Top TVs For Playing Games With Low Input Lag

Lia Mahanta - Jul 15, 2019


Top TVs For Playing Games With Low Input Lag

The interruption between the game and your controller can drive you crazy. Here are the best TVs minimizing that delay. So users don't have to worry.

The feedback loop between the action in front of the TV screen and your brain, fingers, game controller is a nice cycle. Hence, any interruption can directly reduce the enjoyment of players. In some certain games, it can even lead to the death of your character.

The latency between the Internet’s servers and your console is mostly out of control. Besides, it’s also the main source of these delays, at least in the online games. Hence, for all of the other game types, the TV itself is another source of lag.

Gamers-may-encounter-input-lag-when-playing-1
Gamers may encounter input lag when playing

Input lag is just milliseconds for the signal of video that can travel from the console via an HDMI input into the TV to exist on your screen. However, it’s obvious that input lag can quickly kill your mood or your character in a game.

Luckily, most TVs have a game mode, which is, in fact, the picture mode. Besides, it’s specially designed to reduce input lag as much as possible.

Best 2018 and 2019 TVs with low input lag

Check out the list below, which was put together by CNET, including figures for input lag when the game mode is on and off by milliseconds.

Capture Compressed 3

Capture2

How to turn the game mode on

For the most part, you need to turn the game mode on by yourself since it doesn't run automatically. The setting is not easy to find sometimes. Some use “Game” – the picture mode. However, others put any of the settings such as Vizio and Samsung. While you have to check it carefully in Samsung’s menus, Vizio does call it "Gaming Low Latency."

The game mode doesn’t always work

Obviously, while users turn the game mode on, many TVs reduce lag significantly, but others don't. Generally, you’ll have more pros when engaging game mode with pricey TVs that have complicated video processing.

Game-Mode-Setting
Game Mode Setting

Most game modes of TVs are adequate for gameplays

Even if you’re so picky, it’s not easy to notice the distinction between 30 and 15 milliseconds of input lag. Hence, some gamers can’t distinguish between the off and on of game mode. It’s up to the game as well as gamers' sensitivity to input lag.

Game mode can slightly hurt image quality

Menus of TV makers usually refer to decreased quality of the image after turning off video processing. However, the difference is minor, not enough to be a deal-breaker.

Gaming lag in 4K HDR is different from 1080p

The resolution impacts on input lag too. From tests conducted with 4K HDR, we learned that in general, 4K HDR and 1080p resolution has quite similar lag figures, but there are still exceptions as can be seen from the table above.

Input 5 of Vizio is odd

The 5th port on PQ TV and Vizio P-Series have characteristics’ input lag which is different from other inputs. In general, it’s great for 1080p but it’s bad for 4K HDR gaming. Likewise, the other tested TV makers have different capabilities and lag for the different inputs.

Playing-games-on-Vizio-2
Playing games on Vizio

Testing is the imprecise science

Leo Bodnar was used by CNET as a lag tester. Hence, you can use another method, also. Different reviews vents can show different results of the lag test.

So what's the top gaming TV?

Tough question!

For some, image quality is a decisive factor. Like TV shows and movies, games also take advantage of uniform screens, bright highlights or extensive black levels.

Besides, there’re also other factors, yet they don’t really apply to all users.

If users play only one game usually and never put something else into the screen, they may be at risk for the burn-in of OLED. However, most users don't need to worry about that.

The TV input that your console which is connected is shared with different devices? You also don't wanna remember to always re-engage the game mode? Hence, the automatic game mode feature may help you. Some Xbox One X users and PC can really like the changing refresh rate. The 2 extras can be found on many 2019 TVs with HDMI 2.1 of LG, Sony, Samsung and also on the 2018 Samsung's TVs.

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