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4K 120Hz with VRR is coming to some 2021 Philips TVs

OLED TV: Philips 65OLED806
(Image credit: Philips/Star Trek Lower Decks, Amazon Prime)

After revealing its 2022 OLED line-up, which includes models with updated support for next-gen HDMI 2.1 features, Philips has announced that it will also be bringing a software upgrade to some of its 2021 range.

Owners of last year’s OLED706, OLED806 and OLED856 models will receive a forthcoming firmware update to allow the TVs to display 4k@120Hz VRR content in full resolution. At present, these OLEDs, which share the same Mediatek HDMI 2.1 single chipset architecture, can display 4K@120Hz in full. However, with VRR in the mix, the content is downscaled to half the resolution. 

VRR stands for Variable Refresh Rate, and it allows a TV to adjust its refresh rate in real-time to match the frame rate output by a games console or PC for smoother, more consistent gameplay.

The upgrade’s release date is unknown, and Philips has not yet confirmed if its 2022 OLEDs will be shipped with support for 4k@120Hz VRR or instead receive a firmware update shortly after launch.

However, full-resolution VRR will not be extended to the company’s flagship 2021 9-series, including the OLED936 and OLED986. As part of Philip’s most premium range, these models benefit from a unique twin chip picture processing engine that the brand says provides their absolute best picture quality performance. Unfortunately, this twin-chip structure does not support 4K@120Hz VRR. 

In a statement explaining the choice to only upgrade certain models, Philips said, "Our most critical decision was whether our most premium sets should be twin chip without 4K 120Hz VRR full resolution or single chip with 4K 120Hz VRR and we believe – given the extremely limited availability of genuine 4k 120Hz VRR content – that the PQ benefits of the twin chip surpass the ability to display 4K 120Hz in full resolution.” 

Philips added that it is investigating the possibility of offering support for 4K/120 VRR on twin-chip structures in future TV models.

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Mary is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi? and has over a decade of experience working as a sound engineer mixing live events, music and theatre. Her mixing credits include productions at The National Theatre and in the West End, as well as original musicals composed by Mark Knopfler, Tori Amos, Guy Chambers, Howard Goodall and Dan Gillespie Sells. 

  • GoonerByron
    This is worse for the 936 than this article and Philips are saying. It is not only when paired with VRR/Dolby Vision - The 936 cannot achieve 4K/120 at all despite being advertised as 4K/120. It drops half the vertical resolution in any 4K/120 mode.

    This was brought up by Vincent @ HDTVTest in his review and I have easily replicated it at home. Even in Monitor Mode with no VRR/DV etc you instantly see the drop in resolution when switching from 60 to 120.
    Reply