A proposed class action alleges Samsung has falsely advertised certain televisions as having a “motion rate” of 120 Hertz (Hz) when they have an actual “refresh rate” of only 60 Hz.
The 27-page lawsuit contends that a reasonable consumer understands the claim that the Samsung TVs at issue have a “motion rate” of 120 Hz to mean that their “refresh rate,” i.e., the rate per second at which a new frame or image can be put on the screen, is 120 Hz. The suit claims, however, that the following Samsung TV models instead an actual “refresh rate” of only 60 Hz:
“Had Defendant disclosed that the Televisions only had a refresh rate of 60 Hz, Plaintiffs and members of the Classes would not have purchased the televisions, or would have paid less for the Televisions than they did,” the complaint says.
According to the case, most modern televisions offer one of two refresh rates: either 60 Hz, which refreshes the display image 60 times per second, or 120 Hz, which refreshes 120 times per second. Per the suit, a 120 Hz refresh rate is superior because more frames per second causes movement, especially fast movement, to look smoother and clearer.
The lawsuit stresses that a higher refresh is, “[u]nderstandably,” especially important to consumers.
“Likewise, televisions manufacturers—including Samsung—charge more for televisions with higher refresh rate,” the suit says. “The importance has only increased as new media and gaming in particular have been able to take advantage of higher frame rates.”
The lawsuit relays that Samsung does not define “motion rate” on its website or in its marketing or provide the “refresh rate” for the televisions at issue on its spec sheets. Accordingly, the case argues, a reasonable consumer is left with the impression that the televisions, advertised with a “motion rate” of 120 Hz, have a “refresh rate” at the same level.
“Unfortunately for consumers, the Televisions do not have a ‘Refresh Rate’ of 120 Hz,” the lawsuit alleges. “Instead, the ‘Motion Rate’ is double the actual refresh rate, meaning a Television with a Motion Rate of 120 Hz has an actual refresh rate of only 60 Hz.”
In order to justify this higher number, Samsung’s motion rate statistic takes into account software and AI enhancements that allow the televisions at issue to “emulate” a 120 Hz refresh rate, the case claims. The complaint argues that a TV with a true 120 Hz refresh rate does not require, for example, the insertion of a black frame in between images to reduce motion blur, as Samsung allegedly uses, or “frame rate interpolation,” with which a TV’s processor generates “fake” frames based on the previous and next frame to reduce blur.
The lawsuit looks to cover all consumers in the United States who bought any of the Samsung television models listed on this page, or any similar Samsung TV with a 60 Hz refresh rate that is represented as having a 120 Hz motion rate, during the applicable statute of limitations period.
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