At a tech seminar in Milan, Samsung confirmed to us that some of its 2018 TVs will support HDMI 2.1’s VRR (variable refresh rate) as well as FreeSync at up to 120Hz. The company has also further reduced input lag. This is big news for gamers.
For smoother gaming
There are a few areas where PC monitors still have an edge on TVs, and refresh rate is one of them. Samsung will try to level the playing field with its high-end 2018 models that will include exciting new features for gamers.
Samsung confirmed to FlatpanelsHD at a tech seminar in Milan last week that its 2018 “QLED” LCD TVs as well as the mid-range NU8000 will support up to 120 Hz – frames per second – input signals at Full HD resolution, sometimes referred to as “2K120Hz”.
In addition, the same 2018 Samsung TVs will support two variable refresh rate systems. If you are a PC gamer you already know AMD’s FreeSync, which ensures that the PC / console and display remain in perfect sync even if the game’s frame rate fluctuates, leading to extremely smooth gameplay with very low lag.
FreeSync is one of the systems supported by Samsung’s new TVs, meaning that you can use them as a capable gaming monitor for your PC.
The other supported system is HDMI 2.1’s so-called VRR (variable refresh rate), which is the HDMI Organization’s standardized version that largely resembles FreeSync in form and function but is intended for TVs. It is not identical to FreeSync, according to Samsung. Now to be clear, we should emphasize that Samsung’s 2018 TVs do not feature full HDMI 2.1. These TVs are still based on the HDMI 2.0 interface standard but manufacturers are allowed to cherry-pick certain features from HDMI 2.1 to bring to HDMI 2.0 based TVs, as we reported in January. That is why Samsung can bring VRR support to its latest TVs.
Samsung also told FlatpanelsHD that it has further reduced input lag on its 2018 TVs, down to 15.4 ms in the game mode. It is expected to be “less than 7 ms” in VRR mode. In addition, Samsung will implement ‘Fast FRC’ (frame rate compensation), allowing users to use Samsung’s motion compensation system together with a game console for an average of 24ms input lag. Fast FRC is supported by the NU8000 and the 2018 “QLED” LCDs.
Enjoy VRR with an Xbox One
Xbox One S and One X will be the first devices to support HDMI VRR. It will be added through a firmware update this year. FreeSync is supported by a range of gaming PCs today.
Sony does not yet support any variable refresh rate systems on its PlayStation 4 consoles, and has announced no plans to add support.
Besides Samsung, no other TV manufacturers have announced support for VRR.
In Milan, Samsung had a simulated demonstration set up to demonstrate the advantages of VRR but said that it is waiting for the final implementation. It was not clear if VRR will be available at launch or come via a later firmware update.