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Find out how to buy the best TV for gaming and do it within your budget in this easy to
understand write up.
Source: James Causian
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Trying to find how to buy the best TV for gaming can be a headache for a lot of
people due to the many and different TV technologies, different features and
functions, unfamiliar tech jargon and terms used; not to mention the other
requirements of your video games.
Many people typically find it even more confusing when they first start to
research to buy what they think would be their best TV for gaming.
In their search for their best gaming TVs, they will definitely come across
numerous conflicting comments in AV, TV, gaming and other related forums
that will make them very very confused.
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CCoonnfflliiccttiinngg aaddvviicceess ffoorr bbuuyyiinngg tthhee iiddeeaall TTVVss
For example, here are some of the advices that I found in reputable and highly
respected TV related forums:
“Whatever you do, do NOT get a plasma TV for gaming…”
“As for my plasma, Its amazing. I have had no image retention image
quality is astounding I havent seen any other tv match its side view…”
“You want a plasma to avoid motion blur problems with fast moving
"Stick with LED and Plasma, I wouldn't get a LCD…"
Then there are those conflicting comments related to brands or manufacturers:
“Whatever TV you choose, avoid LG like the plague…”
“Almost all the HDTVs in my household are LG and I'v never had that
problem. Gaming has always been flawless…”
“LG's work wonderfully for gaming. I have an LG THX certified LED
and the picture is beautiful and full of color…”
One owner sang praises about particular TV technology while another is asking
people not to buy it! One is telling people to buy a certain brand but the other is
telling people not to buy that same brand. Boy, all this is really, really
If you are initially like me when I first started to look for my ideal TV for
gaming, don’t worry. This is because I am going to highlight points and features
for you so that you can select the best gaming TV that you have budgeted for
and cut away all those confusion.
I will also point out the common jargon and technology used so that by the end
of this review, you should have a fairly good idea of what to look out for in your
selection for the best TV for your video gaming.
Then, knowing how to buy that best TV for gaming will be so much easier.
To make it even easier for you, I will also point out some of the current best
gaming TVs so that you can check them out in more detail without having to
sort through the myriad of TVs that are available today.
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First of all, we have to set the objective for us to be on the same page. I will
assume that the objective for buying a TV for gaming is because you want more
than just a monitor, right?
If that is the case we are on the same page and the primary focus of this review
will be to assist you in the selection of the best TVs for gaming first and then
consider other nice to have TV features next.
As such, I will put priority on the features that will most impact your gaming
experience first and then point out other features that will together give you that
overall satisfaction and user experience you desire on the whole for the TV.
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These are some of the favourite types of games played today:
First person shooter (FPS)
Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO)
Third person shooter
What games do you play?
Before you proceed further, it might be a good idea to identify your most
favourite type of games first as it may help you to distinguish the features to go
for in your selection of the best TV to buy for gaming.
Do you play first person shooter (FPS) fast action games like Call of Duty
(COD), Halo, racing games etc?
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Are your games multi players and online (MMO)?
If you do, then the first thing to seriously consider is the input lag.
This is because the input lag factor can literally determine your long life or early
death especially in the FPS game.
FPS and other games that requires millisecond responses will need as little input
lag as possible; especially when you are hooking up an Xbox One or
PlayStation 4 to play the game.
I will elaborate more about input lag in the next section.
Very important features to consider in your search for the
best gaming TV
Important features in the selection of the best TV for gaming
The other points to consider and the jargon and terminology you may see and
must understand in your search for the best TV for gaming include:
1. Input lag as mentioned above.
2. Response time
3. Refresh rate - 60 Hz, 120 Hz, 240 Hz
4. Scan rate - 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 720i
5. Gaming mode
6. Current TV technologies - Plasma, LED and LCD
I will next go through each of the above features in detail to give you a better
understanding of what should go into the best gaming TV.
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The other features that would be nice to have may include:
Warranty - the longer the period of the warranty the better. Generally the
manufacturers conduct strict QA on their TVs but being electronic
devices, sometimes, though not often, things may go wrong with it.
Having a longer warranty saves you for repairs.
HDMI outputs - the more the better. This is to enable you to connect
more devices to it as and when needed. I assume the reason you are
buying a TV for playing games is because you would like to have a
multiple use of the TV otherwise you would just bought a monitor!
