Buying that expensive, top-of-the-line gaming console isn’t the final step on your journey to fabulous, next-generation video games: It’s only the first of many. When using a modern gaming console on a low-end television, you’ll miss out on the premium graphics this generation has to offer.
The Top 11 Best Gaming TVs
Below we’ve highlighted 11 of the best gaming televisions on the market today that any gamer is sure to love.
As you’d expect from the manufacturer of the hottest gaming console around, the Sony KDL60W630B/2 60-inch LED HDTV is one of the best televisions to pair not just with your PlayStation 4 but with any gaming console. The proprietary Motionflow XR 480 technology offers smooth moving images while the large 60-inch screen offers crisp, clear imagery. This television also has built-in access to the PlayStation Now service, giving you access to a library of classic PlayStation 3 games streamed directly to your television. Last but not least, the Sony’s X-Reality PRO picture engine provides bright colors and dark blacks, making games like Uncharted 4 come to life. You won’t believe how much detail Sony packs onto the screen with this technology!
Sceptre isn’t a household name when it comes to gaming televisions but don’t let that turn you away from this magnificent set. Not only does this 4K television boast superior visual quality over your standard LCD gaming television, but it also has a built-in 4K upscaler that will convert your video games into 4K resolutions. The MEMC 120 technology ensures that moving images are silky smooth while the HDMI 2.0 inputs help deliver a blistering fast 60 frames-per-second. Don’t let the lower cost and unfamiliar brand name fool you; the Sceptre U658CV-UMC U 65-inch 4K LED Ultra HDTV is an excellent value-priced deal.
The Samsung UN60KU6300 60-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV ticks off all the boxes on the “Perfect Gaming TV” checklist. This television includes the following:
- A 120CMR refresh rate
- Support for 4K resolution
- Three HDMI inputs
- Two USB inputs
- An LED backlight
- A slim design that makes this TV lighter than the competition
- The ability to upscale movies and games to 4K resolution
In addition to this huge list of features, the Samsung UN60KU6300 60-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV also includes proprietary technology that offers vivid colors and deep blacks, bringing your games to life in ways you never thought possible.
Love the look and feel of the Samsung UN60KU6300 but can’t afford the price tag? Then you’ll want to check out the Samsung UN60J6200 60-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV. This television exchanges the 4K resolution for a maximum resolution of 1080p; however, with most games still not fully supporting 4K resolution, 1080p will still make your console games look incredible. With proprietary features like a Wide Color Enhancer and built-in 5.1 surround sound, your games will look and sound amazing. If you’re looking to save money on your electricity bill, this television features a built-in Eco Sensor, which will adapt the television’s brightness setting to the amount of light in the room.
If a 60-inch gaming television is just a hair too big for your entertainment center, then try the LG Electronics 55LH5750 55-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV. Not only is this television perfect for modern consoles, thanks in part to its crisp picture and LED backlight, but it’s also a great fit for retro gamers as well. This television not only includes a composite input but also an RF input, letting you plug even the oldest gaming systems, such as an Atari 2600, into the back of the television. As an Energy Star television, LG claims that this model will use 24 percent less power than other comparable models, which will lead to lower electric bills.
Is any television over 30 inches too big to fit inside of your entertainment center? Luckily for you, the Samsung UN24H4000 24-Inch 720p LED TV is a high-quality gaming television in a small package. With a 120 Clear Motion Rate and Wide Color Enhancer, this television can display just as vivid and smooth of a picture as its larger brethren. While the 720p resolution isn’t as crisp as a 1080p resolution, the screen’s small size will still make your games look just as sharp as a larger set. The Samsung UN24H4000 24-Inch 720p LED TV is proof that good things do come in small packages!
With its three HDMI slots, the TCL 32S3800 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV is perfect for hardcore gamers who have all of the gaming consoles. As a bonus, this television also has RF and composite inputs so you can even hook up your retro consoles to it! If you’re sharing your television with other family members who are not huge gamers, they will love the additional features of this TV, such as smartphone integration and the easy-to-use remote. With its stunning picture and fun features, the TCL 32S3800 32-Inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV is a perfect gaming television the whole family can enjoy.
If you’ve looked at the past two gaming televisions and scoffed at their small size, then prepare your eyes for the epically huge Samsung UN75J6300 75-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV. At a humongous 75 inches, this is one of the biggest gaming televisions available on the market today. In addition to its large screen size, you’ll also find:
- Four HDMI slots
- Three USB slots
- The Wide Color Enhancer feature
- A quad-core processor
- A full HD 1080p resolution
- Micro Dimming Pro technology, that lets this tv offer deeper blacks and brighter whites
Simply put, the Samsung UN75J6300 75-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV is one of the best gaming televisions available. The only downside is that your friends will always want to come over and play games on it, so load up on the snacks and beverages!
