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The Best TVs for Next Gen Gaming

01/12/2014

Written By: Elliott Thomas

Finding the right TV for next gen gaming can be a daunting task. You simply cannot walk into a store and pick a television based solely on price or brand reputation. You need to do your homework before you make such an important decision. Purchasing a gaming TV is far more difficult than buying a set for every day use. There are many important factors that need to be considered before choosing a new gaming TV. Playing video games is far more demanding than simply watching movies or the evening news. After several weeks of personal research I have picked five TVs that are perfect for any hardcore gamer.

Before we get started there are a few important terms you need to understand before you pick the right television. This information is essential in choosing any TV or gaming monitor. Even if you don't buy one of the sets listed in this article, simply knowing these terms will help you make an informed decision whenever you purchase a new TV.

Input Lag: Input lag is the delay between pressing a button and seeing the response on screen. Input lag is vital in most action games, driving games, FPS titles and fighting games. The lower the input lag, the better. Normally anything around or under 30ms is acceptable.

Refresh Rate: The Refresh Rate is the number of times a television updates the image on the screen. The refresh rate directly effects the quality of moving images and is very important to both gamers and also to people who enjoy sports or action movies.

Contrast Ratio: The Contrast Ratio is the difference in luminance between the brightest color and the darkest color that can be produced by a video monitor. A higher contrast ratio will result in better picture quality, brighter colors and stronger black levels.

Glossy or Matte Finish: A TV is coated with either a glossy or matte finish. Why is this important? While a glossy finish might make your colors seem brighter, it can also be a nightmare for people using their TV in a brightly lit room or in a space with many windows. A TV with a glossy finish will reflect a great deal of light so ideally you may want to search for a matte finish screen.

LED vs Plasma: LED is an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) that uses LED (Light Emitting Diode) back lighting. This gives it a superior picture quality and brightness over standard LCD TVs which use dated florescent back lighting technology. A Plasma TV has a screen that is illuminated by electronically charged plasma gas which is encased in between two thin sheets of glass. Usually a plasma TV will have superior picture quality over LED. However in recent years LED technology has advanced to the point where it might make plasma obsolete. For now the debate still rages between which technology is superior when it comes to picture quality. Both formats have a their own advantages that one must consider before purchasing a new TV.

Static Image Dangers: Static Images found in video games such as maps, health bars and HUD displays can cause permanent damage to your television if you do not take the proper precautions. This is especially important for plasma TV owners. Fortunately most new plasma TVs have picture shifting technology which helps to prevent burn in by shifting the image in a way that is imperceptible to the human eye. There are also power management and screen saver features that can be utilized to protect your television. For the first 200 hours of use gamers will want to take extra precuations when breaking in their new plasma TV. It is very important to watch varied content, both SD and HD for the first 200 hours. You must also avoid static images during that time, and never leave a game on pause for more than a few seconds.

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Samsung UN40F5000 40" 1080p 60Hz Slim LED HDTV:

It may come as a surprise to some that the first TV on our list has a 60hz refresh rate. However, what this TV lacks in refresh rate it makes up for with an outstanding gaming mode and low input lag. This TV is also very affordable making it an ideal purchase for budget conscious gamers.

Samsung has quickly become one of the most popular brands in electronics. Unfortunately their TVs vary greatly when it comes to input lag. This particular model has low input lag that is helped considerably by it's gaming mode feature. This set also has composite and component input jacks making it perfect for those who might want to use older, pre-HDMI consoles on this TV.

  • TV Type: LED
  • Matte or Glossy Screen: Matte
  • Input Lag: 28ms
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 60hz
  • Contrast Ratio: 3,500,00:1
  • Input Ports: 2 HDMI, 1 Component, 1 Composite A/V, USB Port, RF Cable
  • Digital Tuner: Yes
  • Energy Star Certified: Yes
  • Smart TV: No

AVERAGE PRICE: $500

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Vizio E500i-A1 50" 1080P 120Hz LED Smart HDTV:

If you had told me five years ago that I would recommend a Vizio product as one of my top gaming TVs I would have said you were crazy. However this brand has come a long way since their debut in the United States several years ago. The company now makes televisions that are reliable, affordable and great for gaming.

