When researching specifications for liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), you may come across temporal performance. All LCDs have a temporal performance rate. Also known as the refresh rate, it plays an important role in the overall quality of an LCD’s images. Temporal performance isn’t the same as resolution, however. To better understand temporal performance in LCDs, keep reading.

Overview of Temporal Performance

Temporal performance is a measurement of how quickly a display device, such as an LCD, can change its images. All display devices produce images. They don’t just display a single, static image, though. Whether it’s an LCD or an organic light-emitting diode (OLED), they display multiple images sequentially. Temporal performance refers to the speed at which a display device can change from one image to the next image in a sequence.

For LCDs, temporal performance is typically specified by refresh rate. Also known as frame rate, refresh rate is the number of times an LCD changes its images per second. Some LCDs have a 60Hz refresh rate, meaning they change their images 60 times per second. Other LCDs have a refresh rate of 120Hz, meaning they change their images twice as frequently — or 120 times per second.

Why Temporal Performance Is Important

Whether you’re shopping for a computer monitor, a TV or any other LCD-powered display device, you should check its temporal performance. LCDs with a high refresh rate are a better choice than those with a low refresh rate.

It’s important to note that LCDs don’t suffer from screen flicker like with other display devices. Screen flicker is a phenomenon in which a display device produces flickering images due to a low refresh rate. Fortunately, LCDs don’t have alternating on-and-off frames, so even with a low refresh rate, they won’t suffer from screen flickering.

LCDs can, however, experience artifacting. Artificating is a phenomenon in which visual distortions appear as an LCD transitions between its images. It can appear as smearing. Rather than displaying clean lines, an LCD may display smeared or blurred lines if it experiences artifacting. You can prevent artificating, though, by choosing an LCD with a high refresh rate.

In Conclusion

Temporal performance is simply a measurement of how quickly an LCD can change its images. It’s essentially the same as refresh rate or frame rate. The higher an LCD’s refresh rate, the faster it will change its images. And with a high refresh rate, the LCD won’t suffer from artifacting.