120 Hz Favors ‘Size Matters’ Theory

December 3, 2008
New data reveal that the HD industry’s current trendy come-on of “120 Hz” has a lot to do with size—and the larger the screen, the higher penetration rate of 120 Hz.

The option is now being marketed (with credible justification) as smoothing out otherwise less-fluid motion that is typical in 60 Hz sets, especially in programs like sports and action movies. And as with many HD options, the larger the screen, the more noticeable the given effect.

Shipments of 120 Hz LCD TV panels reached 3.6 million units in the third quarter, according to industry analyst DisplaySearch. That’s nearly 60 percent growth from the previous quarter. Shipments of 120 Hz panels accounted for 16 percent of all HD screens of 32 to 37 inches, and 27 percent of LCD screens at least 40 inches and larger.

Austin, Texas-based DisplaySearch said its results showing that for 120 Hz LCD shipments the penetration grows as the panel size increases is, among other things, due to the heavier marketing and promotion often dedicated to larger (and usually more expensive) sets by panel makers.

The highest penetration in the third quarter was for 52 inches and bigger, where 120 Hz’s share was 59 percent—followed by 41 percent for 46-47 inches, and 25 percent for 42-inch screens.

Panel maker Samsung currently is the global leader in 120 Hz LCD shipments, thanks mainly to the demands of two well-known brands: Samsung itself, and Sony.

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