While the largest gaming monitor available is at 27 inches, gamers want more and have started to turn to Smart TVs for a larger than life experience.
This is usually great for console gamers and games like Call of Duty. However, PC-oriented games such as Stardew Valley are not going to show up well on a Smart TV instead of a gaming monitor.
Are Smart TVs good or bad for gaming?
As a whole, monitors have better response time, compared to TVs when it comes to gaming for PC games, but console games are always going to compare well with a TV. This is because console games are made for a TV gaming experience. Just make sure your game is compatible with your TVs resolution.
For more information, we have listed a few tips and tricks here to help you along!
Check our article on what Smart TVs can be used with gaming consoles.
Is it Better to Use a Monitor or TV for Gaming?
If you are using a PC gaming rig, a computer monitor will perform better, especially if you are playing fast-paced first-person shooter games.
However if you are a console gamer, such as someone who uses a Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo, Smart TVs are great and high-quality to play on!
These console rigs were designed to work well with TVs as a whole. A lot of their games are often designed for a laid back experience while sitting on the couch. If you want a more social and casual gaming feel, a Smart TV will work perfectly fine!
While there are gaming monitors meant to handle different gaming rigs, including consoles, a Smart TV is fine for console gaming.
Check also: Demographics of game console players.
Do Bigger TVs Have More Latency (or “Lag”) Compared to Monitors?
Size does not play a big factor when it comes to lag.
What contributes to lag is the refresh rate of your monitor or TV.
For one, the high refresh rates on Smart TVs are for enhancing existing images to give it a more life-like feel. This is meant for movies or when watching documentaries like Planet Earth, to get a sense of being “there” in the movie or in nature.
This is different from the processing of raw information of images from a source, which dedicated monitors do, as they try to convey small, detailed images that were built for PC games.
This is why some Smart TVs have “Game Modes” in their settings to let users decrease input lag in their TVs.
What is the Game Mode for in Smart TVs?
Enabling Game Mode means a smoother gaming experience with minimal lags, as it lessens the time to process the images. This faster processing will be noticeable when commands are made and reflected on the screen at a faster rate.
Game Mode is a setting found in TVs that lets users adjust the setting of their TVs to be more suitable for gaming. This decreases the input lag of the TV by bypassing any video processing to enhance images on screen.
While Gaming Mode lets Smart TVs provide a smoother experience when used as a screen for video games, it also has its disadvantages.
One disadvantage is the possibility of colors displayed not being accurate and unusually unclear. Enabling Game Mode also lowers image quality, due to the bypassing of post-processing on screen.
You may also experience scaling issues as well.
Are 4K TVs Bad for Gaming?
To ensure a smooth gaming experience with 4K you need to make sure you optimize the resolution of the game you are playing.
This was an issue that first cropped up when 4K TVs were introduced in the market. The resolutions were tempting, but games were not yet optimized for 4K, making them look blurry and confusing on screen.
Games that could handle 4K resolutions were limited to PC games and would run only at 30 frames per second.
That scenario was five years ago, though.
Today, there are 4K TVs that can handle Xbox and Playstations on 4K resolutions without hiccups. For most modern games, there is no need to scale down your game settings for a smoother experience!
However, if you are trying to play an old game, you may have to deal with a lower quality of the picture.
How Do you Know if a Smart TV is Good for Gaming?
While it’s tempting to just look for the most purchased Smart TV in your local appliance store or Amazon, you need to check if it has Game Mode.
Having Game Mode is very crucial in choosing a TV for gaming – especially PC gaming.
As we’ve mentioned, Game Mode allows you to bypass the image processing of the TV in favor of a smoother performance. This will reduce latency or the delay between a keystroke and the execution of a command on the screen.
If you don’t have Game Mode it can ruin your performance in a fast-paced shooting, sports, or driving game. Should there be latency, aim for 30 milliseconds at the target resolution and color settings in your Game Mode.
Try playing around with the HDR settings, and see if this would significantly affect your gaming performance.
Are OLED TVs Good for Gaming?
OLED (organic light-emitting diode) TVs are good for console gaming, but not all games stand to benefit from OLED TVs.
If you are considering getting one, try to think first of the games you will be playing frequently on it.
As explained earlier, OLED TVs are ideal for fast-paced games. This means First-Person Shooters, such as Call of Duty, or sandbox games like Grand Theft Auto.
While OLEDs are recommended for console gaming, LG released a firmware update that made their OLED TVs released in 2019 perform better with PC Gaming.
This is to try and get their foot further in the door of PC gaming, which has become a major industry for professional gamers.
What Should you Look for in a Smart TV for Gaming
Before purchasing your next great Smart TV, you need to consider the following before buying one for gaming:
1. Does it Have a Game Mode Option:
As mentioned earlier, Game Mode will reduce latency on your TV, in exchange for a bit lower image quality.
This is a non-negotiable feature, as this is the number one feature that will ensure smooth gameplay.
To give you an idea of how important it is, you may have the best resolution, but your character on-screen may not be in the right place when you need them due to delayed reaction time and lag.
