If you are a serious gamer, or even not-so-serious, to get the most entertainment value out of your gaming you need the right TV. Some TVs just won’t do justice to your gaming. So how do choose the right TV? One that will allow you to take your enjoyment to the next level. Here’s a quick guide to choosing the best gaming TV.
TVs have so many technical specifications and features these days, it is easy to get overwhelmed by choices. So what are the most important attributes to look for in a TV used for gaming? Here is a list of the key features that you really need to pay attention to:
- Input Lag – playing shooter games like Halo or Call of Duty require millisecond fine responses, which can be negatively impacted by TVs that have higher amounts of input lag. So what is acceptable? I would suggest that you want a TV that has 50 milliseconds of input lag, and preferably lower – ideally in the 30’s or less. The trouble with input lag is that you need to dig deeper on a TV’s specs because this usually isn’t listed.
- Motion Blur – a lot of games involve very fast action, and so you will need a TV that handles fast moving objects very well. I would only consider TV’s that have a refresh rate of at least 120Hz and preferably have even more motion enhancement technology.
- Gaming Mode – a lot of TVs have multiple modes that you can set, including a “gaming” mode which essentially changes the settings of the TV to provide the ideal picture for gaming. This isn’t an essential attribute to have, but is a great feature if the TV has it.
- Picture Quality – it goes without saying that HD is essential, but very few TVs these days are not HD so this is easy to find. Most games these days are at least 720p or better and playing it in standard definition will cause the game to appear blurry. In addition, excellent black/white contrast is important for a gaming TV. Game design keeps getting better, and excellent contrast allows you to see those improvements with a greater feeling of reality.
- Ports – depending on how many devices and their age, will determine the connections you need. All the new consoles come with HDMI cables, but older consoles (XBox 360, PS3, etc.) use component cables. Inventory all the devices you want to connect and make sure the TV has ample ports.
- Size – size matters! The larger, the better, as long as the specifications above are all right. A larger TV will give you a more immersive experience, plus you will be able to see more detail in your games. It will simply be a lot more fun. Your space has to be able to accommodate the large screen, and as long as you aren’t only a couple feet away from the screen then go big or go home!
- Budget – of course everything has to fit in your budget but great gaming TVs don’t have to break the bank. Big TVs have gotten much less expensive over the last few years so you should be able to find the ideal TV within your budget.
ed a lot of features like 3D or Smart if you are using the TV mainly for gaming. So don’t spend extra money on features – go for size, picture quality, and speed (refresh rates and input lag). Having said that, one feature that is awesome for gaming is “Dual Play Technology” which LG brought out in 2012 in some of their higher-end TVs. Sony also has it now in some of their TVs. Two players each wear 3D glasses and instead of seeing the game in 3D (games typically aren’t made 3D) each of you will see your scene on the entire screen rather than in split-screen mode, and you won’t see what the other player sees.
Some Suggested TVs
The good news is that there are a lot of TV models out there that will make excellent gaming TVs, so although I am making a few suggestions here, I am not going so far as to say they are the definitive gaming TVs. There are just too many great choices out there.
Plasmas are a good place to look for gaming TVs because they have excellent picture quality with deep contrast, and they have extremely speedy refresh rates so motion blur will never be an issue. The Samsung 51” Plasma (PN51F5300AFXZC0) is a good choice for the budget conscious that still wants a big screen. It meets all the requirements listed above, and is fairly inexpensive. It only has 2 HDMI ports, so make sure you can figure out how to connect what you need to.
For LED TVs, the LG 55” 120Hz HDTV (55LB6000) is a decent choice because it is a big screen TV that is also relatively inexpensive but has what you need in terms of picture quality and speed. It also only has two HDMI ports, so again think about what you are connecting. If you are prepared to spend more, then I would highly recommend the LG 55” 240Hz Smart TV (55LA8600) as the picture is excellent, refresh rates are fast, and it has the Dual Play Feature mentioned above. I am also betting we will start seeing some 3D games so this TV will be ready for that.
If any of you have any other TVs that you bought and found extremely well suited for gaming let us know. There are a lot of great sets out there so share the wealth!