For the last couple of years, LCD TVs with 120Hz refresh rates have become the staple of the step-up LCD marketplace. These sets refresh the screens at twice the normal rate of 60Hz, which leads to a couple of enhancements to picture quality, although whether those enhancements are worth the extra money is an open question.
First, a faster refresh rate allows the 120Hz LCD to introduce less blurring than standard 60Hz models in fast-motion scenes. We can prove the difference using test patterns, but actually seeing any difference in real program material is difficult even for CNET reviewers in side-by-side comparisons (more info). Some viewers may be more-sensitive to blurring than others, however, so this benefit still has potential value. It's worth noting that according to those same test patterns, all plasmas introduce less blurring than every non-LED-based 120Hz LCD we've tested.
Second, to enable blur reduction in 120Hz LCDs you have to engage dejudder video processing, which smoothes out the stuttering effect inherent in film and makes it look more like video. Dejudder processing varies in its effect and can introduce artifacts--see the reviews for details. Some people like the smoothing, but we don't, at least for films. One exception is the Sharp LC-46D85U, which lacks dejudder but still manages to reduce blurring.
Third, 120Hz displays can properly engage the film cadence of 1080p/24 sources, typically available from Blu-ray Discs. We do prefer this look to that of the standard 2:3 pull-down cadence of 60Hz displays, but the effect is pretty subtle, especially compared with dejudder. Again, the individual reviews have the details.
If those three reasons are enough to make you consider spending extra for an LCD with a 120Hz refresh rate, the models below represent a good cross section of the market. And if you're really crazy about higher resresh rates, check out out review of the Sony KDL-52XBR7, which has a 240Hz refresh rate.
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