Gamers know that not every TV out there on the market would do for them. For their overall game performance not to drop, they need something more, something specifically catering to their unique needs.
Cue the gaming TV.
Gaming TVs have a two qualities going for them that place them a cut above regular TVs when it comes to gaming. The first of these qualities has to do with audiovisuals: picture and sound quality.
Visual output and audio output take on a heightened level of importance when gaming, because most gamers do not play for the sake of playing. Much like cultural enthusiasts, they are interested in the artwork and spectacle that each and every individual game brings.
Audio is just as important as video for a completely immersive experience, and even regular TVs that promise 4K visuals might be found wanting if their sound output is not at optimal levels.
The second quality that is lacking in regular TVs but absolutely crucial among gaming TVs is low latency or lag time. And it is difficult to overstate the importance of this feature.
Gamers everywhere know the fine line which they have to tread whenever they pick up their controllers to step into a game. Once you push that start button, a delicate feedback loop is immediately established between your brain, your fingers, the controller and the consequent action on the screen. This feedback loop is the sum total of gaming and any interruptions that infringe on it in the form of lag (the delay between your commands on the controller and their execution on the screen) could either diminish the experience or get your character killed – if not both.
Latency is usually caused by delays between the gaming server and your console – in the case of online games, anyway, and there is nothing you can do about it when this happens. However, there are times when latency occurs due to the television which you use, and this holds for online and offline games alike.
Usually, it should take no more than a few milliseconds for the video signals to travel from your console, through the HDMI cable, to the display on your screen. However, when this process takes too many milliseconds, we get what is known as input lag, a situation where commands are not executed fast enough and your gaming suffers.
To avoid input lag, and also get the best sound and picture quality for your gaming experience, you have to find the best television out there which is specifically made to cater to gamers.
This has nothing to do with how big or how small your television is. Sometimes a gaming TV set that lies in the middle in terms of size – 40-inch gaming TVs would work just fine.
Here’s something interesting for you: due to the way smart TVs work and the features they have, it’s often older models that are more suited to gaming.
The Best 40-inch Gaming TVs 2020: Our Selections
Much like 32-inch gaming TVs, 40-inch gaming TVs are considered ‘small’ in the TV world – but quite large in the gaming world.
But in the case of Vizio D40u-D1 40-inch UHD Smart TV, that’s about far as the complaints go. Nobody can sideline this device for lack of quality due to its size. And without it hugging up all the space in your living room or bedroom, you can have the best of both worlds with the stunning visual and audio quality that this screen provides.
This gaming TV delivers 4K UHD resolution images as well as high contrast featuring intense blacks. The LED panel features eight different dimming zones meant specifically for augmenting contrast by creating deeper blacks and brighter colors so that images on the screen seem more realistic than you would expect from a TV of that size.
The difference between 4K resolution and 1080p resolution starts becoming clear when images are viewed on TVs that are greater than 32 inches, so this is one feature you don’t want to overlook when going for a gaming TV. Fortunately, the Vizio D40u-D1 40-inch UHD Smart TV delivers in this regard as well.
This TV comes equipped with 8.3 million pixels which produce images at a resolution that is four times better than 1080p resolution. It also comes equipped with a hexa-core (six core) processor and a spatial scaling engine that enables upscaling of 1080p and 720p images to create better, more visually appealing images. If you were thinking of upgrading from your present 1080p set, the Vizio D40u-D1 40-inch UHD Smart TV would be a step in the right direction, no question about it.
Plus, this is a smart TV. This adds a further dimension to the concept of gaming TV and more reasons to be excited by this device. There is a built-in dual band Wifi connectivity and smart functionality that allows you to access all your favorite streaming apps through the TV without the need for any special equipment.
What you get, basically, is the opportunity to discover more shows, songs, and movies you can enjoy, in between gaming sessions with family and friends. You can streamline the entire discovery process by using the seven-app quick launcher that would make all your favorite apps available once your screen is on. And you never have to worry about your software going obsolete since the TV downloads updates automatically once they become available.
And with the five HDMI ports that this device comes with, you should have no problems plugging in your game console or PC at the same time with other devices that make up your home theatre or multimedia center.