Just like the name states, the Samsung UN65KU6500 Curved 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV is on the cutting edge of television technology, offering both 4K resolutions and a curved screen. That means that not only will this gaming television provide you with one of the best pictures around, but you’ll see more of it! No matter where you sit in relation to this television, you’ll see the same beautiful image as other viewers thanks to the curvature of the screen. The proprietary PurColor technology found in this television presents more lifelike colors, perfect for realistic games such as The Witcher 3 or Fallout 4.
With its Clear Action 240 technology offering a 120Hz refresh rate, gamers who love fast-moving games such as first-person shooters will find a lot to love in the VIZIO D43-D1 D-Series 43″ Class Full-Array LED Smart TV. This television offers smooth scrolling and crisp, vibrant visuals, bringing games like Halo and Overwatch to life in fantastic clarity. The LED backlight will dynamically adjust itself based on how much light is in the room, ensuring that you’ll always have the darkest of blacks and the brightest whites at all times. Vizio has a reputation for providing fantastic gaming televisions at a lower cost than the competition and the VIZIO D43-D1 D-Series 43″ Class Full-Array LED Smart TV is no exception.
If money is no object and you want the best gaming television available today, then you’ll want the LG Electronics 55EF9500 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Flat Smart OLED TV. The OLED screen can display a maximum of 8.3 million pixels, which is more than you’ll get with even a 4K television. The OLED screen technology is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before, offering such a bright and vivid picture that you’ll swear you were in the game itself. In fact, LG claims that this television can provide a perfect contrast ratio thanks to the self-lighting pixels found on this set. This set is as light as it is amazing, with an ultra-thin design that gives you the flexibility to mount it on a wall. It’s certainly expensive, but the LG Electronics 55EF9500 55-Inch 4K Ultra HD Flat Smart OLED TV is worth every penny.
What Type of Television is Best for Gaming?
The first decision you’ll have to make about your gaming television is likely the most important: what type of television you purchase. Currently, the most common types of gaming televisions you’ll find for sale include:
If you’ve ever watched television in the past or used a computer monitor, you’re already familiar with LCD screens. This screen is the status quo when it comes to televisions and seen on everything from tiny 20-inch television sets all the way to large 60-inch sets. While this screen is fantastic for gaming, with many of the gaming televisions you’ll find for purchase using this type of screen, those who want something more will need to look into more advanced technology.
While technically an advanced technology, plasma televisions are currently falling out of favor among manufacturers. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find plasma sets for sale at most retailers. What caused the death of plasma TVs? Much of it has to do with screen burn-in; when an image was on a plasma screen for too long, a permanent copy of that image would end up etched into the screen for all time. For gamers, this meant that static imagery, such as health meters, ammo counts and even character names, could end up being a permanent part of your viewing experience. While plasma televisions have excellent color depth and viewing angles, this one flaw is a major one. If you’re looking to buy a gaming television, stay away from plasma, as no plasma television is immune to screen burn-in.
While many thought plasma televisions would be the next big thing after LCD, that honor instead goes to 4K. In laymen’s terms, a 4K television offers four times the resolution of your standard full HD LCD television; in other words, this means your images are going to look somewhere in the neighborhood of four times as good as an LCD television. For gamers, this means graphics that will fully immerse you into the game, letting you see even tiny details, like beads of sweat on a character’s face or specks of mud on the tires of a car. The downside? Console games have yet to embrace 4K gaming fully, though it does appear to be happening; while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 don’t natively support 4K, it’s heavily implied that newer iterations of those consoles will soon appear that will endorse this technology. If you have the money to spare, then by all means invest in 4K gaming, as it’s only a matter of time before game manufacturers fully support the technology.
OLED is the new kid on the block, with screen technology that offers an unparalleled picture quality with fast response times, superior image quality and reduced power usage. If you’re serious about your console games and want the best that money can buy, you want an OLED television. Of course, there is a catch: OLED televisions are expensive and are only made by a handful of manufacturers. There are no discernable downsides to OLED televisions, so for many it will simply be a waiting game until the technology becomes more affordable. If money is no issue, OLED is the way to go and is the best bang for your buck and the market today and in the future.
Size Does Matter
Like many things in life, when it comes to television screens the adage “size does matter” is something that many gamers live by. While many modern games are perfectly playable on a 30- to 40-inch television, many players will tell you that you need a 60-inch or larger television to get the full degree of immersion.
Thanks to recent advancements in technology, a large gaming television is no longer only something only the affluent can enjoy; most 50- to 60-inch sets are only marginally more expensive than their smaller counterparts. In fact, the price is no longer the determining factor for what size television most consumers get; instead, it’s the size of the area where the television will go. Before going and buying the biggest gaming television you can, be sure to measure out the area where you’re placing it to ensure you don’t purchase a set that is too large for your entertainment center.
However, if you’re a professional gamer or play games that require split-second reflexes, larger televisions do have one downside: a greater degree of input lag.
Understanding Input Lag and Refresh Rate
When buying a gaming television, input lag and refresh rate are two of the most important things to look for; in fact, some gamers feel that these two statistics are even more important than the type and size of television you buy. After all, what good are the type and size of your gaming television if your games are unplayable?
