To enjoy the best gaming experience, consider these pointers when choosing a 40-inch TV.
Playing video games, especially with gaming consoles like the Sony PlayStation and Xbox, requires a good quality monitor or TV to achieve the best gaming experience. This is particularly true when it comes to playing games intended for high resolution displays. Both the PlayStation and Xbox already support 4K resolutions so it only makes sense getting a high quality TV to go with these gaming consoles.
40 inches – this is arguably the sweet spot for a TV used in playing video games. It’s not too big and not small for a TV in an entertainment or living room. It fits right into most spaces that gamers don’t have to go too close or too far to the screen to enjoy an immersive playing experience. The question is just in finding right 40” TV model to get. You can go over an objective 40” TVs review article or blog post or use the pointers below as your reference.
1. Pay attention to picture quality
Whether it’s for gaming or for watching movies and TV shows, picture quality is always the top consideration you have to bear in mind when choosing a TV. For a gaming TV, however, you specifically have to take the following factors into account:
- Refresh Rate. For gaming, you need a TV with a refresh rate of at least 120Hz or 120 frames per second. This is to ensure that the games come out smoothly, especially when it comes to high action scenes. Most video games have a lot going on that TVs with slower refresh rates tend to skip frames or unable to properly display the details that are supposed to be displayed.
- For the resolution, a full HD TV (1080p) is usually enough but for the sake of future-proofing, it would be good to get a 4K TV. Most gaming consoles already support the 4K resolution.
- Viewing Angles. While you may be spending most of your time at optimal viewing positions when gaming, it’s still better to get a TV that has excellent viewing angles. Don’t just rely on what advertisements or technical specifications state. Evaluate the viewing angles by yourself.
- Most TVs nowadays that come with good refresh rates, resolution, and viewing angles already come with vibrant colors. There are those that employ “quantum dots” and other marketing terms that purportedly increase color gamut and picture realisticness. Still, be sure to personally evaluate the colors of the TV you intend to get. Make sure you don’t get a TV that shows noticeable inability to show deep blacks or those that overwhelm blacks or dark colors with the backlighting.
2. Choose something with HDR
This is supposedly related to picture quality but I feel it’s worth giving it its own separate discussion. HDR is a feature I often mention in the reviews and articles I post on my blog TechiSignals. Not many realize how important this feature is. An HDR TV is basically one that is capable of creating more dynamic looking and enhanced picture. It works by increasing brightness and contrast to create a wider range of colors and more realistic picture quality.
HDR makes for a more immersive gaming experience. It results in images and scenes that show the full extent of the visual details put into a game. It yields impressive highlights especially in scenes involving glints of light (examples: explosions or power effects). Similarly, it results in better looking dark scenes. With HDR, dark scenes will not end up becoming too dark. There will be enough clarity in the midst of darkness without making the dark scenes appear unconvincing.
3. Choose one with the least input lag
Input lag refers to the amount of time it takes for a TV to display the picture it is supposed to display as instructed by the gaming console or other devices that output visual information onto the TV. If you are getting a TV for gaming, make sure that its input lag does not go beyond 50 milliseconds. Unfortunately, manufacturers usually don’t include the input lag rating of their TVs in the technical specifications they publish on their product literature. As such, you may have to rely on the input lag tests by independent tech sites. You can wait for others to review the TVs you are considering or you can go to a store to personally test input lag.
Input lag for most TVs range from 15 to 40 milliseconds. Take note, though, that input lag may vary depending on the mode the TV is set. There are TVs that have a gaming mode, which optimizes settings to achieve lower input lag. Take note of this mode when evaluating input lag. Make sure that the game mode does not result in a noticeably inferior picture quality.
4. Ensure good sound quality
Of course a great gaming experience is not possible without the sounds. As much as possible, the gaming TV you get should no longer require you to purchase a separate home theater system. It should have good enough audio quality. Certainly, the smaller speakers packed in TVs cannot match the overall sound quality of home theater systems. However, there are those that deliver booming enough bass and clear enough low and mid tones to create an immersive experience.
There are TVs that come with their own good quality soundbars. There are also those that pack loud and punchy enough subwoofers to deliver the right amount of thump and roar needed for certain scenes in games. As much as possible, personally evaluate audio quality when buying a TV. Don’t simply believe what advertisements say.
Buying a TV for gaming basically boils to three factors: picture quality, input lag, and sound quality. It’s not that different from choosing a TV for typical home entertainment except for the emphasis on refresh rate to ensure smooth movements especially during high action scenes, as well as the need for low input lag. You don’t need a smart TV for your gaming TV although there should be no reason not to get a smart TV if it meets the pointers mentioned above and if it’s comparable in price to a non-smart TV.