The E500i-A1 has four HDMI ports, so it's a great TV for you multi console gamers. It also has an Ethernet port as well as USB ports and a built in media player. This set has all the features you want in a great gaming TV; low input lag, high refresh rate and great picture quality. It's also a very capable Smart TV making it the perfect centerpiece in your living room.

  • TV Type: LED
  • Matte or Glossy Screen: Matte
  • Input Lag: 32ms
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Contrast Ratio: 2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio
  • Input Ports: 4 HDMI, 1 Shared Component / Composite, RF Cable, Ethernet, USB
  • Digital Tuner: Yes
  • Energy Star Certified: Yes
  • Smart TV: Yes

AVERAGE PRICE: $650

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Toshiba 50L2300U 50" LED 1080p 120Hz HDTV:

Toshiba has been producing quality products since 1875, however in the past couple of years their TVs have really started to shine. This TV boasts outstanding picture quality that is great for both gaming and media. The Clear Scan technology used in this set is great for fast moving images. It also has a sleek, stylish look that might appeal to you fashion conscious gamers. The metalized bezel really looks nice in person.

The 2300 has a built in media player which is great for viewing slides or playing music or video files. It also has a gaming mode with reduced input lag. It even has a gaming timer for you parents that might want to limit your child's game time. To top it all off this set has outstanding, crystal clear audio quality which is well balanced and perfect for a variety of different media.

  • TV Type: LED
  • Matte or Glossy Screen: Matte
  • Input Lag: 33.4ms
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Contrast Ratio: 2,000,000:1 Dynamic Contrast Ratio
  • Input Ports: 3 HDMI, 1 Component, 1 Composite, USB, PC Input, Ethernet Port
  • Digital Tuner: Yes
  • Energy Star Certified: Yes
  • Smart TV: No

AVERAGE PRICE: $899

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Panasonic TC-P50S60 50" Plasma 1080p 600Hz VIERA Class Smart HDTV:

The Panasonic has the highest refresh rate of any TV on this list. It also has an amazing contrast ratio which gives this set truly brilliant colors and deep, solid black levels. When it comes to picture quality this plasma TV set is second to none. This VIERA Class product also has all of the smart TV features you want in a new television. This set can be paired with your favorite smart phone or tablet to share media on the big screen.

Although the input lag on this TV is average, the 600hz refresh rate makes this product perfect for those who love high speed gaming and sports. Also when it comes to vibrant colors and picture quality plasma TVs are almost always superior to LED and LCD products. Unfortunately all that beauty comes at a cost. Gamers must be careful to properly break in their new TV and to avoid static images such as HUD displays, maps and other similar images for the first 200 hours.

  • TV Type: Plasma
  • Matte or Glossy Screen: Glossy
  • Input Lag: 34ms
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 600Hz
  • Contrast Ratio: 4,000,000:1
  • Input Ports: 2 HDMI, 1 Composite, 2 USB
  • Digital Tuner: DTV Tuner
  • Energy Star Certified: No

AVERAGE PRICE: $998

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Sony KDL-55W802A 55" 120Hz 1080p 3D LED Smart HDTV:

This Sony TV is quite simply one of the finest products on our list. It's also the most expensive. However don't let the price tag scare you away. This is definitely the one TV that gives you the most value for your money. This set boasts an impressive 16.9ms input lag, the lowest of any TV on our list. Sony is also a pioneer in 3D technology. This unit is perfect for all your 3D video games and movies.

The Sony KDL-55W802A is a dream come true for serious video game fans. It has seven potential input ports that can be utilized for classic and next gen consoles. With 4 HDMI ports you can be sure you will be able to connect all of your next gen consoles. It also has two component and one composite port which are perfect for older game systems. Be sure to make some room in your entertainment system because this television is the ideal set for all you hardcore, multi console gamers!

  • TV Type: LED
  • Matte or Glossy Screen: Glossy
  • Input Lag: 16.9ms
  • Resolution: 1080p
  • Refresh Rate: 120Hz
  • Contrast Ratio: 1,000,000:1
  • Input Ports: 4 HDMI, 1 Component, 2 Composite, USB, RF Cable, Ethernet
  • Digital Tuner: Yes
  • Energy Star Certified: No
  • Smart TV: Yes

AVERAGE PRICE: $1,499

About The Author: Elliott S. Thomas is so obsessed with quality gaming that he owns a great HDTV and a quality SDTV. He uses his HDTV for next gen gaming and his SDTV for authentic retro gaming.