How a TV Works in Slow Motion – The Slow Mo Guys


Hello there My name’s Gavin, and welcome to this episode of the Slow Mo Guys very oddly presented from my living room. A while ago, I made a video called “How a camera works in slow-mo” and the response was great, so I thought a good natural progression to that video would be how a TV works in slow-mo. This is an 85 inch LCD TV and whenever I’m playing something on it, or watching something on it, my eyes and brain are being misled and tricked, giving me the illusion of watching a moving object when in fact I’m just watching several still images just shown to me very, very fast. If I’m watching a film, I’m being shown 24 images every second, and to my eyes that looks like I’m looking at a moving object, when in fact I’m looking at 24 individual pictures. If I’m playing a game, it’s the same except maybe 30 to 60 frames a second, and if I’m on a PC it could be hundreds **coughPCMasterRace** But a TV like this is actually incapable of showing you one image, and then a twenty-fourth of a second later just switching all at once to the next image. And to illustrate this next point, I’m gonna use a very old, and very crap CRT TV That stands for cathode ray tube. If you’ve ever seen one of these filmed, you may notice that it looks slightly different on camera than it does to your eye Look at that The reason it looks like this is because the shutter speed of this camera is out of sync with the refresh rate of this screen. The frame is constructed from the top to the bottom, multiple times per second — that’s 60 times in the US, 60 Hertz I’ve prepared for you some high-speed footage that I shot a long time ago on the V2511 of this screen and this screen and some others. A lot of it is Dan playing Super Mario on the NES extremely badly. Here’s the TV and the cat played back at 25 This is how it would be perceived in real time and now at 1600 frames a second you can actually see the scanline moving from the top to the bottom. You’ll notice that on a CRT screen, it’s only the active line of pixels that’s bright, and your persistence of vision will actually build that into a complete image. It’s messing with my eyes this It’s like a dance floor Aghhh… Didn’t even make it past the first guy Slowed all the way down to 2500 frames a second, you can now differentiate each individual frame being built from top to bottom. It takes an extremely fast camera to see that each frame is built line by line from top to bottom but it takes an even faster camera to see that each line is drawn from left to right. Slow down to 28,500 frames a second we’re now seeing glimpses of that, but we do need to go even slower. This is now 118,000 frames a second I’m going to put the stats up for you here so you can see the actual amount of time that it took, and you can see now that the line is being drawn from left to right on the screen Now a 146,000 frames a second. To gain perspective on just how slow this actually is You can see the exact time I shot this. So this is hours, it was just past midnight, 23 minutes 41 seconds This is a tenth of a second, a hundredth of a second, one thousandth of a second or a millisecond, and then over here you’ve got a ten thousandth of a second A hundred thousandth of a second, and this unit here is the millionth of a second or a microsecond. We are now at 380,000 frames a second as our recording frame rate. That is the highest frame rate we’ve ever shot so far on this channel and using this information here’s a little bonus fact: a CRT screen can draw Mario’s moustache in less than a 380,000th of a second. That is some seriously fast facial hair. And if you’re wondering why this footage looks extremely mucky and blurry, it’s because the resolution is only 256 by 128 which plunked into a 4k frame is… this big. That CRT screen is standard def. This is a 4k screen which means it’s 3840 by 2160 pixels that’s over 8 million pixels so think of the processing power that this TV has to have to update an image that big for that many times every second the first thing you’ll notice about a modern LCD screen is that it’s Not only the active line of pixels that retains brightness It’s the entire image, so you can actually see the full image as each scanline passes down the screen This is every frame of the startup sequence on an Xbox One I also recorded myself playing game of Halo nothing to make you feel worse about your performance than watching your lousy aim in slow-mo look At that it’s crazy to think that when you’re playing Halo. This is actually what is happening on your TV If only you could see it as speed your aim would be incredible it honestly makes me feel bad when I fall asleep watching TV Knowing that this TV is doing all this intensive work changing literally tens of millions of pixels Every second and there’s no one there watching it. Here’s a fun fact the same applies to an iPhone except It’s in portrait mode, so if you’re watching a video in landscape mode on your iPhone you’re actually getting updates from left to right or right to left depending on which way you flipped it and That just proved to me that you can’t see the Refresh direction with your naked Eye, because I had no idea whenever I was watching a YouTube video on my iPhone that the screen was updating in a completely different direction I’m not sure if this is the case for all smart phones, but it’s certainly the case on an iPhone 