Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Jerky image quality when using HDMI cable

If you are using an HDMI cable to transmit playing content from your laptop or PC to your TV, it could be that the ‘Refresh Rates’ between your device and your TV do not match. This can be the case if your laptop/PC and TV are considerably different in age.

The refresh rate of a display is the number of times per second that the image refreshes on the screen. For example, a 60Hz display will update the screen 60 times per second.

Overall, the refresh rate determines how smoothly motion appears on your screen. For example, if you’re playing a game that has a lot of fast-moving action, a higher refresh rate can help improve your overall gaming experience to keep up with the action. A higher refresh can also help you get a better experience with smoother motion when you’re browsing the web or using a digital pen to write or draw.

A higher refresh rate can also reduce battery life because it uses more power. So if you’re using a laptop or tablet and want to save some battery, you could lower the refresh rate. However, that might also reduce the overall experience when you’re using your device.

Taking this into account, it is easy to see how having mis-matched Refresh Rates between your connected devices can cause problems with playback.

To check, and potentially change/match your Refresh Rates on your respective devices, please see the following instructions:

On a Windows laptop/PC

  1. Select the Start  button, then select Settings  > System  > Display  > Advanced display settings.
  2. Under Refresh rate, select the rate you want.
    The refresh rates that appear depend on your display and what it supports. Select laptops and external displays will support higher refresh rates.

On a Mac

  1. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Displays.
  2. Press and hold the Option key and select the Scaled button. The Refresh Rate menu will appear.
  3. Click the Refresh Rate pop-up menu and choose a refresh rate.

On your smart TV

Taking into account, the huge variety of smart TV makes, models and vintages it is impossible to state a general process for changing Refresh Rates that covers all. If you have a Menu or System option on your remote controller, this would be a good place to start – but we recommend referring to the user manual to be certain.