A recent announcement from Mitsubishi regarding an illusive ‘monitor’ sporting an IPS panel, LED-backlight and 120Hz technology has caused quite a stir. The very thought of marrying together 120Hz technology with IPS goodness is enough to make any computer monitor enthusiast giddy – smooth motion plus excellent colours and viewing angles. Unfortunately it turns out that the MDT231WG VISEO micracle ‘monitor’ is actually just a high-end TV. Now there’s nothing wrong with using a TV as a monitor – but prepare to be sorely disappointed by a couple of facts. Firstly, the screen is rather expensive (around $1400 USD). Secondly, it is unlikely to make its way out of Japan (or at least Asia). Thirdly and most importantly; it isn’t a true 120Hz screen at all and uses frame interpolation to generate intermediate frames to smooth out low framerate broadcasts. The biggest barrier for IPS monitors ever having 120Hz technology is not one of cost, but rather one of negligible advantage. IPS panels are simply too slow for 120Hz to bring the associated increase in frame rate and offer any sort of real smoothness advantage. For 120fps to display fluently would require a consistent pixel response of under 8.3ms. The fastest IPS panels offer around 6ms for the very fastest (best case) grey-to-grey transitions but for the most part achieve >10ms pixel response times. Unfortunately, despite our deep desire for a contrary reality, 120Hz and IPS is currently a no-go area.
Mitsubishi MDT231WG VISEO