7 plus Which is what I film this on so we’ve talked about one illusion of TV’s the illusion of movement the second illusion I want to talk about is the illusion of color for this next part. I’m going to need a second camera. Here’s one That’s you hello you so in order to film this screen extremely close. I want to set my focus the minimum possible distance So it’s sort of like right here now set to my minimum focus As I slowly moved towards the screen it becomes sharper, and you will then at the last minute see a very odd looking pattern And what you’re seeing there is an effect caused by the camera this camera trying to resolve individual pixels on the surface of this screen as I push further forward the effect disappears and Everything goes out of focus that’s because I’m now beyond the minimum focal distance of this lens which is about what it’s about they’re Not close enough in order to get closer. I’m gonna need a macro lens Here’s one as I approach the white and everything starts to become InFocus You can see that white isn’t so white anymore it looks like I have to go closer even than that thankfully I Can go all the way to five times magnification Now one thing from this point I am definitely gonna need a tripod because there’s no way my arms are sturdy enough to hold this in place But I’ll just ease it in just to show you the level of magnification. We’re talking about now Mm-hmm Well this close it’s a different story altogether, I’m gonna get a tripod. Here’s one What a mission this is We’re so close up right now that I can actually disturb this image by blowing on the lens We’re now looking at the sub pixel level a pixel is made up of three sub pixels red green and blue RGB you may have heard that before and This creates the illusion of different colors by dimming and brightening different sub pixels to different intensities this screen can create the illusion of literally millions of different colors when all three are lit to full brightness you get white When all three dim you go through gray all the way down to black so if green dims away and red and blue are still Lit then you go into magenta purple. That’s all very and that’s how the colors are made so every time on your TV You’re looking at a white image. You’re looking at tons of blue green and red lights They’re just so small. They look like white to your eye Before you get white red green and blue blurs into yellow cyan and magenta And that’s what happens here when I move the screen slightly out of focus This is too close to watch the slow mo guys video I might vomit It’s the same situation Just entire blocks and they’re bigger as I mentioned before this is a 4k LCD screen which a while back were typically lit by C CFLs or A cold cathode fluorescent lamp which means the entire panel is backlit by fluorescent tubes nowadays They are backlit by LEDs This is why this would actually be marketed as an LED TV the benefit of LED screens over CCFL screens Is that they’re a lot thinner now? Now I’m going to point it at where some black text is now interestingly even though this area is black Because all the sub pixels are dimmed. They are still in fact backlit. Let me show you that right now now you can see as we push in here you have to pardon noise were an extremely high ISO to get this shot through a Macro lens you can see even the dimmed pixels part of the liquid crystal Display as it’s now trying to block all light from penetrating through, but it’s still a backlit pixel, and that’s one of the fundamental limitations of an LCD screen you can see this effect on an LCD screen In the credits of a film because got almost completely black image But because there’s white text the entire Backlight has to be on to display the white which means light will leak out from the black pixels Which means it’s not true black. There is another technology that’s becoming much more common these days and that is an OLED-screen Organic light-emitting diode I did want to include a comparison between an LCD panel and an OLED panel But I didn’t actually have an OLED TV and by sheer luck right in the middle of me shooting all this footage LG got in touch and offered to supply me with an OLED TV for the purpose of making this video, which I really appreciate Thanks, LG. What are we going to take a look at it? This is a 77 inch LG OLED TV the way OLED technology works. Is that each pixel is? Self-illuminating depending on how much voltage is passing through it, which means there’s no global backlight on the TV each pixel is Individually in control of how bright is and it’s not being lit from behind and that means when we go to our high ISO Experiment just like we’ve done the LCD that when there’s an area of black on the screen All of those pixels are off And you can see here where I’m putting my cursor in front of the lens you can see each sub pixel lighting up and then completely turning off when it goes away this technology means much deeper blacks and the possibility of a very thin screen. And there you have it a brief explanation of how a TV works in slow-mo. If you found that video interesting chances are, you might find some other videos interesting on this channel. So make sure you *boop* [subscribe] and once you booped feel free to check out our *kneet* [merchandise]. It’s just there. Thank you very much for watching That was good timing wasn’t it? *laughs* TV timed out and now there’s fireworks

