The time for the HD is long gone. The 4K has taken over. Every manufacturer is offering tons of premium TVs, including famous names like Samsung and LG along with ambitious up-and-coming companies such as TCL. There are screens for every use. However, gamers have their own requirements to keep in mind when choosing their screen.
In this article, we will be taking you through some of the top choices that are available in the marketplace in 2019, and discussing some of the features you should watch out for.
Product availability and prices can vary after publication, so the ones we provide are to simply give you a general idea. Input lag refers to the amount of time in between pressing a button and seeing the response on your screen. Very bad input lag is often experienced on cheaper TVs, which means they are useless for gamers. This issue can even be experienced by higher-end TVs if they have the wrong options.
This is especially problematic when playing competitive games where each millisecond and frame really matters, such as first-person shooters, racing games, and fighting games. It used to be very difficult to locate reliable input lag data, however, this information is included by many ratings websites. We only will be recommending 4K TVs with low-input lag.
To achieve the best possible input lag performance, make sure your television is set to game mode. Just keep in mind that it could degrade the quality of your image since it deactivates all of the image processing of your TV.
We pulled our input lag information from various sources, however, you can do research of your own at the same websites that we used: rtings.com and displaylag.com.
HDR is short for high dynamic range. There are some who claim the feature offers an even higher visual improvement than upgrading from 1080p up to 4K. Having a quality dynamic range television offers richer color, deeper blacks, and brighter whites compared to an SDR (standard dynamic range) television. It is an outstanding feature to have, particularly for gamers who love prestige TV and movies.
What About Sound?
Modern ultra-thin panels these days do not have the necessary physical depth for high-quality sound reproduction. In general, we do not recommend that you make TV purchasing decisions based on sound quality.
Gamers also need to have high-quality environmental sound to achieve the best gaming experience possible. That is we strongly recommend that you invest in a 5.1 sound system, headset, or soundbar. Don’t depend on small TV speakers for essential audio information such as the sound an enemy sneaking up behind you.
65-inch LG B8 HDR OLED – The OLED King – $1847 to $2500
At approximately $1847 to $2500, the LG B8 is a great deal. For very good reason it has dominated the reviews on rtings.com and displaylag.com.
Why you want this model:
It is an OLED screen and offers the deepest, truest blacks available. How does it do that? If a pixel is intended to display pure black, it turns off. Old school LCD and traditional LED screens just locally dim the pixel that is still backlit. The HDR is gorgeous, as you may expect. Also, OLED offers excellent view angles, so this is a great choice if you are into couch multiplayer.
It is enormous. The 65-inch screen of the LG B8 should be plenty sufficient or a majority of individuals, whether they are gamers or not. Avengers? Yes. Superbowl? Yes? Fortnight? Triple yes. It features 21 ms of input lag. That is fairly low, and most gamers won’t feel any lag whatsoever. However, if 21 ms of lag is too much for you still, keep reading. We have other recommendations that you can consider.
It has a color space of chroma 4:4:4. I won’t go into all of the technical details of this number, but in short, it means if you decide to use it this way it will give you a great computer monitor.
Measure your wall, TV stand and your spouse’s tolerance for having a TV that large. OLED screens offer the potential for the retention of images and burn. If one static image is kept on the screen for a very long time that could cause issues for you. The HUD of a game can cause problems as well if you play for many hours at once. CNet offers an excellent guide on how burn-in can be avoided.
The 65-inch Vizio P-Series Quantum is priced at around $1450 with excellent HDR and just 15 ms of input. However, it doesn’t have great viewing angles. It is also LED and not OLED. Therefore, burn-in is something you don’t need to worry about.
If you would like to go large, the 75-inch LG UK6570 4K has just 11 ms of input lag which helps to make up for the TV’s mediocre HDR performance. It is lightning fast and it’s price tag matches it.
55-inch TCL 6 Series – The Budge Contender – $530
TCL is a Chinese-owned company that is fairly new to the TV market. However, they have made quite the impressions, especially with their 4K low-input lag sets. It offers a fairly impressive value at $530.
Why you want this model:
This TV has around 19 ms of lag, which is about the same as the LG above that costs three times as much.
Its 55-inch screen can fit in well in a majority of homes. It isn’t so big that you will have to rearrange your entire living room, and that’s a positive thing.
The HDR is not bad, especially when you take its price into consideration.
At this price, you will be making some sacrifices (which are surprisingly minor) image quality versus an OLED panel. However, you are paying just a fraction of the cost. You also don’t need to worry about image retention or burn-in.
LG 49-inch UK6300 – $330 – Fast And Cheap
This is small and isn’t going to win any contests for image quality. It doesn’t have the best HDR and its blacks might look a little gray. However, it costs under $400 and has only 12 ms of input lag. If you were planning to participate in a Street Fighter tournament over the weekend and your TV broke suddenly and you need a quick replacement, this screen is for you.
65-inch Samsung NU8000 – $918 – For PC Gamers with AMD GPUs and XBOX One X
Although this is a really nice looking TV with just 17 ms of input lag and a good HDR, the major attraction is its FreeSync Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). If screen tearing is something you have ever experienced, then you already know how ugly and annoying it is. What VRR does is lock-in the refresh rate of the Samsung NU8000 to your AMD GPU-equipped PC or console to eliminate screen tearing. Be sure that the firmware on your TV is updated properly if you want to use the feature.
Please note that VRR is not supported by PCs with NVIDIA GPUs or PS4. NVIDIA GPU users are going to need to wait for the BFGD televisions, which are scheduled to out sometime later this year.
Another thing to be aware of is this TV has a really particular stand that may not work well with all sound bars.
If you need something cheaper and smaller that has a faster input lag (15 ms) then consider the 55-inch Samsung Q6FN. Also, it supports the FreeSync VRR for XBOX One X gamers and PC games with AMD GPUs.
If you like curved screens, then the 55-inch Samsung UN55NU8500FXZA is a little expensive with just 16 ms of input lag. It has very good HDR, and similar to its flatter, larger brother, it also supports VRR.