Many people believe the TCL 5 Series/43S525 to be the best 40-inch smart TV on the market at the moment. Others might disagree, especially since it does not offer the outright best visual quality you can find among gaming TVs, although it’s video quality is still worthy of mention.
So how does this TV stack up as a gaming television? Pretty well, actually. First of all, it boasts a very good response time, meaning it can easily keep up with the demands of the fast moving games like first-person shooters and high-speed sports games.
This low input lag also means that you would have no problems using it as a gaming TV for your PC. Latency issues are generally important for gaming, but it takes on a heightened importance when PC gaming with other pieces of hardware like the gaming mouse add their own latencies to the mix. So having a gaming TV that offers rock bottom latency or input lag is always a plus for you as a PC gamer.
Another reason why the TCL 5 Series/43S525 would excel as a PC gaming TV is the fact that it supports 4:4:4 chroma which makes for better and brighter image quality and video quality while connected to your PC.
The video quality of this screen can be considered top class, in spite of the lack of features such as local dimming.
Local dimming is a feature that is available on some LED TVs which dims the backlight behind sections of the screen that are displaying black colors. This makes the dark spots appear even darker than they would have without the local dimming feature.
This makes for great contrast and higher picture quality. But even more than that, it can make playing games with dark themes and scenes truly immersive and engaging, something which will be appreciated by a cross-section of gamers.
That said, the TCL 5 Series/43S525 still manages to deliver very deep and even blacks without the local dimming feature. And the picture quality is good enough for all but the most exacting of gamers. Larger versions of this TV offer even better value picture-wise.
Finally, it would be a disservice to talk about this gaming TV without highlighting its smart capabilities. The TCL 5 Series/43S525 is not just your regular gaming TV. It uses the Roku TV for its smart functionalities, and the ease and fluidity of this interface simply adds to the appeal of adding this device to your living room.
It also comes with HDR reinforcement and Dolby Vision support to offer a wide berth color. You can have a great visual experience with this gaming TV, one that would allow you to experience your games in enough living color to make it a memorable experience.
The Samsung UN40J5200 40-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV comes equipped with two HDMI ports for you to connect your game console or PC to. It also features a USB port and comes packed with smart technology features like built-in Wi-Fi and others to make the perfect addition to your home.
With high-definition 1080p resolution and DTS Premium Sound 5.1 surround sound built in, you can look forward to a most engaging and immersive experience every time you and your friends pick up your game controllers to play your favorite games.
You can enjoy lag free gaming and swift motion, while using less energy thanks to the eco-friendly sensor feature that automatically adjusts the brightness of the display. Plus, as a gamer you are sure to enjoy the Wide Color Enhancer feature that delivers the perfect image.
Don’t have content in HD format? No problem, the Samsung UN40J5200 40-Inch 1080p Smart LED TV upscales content to HD quality even if the content is not originally in HD format. This means that even those older games which you still hold on to for nostalgic value can be enjoyed again in higher quality with this gaming TV.
Most gaming TVs come as LEDs, and that’s because you could get all you possibly want from an LED gaming TV like the ones we have already seen in our list, and others which we are going to see after. Stunning visuals, great sound, super connectivity, and smart features, you name it, an LED TV should supply it to you. But you know what’s even better than LED? QLED, like the Samsung Q60R QLED TV, that’s what.
QLEDs are what Samsung seems to be all about these days, and it’s not hard to see why. QLED displays are super-bright, even when placed side by side with the admittedly spectacular LED screens. They possess more units of brightness and a quantum dot filter that enhances their contrast across their 4K displays.
Now as far as the QLED screens go, the Samsung Q60R QLED TV is not as furnished as some of its cousins that lie on the premium end of the price spectrum. This is an entry-level, pocket-friendly QLED which would be great for you to buy if you were a gamer thinking about the switch but not yet sure.
So on that note, premium features like the One Connect Box that comes with the most premium Samsung QLEDs are missing with the Samsung Q60R QLED TV. You may also note the inconsistent edge lighting which you would not expect to occur with a premium QLED.
But despite these coming with fewer specs and perks as an entry-level QLED, the Samsung Q60R QLED TV can offer you a pretty solid gaming experience, which is the reason why you would want to get it in the first place.