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100 thoughts on “How a TV Works in Slow Motion – The Slow Mo Guys”

  1. 민기TV 5-3 says:

    i didn’t know you had an nintendo entertaining system(NES)

  2. Africa my dude says:

    Yo you wanna play halo

  3. strange St. Yoko thong m oy says:

    At 1:15 I saw a black cat behind the old TV

  4. strange St. Yoko thong m oy says:

    At 1:15 I saw a cat

  5. strange St. Yoko thong m oy says:

    I saw a black cat at 1:15

  6. S & S group says:


  7. Francis Balfour says:

    How is this possible to make and connect each 0.2mm pixel though , insane the amount of perfection needed to have this tech

  8. Respublik says:


  9. Mahi Samant says:


  10. IMK says:

    It's incredible. It's inception like a dream inside a dream inside a dream…😉
    I am wondering why you have only 12M subs…. You should actually have as many as TVs on the planet.

  11. Luucas202 says:

    watching from a 4k screen

  12. shahnewaz saad says:

    That camera is like a microscope

  13. Aiden Cates says:

    You can see the pixels if you also look at the tv with binoculars but you have to look in the wrong end not the zoom end but the end that makes things look smaller. I don't understand how it works but it does you can test it.

  14. Andro08 088p0 says:

    Zaten her pixelin işleyişini görebilseydik sıkıntı olurdu. çünkü yavaş çekikde pixel sayısını rahatça görüyorum ancak başımda ağrı artışı oluyor.

  15. John Guastavino says:

    I was looking for a Slow Mo Guys video. HERE'S ONE

  16. Pitágoras de Samos says:

    just me seeing the small squares on the monitor?

  17. michail okeefe says:

    Can you get close up on a plasma tv?

  18. Disciplined Coder says:


  19. 1Bit says:

    did u get to keep the OLED?

  20. BearGrillz Gaming says:

    7:45 pause it hold ur phone in landscape mode and shake ur phone left to right.

  21. Abdullah Hamad says:

    How fast does this happen relative to thought/perception? Is a person's speed of thought slowed down when they experience media, to give it time to draw? The reason I ask is that there are limits to how fast art can be created, especially INTERACTIVE media, like video games. One thing you didn't mention in the video that I saw, was that on the CRT/NES, EVERY line was redrawn, whether or not the image remained static, and yet, on the 4k LED TV/XBOX, only the parts of the image that were changing were redrawn, and everything else kind of just stayed pumping out light on the screen. Maybe that's why the world is so hot, today. An art processing measure with benefits AND drawbacks?

  22. Ridho Budi Al Rizki says:

    What the type of lens makro you use in this video?

  23. Ahmed Hadwan says:

    Better than my physics book…

  24. Robbie Isbell says:

    Very cool video!

  25. Daily Meme Review says:

    Anyone here because YouTube recommend this video🤔

  26. Yugant Puri says:

    How to see pixels of your phone:
    Drop smallest drop of water

  27. Alpha Q Hard says:

    Well we're watching this in phone, so the ray lines going down are actually even stiller images XD

  28. Hyperthesis says:

    I thought Cathode Ray Tube TVs were interlaced? But from the slow Mo video it looks like each line is drawn sequentially after the other? There doesn't appear to be any scanlines.

