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HDTV Gaming - size/distance

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January 30, 2012 3:36:44 PM

Hello,

I am going to build a new gaming system later this summer and I am thinking about getting HDTV for playing my games from a sofa, instead of sitting at the desk. Since my kids commandeered my old gaming system I have been using a notebook as a temporary fix. While it is not ideal gaming platform, it made me appreciate somewhat different approach to gaming. While the gaming performance is not great, I do enjoy gaming on a sofa so much more than having to sit at the desk. That made me think about two options - either get a gaming laptop (like MSI GT783) or build a desktop system with HDTV, which is a better option as for the same money I could build more powerful system compared to the gaming notebook.

My question for the experts here concerns the right size of the screen. I will be sitting 6.56' - 6.89' from the screen. I aim for 1920 x 1080 resolution. There are plenty of calculators and pages dealing with HDTV size/distance and from what I understood I should go for 42" or 46" screen size.

Do you guys recommend LCD TV or Plasma (that would be better for 50", but that might be too big for the actual distance, also how about the image retention in case of UIs etc.).

Thanks for help!
ComfyGamer
February 1, 2012 1:50:54 AM

I'm not much of a gaming person but this is one of the review videos I watched before I made the final decision on LG 3D LED TV. It compares video gaming on Samsung and LG. Not sure what model it is.. It looks like either LW5600 or LW6500. Hope you can find what you want to know in this clip.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1wYwIp7Xg4

a b 4 Gaming
February 1, 2012 12:53:07 PM

in general i would advise staying with the standard non 3d 60hz televisions. people have been known to experience significant lag when using 120 or 240hz models.

led or ccfl backlighting...pick whichever you want.

plasma is better on contrast but its had a very poor history in terms of longevity. the old models used to require a recharge every few years. i'd suggest staying with lcd technology (yes the ones lableled led are really lcd technology too).

correct i would say 40, 42 or 46 should be fine. i am typically between 4 feet to 6 feet away from a 40 and it works great. fps games can be overpowering at first but from a few more feet away (your distance) it should be more in the non perepheral vision than it is for me.

i would recommend sony televisions. an alternate would be samsung. i've used lg products in the past for non-tv electronics but from what i hear they have horrible customer service. avoid vizio and olevia (and similar) like the plague unless you are okay with a throw away tv in a few years.

i agree a htpc would be better. keep in mind that you could just use a desktop pc for more room and hide it in a closet or media center. this would give you the best bang for the buck as micro atx boards and cases do not offer exactly what you might need.

keep in mind the ranges on some wireless mice and keyboards as well unless you plan on using wired versions. i've heard some new versions do not have great range. i know some of the older styles with the rechargeable bases and rf wireless not bluetooth had ranges up to 50ft or so (tested myself on a mx1000 logitech set) so perhaps you want to look into that.
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February 1, 2012 6:18:59 PM

ssddx said:
in general i would advise staying with the standard non 3d 60hz televisions. people have been known to experience significant lag when using 120 or 240hz models.

led or ccfl backlighting...pick whichever you want.

plasma is better on contrast but its had a very poor history in terms of longevity. the old models used to require a recharge every few years. i'd suggest staying with lcd technology (yes the ones lableled led are really lcd technology too).

correct i would say 40, 42 or 46 should be fine. i am typically between 4 feet to 6 feet away from a 40 and it works great. fps games can be overpowering at first but from a few more feet away (your distance) it should be more in the non perepheral vision than it is for me.

i would recommend sony televisions. an alternate would be samsung. i've used lg products in the past for non-tv electronics but from what i hear they have horrible customer service. avoid vizio and olevia (and similar) like the plague unless you are okay with a throw away tv in a few years.

i agree a htpc would be better. keep in mind that you could just use a desktop pc for more room and hide it in a closet or media center. this would give you the best bang for the buck as micro atx boards and cases do not offer exactly what you might need.

keep in mind the ranges on some wireless mice and keyboards as well unless you plan on using wired versions. i've heard some new versions do not have great range. i know some of the older styles with the rechargeable bases and rf wireless not bluetooth had ranges up to 50ft or so (tested myself on a mx1000 logitech set) so perhaps you want to look into that.


I will be staying with 60Hz TV. I thought that besides 3D the 120Hz technology might improve gaming experience (120 fps V-Sync would be cool) but from various reviews it seems there is some serious input lag going on, at least on big HDTVs, smaller PC monitors (usually 23") have some options for reduced input lag mode.

Plasmas are something I am quite interested in, they have super fast response time, at least that is what I understand from on-line reviews. I believe that modern models addressed many problems and now the technology is mature enough. But I am not sure that a plasma would work well as my gaming TV/monitor, I am not sure how well the image retention was resolved, in many games you have static features displayed on the screen, that might be a problem, might it not?

The price seems also to favour plasmas as well, but it really depends on whether it is possible to spend a couple of hours gaming on a plasma without HUDs etc. burning in.

Also, would having to deal with a lot of texts (like in RPGs) be easier on LCDs or on plasmas?

