Digital TV Models 2011 – Features Explained
This year has seen the introduction of new terminology from the four major suppliers describing features on their digital TVs.
Labels stating such features as Motionflow XR800, Clear Motion Rate and Moving Picture Resolution have replaced the traditional 50Hz, 100Hz and 200Hz refresh labelling – much the same as when the industry did away with the millisecond response time labelling a few years back Free Trial.
The introduction of Smart TV has seen an array of feature descriptions stickered on the screens displayed on the show room floor – from Built in Wi-Fi, Skype, Video on Demand, Viera Connect, Bigpond TV to Your Video and Search All.
Other common features include Passive 3D, Active 3D, Opti-Contrast Panel, USB Recording, Time Machine Ready and cornering glass, to name a few.
Features relating to Motion Samsung – Clear Motion Rate Samsung have abandoned the traditional Refresh Rate measurement, and opted instead for a “Clear Motion Rate” label for each of their Series LEDs.
Normally, we are used to being given a Refresh Rate, such as 100Hz, which only refers to the Refresh Rate of the screen. Samsung state that the Refresh Rate only forms part of the Picture quality during fast scenes, where as Clear Motion Rate determines the motion of an image by using three factors: chipset, TV Panel and Backlight.
Refresh rates only determine the number or frames drawn on the screen per second, while the clear motion rate refers to the TV’s ability to draw those frames correctly.
Example – Samsung Series 8 LED has a Clear Motion 800 Rating, while the Series 7 LED has a Clear Motion 600 Rating. While the Refresh Rate is 200Hz on both models – the Series 8 has a superior chipset and backlight technology which results in fast motion scenes being clearer.
Sony – Motionflow XR Similar to Samsung, Sony has this year provided a motion quality measurement as opposed to just the Refresh Rate. Sony State that their Motionflow technology creates smooth, detailed moving images for sports or action. Motionflow combines Image Blur Reduction, Frame Creation and backlight blinking technologies together. These three technologies combined are how Sony guages Motion performance from model to model.
Example – Sony’s HX820 range of LED have a Motionflow XR400 rating, while the HX925 LEDs have a Motionflow XR800 Rating. While the Refresh Rate is 200Hz on both models – the HX925 combines this with backlight blinking of up to 600 times per second, as opposed to 200 times per second in the HX820, which results in the motion appearing clearer. Basically the Higher the motionflow number, the better the motion enhancement.
Panasonic – Moving Picture Resolution
Panasonic have displayed both the Refresh Rate, and what they class as the Moving Picture Resolution. Just like Sony and Samsung, the Moving Picture Resolution is a metric which basically puts a value on how well a TV Panel deals with motion. The higher the number, the less blur that is added to the signal on the display.
Example – Panasonics ST30 range of Plasma have a Moving Picture Resolution of 1080 lines, and the Panel Speed is 600Hz Subfield Drive. In comparison, the U30 Range of Plasma screens, which also have a 600Hz Subfield Drive, have a lower Moving Picture Resolution of 900 lines, meaning the motion on the U30 won’t be as clear as the ST30.
Panasonic, Samsung and LG – 600Hz Subfield Motion
What 600Hz Sub-Field Driving does, with a 50Hz source like how our Australian TV is broadcast, is split each frame into 12 separate frames or “sub-fields”, and then show them individually on the screen. That means 12 sub-fields per frame in 50Hz (frames per second) creates 600 frames per second (50×12=600). The more sub-fields you have per frame, the more accurate the colour reproduction and less picture noise.
Features relating to Smart TV Samsung – Social TV
Samsung models labelled with Social TV have the ability to connect to Social Network services Facebook, Twitter and Google Talk. Twitter users can keep watching TV while their Tweets display on a separate part of the screen. Facebook users can also keep watching TV while accessing their Facebook page.