  29. William Wallace says:

    You can see the pixels if you zoom in with your iphone

  30. Nix Ryu The Sergal says:

    0:50 your welcome

  31. kokunot XD says:

    I Don't need TV in my recommended

  32. Joris Gudde says:

    Pc masterrace

  33. The king says:

    dint your Xbox got destroy in a youtube video??

  34. Elrick King says:

    The most useful/informative video on this channel, the other is only break stuff in slow motion.

  35. Pieter Dewachter says:

    Been a while since I heard the annoying sound of a CRT TV, so glad that those times have passed!
    Someone else also constantly hears like a "beep" whenever a CRT is on?

  36. Shahbaz Khan says:

    Thanks bro its very much concept clearing . Well done

  37. Zach Kutzer says:

    Hey LG I’m totalllly making a a video about 80” LED vs OLD TVs… I’ll need one of each…. just sayin

  38. Stoop Drawz says:

    Hey guys whos watching in 2020?

    Why why why tho like i know you want likes but why?!?!?!

  39. HiZ RedShift says:

    i knew this stuff but to see it up close like this was amazing – seems hard to believe a CRT can draw all those lines so quick that we dont see a black screen

  40. Joshua Jacofsky says:

    Anyone else notice the Anker battery…

  41. Lucas Machado says:

    that key shift on 3:30 got me freaked out

  42. hizuka007 says:

    So that's why some ghost can be captured on camera, not by eyes

  43. Prime Technophilia says:

    Can't wait until OLED technology becomes the standard like how LED LCD is now, cheap and common place. I paid $819AUD for my 4k 40" 60hz monitor, its great for the price but back-light bleed is terrible!

  44. Use your common sense says:

    LG 발 빠르네 ㅋㅋ

  45. IM BEAUTIFUL says:

    The old tv squeaks are so annoying ;-;

    I don’t think most people can hear it but I do ;-;

  46. Wolfiy_ Plays says:

    What a huge TV! !!!

  47. Saluted Firestarter says:

    You basically captured the speed of light…..


  48. LEO420 says:

    Slow mo guys do a slow mo of a previous slow mo video… up next on YouTube

  49. JackedJay says:

    I used to own a giant 85" box tv (crate tv) that instead of having millions of RGB lights it had a only 3 big RGB spotlights (one for each color) in the back that would reflect off the light levels projected to the screen. The green spotlight had a tendency to go out so we'd be playing PS2 midnight club 3 dub edition remix with a redish screen with blue marks. We had to replace the green spotlight 6 times because the midnight club was a very green consuming game 😂.

    Just looked it up, it's called a rear-projection tv. It uses light patterns and synchronizes the projection to a certain spot at a certain time, apperently these were really popular as gaming TV's because it gave better fps than a standard box TV.

  50. echeaz says:

    What does he mutter under his breath??

  51. jitendra singh says:

    Thank u very much

  52. Hyper_Nova_ 25 says:

    Who else thought there was alot of flexes in the video


    Fist ad I watch very bad

  54. Casey Marshall says:

    I remember looking at my TV when I was a kid and seeing the red green and blue

  55. s says:

    Me an intellectual: puts payback speed to 0.25 to get maximum slowness

  56. Ahmad Issa says:

    good old channels XD

  57. x Crane says:

    WILL BE much easyer if you drop a drip of water in oval shape and you will se the same efect like the camera 7:27

  58. VERSATILE VASU says:

    This tv is the mother of today's OLED & QLED

  59. Zack says:

    11:21 Gavin Noises

  60. Jakob B says:

    So really the only things that have changed about tvs since they were invented is; different light source, and more pixels…

  61. Emily Animator says:

    Remember the first time you looked at a CRTV super close as a kid, and saw all the red, green and blue rectangles, and then your parents barked at you to get away before you fried your eyeballs? For me that made it seem like the rgb pixels were this magic secret you werent allowed to look at.