Size - again this is very subjective. If you are a competitive FPS gamer,
then you may want a smaller TV (24 to 30 inches) otherwise it is nice to
have a larger screen (40 to 65 inches). The reason for having a smaller
screen is to enable you to react faster. If you have a larger screen you will
have to look all over the place and may be shot before you shoot!
and most importantly, your budget. I will focus on how to select the best TV for
gaming first and then let you map your budget to it.
Once you know what to look for, you can get your best gaming TV based on
your budget by knowing what features you will need - what you must absolutely
have and what you can do without in order to buy that best gaming TV that will
fit your budget and not compromise your gaming enjoyment.
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1. Some of the best gaming TVs has very low input lag
Input lag is very important for fast paced games. However for normal games, it may not be
This is the number one priority when you are looking for the best TV for
gaming especially if you are playing a FPS or fast paced game. Input lag will
determine how responsive your gaming experience is going to be when you play
your video games and this in turn may impact how long your FPS game
character live or die!
However it is irrelevant if you were to use your TV mainly for TV shows or
movies. It could also be irrelevant for a lot of other slower paced games as well.
So what is input lag? It is the delay in milliseconds from the moment your TV
receives the signal e.g. when you press a button or moves your analogue game
controller stick to the responses you see on the TV screen.
Input lag is introduced by modern flat screen televisions due to the many
features such as back light dimming, up scaling, edge smoothing, motion-
compensated frame interpolation, 3D engine, smart functions, etc. As would be
expected, more time will be required to perform complex video processing and
the functions described. As such this contributes to higher input lag.
TV manufacturers generally never publish any input lag figures but instead
provide a “response time” figure (which I will explain in the next section). Due
to that, almost all input lag data published on the internet comes from end users
and professional reviewers rather than from TV manufacturers.
Input from gaming forums by serious gamers generally agree that an input lag
of 40 ms and below will be hardly noticeable.
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2. Fast TV response time is good
Response time contributes to the overall performance of the TV.
Response time is the time taken for a pixel to switch from active (black) to
inactive (white) and back to black again. Think of it like the camera shutter with
its different speeds except in this case, the crystals in the LCD and LED TV
panel flips back and forth to allow light to pass or block it.
Response time is measured in milliseconds (ms). A lower number means a
faster change while a larger number means it takes a longer time for the crystal
to flip. As such TVs with a longer response time may not be suitable for fast
action games such as FPS, racing etc. Just imagine looking at smears or blur
around fast moving objects in your fast action games.
The latest method to overcome the response time problem is by raising the Hz
rate of the LCD panels. Many of the latest LCD panels have now been doubled
or quadrupled from the original standard of 60Hz to 120Hz and 240Hz.
3. 60Hz, 120Hz, 240Hz...Huh, what's all these numbers?
Common refresh rates of today's TV are at 60Hz, 120 Hz and 240 Hz.
60Hz, 120Hz, 240Hz...what are all these numbers you see mentioned in forums
and how does it impact your search for the best TV for gaming?
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These numbers are also known as the refresh rate. The refresh rate is the
number of times in a second that an LED or LCD screen updates its buffer.
To make it simple, if you take 120 or 240 and you divide them by 24, you will
get a full figure whereas 60 does not. A full number result in your TV
displaying nice pictures without those unwanted effects because you are seeing
accurate number of full instead of fractions of frames.
The 120hz and 240hz TVs allow for an even division of 30hz TV output, 24hz
film output, and 60hz video game output. For the 30hz TV output, it repeats 4
duplicate frames for every frame shown.
For the 24hz film output, it repeats 5 duplicate frames for every frame shown.
While for 60hz video game output it repeats 2 duplicate frames for every frame
A faster refresh rate will help to reduce the motion lag.
Different manufacturers refer to the refresh rate features in their TV menu
system. If you come across terms such as Auto Motion Plus, Trumotion 120Hz,
Aquo Motion etc., they all refer to the refresh rate.
4. 720p, 1080p, 1080i...what Are All These Numbers?
These numbers indicate the resolution of the TV. The old CRT TV has 576
horizontal lines as compared to 720 or 1080 in today's HDTV.
If you have watch TV on the old CRT, you may have noticed lines going across
the TV but for today's TV, you don't. This is because of the better resolution;
especially for the 1080 Tvs. 1080 is 1.5 times the resolution of the 720 TV.
