As you’re no doubt aware, the market for TVs is always changing. And while they continue to improve, and reduce in price, no two TVs are alike. Aside from the many bells and whistles, the specifications in hardware and software can drastically affect your viewing experience.
And if you’re a keen gamer, this becomes even more important. So in this article, we’ll look at why this is and what TVs are the best for the optimal gaming experience.
Why Should I Buy a Gaming TV?
TVs aren’t built specifically for gaming, as most people just want a good TV for all-round everyday use. But things are changing and serious gamers are looking for high-performance TVs that are more suited to gaming.
This includes things like image resolution and sound, but also things like frame rate, lag, processing power, color range, and depth. Let’s explore this a little more to give you a better idea of what to look out for.
Things to Consider
A TV that displays the highest resolution means that your games will look fantastic. The most popular consoles now support 4K, so if you want that crisp clarity and high definition, this is definitely the way to go.
Bit depth affects the color performance of your TV. 8-bit can create a decent HDR color, but 10-bit is where it’s at for supporting 1024 values of each RGB colour. You’ll find most high-end TVs have this, and some even go as high as 12-bit.
This makes a real difference when you’re playing online. Lag occurs as the TV renders the image data, so you want it as low as possible for optimal, fast-paced gaming.
All moving images are made up of still frames that, when displayed rapidly, become animated. So how your TV handles the frame refresh rate will determine the smoothness of the animation. The faster the better, so your TV needs to be at least 60 frames per second (fps).
High Dynamic Range (HDR)
HDR technology can be found in most 4K TVs today. It creates a wider light range to make images appear more realistic, especially when it comes to color, light and shadow. It’s what helps display a game’s graphics to their highest level.
To really escape into a game, the sound can be just as important as the image. That voice in the distance or footsteps behind you can be experienced in a TV that supports full surround sound. To achieve this, a lot of TVs are adapting the speaker direction so it’s not just hitting the wall behind.
Here’s How We’ve Determined The Best Gaming TVs
While 8K TVs are available and supported by the latest consoles, 4K is more widely available and does the job perfectly. The top TVs for gaming focus on getting the best out of the features above and really bring the best performance out of your Xbox or Playstation. Here’s our top recommendations.
Input lag: Sub-1ms | Refresh rate: 120Hz |4 x HDMI 2.1
The LG CX OLED TV is a great choice for gamers, many of who mark it their top choice. Not only does it give you outstanding images, but the input lag is incredibly low for high-level responsiveness. It also has variable refresh rates at 120 frames per second. This, along with the OLED display make for a fantastic gaming TV for all consoles.
Low Input lag | Variable Refresh Rate: 120Hz |HDR10+ and Dolby Vision | HDMI 2.1
The Vizio P Series Quantum 2020 is an excellent TV, delivering high-quality images for all uses. And due to its excellent contrast ratio, local dimming, deep blacks, and reflection handling, it’s suitable for all light conditions. particularly for gaming in all light settings.
What makes it particularly great for gaming is its low input lag, high refresh rate (120Hz), and HDR for that quick-response and high-level detail.
4K UHD resolution (4096 x 2160)| HDR10/HLG | 3,000 lumens | Contrast ratio: 10,000:1 | 5W speakers
Sticking with Vizio, the M7 series is a slightly cheaper version that still packs a punch. It also has FreeSync support, only this model has a lower refresh rate of 60Hz. That’s still good for a budget 4K TV and will produce smooth motion imagery, great color contrast, VRR, HDR, and auto latency mode. So, while it’s not as good as the P series, it still makes for an excellent gaming TV that won’t break the bank.
55″ Crystal UHD 4K Smart TV – Low Input lag: 9.7ms | Refresh rate: 60Hz | Good motion handling
We know how good Samsung TVs are, but many come with a high price tag too. And while this may be slightly smaller, at 55-inches, it’s a solid performer for a budget gaming TV. It’s very low lag makes for smooth motion handling and fast-paced action at a 60Hz refresh rate. So it won’t have everything the top-end TVs have, but for everyday gaming on a budget, this TV is perfect.
Low Input lag: 8.7ms | Refresh rate: 4K/120Hz | VRR | OTS Audio
This TV from Samsung is a step up from the last as we enter into the mid-range territory. So it’ll cost a little more, but you also get more for your money. It has very low input lag, full-array backlight, vivid HDR, and AI-enhanced images, all working together to bring you that crisp detail and smooth-motion gameplay. On top of all that, it also comes with an OTS sound system for that excellent gaming surround sound.
#6: TCL 6-Series
Input lag: 17.7ms | Refresh rate: 60Hz | VRR | HDR | Dolby Vision
If you step away from the big-name brands, you’ll be surprised what you can get for your money. The TCL 6-Series is one of those lesser-known brands that is quite the competitor. Apart from the slightly higher lag, it makes up for it with its great picture, HDR and VRR, and it also supports Dolby Vision. So, if you want a solid gaming TV for less, this is the one.
Get Your Head in the Game with the Best Gaming TVs
Whether you’re a keen player, professional, or casual gamer, the TV you choose can really make a difference to your experience. It can be tough deciding on which TV is best for you, so hopefully this range will give you a good starting point.
We’ve carefully selected these six to fit the average budget while delivering the highest quality output. Click through on each for more information, or simply use these reviews to help you make a more informed decision. Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed. And if you’re looking for some of the best TVs of 2020, be sure to check out our review post here. Happy gaming!