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Sony doubles refresh rate of LCD TVs

Compared with plasma and conventional picture tube TVs, LCD screens have traditionally had trouble displaying fast-moving scenes. Last week, Sony addressed the problem by announcing it has doubled the frame refresh rate from 120Hz to 240Hz on two models of its new high-end Bravia television sets.

The announcement came at the CEDIA custom home theater show in Denver. The new 52in model, the Bravia KDL-52XBR7, will go on sale in December, along with another new set, the 40in Bravia KLV-40ZX1M.

For each frame of material, the video processor in the new television sets will create an additional three in between. The 40in model will be just 9.9mm deep (about 4/10 of an inch), compared with Sony’s typical LCD TVs, which measure about 28mm deep.

Sony executives said that the image quality and dimensional differences are obvious. “When people first see the 9.9mm thick model, they think it’s an OLED TV,” Randy Waynick, Sony’s senior vice president of marketing, told the “New York Times.”

Pete Putman, president of ROAM Consulting, a video consulting firm, told the newspaper he thinks that increasing the refresh rate makes sense, especially for LCD TVs. “You can only make LCD crystals switch so quickly. The problem with LCD is that it’s the slowest display technology.”