The "i" stands for interlace while the "p" stand for progressive. What this means
is that for an interlaced TV, the TV has to scan twice in order to fill up the
screen while the "p" TV only need to do it once.
If you have fast moving videos, you may notice lags for the "i" TV while the
"p" appears smoother. This is because the picture fills up the screen only once.
Anyway, "i" TVs are not popular now. SO what you get are mainly the "p" TVs.
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Would 720p and 1080p make a difference?
Yes and no. For smaller TVs, our natural eye cannot see the difference.
However, you can see the difference especially on larger TVs.
If the price difference is not much, then it is better to go with 1080p to get a
better picture resolution.
5. Gaming mode
Sometime TV manufacturers cramp in a lot of functions and features into their
TV. As the result of that the TV engine has to do additional processing and this
will result in additional input lag.
Gaming mode allows you to reduce input lag by cutting down on various video
processing applied to the picture on screen with just an activation of the option.
Many a times, enabling game mode will be sufficient to minimize lag.
What size gaming TV are you looking for?
Give it a thought, what do you think is your ideal size gaming TV size?
Less than 24 inch
25 to 32 inches
33 to 40 inches
40 to 50 inches
55 to 70 inches
above 70 inches
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6. Plasma, LCD, LED, which is the best...
Current popular TV technologies include LCD, LED and plasma
In researching for the best TV for gaming, you will definitely come across these
three technology; namely Plasma, LCD and LED.
The most frequent question is which of these three technologies is the best.
Unfortunately there is no one size fit all solution as you have seen in the
introductory section where different owners have different preferences. The
answer here is that it all depends on many factors such as your budget, size of
the TV, etc etc and even the size of your room and the presence of windows will
be a factor.
As such it is important to understand the basics on buying the best gaming TV
first and then map back the technology, environment, type of games you play,
budget etc. Then only will you be able to find the best TV for gaming for
yourself as it may be different for different people.
I will cover these three TV technologies here as they are currently the most
There are also other newer technologies and they are beyond the scope of this
review whose primary objective is to provide you the necessary information in
as simple to understand as possible manner so that you will know how to buy
the best TV for gaming.
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Plasma TV for gaming
The main advantage of plasma TV is that you can have a very wide TV screen
as extremely thin materials are utilized in the construct of Plasma TVs. They
typically range from 37 inches to over 100 inches.
As each pixel in the Plasma TV is individually lit, you get a very bright image
that looks good from almost every angle with excellent picture quality.
The picture looks better if you have a darker room. High refresh rate on Plasmas
results in smoother pictures with the least motion blur.
Plasma used to be vulnerable to burn-in, a phenomenon in which faint,
permanent "ghosts" appear on displays that have maintained a fixed image for
long periods of time. However latest Plasma seems to have overcome this.
The negative aspect of plasma is that in general, plasma TVs consume
significantly more power than LCD TV of similar size and can be much heavier
than the LCD or LED TVs.
Its glass screen is also susceptible to light reflections.
As a matter of interest, Panasonic, producer of some of the best plasma TVs has
ceased production of their plasma TVs at the end of last year. This decision
however was not based on quality but rather declining consumer demands.
Their Korean competitors LG and Samsung will however continue their
Click here to check out the excellent Samsung PN64F5500 60-Inch 1080p TV
LCD TV for gaming
The LCD technology was basically developed to replace the CRT technology.
Of the three screen technologies, right now, LCD is the cheapest.
As such, for a similar size model, the LCD TV generally costs much less than a
plasma or LED TV. Today, however it looks that the manufacturing cost of the
LED TV has gone down so much that it is no longer practical for the LCD to
even compete with the LED TV.
As such, LCDs are only used in small screen devices while the LED TV has
practically taken over the LCD TV market space.
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LG Electronics LN530B 32LN530B 32-Inch LED-lit 720p 60Hz TV
The cost for the size of the TVs shown here are for illustration purposes only.
Make sure you click on the links to check out the cost of the different sizes of
TV models you are looking for.
Samsung UN55H6350 55-Inch 1080p 120Hz Smart LED TV
LED TV for gaming
The LED technology is an extension of the LCD technology as the LED
monitor is actually an LCD monitor with LED back lights.
With this type of configuration, manufacturers were able to make the LED
monitor slimmer (about half the thickness of the LCD) with better contrast and
back-lighting that results in more vivid pictures with better color reproduction.
