I need help deciding screen size vs 120Hz.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by K3mp, Jun 2, 2009.

  1. K3mp macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2008
    S.E. Louisiana
    I'm buying a new TV for my room. I am going to use it mostly for my Xbox 360 and TV. I am also going to plug my computer into it and use front row and plex. The models I am choosing between are the 37 inch Samsung and the 32 inch 120Hz Sony. I also plan on picking up a PS3 as a Blu-Ray player and play some PS3 exclusives such as motor storm. Thanks for any input.
  2. Chase R macrumors 65816

    Chase R

    May 8, 2008
    Do you want smoother video playback or a bigger picture?

    Not to come off as lazy, but Google would give you much more info on 120Hz TVs than you will here.

    Good luck with your purchase.
  3. lostime macrumors regular

    May 19, 2009
    personally I don't like the 120hz feature on my Samsung 46" A650. The faster refresh just looks un-natural, it distracts from the scene so much that I keep it turned off.

    120hz seems like a great thing but everyone I know that has it keeps it turned off. Do yourself a favor and go to a best buy or frys and have them activate the 120hz on one tv and turn it off on the other and you'll see what I mean.

    I'd go with screen size.
  4. drlunanerd macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2004
    With all these TVs it's the SOURCE material that matters the most.

    In the UK we have awful quality terrestrial digital TV called Freeview. People spend loads on top LCD and Plasma TVs then most of the time are watching horribly pixellated artefact-laden video on them. Completely pointless.
  5. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    Actually, the 120 Hz refresh rate is a good thing. It's also not something you can turn on and off. The feature that a lot of people don't like on their 120 Hz LCD TVs is the motion processing, which uses the higher refresh rate to allow frame interpolation and insertion. It can smooth motion out, but there are artifacts from it, one of which is to make film look like video (often referred to as the "soap opera effect").

    With some (though, unfortunately, not all) 120 Hz TVs, if you turn off the motion processing effect, the TV can do 5:5 pulldown, resulting in much improved 24 Hz playback. So, when you watch a movie that was filmed at 24 Hz, you won't get the 3:2 judder.

    Your best bet for researching home theater technology is AVS Forums. Just be warned that there is a lot of information and you'll have to learn to take a lot of what they have to say with a grain of salt.
  6. mastershakess macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2008
    Bel Air, MD
    The real question is how big is your room and how far away from the TV will you be sitting/sleeping?

    37" might be too big if you have a smaller room or your planning to sit close to the TV.
  7. K3mp thread starter macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2008
    S.E. Louisiana
    I already googled it before the post. The info I found where people either hated or loved it. I just wanted to get some opinions from people on here because most of them know what they are talking about. I'm not going to be sitting very far away from my tv about 90% when I am watching it. Now I am considering the 32" Samsung 120Hz and the 32" Samsung non 120Hz.
  8. lostime macrumors regular

    May 19, 2009
    I have never heard it called that but it's the perfect way to describe it.
  9. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Yeah don't get motion processing and 120hz confused. You only need 120hz if you plan to hand the display a 24p signal. Motion processing is a whole different thing, related to reducing sample and hold blur that is an inherent flaw in LCD.
  10. Bye Bye Baby macrumors 65816

    Bye Bye Baby

    Sep 15, 2004
    i(am in the)cloud
    I hear you.

    Motion flow is very good and can make a difference in high action scenes. Some people say that the smoothing gives an unnatural feel to the sequence.

    I actually prefer it. Particualry in the Sony.

    I have one of the new XBR with the LED backlight and motion flow. An excellent picture.

    However, IMHO you only get the best out of it with 1080P and at least a 40 inch screen. People may diasgree, but I spent a month looking into it and comparing the TVs that interested me. I also took my own media to try them out. Don't use cartoons to try them out.

    Other things that are important are contrast ratios and black levels. That actually does more to the quality to a picture than most of the stuff they adevertise.

    I use the Bravia with a mini, ATV and a PS3. Couldn't be happier.

    Go into a store and try them out to your heart's content. And don't be embarassed about asking questions until you find the answer that satisfies you.
  11. ccl1590888 macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2008
    here is my opnion and i actually work home theater at best buy. my opnion is with 32 inch televisions that are 120hz and 1080p are a waste of money. they are to small to notice a really big diffrence. you can a little but only on blue ray. but not worth all the extra money. go for a bigger tv with 1080 bc then you will notice a diffrence. now some people love the 120hz and some hate it. it essentially gives you a soap opera effect and adds depth. i love it because it makes it seem real with depth. 120hz tho is made for BLURAY ONLY. turn it off when watching tv. its made for the 24 frames per second feature which bluray offers. nothing outputs at 120 hz as well its the tv that does the processing. honestly get a bigger t.v worried about price? get a plasma bc they run at 600hz and are optimal for gaming. trust me. make sure you have no light though.
  12. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    For me, I would go with the larger one. After a while I predict you will wish you had the 37 over the 32. And then 42 over 37 and .....
  13. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    There are a few statements in here that need to be corrected:

    1. As already mentioned earlier in this thread, 120 Hz does not give the “soap opera effect”, the motion processing features do. You cannot turn “120 Hz” on and off, but you can turn the motion processing on or off.