  62. DaKussh says:

    Watching this video actually fixed my screen´s dead pixel, thanks Slow Mo Guys!!!

  63. XHenryKickAssX says:

    0:50 "PC master-race" 😂

  64. clash of clan clash royale says:

    Because of me subscribing, likeing and commentong you hava that TV. I'm out.

  65. Danny Rutz says:

    So so interesting

  66. fawad khaliqkhan says:

    I subscribed.

  67. Janelle Mildenberger says:

    This was so educational for me, wow!

  68. Willy Wanka says:

    Wish he were my infocomm teacher

  69. John Doe says:

    7:45 That's not RGB! That's RBG!

  70. John Doe says:

    If you're reading this comment you just got tricked.

    Like if you get it.

  71. 《 GØĐAssassin 》 says:

    Next video "Human Heart Filmed In Slow Mo"

  72. Safouane Rihane says:

    acid helped me see this easy can anyone agree

  73. Moon Runes says:

    Normies: Watch the whole video.

    Me, and intellectual: skips to the slo mo parts.

  74. Hannah • Zelhan says:

    Amazing how such a simple concept can create something so complex!

  75. FRANK RIZZO says:

    This was awesome

  76. Владимир Киреев says:

    what he said at 0:50 ?

  77. Texs Games says:

    a film is normally 21 fps not 24

  78. skepticlogician says:

    Amazingly mind-blowing, mind-blowingly amazing!

  79. I'm Renzta says:

    This video in 0.25x 😏

  80. Tim Ramich says:

    Imagine if TVs drew their lines and went dark after each line, like the phosphors in a CRT. It's horrible in 24 Hz to see objects pan across these modern screens, because the screen stays lit while the eye is tracking motion. Back in the days of film in theaters, there would be 1/48s of an image and 1/48s of darkness. No problems there.

  81. Isaac - Lizard king says:

    Dirty console gaming peasants! Join me and ascend to godhood, for you are weak and I am mighty.

  82. 10000 Subscribers Without Any Video Challenge says:

    The T.V. is a Paid Actor

  83. Boxzapp says:

    Xbox ONE X and a PS4 Pro. OMG, I need some slow mo cameras so I can get rich too!

  84. SPIDER S says:

  85. kranthi aryan says:

    You have soo much patience bro… In these topics 😱

  86. Tapas Mandal says:

    You forgot to mention that these are CRT( Cathode Ray tube) screens.

  87. Perhaps says:

    You guys saw how deep and true the blacks were on a OLED TV? That’s why I love so much the iPhones with OLED screens.

  88. 4200time B says:

    I like learning

  89. Davide Dossi says:

    You're really amazing guys! but we miss dan in this video :DD

  90. Kerem Gül says:

    Can you record a video with amoled screen because it is also happens in camera. I don't know is iPhone amoled. But even if it is amoled you can record a new video because iPhone's part is not slow enough.

  91. I_know_your _abx says:

    Epilepsy Warning ⚠️

  92. Cynthia Fillier says:

    This is intense.

  93. Aayush Ranjan says:

    Why does this guy looks like jake gyllenhall?

  94. xxX_Dimentio_Xxx says:

    Probably gonna need 700000 fps to see the CRT TV scan line being created pixel by pixel

  95. Austin Ross says:

    clears throat pcmr

  96. Chewe Lopez says:


  97. Stewie Williamson says:

    Thank you, I got a new HP 4k Monitor for my comp, and thinking on what it eels like, also been experimenting on different snapshots on my t.v., been doing this for countless years though, trying to have down to like a perfect science for my eyes, now I do not have to wonder about each square for color.

  98. Rocking Ron says:

    Do this same thing but to this vid

  99. Jinney Vidal says:

    My eye hurt after this

  100. Notthedroids Yourelookingfor says:

    I guess you could have just used your phone to show an OLED screen..

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