As far as brands are concerned, the best bang for the buck for 42"-46" plasmas are Panasonic models, for 50" LG models, and for 42"-46" LCDs the best bang for the buck are LG and Philips models, also Sharp is pretty competitive too. For gaming the most important thing is the value of the input lag, as it can ruin the gaming experience regardless of the response time. I might go for Sony models, as they have very small input lag, at least according to many reviews. Well, I will be sure to consult with the experts here the actual models that will catch my fancy.
a b 4 Gaming
February 1, 2012 7:21:29 PM

reading text on televisions is a little harder then it is on a small monitor due to the size of the pixels. it appears "less clear" due to the fact that they are much larger however i've never had any games where text was unreadable. you get used to it and having a big screen more than makes up for something so minor. not really even a con i would say.

i agree that they may have fixed some plasma issues but from what i've heard... i wouldnt suggest it. it might be a few years old but the information i go by came from a family member who was a tv tech for 20+ years up until a year ago.

keep in mind that if the television breaks for whatever reason finding parts can be very hard. i know sony stocks parts and samsung may as well. most of the cheap brands are almost impossible to find parts for.

you can get a 60hz led 46 inch sony model for about $650. thats pretty darn cheap. someone i know just bought one a month or so ago.

as i said before... with 60hz you shouldnt have any problems with input lag. its the 120/240hz models and 3d models which this seems to affect. i can personally vouche that my sony bravia works perfect.

---

if i had to get another television i'd buy a sony in an instant. the only other television which catches my eye is the samsung models with clear-view bezel which makes it look bezeless which is really nice. however i would have to do alot of research to make sure the models were up to par. myself, i wouldnt look at anything but those two. but that is just what i would do, what you do is your own decision.

i would also buy lcd and avoid plasma like the plague. even if you can get them for $50 to 100 cheaper. keep in mind some of those plasmas are still only 720p or 1080i.
February 1, 2012 9:47:54 PM

I've got a 47" Vizio 120hz that I game on. Best Decision ever. My games look buttery smooth. If I have a consistent 60 hz input, which isnt toooo difficult. 120 hz tv's dont work well on cheaper systems because they aren't able to achieve the framerates needed. 120hz is done by the tv, every signal going in has a cap of 60 hz on televisions. The 120hz simply puts another frame in there, reducing blur. If you arent sending a 60 hz signal (say your gaming at 33fps) then 120hz won't work very well and this is what people attribute lag to. If you have the system thats the way to go for size. If you are wanting something smaller, the do make moniters with true 120hz inputs on them. Making your graphics card make the "extra" frames. so they are generally rendered much better.
a b 4 Gaming
February 2, 2012 10:35:26 AM

i've never really looked into it myself but what you say does sound like it might be true to an extent but what i always thought was that the television lagged due to the process of adding the extra frames in.

however if that is true remember that even if you went out and bought the best video card you could some games are so demanding that you will not get 60fps. now factor in future proofing your system for a few years... how likely are you to stay at 60fps for a few years before you have to upgrade? now if anything under 60fps causes a visual lag like you believe wouldnt it be a better choice financially to get 60hz instead as there will be zero issues and you do not have to upgrade your system to the extreme?

as far as visual improvments... not worth all the hype as its not really an extra frame of video... its just a frame added by the television. now as for 120hz computer monitors which do accept 120hz input then sure there could be an improvement in smoothness. however its not worth the tradeoff in image quality as tn panels are completely bottom tier. well that and the fact i explained above... are you really pushing 120fps? ...or even over 60fps on new games?
February 2, 2012 9:27:11 PM

I bought a Samsung 46" LCD 120hz I dont have any problems I use for movies only and use a 27" monitor for games with my
kids.
February 3, 2012 5:22:18 PM

Hello,

the discussion here is interesting. As far as I understand it, 120 Hz gives smoother output, which results in an input lag thanks to the TV hardware putting extra frames in, right? Now for movies that is completely irrelevant and it is probably better to get 120 Hz. The input lag is different from response times. 120 Hz with fast response time is great for movies, regardless of the value of the input lag. The input lag makes itself manifest while gaming - a lot of people have problems with games like Guitar Hero or FPSs on sets with high input lag. So for gaming, 120 Hz is probably not a good idea. Some HDTVs also have special gaming mode that should reduce the input lag by actually switching off some advanced TV hardware features. Also, there are different modes for 120 Hz PC monitors, with 120 Hz used for 3D and a separate "2D" gaming mode.

For HDTV gaming it might be better and cheaper to get 60 Hz, as ssddx notes, or get 120 Hz model, if movie quality is paramount, with really working gaming mode that limits the input lag, but it is my understanding that one of the possibilities how it can be managed is actually switching off of the 120 Hz mode. Is that so - can anyone gaming on a 120 Hz set confirm gaming with 120 fps with V-Sync on? Even if that is the case, there are already couple of next-gen games out that push the limits of top-end cards, and it is hard to achieve constant 60+ fps without some serious details tweaking.

Thank you all for your help, and especially ssddx. If I go for HDTV for gaming, then it is going to be a 60 Hz model with fast response time and small input lag. I take note of Sony models, although I still prefer LG and Philips for price/size/features ratio and I will definitely consult the experts here as far as the actual models are concerned.

ComfyGamer
a b 4 Gaming
February 6, 2012 3:14:08 PM

as i understand it... that sounds correct. however keep in mind that i'm no expert.. i go by the little bits i pick up here and there.

60hz and 120hz... honestly i dont see what all the fuss is about. perhaps you should look at two models side by side and see if you do. i do agree that a 60hz for gaming would be the best choice at least until you hear some better news.

no trouble.
!