    2. It not true that 120 Hz is for Blu-ray only. The faster refresh rate (120 Hz) is designed to solve some of the motion blur issues that are inherent in LCD technology. The TV manufacturers use the faster refresh rate to allow for frame interpolation/insertion, where it creates new frames between the existing frames. This can be done with 24 Hz or 60 Hz sources, so it can be applied to any input, not just Blu-ray. In fact, a lot of people seem to have the opinion that the motion processing features on 120 Hz sets work the best with sports on HD cable/satellite.

    3. The 120 Hz refresh rate is not designed for watching 24 Hz sources. It would seem to make sense that 120 can be divided by both 60 and 24, so it should allow for 2:2 pulldown on 60 Hz sources and 5:5 pulldown on 24 Hz sources, but that’s not really why it exists. In fact, many 120 Hz TVs do not allow for 5:5 pulldown. For those that do, you have to turn off the motion processing feature to activate 5:5 pulldown, which will give you the smoothest, most film-like picture for watching 24 Hz based material.

    4. Blu-ray is not the only possible 24 Hz source. In fact, it is possible to get 24p playback from SD-DVD. I know that recent Panasonic players (including my BD35) allow for 24p playback from SD DVDs. I’m sure at least some other manufacturers do too (I’m pretty sure Oppo does).
  14. ccl1590888 macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2008
    hey thanks. thats good stuff and i know in the samsungs you can turn 120 hz off or change the way 120hz is. like there are diffrent variations. now to get the 5:5 pull down how do you do that?
  15. lostime macrumors regular

    May 19, 2009
    That's true on Samsungs, I can change the setting on the 120hz Auto Motion Plus from high, med, low and off. Even at low it doesn't look right to me so I leave it off. The 5:5 pulldown is all in the division and you want a 1:1 ratio or a whole number without any decimal places



    I would still go with a larger picture and LCD either way.
  16. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    On the Samsungs, I know you have to turn AMP off (AMP is their motion processing) to get 5:5 pulldown. However, I'm not sure if there are any other modes you have to tweak. I was trying to look it up on AVS Forum, but they appear to be doing some website maintenance and I can't access it. That's probably the best place to get answers like this.
  17. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I was going to post this in another topic but this is much closer to my thoughts.

    I'm also on the fence about 120Hz vs getting a larger size for the same price. I'd probably end up with the Samsung 40" B630 (Series 6) or the 46" B550 (Series 5). So there are more differences between those Series than just 120Hz, but I don't know if they would make up for the loss in size. But I haven't actually compared sizes in person yet and that may make the decision for me.

    I'm aware of the difference between 120Hz and the "Auto Motion Plus" image processing and after reading about it, I'd almost certainly leave it off. Definitely for gaming and movies at least. My main input source will by my Xbox 360 (games, DVDs, Netflix, files streaming from my Mac), the other my HD receiver from Comcast. I MIGHT want a Bluray player in the future. I'm not confident that any of the current budget players are good enough. I've had bad experiences with budget DVD players. But I'm also not willing to spend $200+ on a player right now (yes I know I say this while talking about a $1200 TV purchase :p). Bottom line is I may not benefit from 5:5 pulldown, although it would be kind of future-proof. So that leaves me with just the inherent benefits of 120Hz over 60Hz and I'm wondering if it's worth it?
  18. randy98mtu macrumors 65816


    Mar 4, 2009
    Glad I saw this thread. A friend of mine has a Samsung 120 Hz (probably 36-42", not sure) Every time I've watched it it's so unnatural feeling to me I was going to stay miles away from 120 Hz. Now I know some things to check out next time I'm at his place. I have a 61" Samsung DLP that is just 60 Hz and I much prefer the picture I get to the 120 Hz (from my experience.)

    As for the original poster, I think the size will have a bigger impact on your viewing that all the "latest technology" tweaks. What size room are you putting it in? That is something to consider when putting it in a bedroom.
  19. BORIStheBLADE macrumors regular


    Jun 15, 2008
    Do you have your heart set on LCD's? Plasmas are a little cheaper than the LCD's for the same size.
  20. dukebound85 macrumors P6


    Jul 17, 2005
    5045 feet above sea level
  21. mchalebk macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2008
    If you're going to go LCD, I'd say go for a 120 Hz set (or even 240 Hz). You do not have to use the motion processing to take advantage of the higher refresh rate.

    Plasma sets can give you more natural motion and colors, but have their own issues.

    I did a ton of research on TVs last year. I was originally trying to decide between an LCD and a plasma. I finally decided against plasma as burn in still seems to be a potential issue. (As much as plasma owners will try to tell you that burn in is not an issue anymore, go over to AVS forum and check out their plasma area; burn in is still a major topic of conversation.)

    When all was said and done, I opted for a DLP rear projection set. If you don't need a flat "hang on the wall" type of TV, you can get a great TV for a lot less money if you go DLP.

    If you're serious about trying to figure out which technology and brand is best for you, spend some serious time over at AVS forums. It's a lot of work, but that's the best place to get smart on this stuff.

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