Are Plasma TVs Good For Gaming? (Explained)

Back in the day, Plasma TVs were the kings of home entertainment. They had superb image quality, but their throne has been usurped by OLED and LED TVs.

Now, if you still have a Plasma TV and want to play the latest video games, you may be wondering if these TVs will work with modern gaming consoles.

Are Plasma TVs good for gaming?

Here’s What You Need to Know about Plasma TVs and Gaming.

Plasma TVs are decent choices for gaming, given that they have clearer images and better color quality than the previous LCD and early LED TVs. And while they have been discontinued, they work decently despite some limitations. 

How Much Input Lag Do Plasma TVs Have?

Plasma TVs have a higher input lag than modern LED and OLED TVs on the market.

The average input lag you can get from a Plasma TV is 34.4ms. However, the ideal input lag for gaming is at 30ms and below, and only a few Plasma TVs have an input lag below 30ms.

What Are The Refresh Rates On These Models?

Plasma TVs generally have a refresh rate of 60 Hz. 

In gaming, 60 Hz is a good refresh rate for games that do not have very intensive graphic needs. However, for graphic-intensive games, 60 Hz may produce some subpar graphics.

What is Variable Refresh Rate?

Variable Refresh Rate is a feature found in some modern TVs that lets TV spontaneously adjust its refresh rate to match the movement in the game.

Unlike movies, in which images are fixed, video game images depend a lot on the input from your gaming pad or controls. The game is “building” the world as you move through it.

A Variable Refresh Rate helps track these movements and maintain image integrity, and the higher the Variable Refresh Rate, the smoother the images.

Do Plasma TVs Have a “Game Mode”?

Not all Plasma TVs feature Game Mode, which is a setting that improves video game performance.

Game Mode lets you move through the game with fewer delays.

Game Mode moves some of the TV’s processing power dedicated to image quality toward improving the input lag, resulting in smoother gameplay.

Can All Plasma TVs Be Used As Computer Monitors?

You can use your Plasma TV as a computer monitor, but the performance of the TV as a monitor varies per model.

The main consideration of using a Plasma TV as a computer monitor, like any other TV, is the input lag.

  • Input lag can be an issue when using devices such as your mouse and keyboard.
  • If the input lag is low, you may notice that your mouse and keyboard actions are quite delayed onscreen.
  • If your Plasma TV has Game Mode, you can enable it to reduce the input lag on the screen.

What About Plasma TV, PlayStation, and Xbox Compatibility?

You won’t have many problems using a Plasma TV with your Sony Playstation or Microsoft Xbox.

But you can only play games that are limited to 1080p resolutions and 60 Hz refresh rates. You won’t be able to play HDR games or games with 4k resolution and 120 fps.

Do People Generally Use Plasma TVs For Gaming?

Plasma TVs were a popular choice for gaming in the past, back when they were the latest technology.

However, Plasma TVs began to be phased out in 2016, when many people shifted to using LED, QLED, and OLED TVs.

It’s worth noting that LED TVs are cheaper to manufacture than Plasma TVs, which was the final nail in the coffin for the era of Plasma TVs.

How Good is the Image Quality and Resolution?

Plasma TVs have good image quality and resolution, but not as good as today’s modern TVs.

Compared to newer TVs, the modern TV has better image quality, especially OLED TVs.

However, one thing Plasma TVs still deliver on is their wide viewing angles. That is something that many LED TVs fail to deliver.

Can Video Games Ruin Plasma TVs?

For the most part, video games won’t ruin Plasma TVs, but they do have a risk of burn-in. 

  • Burn-in is when a faint image is burned onto the TV’s screen. This happens when an image is left on the screen for a long time, like pausing a show and leaving it there all day.
  • The damage can be irreversible.
  • If the games you are playing have a fixed image throughout the game, there’s a high chance a Plasma TV will have that image retained on its screen.
  • To avoid burn-in, make sure no image is left on the screen for an extended period of time.

Are Plasma TVs Durable?

Plasma TVs are generally durable, but less so than modern LED TVs.

Newer TVs have at least 40,000 hours under heavy usage before their image quality starts to deteriorate, while a Plasma TV has 30,000 hours until deterioration under the same usage.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Plasma TVs for Gaming?

Plasma TVs relatively good image quality during their heyday.

When it comes to disadvantages, Plasma TVs are limited in terms of what resolutions they can display, their Variable Refresh Rate capacity, and their input lag. 

Plasma TVs are also prone to burn-in, which may be an issue if the game you play contains static images throughout the gameplay.

Finally, plasma TVs are no longer being made. So it may be a chore to find a TV to buy and find someone to service it if anything goes wrong.

What Are the Qualities of a Good TV for Gaming?

The most important feature you would want in a TV for gaming is a low input lag.

The lower the input lag, the better. If you can go for a TV with an input lag of 30 ms and below, consider it.

The second most important thing to look for is Variable Refresh Rate.

Having a Variable Refresh Rate helps you catch all the details onscreen without delay.

With more video games now having HDR compatibility, it would also be good to have a gaming TV that has good HDR support.

What Are the Best Plasma TVs for Gaming?

As Plasma TVs are no longer made, you probably won’t be able to find a brand new TV unless you can find a TV retailer who still has old stock.

But if there’s any one Plasma TV that you should get, it’s the Panasonic GT60. 

  • The Panasonic GT60 is the last Plasma TV that the brand released before phasing out Plasma TVs. And Panasonic made sure its Plasma TV line would go out with a bang, which is manifested in the GT60.
  • Released in 2013, the Panasonic GT60 features multimedia recording and playback, with three USB ports and an SD card slot.
  • It also features Wi-Fi and a built-in Ethernet port for versatility when it comes to connectivity.
  • The GT60 comes with Freeview HD and Freesat tuners.
  • There are three HDMI ports, fewer than what most other TV brands offer.
  • The My Home Screen of the GT60 is customizable. You can organize video sources based on how you want them. The interface is user-friendly, and there’s an option for a remote control app for Apple and Android devices.
  • The GT60 also has a Touch Pen included that connects wirelessly with your TV, letting you scribble on the screen electronically. If you are using this Plasma TV for presentations, this feature will come in handy.
  • The performance of this TV is impressive. First of all, the Intelligent Frame Creation smooths motion, giving it a natural feel. There’s also Resolution Remaster that enhances sharpness and clarity. Color Remaster makes colors more vivid. Blacks look decent, and details are quite accurate.
  • Upscaling is also good, although this TV does not have a 4k resolution.
  • The GT60 also features 3D compatibility, and Panasonic offers a light and comfortable pair of 3D glasses to match this TV.
  • When it comes to gaming, the GT60 has a low input lag. It also has a built-in Game Mode.
  • If you play video games with guests, the GT60 has wide viewing angles, and it can perform well in bright environments.
  • For the weak points of the GT60, it falls flat when it comes to sound quality. You may want to use an external speaker, as the GT60 can get fizzy on the treble frequency.

Final Thoughts

While Plasma TVs have long been discontinued, they were quite powerful for their time.

And if you are looking for a TV that you can use for gaming purposes or just an extra TV for guests, Plasma TVs make a good choice, although you have to manage your expectations.

If you’re trying to decide what type of TV is best for your gaming, check out our articles Are LED TVs Good For Gaming? and Are OLED TVs Good For Gaming?

 

Sources:

Pros and Cons of Plasma Displays

Game mode on: CNET tests TVs for input lag

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