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If you are in the market for an LCD television or an LCD computer monitor, one aspect you should pay close attention to is the LCD pixel response time -- or the LCD response rate. The response time of an LCD TV has become one of the key ways in which LCD TV manufacturers differentiate their products.  Companies like to put a lot of marketing focus on this specification.

In the marketplace, there is a lack of standard specifications for measuring LCD response time, therefore it is important to ensure you know exactly what the LCD TV manufacturer is referring to when they quote the response time of their products.  This will ensure you can compare TV specifications successfully.

This Projector Source Canada article will help you understand the significance of an LCD response time rating - what exactly it means - and how it can be measured.  This will allow you to make an informed purchase of an LCD monitor or TV that is most suitable for your requirements while avoiding common LCD TV problems like blurred images.

What is an LCD Pixel Response Time?

Simply put, an LCD response time specification denotes how quickly an LCD display device can render video signals. When manufacturers list the response times, they are technically referring to the length of time it takes for one of the liquid crystal pixels in the television screen to turn from black (on) to white (off) and back to black (on) again.

This process occurs so quickly it has to be measured in milliseconds (ms). Most of the time, we look for a larger number when selecting a TV,however, when considering LCD response times this rule is the smaller number designates a faster LCD response time.  The faster the response time, the better.

How does LCD Response Time affect the image?

When watching TV on an older LCD television with a response time of over 10ms, you may notice that in fast moving scenes - for example during sporting events or movie action sequences -  the image may appear fuzzy, smudged or blurred. The primary reason for this is that the liquid crystal display is taking a relatively long time to activate and deactivate its pixels.  This can also make the display unsuitable for playing computer games.

The lower the response time of an LCD unit, the faster the transition between pixels being on and off, and thus the less likely the chances of experiencing any ghosting or image artefacts on the screen. A television with a response time of 3ms is therefore preferable to a television with a response time of 10ms.

LCD Pixel response time measurement standards

When comparing LCD televisions, you will need to be aware of the type of LCD response time quoted by the TV specification sheet as there is currently no accepted universal standard for measuring LCD response times.
A recent trend among LCD display manufactures has been to use a grey to grey (GtG) measurement to determine the response time of the device. This means that instead of measuring the time it takes for pixels to turn from black to white, the LCD TV manufacturing company is measuring the time it takes for the pixels in the display to change from one type of grey to another.

The time taken to make a grey to grey switch is typically three times slower than a standard black to white measurement, which means that it would be inappropriate to compare the LCD response times for a TV using a white to black response time measurement and a grey to grey pixel response rating.

While some argue that a grey to grey pixel response time rating is a better way to measure the ability of the LCD screen to react to subtle changes in pictures, others claim that is a pointless measurement since no manufacturers ever define what shade of grey they actually begin and end their measurements at.

The future of LCD Response Times

As LCD technology continues to advance, the pixel response time in LCD display devices continues to decrease. Only a few years ago a typical standard for LCD response time was 10ms. Today  it can be difficult to find a new LCD TV or LCD monitor with a response time that is over 8 milliseconds.

Even the fastest LCD TVs can experience some degree of image blurring during scenes of intense movement, so the best way to check an LCD TV''s image quality during motion scenes is to view it with your own eyes. If this is not possible, choosing an LCD TV with a low LCD pixel response time from a reputable manufacturer is generally a good strategy to ensure you that you get the best quality image possible displayed on your television.

We hope you enjoyed this article by Projector Source Canada.  For more information or to purchase a display and projector for your business or home, visit us online at

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