscaled programming never looks better

- lower def programming often looks worse when viewed on higher resolution screens

- your content choice favors sports (higher refresh rate) over very high definition (4K) programming.

Edit to add: if I were in the market for a large screen I'd go spend some time at AV Forum.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:44 PM   #5
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I don't understand your question, Midpack. A 4k TV will support 1080p at a few (higher) refresh rates. I.e., if you buy 4K TV, it will play 1080p (likely at higher frame rate) and can simulate 1080p contents in 4k.

I recently bought a curved 4k UHD TV. There is very little 4k content other than a few program from Neflix, and what's posted in YouTube. Some of the YouTube contents are good actually - I enjoy them once in a while. The picture quality on properly done 4K is simply jaw dropping (but you need to sit closer to the TV, otherwise, 1080p content looks just as good as 4k ones from a distance).

I am planning to buy a 4k camera/video camera (gopro hero 4 - $500, Panasonic Lumix fz1000 - $800) to display on my TV. I can take up to 20M (Panasonic can go up to 20MP) pixel photo and display it on 65" screen and ZOOM in for closer look without the photo image losing much detail. Or, I can provide my own 4k content, e.g, golf round taken with gopro. Either camera will support 1080p at higher frame rate, but 4k on much lower refresh rate.

Curved TV gives you better peripheral visual experience. We paid "mucho" more to get the curved 4k UHD and DW & I agree that the money was very well spent. But your mileage may vary based on what you enjoy on screen.
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TV - 4K w 60Hz Refresh Rate or 1080P w 120Hz?
Old 12-01-2014, 04:48 PM   #6
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TV - 4K w 60Hz Refresh Rate or 1080P w 120Hz?

I will preface my comments by saying I am not an "audiophile". I did some research 6 months ago when I wanted to buy a "cheap but good tv" for my living room as my then (2011)near top of the line 55 in Panasonic plasma was in my downstairs man cave. A lot of discussions I read was about the various refresh rates. I was almost convinced the 60Hz would be a total blur from some of the experts. Well the price was too great on the 47in LG 60hz so I ignored what I read and bought it. To my unsophisticated tv eye, but extremely sports intensive guy, I noticed NO difference between it and my plasma in relation to blur. By the way, I watch hockey every night and if anything is going to blur it will be a hockey puck. It did not blur and stayed up fine with it. Yes the plasma was a bit better in viewing experience because the colors came out starker, but not enough of a difference to motivate myself on a nightly basis to walk downstairs. Btw- I have already replaced the 60hz one with a 120hz. But not for that reason. I wanted a 65 in. tv. I still notice no difference in football or hockey between the refresh rates. I have reason to suspect that unless you are looking for a problem you will not find it. As far as whether buying a UD over regular HD is worth it, I cannot speculate.


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Old 12-01-2014, 04:59 PM   #7
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- lower def programming often looks worse when viewed on higher resolution screens
Isn't 4k exactly double 1080p in each dimension? if so, there shouldn't be any degradation caused by scaling algorithms.

That said unless one has access to 4k content I don't see the value of the extra resolution. However, many computers can drive 4k screens so it might be nice for that.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:01 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by robnplunder View Post
I don't understand your question, Midpack. A 4k TV will support 1080p at a few (higher) refresh rates. I.e., if you buy 4K TV, it will play 1080p (likely at higher frame rate) and can simulate 1080p contents in 4k.

I recently bought a curved 4k UHD TV. There is very little 4k content other than a few program from Neflix, and what's posted in YouTube. Some of the YouTube contents are good actually - I enjoy them once in a while. The picture quality on properly done 4K is simply jaw dropping (but you need to sit closer to the TV, otherwise, 1080p content looks just as good as 4k ones from a distance).

I am planning to buy a 4k camera/video camera (gopro hero 4 - $500, Panasonic Lumix fz1000 - $800) to display on my TV. I can take up to 20M (Panasonic can go up to 20MP) pixel photo and display it on 65" screen and ZOOM in for closer look without the photo image losing much detail. Or, I can provide my own 4k content, e.g, golf round taken with gopro. Either camera will support 1080p at higher frame rate, but 4k on much lower refresh rate.

Curved TV gives you better peripheral visual experience. We paid "mucho" more to get the curved 4k UHD and DW & I agree that the money was very well spent. But your mileage may vary based on what you enjoy on screen.


I saw the commercials on the curved TVs and wonder why someone would need that... I would think that to get any advantage you would have to sit very close.... my TV is maybe 6 or 8 feet from where I sit... I do not see any advantage of a curved screen at this distance.... I would prefer a much bigger screen.... Just saying....
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:03 PM   #9
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From what has been explained to me is that if the TV is bigger than 42inch you will want 120hz. 55 inch and would get 240hz.


In the end you get what you pay for. 4k is new technology and should be more expensive. 1080 and 120hz is older but proven. If they are the same price/size then the 4k tv is skimping on other parts .


How big is the screen is the main question, also the brand is very important.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:22 PM   #10
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We're looking at 55" TVs, sorry for omitting that.

While I realize there's very little actual 4K content, there is some via streaming. And I tend to keep TVs (anything I buy for that matter) for the long haul. I fully expect 4K content to become more and more available in the next few years, and I'd rather not buy a new TV again in a few years.