As the LCD TV is no longer popular, it looks like now the competition is
between the plasma and the LED.
Even though plasma has it advantages, it is getting less popular.
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Remember I mentioned earlier that Panasonic is exiting the plasma TV market
because of poor demands for the plasma TVs although it has been generally
acknowledged that Panasonic produces some of the best plasma TVs in the
However with the cost and other advantages of the LED out weighing the
plasma and the LCD, it looks like the LED is the top of the three in terms of
The Panasonic TC-P60S60 TV is one of the best plasma gaming TV.
The best TV for gaming
As I mentioned earlier in this review, it is very subjective when it comes to
selecting the best TV for gaming because it depends on many variables as well
as personal preferences such as the size of the TV, features, technology etc and
there is no TV that has everything!
However because of advancements in manufacturing technology that has
brought the cost of production of the LED TV down, it basically now boils
down to which is the best LED TV for gaming; even though some people still
have preference for the plasma TV.
Ensure that the gaming TV you are buying is able to satisfy your requirements
in terms of input lag, response time and refresh rate first and then only the other
features. Your room size will also determine how big a TV that you can buy.
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However if you just want the best and has a budget from $700 to $1500, looking
for a decent size of around 50 to 60 inch TV, here are three of the very best TVs
for gaming out of the hundreds out there:
See the next page for more details on these three top gaming TVs.
Best TV for gaming - TOP Pick
The Sony KDL-55W900A TV has one of the lowest input lag in the market at
the point of writing. You will especially love this TV if you are playing your
games with a PS4!
The Sony KDL-55W900A also gives you a very impressive viewing angle and
dark black color levels. Through its new TRILUMINOS display, you will see a
brilliant and wider range on colors on your TV.
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At the same time you get realistic-looking motion processing through a high
240Hz refresh rate gives you excellent pictures in fast FPS games.
If you really want the best TV for gaming as well as for your other
entertainment pleasure, then you must get this absolute beauty.
Get it right now as Amazon has a fantastic offer for this model.
Sony KDL-55W900A 55-Inch 240Hz 1080p 3D Internet LED HDTV (Black)
In my humble opinion, this is the absolute best TV for gaming. This 240 Hz
LED HDTV has an input lag of 17 ms! The picture quality is crisp and clean
with a very nice thin edge. Best of all Amazon has a fantastic bargain on this.
Make sure you check it out by clicking on the above link.
Amazon Price: Too low to display
List Price: $3,299.99
VIZIO E-Series E500d-A0.
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Best TV for Gaming - Other top choices
This 50 inch 120 Hz Visio E500i-Ai smart LED TV gives you the best value for
your money as it is the cheapest in this line up of excellent gaming TVs.
It has fantastic colours, contrast, brightness and clarity with excellent 3D.
If 50 inch is too big, then you can get the smaller ones. The E series has sizes
ranging from 24 inches to 55 inches and from prices as low as $198 for the 24
inch model at the point of writing.
Take your pick!
VIZIO E-Series E500d-A0 50-Inch 1080p 120Hz 3D Smart LED HDTV
Samsung PN64H5000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV
If you love big screen TVs and ABSOLUTELY must have a plasma as many
avid gamers felt that they are the best TV for gaming, then make sure you check
out the excellent Samsung plasma TV.
Samsung PN64H5000 64-Inch 1080p 600Hz Plasma HDTV
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If you are playing online games, you may want to look into the following as
they will also be a factor to your ultimate gaming experience:
1. Wireless router
2. Cable modem
Find out more by checking out the links below:
How To Look For The Best Wireless Router For Gaming
Whether you are a seasoned or novice gamer, make sure you find out how
to look for the best wireless router for gaming to truly enjoy your online
gaming in this easy to understand non technical review.
Is It Better To Buy Motorola SB6141 over SB6121?
Avoid the confusion over whether to buy the Motorola SB6141 or
SB6121. Find out which of these two excellent cable modems gives you
the best value for your money in this very easy to understand review.
Some prefer to use gateways. A gateway is a two in one product consisting of
modem and router combined in one box. If you are looking for an excellent
gateway, check out the link below:
Motorola SBG6782-AC: advanced all in one modem router combo with
The Motorola SBG6782-ac Surfboard Extreme cable modem plus
wireless router combo together with its inbuilt MoCA technology gives
you excellent network performance with unprecedented flexibility.
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