2. Choosing the Right Display Type:
OLEDs and LCD’s screen types have their advantages and disadvantages.
While OLED has better images and is more affordable now, they are also prone to burn-in. This means that image elements are left on-screen for a while. This may pose a problem and cause a confusing, cluttering image.
However, if you are playing a shooter or action games, an OLED TV will work for you, as it is known to transition quickly between frames.
LCDs on the other hand, still have lower lag versus their OLED counterparts, making the image faster in real-time. They also have better images even in well-lit rooms.
While LCDs are also small, these fit better in smaller rooms, such as bedrooms or school dormitories.
The importance of future-proofing has nothing to do with the performance but is something worth considering.
Future-proofing means that your TV won’t be obsolete in six (6) months or a year when the “next big thing” comes out. If you are buying a cheap, but outdated, TV, you may have to invest in something better soon so that you can play new games that are constantly improving.
Ideally, you would want something that would last a few years of upgrades to your gaming rig. Upgrading after every year is not exactly practical and will only add to electronic waste if you do so.
So, before considering the latest markdown sale you see, check as well how close is the TV to obsolescence in your preferred gaming industry.
Are Samsung TVs Good for Gaming?
Samsung makes superb Smart TVs that can take your gaming to the next level!
They also have a wide selection of models that can take your games well. A notable model from Samsung is the UN55RU8000. It may not be OLED but provides quality 4K resolution in a 55-inch package for gaming.
What makes this model good for gaming is its Real Game Enhancer, which gives you latency of only 6.8 milliseconds!
What’s the Best TV Screen Size for Gaming?
When choosing the right size of a TV for gaming, you need to consider that you should be able to see the whole screen clearly without squinting or moving your head too much. Also, you need to have a clear resolution in your desired position.
The resolution you need to use will depend on how far or close you will be when you play games on your TV. As a rule of thumb, you can stay closer to the TV with higher resolutions so that you can see details.
Choosing the best screen size is important. This will spell the amount of comfort you will have when you play games. You wouldn’t want a large TV if you will be close to your TV, due to the small dimensions of your room.
Note that TV sizes are measured diagonally from one corner to the opposite end.
To give you an idea of how to determine the ideal screen size of your TV, measure the distance in inches from the spot of your TV to where you intend to sit when watching. Divide that number by 3. The quotient will be the ideal size of the TV for the room.
For example, if the distance is 165 inches, the optimal screen size of your TV should be 55 inches.
What Size Smart TV Do Pro Gamers Use?
If you are a PC gamer, you would want to ignore Smart TVs and stick to 27-inch PC gaming monitors.
If you are a Console Gamer, (such as someone who plays on Playstation, Xbox, or Nintendo) the best TV size will still depend on the room you will be playing in.
A safe choice would be between 43 to 55 inches, which should fit most living rooms and give you a clear view of your game.
The good thing about this size range is that these Smart TVs are guaranteed to provide 4K resolutions!
Can Playing Video Games Ruin Your TV?
Old TVs used cathode ray tubes (CRT), which had limited features, such as phosphorus-based displays.
This kind of display was prone to burn-in, or create the ghosting of an image that lingered too long on the screen. This often happens when you pause a game or wait for your game to load.
This was one of the factors that damaged TV sets.
With the advancement of technology, CRT TVs have been phased out and were eventually replaced by LCDs and now OLED displays. The newer technology behind LCDs and OLEDs have prevented damage to TVs caused by video games.
Two Reasons Not to Use a Smart TV for Gaming:
1. Latency (or “Lag”)
As discussed earlier, latency caused by the image processing of Smart TVs contributes to the delay of command execution.
While TVs now have Game Mode, the effects of bypassing the image processing still vary from one TV to another.
This is why a dedicated gaming monitor still performs better. It has a better refresh rate and does not need to process images excessively.
By removing the excess features from a TV, there would not be any “lag” when you play fast-paced video games.
While console games were meant to be played on a TV, you will notice better performance and response time when using a monitor rather than a Smart TV.
A Smart TV and monitor will show the same number of pixels, but the bigger size of a TV will also mean the need to sit farther away.
Pixel density on a TV is way lower than a monitor and will strain your eyes while you are looking for smaller or intricate details.
Two Exceptions Where a Smart TV Works Fine for Gaming:
There are good reasons to use your Smart TV for gaming, and not just because you have no other option.
1. Playing Strategy or Turn-Based Games:
Since these games are not too graphic intensive as compared to first-person shooter games, a Smart TV will work fine since you don’t have to worry too much about latency.
If you are not after high adrenaline and want a laidback experience in gaming, a Smart TV will do the job fine.
2. Playing Console Games:
Consoles such as the Playstation and Xbox were designed with a TV as the monitor.
This means that your gaming experience is going to look and feel a lot nicer than if you were trying to play a PC game on your TV.
These gaming systems are often the type you play while sitting on the couch, whether by yourself or with friends and family.
You can also designate the console as your central entertainment hub, with its ability to play Blu-ray movies.