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What Is Hz On a TV?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (March 11, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

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? -- Snoop, Santa Monica, 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. 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.

See the top-selling 120 Hz HDTVs

And there are 600 Hz Plasma sets on the markets now. While that number is higher than 240Hz, many in the industry are doubtful you'll find much difference between the two.

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.

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