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What is HFR?

Great frame rates are becoming more essential for average viewers, particularly sports or gaming enthusiasts, but, like many TV-related initials, HFR can confuse anyone else who is not up to date.

In short, HFR is short for High Frame RateAnd you've probably heard the term in relation to the best TVs, next-gen game consoles, and even the new Apple TV 4K (2021). In general, frame rates increase, more For what reason is this so essential? Let us give you some background on vital viewing metrics and what's changing in the world of HFR TVs today.

What is a frame rate?

Any moving image is made up of a series of still images or images which, when read in rapid succession, are perceived by the brain as a moving image, of hence the term “moving images”. The more frames per second (fps), the smoother and smoother the motion will be and the greater the level of detail that that moving frame can contain.

What frame rate is used in cinema?

In early cinema, frame rates changed from 16 to 26 fps, but the introduction of sound in the late 24s required a standard for matching the picture to the optical soundtrack. It was decided to use XNUMX frames per second, primarily due to the fact that most theaters back then could handle that frame rate particularly, and has remained the rule of film production (impressively) for the last 100 years.


(Image credit: TechSmith

What is the frame rate of the TV?

When televisions were introduced to homes in the 1950s, the approach was slightly different. This is because standard definition broadcasts use a series of interlaced images displayed at a frequency of fifty or sixty Hz, depending on the TV standard used.

The reason why these interlaced signals used a frequency of 50Hz or 60Hz was directly related to the source of nutrition of that particular territory, so in the United Kingdom and Europe it was PAL at 50Hz, while the USA and Japan used NTSC at 60Hz.

At that time, TV images were made up of a series of scan lines, so an interlaced image essentially scanned half of the image and then the other half of the image at a refresh rate of fifty or sixty times per second. Because it happened so quickly, the brain would unconsciously combine these interlaced images into a full field image at a rate of 25 or 30 frames per second.

As transmission and display technologies developed, TV production was able to use progressive scan video, which essentially means shooting at 25 or 30 full-field video frames per second, which is usually the case, called twenty-five fps for PAL and thirty fps for NTSC. Since these 2 frame rates are very close to the XNUMX frames per second used in cinema, it was also partially simple to show movies on TV.

Apple TV 4K (2021) with remote control

Apple TV 4K (two thousand twenty-one) adds support for HFR display (Image credit: Apple)

What is high frame rate (HFR)?

A high frame rate is simply a frame rate higher than the established 24, 25, or 30 frames per second that was the rule for film and TV until recently.

PSince the transmission of TV has always and in all circumstances been based on a frequency of 50 or 60Hz, it was inescapable that catch-and-display technology would evolve to accept progressive scan video at 50fps and 60fps ("Hz" is the number of frames a screen can display, while 'fps' is the frame rate of a specific video stream). With the advent of HD, these higher frame rates have become more prevalent and are uniquely effective in sports.

The fast-paced action of most sports matches is clearer, smoother and more detailed at 50/60fps. This is one of the main reasons why the latest generation of Apple TV 4K (2021) supports frame rates up to 60fps, ensuring that when viewing content from multiple streamers, you can enjoy sports or nature reporting with clean, smooth motion.

So while HFR may have become a buzzword lately, we really have enjoyed high frame rate transmissions over the years. And that doesn't stop at 50/60fps, because as camera and display technologies have continued to develop, bandwidth has increased and compression algorithms have improved, we're starting to see frame rates increase to 100/120fps.

There's been a lot of talk about 4K and HDR lately, and while the two innovations translate into a superior viewing experience, the addition of HFR could make the biggest difference when it comes to nature reporting or sports especially.

Will Smith in Gemini Man (HFR)

Will Smith in Gemini Man (Credit Image: Paramount Pictures)

In trying to reflect real life, the higher the resolution, the wider the active range and colors, and the higher the frame rate, the more realistic the experience will be. Watching football, baseball, tennis, and athletics at higher frame rates will result in a more lifelike experience. You won't miss any of the action and everything will look silky smooth and detailed. The same goes for nature reports, where you will have the feeling that the tiger is in your living room!

Curiously, the one area where HFR has failed to gain ground is in the production of feature films and, by extension, series that frequently seek to mimic the aesthetics of feature films. There's a very distinct look to 24fps, and as soon as the frame rate increases, you lose the feeling of watching a movie. The choice of 24 frames per second may have been a sensible compromise a hundred years ago, but after a century of filming, it's the frame rate most people associate with motion pictures.

There is no technical restriction to record movies at higher frame rates, especially due to the fact that most of the productions are digital today, and there have been some attempts to make films in . HFR. Peter Jackson shot his Hobbit movies at 2 fps and Ang Lee made XNUMX XNUMX fps movies (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and Gemini Man), but it's fair to say that neither of these productions was considered a creative success. The main criticisms that these films receive are that they resemble ordinary "videos" or "too realistic" and, consequently, lose that essential cinematographic aesthetic.

So while HFR will undoubtedly revolutionize sports and reportage coverage, it's unlikely to have an impact on movie and TV production in the near future. However, there is another medium where HFR will literally be a game changer.

Xbox Series X supports frame rates of up to 120 fps

(Image credit: Xbox Series X)

What does a great frame rate mean for games?

The evolution of game consoles has largely reflected the development of display technologies with resolutions that have moved from interlaced standard definition to progressive high definition and, more recently, to 4K at 50/60 fps. Anyone who regularly plays at frame rates higher than fifty / 60p is going to know that the experience is dramatically enhanced by the smooth and detailed movement.

While PC gamers have enjoyed HFR for some time, the arrival of the Xbox Series X and PS5 ushered in a new era of mass-market 100/120fps gaming.. While innovations like 4K, HDR, and ray tracing have their upsides, most gamers are going to name HFR as the biggest upgrade in next-gen console gaming, with its smooth motion and smooth, fluid gameplay.

How can I view HFR?

If you want to enjoy all the advantages of HFR, you will need a television that uses a 100/120 Hz panel (depending on where you live) and has at least one HDMI input twenty-one so it can support 100/120fps. sign.

On the other side of hardware, the new Apple TV 4K can handle 50/60 fps, the same way many Ultra HD Blu-ray players can (although there are very few sixty fps discs outside of these 2 movies and Lee), and the latest game consoles. it can manage playback at up to 100/120 fps.

There are multiple broadcasters and transmitters currently using 50/60 fps for sports coverage, multiple nature reports and YouTube videos, and there are already plans to increase the HFR to 100/120 fps in the near future.

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