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Response Time

Response time is a measured in milliseconds (ms) and specifies the amount of time it takes one pixel to go from black to white and back to black again. As an example, think of a halogen light; when you turn it on (black to white) it takes time for it to get to full power, just as same when you turn it off (white to black) it takes time for filament to go completely dark, even if there is no power flowing. Similar thing happens to the pixels on the TV. They cannot turn on and off instantly. Different manufacturers found different way of getting their response times down. You can now buy monitors with response times 2ms or less.

Let’s have a real life example. Imagine that there is a camera that is panning fast across some water lilies and suddenly we are able to freeze the image on the display at one moment. The TV with long response time will have a “smudge” or “ghost” effect as it is panning across, where the one with fast response time will have little to no such artifacts.

fast vs slow response time

Fast response time is very desirable for gamers who want to use their TV’s with xBox or PS3. Most of them recommend 4ms response times or better, while the hard core ones like 2ms or lower.


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