Again I get the impression that higher resolution (4K) looks better for still or slow moving images (even if only upscaled HD content), and that higher refresh rates (120Hz vs 60Hz) are better for fast moving images. However, our current TV is 60Hz and we've never noticed blurring while watching sports. And I see online forum reviews from sports watchers who say refresh rate is critical, while others seem perfectly fine with 60Hz (incl one above). I suspect we may be in the latter camp.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:25 PM   #11
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I'm in the process of making the same decision. I use consumerreports.org to help. For folks watching lots of sports, higher refresh rates are generally advocated but as pointed out above, some people may not notice much of a difference and sets with the same refresh rates may perform quite differently.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
We don't want to get hung up/choose based on specs, but we're struggling with which will simply give us a better viewing experience.
Were you able to view both of the TVs in a controlled viewing room? TVs are like monitors and the advertised specs don't often tell the whole story. I can buy a 27 inch lcd monitor from EIZO for $2k and yet a "similar" display from HP is only $300. Personally I find things like color rendition and black levels to be just as important as resolution.


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Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
I have already replaced the 60hz one with a 120hz. But not for that reason. I wanted a 65 in. tv. I still notice no difference in football or hockey between the refresh rates.
Do you know what is the frequency of the source signal you are viewing? If it's less than 60z that may explain why the 120hz doesn't seem any better.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:31 PM   #13
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I think you made the right choice. Every technology receives a saturation point. Cell phones are not going to get much better than we need them and neither are TV's. After we hit the saturation all we get is gimmicks, simply to sell more units.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:38 PM   #14
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It sounds like you have the right TV then. If the picture looks good to you and you're not notice any blurring then you're good to go. The nice thing about 4K is that if you are into displaying your own photographs and you have a DSLR then you can really show incredible detail on a 55 inch screen. If you haven't already, go to the store and look at the two TVs side-by-side, or as close as you can get them, and watch various programming. Look critically at live sports or fast-action nature shows and make the call. It's quite possible that you won't notice a big difference. At some point, the new features are more marketing than important.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
I saw the commercials on the curved TVs and wonder why someone would need that... I would think that to get any advantage you would have to sit very close.... my TV is maybe 6 or 8 feet from where I sit... I do not see any advantage of a curved screen at this distance.... I would prefer a much bigger screen.... Just saying....

We saw 65" regular and curved TV side by side from our viewing distance (6 - 10 feet). The curved TV "seems" to have a larger viewing area although their sizes were the same. It probably won't matter if you are watching TV from 15 feet away.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:50 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
Were you able to view both of the TVs in a controlled viewing room? TVs are like monitors and the advertised specs don't often tell the whole story. I can buy a 27 inch lcd monitor from EIZO for $2k and yet a "similar" display from HP is only $300. Personally I find things like color rendition and black levels to be just as important as resolution.




Do you know what is the frequency of the source signal you are viewing? If it's less than 60z that may explain why the 120hz doesn't seem any better.

There is also no appreciable difference with the 600hz plasma either. I have Direct Tv, but do not know the specs. I should mention that my comment is not in the negative. All Hz. I have had works fine with no blur on any of them. Can follow the slap shot off stick easily on all of them without any motion blur.


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Old 12-01-2014, 06:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
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Were you able to view both of the TVs in a controlled viewing room?
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Originally Posted by 6miths View Post
If you haven't already, go to the store and look at the two TVs side-by-side, or as close as you can get them, and watch various programming. Look critically at live sports or fast-action nature shows and make the call. It's quite possible that you won't notice a big difference.
I can't see the UHDTV, they are sold out across the country, at all retailers (Best Buy, HH Gregg, etc.). However I did see a more expensive 4K model (same brand) with the same resolution and refresh rate. If I pay close attention, I can see the 120Hz images seem a little smoother - but I doubt I'd have noticed at all on my own. BB says I can return it until Jan 15 even after using it, but I am sure we'll make up our minds within 24-48 hrs of taking delivery.

Sometimes being an ex-ingineer is probably a curse. I tend to research purchases thoroughly, maybe to a fault now that I'm retired.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:09 AM   #18
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Does the UHD TV have HDMI 2.0 connectors? HDMI 1.4 can only pump 4K at 24Hz or 30Hz. I got a cheap ($900) behemoth 65" 4K TV with HDMI 1.4 that I use for an absurdly large monitor. Stunning. Windows is fine at 30Hz, movies are fine at 24/30Hz. I'm even happy with gaming at 3840 x 2160 x 30Hz. If you're a 15 year old playing first person shooters you'll probably want to switch your graphics adaptor output to 1080p x 60Hz.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:27 AM   #19
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I don't know which UHDTV you purchased, but I have heard that some of these so-called 4K sets are not really true 4K units. Go to the AVS forum and you can get good advice from some pretty knowledgable folks.
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Old 12-02-2014, 12:31 PM   #20
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I don't know which UHDTV you purchased, but I have heard that some of these so-called 4K sets are not really true 4K units. Go to the AVS forum and you can get good advice from some pretty knowledgable folks.
We ordered a Samsung 55HU6830/6840. Every indication is it's a true 4K/UHD TV based on published resolution. They're sold out now, but the new "discount" price is $1300 (list $1400). I have not been able to confirm what version the HDMI ports are (2.0 or 1.4), but I found one reference suggesting they're 2.0.

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Best Buy has the Samsung UN55HU6830FXZA 55" 4K Ultra Smart LED HDTV for $900 with free shipping.

3840 x 2160p, 60Hz refresh (native), 240 CMR
Built-in Wi-Fi, edge-lit LED panel, 4 x HDMI, 3 x USB
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