Difference between 50Hz and 60Hz setting on Apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by betman, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. betman macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2013
    What exactly changes when selecting either of these options on a modern tv set that works fine on both settings? I tried both and couldn't tell the difference.

    Are there any films/sources that are better viewed in one over the other?
  2. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Your TV can be 50 Hz or 60Hz, that is 50 or 60 frames per second. It's possible that it can work both as a 50Hz and a 60Hz TV. It is possible (even likely) that it will convert the wrong input to what it can display, by adding extra frames or removing unused frames. That will reduce the quality because for example displaying 50Hz input on a 60Hz TV means every fifth frame is displayed twice.

    Your video material is whatever framerate it is. You can't change it. Your Apple TV will convert it if necessary to the framerate that you said your TV is - either 50 or 60 Hz. Video material at 30 or 60 frames per second can be nicely converted to 60. Video material at 25 or 50 frames per second can be nicely converted to 50.

    You will get the best possible results except in one case: If your video material matches well with the TV (for example 30 fps video, 60 fps TV) and you set your Apple TV to 50 fps, then first the 30fps video is converted to 50fps which isn't good, and then the 50fps is converted to 60fps, which isn't good either.

    If your video material doesn't match the TV (30 or 60fps video, 50fps TV) then it doesn't matter much how you set the Apple TV and it won't make any difference, because either the Apple TV or your TV has to make a conversion. Your setting only affects which one makes the conversion, the results should be indistinguishable.

    In any case, you'd have to look hard to see a difference. Still best to find out what your TV actually supports and set the Apple TV to that. Typically European DVDs and TVs will be 25/50 Hz, US DVDs/TVs will be 30/60Hz.
  3. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
  4. betman thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2013
    Thanks guys.

    The reason I'm asking is that it's quite annoying to have to change the setting myself depending on which film/show I decide to stream either via Netflix or iTunes.

    I think the best & easiest example out there, simply because the first 5 seconds are this massive panning shot that either goes smoothly or shows enormous judder, is to play the first episode of the series 'Happy Valley'.

    Even though I am subscribing to the US version of Netflix, the judder in those opening 5 seconds is just enormous when the Apple TV is set to 60Hz. Switch to 50Hz, try again, and it's almost as smooth as silk.

    It's just annoying that even with Netflix I have to adjust Apple TV settings just to watch something normally...
  5. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    I've never had to adjust it from auto (60Hz here in North America). No judder or anything else when regardless of the source.
  6. betman thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2013
    Just play the first 5 secs of the very first episode of 'Hidden Valley' on Netflix. The opening shot is a panning shot with terrible judder on 60Hz...

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