Frames-per-second is the number of times a monitor or TV set refreshes and displays a new image in a single second. Fast-action movement looks more fluid and realisic in a higher FPS video signal, but the maximum FPS rate is limited on high-definition TV screens and monitors by the refresh rate -- or Hertz frequency -- of the display. Sometimes this leads to blurring or pixelation of the moving image, especially in high-action scenes. Finding the refresh rate and display resolution of your monitor or TV set will enable you to figure out the maximum FPS of your display.
Find the refresh rate of your monitor. You'll find this information in specification sheets available from retail stores as well as on the packaging and inside the monitor's user manual. Modern displays often have an information option as part of the onscreen settings menu.
Determine if your monitor displays in interlaced or progressive mode. Monitors draw frames one line at a time, just like a computer printer. Progressive video displays these lines straight down from top to bottom, while interlaced signals draw even numbered lines first, and then go back to draw the odd numbered lines. TV sets with a 1080p resolution use a progressive display, while 1080i indicates an interlaced signal. Find this information in the user manual or the settings menu.
Take the refresh rate of your monitor and divide it by two to find the maximum FPS for a progressive video signal. An interlaced signal is a 1:1 Hz:FPS conversion. For example, a 120 Hz HDTV will display 120 FPS interlaced, and 60 FPS progressive.
Tips & Warnings
- Some computer games limit the maximum number of frames. Also, the effective number of frames-per-second for games is limited by hardware capability and software resource requirements.