The refresh rate is a measure of how well the television can portray moving images. A television with a low refresh rate will represent moving images as choppy while a television with a high refresh rate will portray moving images as buttery smooth. Naturally, you want a gaming television with as high of a refresh rate as possible to get the most out of your video games. Look for televisions with a 120Hz refresh rate or greater to get the best possible picture; anything lower than that will result in a decrease in image quality.
Input lag is the length of time it takes for an action to register on your television screen after pressing the button on your controller. For example, on gaming televisions with little to no input lag, the on-screen character will perform an action almost directly after you press the corresponding button. On a gaming television with a high amount of input lag, the character will perform that action a full three or four seconds after pressing the button. As you can imagine, significant amounts of input lag will make your video games virtually unplayable.
Unfortunately, there is no magical statistic to look for that determines small volumes of input lag. One of the biggest ways you can decrease input lag is to buy a smaller television: The tinier the television, the less input lag you’ll have. Unfortunately, many gamers aren’t willing to budge on screen size; after all, bigger is better, remember? Fortunately for you, many gaming televisions offer one way to cut down on input lag: Game Mode.
What is Game Mode?
As the name implies, Game Mode is a television picture mode that is solely for video games to help combat input lag. Game Mode does this by turning off most non-essential television functions and diverting those resources into lowering input lag. The tradeoff for decreased input lag on a larger screen is lower quality visual fidelity.
Nearly every gaming television has a Game Mode feature; in fact, it’s a good litmus test to determine if the television you’re buying is essentially a gaming TV. If it offers a Game Mode setting, then you can rest assured the manufacturer was thinking about gaming in some capacity when designing this set.
How Important are Smart Capabilities?
A Smart TV is one that comes with built-in WiFi and a host of applications, including mainstays such as Netflix, Hulu and Pandora. For the casual user, it’s worth paying the extra bucks for a Smart TV just to access your favorite apps without an external device. For a gamer, though, it’s not worth the extra money the Smart features cost, and for one reason: You already have a better way to access those apps.
No matter which gaming console you own, they all come with some form of Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and YouTube along with a broad range of other applications. In addition, the applications on your gaming console offer a better viewing experience by utilizing the built-in strength of your console. Applications in a Smart television are limited versions of the real thing, as televisions will never have the powerful hardware a gaming console packs. Be honest: There will likely never be a time you watch Netflix or Hulu on your television rather than your game console. Save yourself some cash by passing on Smart televisions if possible; instead, put that money towards a hot new game.
How Many Inputs Should I Look For?
When it comes to inputs, the more, the merrier. While you may have one gaming console now, who knows what kind of deals Black Friday will bring. Having those extra inputs gives you the flexibility to add as many gaming consoles as you like, without needing to worry about reaching behind the television to plug and unplug your various devices. Most gaming televisions come with a minimum of two HDMI slots, which is enough for most casual gamers; however, hardcore gamers will want at least three HDMI slots, one for each of the major manufacturers: Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft.
If you’re a fan of retro gaming, you’re going to want to keep an eye out on gaming televisions that have composite and S-Video inputs. While not common on many gaming televisions, there are a few manufacturers, such as Samsung and Sony, that offer older inputs on their newer televisions. Of course, if you can’t find a television with the proper inputs, there are modifications one can make to their NES and other older gaming systems to make them HDMI compliant.
Which Gimmicks Should I Avoid?
Televisions have seen a lot of gimmicks over the years, with some of them fading into history while some are still actively offered today. When shopping for a gaming television, you’ll come across two gimmicks that have seemingly stood the test of time: 3D and curved screens.
A few years ago, it seemed like 3D was the next big thing. 3D movies were booming in popularity, every manufacturer had a 3D television on the market and even the PlayStation 3 had a large assortment of 3D games. Unfortunately, the 3D fad is dying out, with newer gaming consoles not offering 3D capabilities that are reliant on 3D televisions; rather, 3D technology is coming from dedicated hardware, such as the PlyStation 4’s PlayStation VR headset. A few years ago, it would have been worth the money to spring for a 3D television; now, however, you’re better off just saving your money and getting a headset instead.
Curved televisions are currently the hottest gimmick on the market today, claiming to offer a wider viewing angle than your average flat-screen television. While this is true to an extent, it’s not worth the extra cost for a gamer in many cases. Even when all the features are the same, your average curved television clocks in at a much higher price than an ordinary television for only a minimal increase in viewing size. Unless you’re rolling in the dough, this is one gimmick you can safely skip.
How Far Back Should I Sit?
To get the best viewing experience possible on your new gaming television, you need to calculate the proper distance to sit from it. Sit too close to your gaming television and you won’t see all the action, sit too far from it and you’ll lose out on picture quality. THX, a manufacturer of high-quality audio and video equipment, recommends this formula to ensure proper seating distance: one foot for every 10 inches. If your television is 55 inches, you’ll want to sit five feet and five inches away from it. While some may argue with this formula, it’s a good starting point for measuring the proper distance to sit from a television.