Screen refresh rate in Windows does not apply the user selected settings on monitors & TVs (that report specific TV compatible timings)


Symptoms


On a computer that is running Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows, you cannot change the Screen refresh rate for certain monitors. Specifically, this behavior occurs on monitors that report a TV-compatible timing of 59.94Hz, but not 60Hz.

Cause


Certain monitors report a TV-compatibility timing of 59.94Hz. Therefore, Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows expose two frequencies, 59Hz and 60Hz, for every resolution that is supported at that timing. The 59Hz setting makes sure that a TV-compatible timing is always available for an application such as Windows Media Center. The 60Hz setting maintains compatibility for applications that expect 60Hz.

In Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows, when a user selects 60Hz, the OS stores a value of 59.94Hz. However, 59Hz is shown in the Screen refresh rate in Control Panel, even though the user selected 60Hz.

Resolution


No action is needed.

This behavior is by design for monitors and TVs that report only 59.94Hz but not 60Hz. Both 59Hz and 60Hz are translated to 59.94Hz before these values are sent to the driver. Therefore, the display is identical at 59Hz and 60Hz.

This KB article describes the case in which a monitor or TV reports 59.94Hz. However, this issue also occurs for monitors or TVs that report the following TV-compatible timings:

  • 23.976Hz, but not 24Hz
  • 29.970Hz, but not 30Hz
  • 47.952Hz, but not 48Hz
  • 71.928Hz, but not 72Hz
  • 119.880Hz, but not 120Hz

More Information


Steps to reproduce the problem

  1. Right-click the windows desktop, and then click Personalize.
  2. Click Display.
  3. Click Change display settings.
  4. Click Advanced settings.
  5. Click the Monitor tab and change Screen refresh rate from 59 Hertz to 60 Hertz.
  6. Click Ok.
  7. Return to Advanced settings.

The Monitor tab still shows 59 Hertz.