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Earlier this year when Sony was the only TV manufacturer selling 200Hz TV’s, megahertz meant better picture quality. “We have the best and fastest TV in the world” Sony said. Now that Panasonic, LG and Samsung are rolling out 600Hz TV’s, Sony is suddenly saying that megahertz size doesn’t count.

Earlier this year when Sony was the only TV manufacturer selling 200Hz TV’s, megahertz meant better picture quality. “We have the best and fastest TV in the world” Sony said. Now that Panasonic, LG and Samsung are rolling out 600Hz TV’s, Sony is suddenly saying that megahertz size doesn’t count.

Rolling out their spin doctors to try and convince journalists that 600Hz is really 200Hz Sony is now trying to defend their 200Hz position as their share of the TV market declines up against a surging Samsung who is set to roll out a major 600Hz campaign for their plasma range.

According to Sony Audio Visual specialist, Craig Jackson, you’re better off comparing apples with oranges than trying to compare 600 hertz TV technologies with 200 hertz.

“Bigger isn’t necessarily better, it’s just different, MotionFlow 200Hz would be better for watching smooth fluid accurate movement on sport than other technologies.” He told journalist Martin Vedris.

“Not true” said Kurt Jovias marketing director at Samsung Australia. “It is a totally different technology, that  you cannot compare to 200Hz”.

Panasonic have said the same. In a statement issued by Panasonic Canada they have said of 600Hz.

“A standard video signal is actually a series of still images, flashed on screen so quickly that we believe we are watching a moving image. The typical frame rate used in Australia is 50 frames per second (50Hz) or 100 frames per second meaning that a TV would display 100 individual still images every second. Sub-field drive is the method used to flash the individual image elements (dots) on a plasma panel. For each frame displayed on the TV the Sub-field drive flashes the dots 10 times or more, meaning that the dots are flashing 600 times per second (600Hz) or more. (Example: 60 frames per second x 10 sub-fields = 600 flashes per second).

 

 Samsung say that once the frame is built, a Plasma TV (or an LCD TV for that matter) may send the frame to the screen at 50Hz (the original rate), or insert one additional frame (100Hz) or 3 additional frames (200Hz).  This insertion of new frames is the same technology used to amp up a 50Hz LCD frame rate to 100Hz or 200Hz frame rate, with the result being smoother motion.

Samsung makes Plasmas that have 600Hz subfield (older plasmas only had 8 subfield, so only 400Hz subfield) and have 50hz or 100Hz frame rates.  Samsung also makes LCD TVs that have 100Hz and 200Hz frame rates.  Because of the nature of LCD technology, LCDs do not have a subfield rate.

What Sony are claiming is that “200 hertz has 200 individual frames within the signal, shown one after the other, whereas the 480 and 600 hertz technologies on plasma TVs, all they do is show the same frame 480 or 600 times and that’s just the way plasma that TVs work and have worked for years. And that doesn’t insert any extra frames, and from what I understand it’s not really meant to,” said Jackson.

When the debate was 100Hz Vs 200Hz Sony said that they had the superior picture. Now that the debate is 200Hz Vs 600Hz Sony is claiming that 600Hz is really 200Hz and their picture is superior. But is it?

In a recent test between a 200Hz high end Sony Bravia LCD TV running Sony’s Motionflow and a brand new 50″ Panasonic running at 600Hz the picture difference was significant with the 600Hz plasma from Panasonic delivering a sharper smoother image. It also appeared that the image had more depth.

 

Steve Rust the Managing Director of Panasonic Australia said that his company is set to mount a major marketing campaign for 600Hz because it is a superior technology to 200Hz “Consumers will notice the difference in stores and vote with their dollars”.he said.

A Harvey Norman franchisee said “Sony has a lot at stake and obviously they are trying to defend their 200Hz Motionflow technology. They know that both Panasonic and Samsung are about to start marketing 600Hz and confusion actually works for them this time because they don’t necessarily have an advantage. At the end of the day it will be the consumer who counts especially when they see the two technologies together. All I have seen is a comparison of a 600Hz Panasonic Plasma model and a 200Hz Sony Bravia model and one is significantly better than the other. I will let my customers work this out for themselves”.  

 

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