Buyer’s Guide: Best & Cheap Gaming TVs
The correct choice of a high quality gaming TV
More and more fans of video games are choosing to use a console instead of playing on a computer. With the appropriate consoles, it is then possible to enjoy your favourite games on the couch with a comfortable cushion over a large gaming TV screen. However, by far not every TV set is designed as a gaming TV and is therefore suitable. Therefore, a bad gaming TV can cause the picture to jerk or fast movements can cause streaks that can cloud the gaming experience. With some TVs it can even be so bad that no decent gaming at all is possible. For these reasons, it is important and a recommendation that you pay attention to some aspects when choosing your gaming TV. Only in this way can you find a good gaming TV that is best suited for playing your video games.
What aspects should a good gaming TV fulfil?
First of all, a good gaming TV should take into account aspects such as the size of the display, a possible 3D function or whether the device has an Internet connection. These features play a rather minor role for TV gaming, but should not be neglected. Among other things, you can decide for yourself how large the device should be and whether it is important to you that it has a 3D function. It is highly recommended that you choose a suitable gaming TV with a large screen diagonal. The reason for this is that today’s game developers incorporate a great deal of detail in their video games. With a larger screen, the high level of detail is accordingly more effective.
With the 3D function of the gaming TV, it can be said that this feature allows you to dive even deeper into the respective game. However, many users get headaches and even dizziness if they play too long in 3D mode. An Internet connection on the gaming TV can also always be useful, for example to install the latest software for the device. Since the consoles are usually also connected to the Internet, it is easy to use another Internet cable for the gaming TV. However, there are also products with W-LAN, which make the Internet connection even easier. Another point is the resolution of the TV set.
With the new consoles such as PS4 and Xbox One, at least one HD device should be used as a gaming TV recommendation. However, this raises the question of “HD-Ready” or “Full-HD”. With “HD-Ready” a resolution of 1280 to 720 pixels can be expected. This picture quality is completely sufficient for older consoles such as Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 or Wii U. However, such televisions are hardly offered for sale nowadays. With newer devices such as the PS4 and Xbox One, the future gaming TV should have at least “Full-HD”. Here, a resolution of 1920 to 1080 pixels can be expected, which provides a correspondingly sharper picture.
As preparation for the future or for an even sharper picture experience, you can also decide on a corresponding gaming TV in “4K model”. This offers a resolution of 3840 to 2160 pixels, which provides an even sharper picture. Important for resolutions such as “Full-HD” and “4K” is the use of a high-quality HDMI cable that connects the console to the TV. Another particularly important point is the so-called “input lag” of the respective gaming TV. This technical term describes the time it takes for the picture to travel from the controller input via the console, through the high performance connection cables* and chips, to the pixels of the gaming TV. This transmission rate is a very important aspect, especially in the field of online games.
Best gaming TV and its “input lag”?
The transfer rate from the input in the controller to the TV picture is not as important in single player as in online gaming. A slow transmission can make sure that the human opponent sees you first and can react faster. These few milliseconds (MS) can sometimes make the difference in an online match. A fast image transmission rate at the “input lag” is therefore a decisive advantage that should not be neglected.
It is important to know that there is no really uniform procedure for determining the input lag. This is the reason why most of the manufacturers abstain from giving information about this important aspect. Due to the lack of manufacturer information, it is necessary for you to use test reports or customer reviews in order to get an idea of the “input lag” of the gaming TV sets. Of course you can also determine the image transfer rate yourself. In our Gaming TV recommendation above, you will find the TV we have awarded as the best Gaming TV!
The reaction time
It is one of the most important criteria for a good television set. For a gaming TV, this time is low and is given in milliseconds (MS) in the Gaming TV Test. It should be at least two MS. If the reaction time is too high, you will get streaks on your screen and blurred effects. Also the reaction time is the time it takes a screen pixel to show the changed state.
Basically there are two ways to measure the reaction time:
1) The black-white time (BWT)
This is the measured time a pixel needs to change from dark to light and back to dark again. Liquid crystals in LCD monitors need longer for this change.
2) The grey-to-grey time (GTG)
This method is called grey-to-grey. Many experts declare it the faster standard method. This method measures how long it takes a pixel from a lighter grey to a darker grey and vice versa.
What “Input Lag” values should the best Gaming TV offer?
The input lag: This is also an indispensable element of a good gaming TV. Behind the term input lag is the amount of time delay that occurs between the signal from the controller and the picture display on the gaming TV. There is no question that this cpability of an especially low input lag is crucial, especially for games that are played online.
Especially for games such as “Jump’n’Runs”, “Sports Games” and “First Person Shooters”, the “Input Lag” is a very important factor that can have a significant influence on the purchase of the gaming TVs. In general, your future gaming TV should have a maximum lag of 35/40 milliseconds. This means that you can expect a correspondingly fast picture transmission, which most people will not even notice. As always, there are exceptions to the rule, so it is quite possible that 35/40 milliseconds is still too slow for you. In this case, you will notice small jerks or the picture will be spongy for you. In this case there are also gaming TV’s which offer an “input lag” of less than 30 MS. Such a fast transmission rate can usually only be used in the corresponding “gaming mode”.
