Philips to bring 4K@120Hz VRR update to some 2021 OLED TVs

Mike Wheatley

Philips has welcome news for anyone who bought one of its OLED706, OLED806 or OLED856 TVs last year. Those TVs will soon be upgraded to support 4K 120Hz variable refresh rate in full resolution, the company said.


The TVs were the first from Philips to come with HDMI 2.1 ports and are already capable of displaying content in 4K@120Hz, however they cannot do so when VRR is added into the mix. Doing so halves the resolution, due to a limitation in the TV’s MediaTek chipset.

However, Philips says it has found a workaround and will soon issue a firmware update for the OLED706, OLED806 and OLED856 models that will enable 4K@120Hz VRR in full resolution.

The capability will also be available on the newly announced 2022 Philips OLED807 TV, either pre-installed at launch or via a firmware update shortly after it goes on sale.

“We can confirm that they will be updated in 2022 to be able to display 4k 120Hz VRR content in full resolution,” Philips said in a statement to FlatpanelsHD.

VRR is a technology similar to AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync on PCs that makes it possible to vary the refresh rate of images according to that emitted by the source, improving sharpness and limiting the effects of tearing.

There is however, some not so good news for anyone who purchased one of Philips’ flagship TVs, the 9-series OLED TVs.

Philips said the OLED936 and OLED986 TVs both use a special twin-chip architecture that, unfortunately, will not support 4K@120Hz with VRR in full resolution. There appears to be no way to get around this, Philips said.

The company explained to FlatpanelsHD it chose the chipset to ensure the absolute best picture quality performance.

“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 stated.

Due to that decision, the Philips OLED936 and OLED986 TVs will not be able to handle 4K@120HZ with VRR at full resolution.

The company did say it is looking to support the feature on twin-chip models in future, though it hasn’t confirmed if it will be able to do so yet.