Sony's 240Hz HDTV – is it worth the extra grand?

[image credit: CNET]

The short answer is: almost certainly not. The benefits of a 120Hz refresh rate are pretty clear, but as I noted when Sony had people playing Gran Turismo at 240FPS, there is a point at which the human eye can no longer distinguish any difference. You’re getting seriously diminishing returns after 100-150Hz, but adding considerably to cost. Not only that, but the smoothing of the image can eliminate the “implied motion” of a 24FPS picture that makes it so compelling; it’s not without reason that every film in theaters is displayed at 24FPS or a close approximation.

The picture, I’m sure, is very good, and for many things a high refresh rate will improve the visual quality, but paying $1000 for the 240Hz option is looking a bit like paying $500 for cables: Yeah, there’s technically a difference, but the placebo effect of owning these things is greater than the actual effect.