The measurement of the input lag is composed of the input signal up to the finished picture on the gaming TV! The faster your respective gaming TV can process the input signals from consoles or the PC, the faster and more delay-free you can enjoy the picture without streaks and “jerking”! Most of the time, however, requires the CPU and graphics unit for calculation as you can see in the picture below!
Note: For gaming TVs, the input lag plays an important role and should be considered when buying a new gaming TV.
Improve the “Input Lag” with the “Game Mode”!
A good gaming TV should have different modes that can be set. This includes the “Gaming Mode” which is designed for fast games. For this purpose, no post-processing of the video signal is performed, which takes time. Because the Gaming TV can save itself this post-processing, it is accordingly conceivable to obtain the lowest possible “input lag”. In this case, however, it must be noted that the lag may be very short, but in “Game Mode” it can also lead to a loss of picture quality.
Examples of this are blurs or streaks on the image, which can be very disturbing. It is up to you as the user to decide whether you want to exchange the poorer picture quality for a lower “input lag” or whether a good picture is more important to you on your gaming TV. However, it should be noted that most modern gaming TV sets nowadays also perform well in “game mode”, so that the picture quality does not noticeably decrease.
Gaming TV recommendation for the “reaction time”!
The “reaction time” of a gaming TV screen is often confused with the “input lag”. However, these are two completely different processes. The “reaction time” indicates how long it takes until the pixels of the respective screen can change color. If it takes too long for the pixel colors to change, the picture may blur or streak. It should be noted that most manufacturers of good gaming televisions communicate values for the “reaction time”, which can only be achieved in the best case. In practice, such values are usually not possible, so that the “reaction time” is slower than specified.
According to experts a good reaction time should be below 10 milliseconds. However, with the more modern gaming TV sets, it can be expected in most cases that the “reaction time” will be in the range of 2 to 5 milliseconds. Because almost every gaming TV has such a good “reaction time”, it is no longer necessary to pay as much attention to these specifications when selecting products as was previously the case. With a manufacturer specification of 6 milliseconds, you certainly can’t go wrong.
The “refresh rate” of a gaming TV!
It should be noted that both the Microsoft Xbox One and Sony Play Station 4 Pro will always have the same performance, regardless of which gaming TV device they are connected to. Thus, a “frame rate” of 30 up to a maximum of 60 FPS (frames per second) can generally be expected. Accordingly, no more than the maximum 60 FPS can be displayed on the gaming TV device. However, many manufacturers advertise candidates for their gaming TVs with specifications of 100, 200 or even 1,000 Hertz (Hz), which accordingly cannot even be reached by the consoles. In addition, the high number of hertz can sometimes not really be used, for example when the named “gaming mode” is used.
In this case, depending on the product, the received images are simply doubled in order to get a subjective impression of a faster image flow. Corresponding high Hertz values are thus reduced again. Our Gaming TV recommendation says that it is not at all useless to choose a Gaming TV with a high “refresh rate”. The reason for this is that the high number of Hertz usually also provides a better “reaction time” for the gaming TVs. A high sharpness of movement and a very low input lag can also be expected. In the opinion of experts, it is important to make sure that the gaming TV has at least 100 Hertz so that it can be used to play video games.
Make the right choice for a gaming TV!
As already mentioned in the text, manufacturers or sellers do not provide all the information that is important for choosing a good gaming TV. Accordingly, you should not immediately decide on the first best offer in a specialty store or on the Internet. Instead, it makes more sense if you take enough time to read through the test reports and customer experiences of the individual gaming TVs. In this way, you will usually get the information you are looking for more easily and quickly. When choosing a TV set, you should also consider the price of future TVs. Depending on the size, model, resolution and features of the product, you can expect a different price. It can be quite useful if you invest a little more money for a good gaming TV to be able to use it for a longer period of time.
✔ A good gaming television must have a gaming mode. If this setting is not possible, you must at least be able to switch off the automatic picture optimisation. If this is not the case – we advise: Hands off!
✔ Pay special attention to the input lag. Here the value should be a maximum of 35/40 milliseconds. The rule is: The lower this value is, the more fun you will have playing games.
✔ Also look at the correct screen size. If the screen diagonal is 40 inches, you must be at least two meters away from the gaming TV when playing.
✔ There is of course no minimum size for a gaming TV. But to experience a really intense gaming feeling, we recommend Gaming TV`s from a size of 50 inches and up!
✔ If you buy a new gaming TV, you should make sure that the device can display a resolution of at least 4K (4096 × 2160 pixels) or UHD (3840 x 2160 pixels) images. This way the TV will remain a loyal partner for gaming for several years to come. As a result, the potential of the graphics grows and is fully exploited by the higher resolutions. In addition, 4K capable games get a noticeable boost from a 4K TV.
✔ HDR (High Dynamic Range) opens up a greater richness of detail in the gaming area, which is not yet fully exploited even in current games. The increased dynamic range and contrast makes details in dark environments especially clearly visible. Apart from HDR, you should also pay attention to the brightness – nit value. HDR highlights can be reproduced as realistically as possible from 1,000 Nits.
✔ A high color volume is immensely important so that colors and brightness are shown to their best advantage in games and are displayed as the developers intended. A high colour volume means that the image remains a feast for the eyes even when the brightness is adjusted.
Important summary recommendation for a good gaming TV:
- A short “input lag”
- A short “reaction time”
- The availability of a “Game Mode”
- At least 100 Hertz
- Minimum a “Full-HD” resolution better than UHD/4K
- the colour gamut covers at least 90 percent of DCI P3, the colour space of the cinema
- Brightness of at least 1,000 candela per square meter (Cd/m²)
Ranking First: LG 55SM9000
- Huge, ultra sharp, super bright QLED display
- “Quantum Dot” colourfulness
- Beautiful design
- Software updates uncertain in the medium term
- Virtual surround sound disproportionately weak
LG NanoCell TV 4K puts color on full display
With the LG 55SM9000 you can truly create a great home gaming experience. With the Nano Color and Nano Accuracy of LG’s ultra-premium LED TV, the image quality is outstanding and accentuates every game in a great way. The Nano Cell Display provides greater color accuracy at wide viewing angles and unveils a spectrum of more than a billion rich and stunning colors. The innovative α7 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor is at the center of intelligent enhancement of images, action and color. A powerful processor empowered by AI at its core. By implementing AI the TV adapts intuitively to its surrounding environmemt and is adapting accordingly.
A refresh rate ov 120Hz is more than enough for every gam you could play on this TV. Yes, the price is a bit steep. However for a TV undr 1000 Dollar you really get a great gaming experience on this device.
Second: Samsung 43″ RU7100
- Top-class processor, luxury HDR, 4-stage noise reduction
- Precise “4K NanoCell IPS” display in direct LED construction
The Samsung 43″ RU7100 is equipped with HDR function and features UHD dimming. Not always standard on 43-inch sets, even if the Samsung is only edge dimming – on many NoName TVs, you will look in vain for these functions. Additionally, the Samsung 43″ RU7100 comes with a smart remote control that allows voice control. Another exemplary technical detail that Samsung has given the Samsung 43″ RU7100 TV is the auto-detection function. This automatically detects compatible devices such as set top boxes or game consoles and displays their names. A small flaw: the USB recording function is missing. But for just under 450 Dollar, film fans can get a well-equipped UHD TV with HDR and edge dimming.
It is a great TV for gaming for a very fair price.
Third: Samsung UN32N5300
- TV reception via antenna, cable or satellite
- HDMI with audio return channel
- Good resolution
- USB ports somewhat outdated
- No TV recordings possible
A fine concentration of current noble technologies for ultra-sharp, extremely contrast-intensive and colour-true moving images could quickly capture you for this TV with double TV digital tuner infrastructure. Despite the fantastic QLED display without OLED burn-in effects, which is outstanding by all professional standards, and despite the jagged Quantum 4K image processing including optional implementation of dynamic HDR10+, it doesn’t cost much. In any case, it doesn’t cost much more than any other, unspectacular model of the upper class with a screen diagonal of 32 inches. The moderate pricing is perhaps due to the fact that the weak sound output screams for external supplementation. But already the SmartTV corner can shine again with all-round hits of the innovative kind. For example, three voice controls are fighting for the user’s favour, including Samsung Bixby, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Fourth: TCL 49S325
- 1080p display with good image quality
- Fast performance, clear menus
- Good app selection incl. Netflix, Prime and DAZN
- Huge display
- No HDR10+, no Dolby Vision
- No TV recordings possible
Full HD display, receiver for antenna, cable and satellite, three times HDMI, fast processor, simple menus: The TCL 49S325 provides the most important basics. In Smart TV mode, thanks to HbbTV, you can open the media libraries of the corresponding TV stations with a click on the “Red Button”. TCL has eliminated the picture optimizers HDR10+ and Dolby Vision – not unusual for the price. Nevertheless, the picture quality is really high quality for the price, even if the color contrasts could be a bit better, especially for a gaming TV. Too bad for that: you can’t record any programmes. Some of the competition’s devices are better positioned here.
Fifth: TCL 32S327
- Good app selection incl. Netflix, Prime and DAZN
- Fast performance, clear menus
- Good image quality
- Small display size
- No TV recordings possible
The TCL 32S327 has the same feature as Rank 4 just in a smaller size. This results in a cheaper price. However if you can afford it, you should chose the bigger model as it is a much more immersive gaming experience. This TV is only meant for a short term solution as you will not be happy if you are stuck with it for a long time, especially when newer gamimg titles are coming out.