The 40-inch size is perfect for you who may be worried about space in the living room. The QLED display is still superior to most similarly priced LED gaming TVs you will come across on the market. The added bonus is that this is the most affordable TV that would offer you QLED quality viewing for your gaming.
The Samsung Q60R QLED TV is also a responsive smart platform offering low input lag during gaming. So you never have to worry about being one step behind whoever you are playing against online or offline. What you see is what you get with this gaming TV, and while it may not offer the full QLED experience, it offers a solid enough gaming experience to merit a spot on our list.
Although not the biggest name on the block by any stretch of the imagination when it comes to television and consumer tech, Vizio has managed to remain a force to reckon with over the years.
This is mainly because they consistently put out mid-range television sets (whether gaming TVs or otherwise) that are worthy of various best guides. And the M-Series Quantum continues that fine tradition.
The Vizio M-Series Quantum TV brings excellent TV image quality with the help of quantum dot technology, at an affordable price point. You can expect top-notch visuals when this screen is compared to other gaming TVs that fall in a similar price range.
A little bit about Quantum dot technology in general: they were first pioneered by Samsung in its QLED screens, and this should clue you in on the level of visual quality they can produce when leveraged.
Vizio has incorporated this technology significantly into its products today, resulting in several TV models with stunning quantum dot based visuals like the P-Series Quantum and the Vizio M-Series Quantum. And the best thing about the Vizio screens is that they are mid-range screens, bringing the joys of quantum dot to those with smaller pockets.
This is how Vizio has managed to stay relevant in a mid-range market that is progressively heating up with competition from other popular brands that offer ULED and LED screens.
In addition to great visuals, the M-Series Quantum also offers ample sound with the help of two 20W speakers, and this matches and adds to the pictures on the screen.
Couple these features with the HDR capabilities, Dolby Vision, and local dimming, and it quickly becomes clear why M-Series Quantum is a favorite among many within the gaming community. What you get is a gaming TV with ultra deep blacks contrasted with very bright colors for greater effect.
And yes, this is also a smart TV, one which comes with a lot of functionalities including support for AirPlay 2, Google Cast, and an HDMI Arc that allows you to control the soundbar through the TV controls. As far as mid-range, sub $800 TVs go, the Vizio M-Series Quantum is as good as anyone could get, given all the features.
The Samsung TU8000 should be your go-to if you lack a large budget, but still want some of the best core features that have made the Samsung brand one of the foremost in the consumer tech space.
As a budget version of some really stellar high-end gaming TV models, the Samsung TU800 will lack some key features one would typically see in the more expensive models like the Samsung QX43Q60TAFXA. However it does come with enough performance chops to merit a mention on our list.
The TU800, for example, has excellent dark room performance thanks to its incredible contrast ratio and black uniformity—perfect for those all-night gaming marathons that all gamers live for. The screen also comes with adequate reflection handling and peak brightness to enable it to just about hold its own when in direct light.
While the view from the angles leaves a little to be desired, there is a decent amount of HDR technology built into the setup to console gamers who go for this TV set. The incredibly low input lag, and the black frame insertion feature to reduce motion blur are bonuses that cement the status of the Samsung TU8000 as a television built with gamers in mind.
There are also smart capabilities built into this television. It works with the Tizen interface which is easy to use and has a nice selection of apps you can get from the app store.
For its relatively low price, gaming-friendly features, and smart functionalities, the Samsung UN33TU8000FXZA gets the nod as a device that is worth checking out.
Many believe this to be the best 40-inch TV by Samsung that is available on the market today. And the fact that it is an entry-level TV in Samsung’ QLED lineup just adds to its luster because of the overall great performance it exhibits in so many ways.
The Samsung Q60T uses a VA panel. This means that you can expect mind-blowing contrast, black uniformity, and resolution by default. But this visual prowess really comes to life when viewing in a dark room where other sources of light are not around to disturb or distract from the experience.
If you are not keen on playing your games in a dark room, there is no reason to worry though. The Q60T performs just as well in well-lit rooms—better than the TU8000 that we saw earlier, meaning that you get the freedom to enjoy the games you love at any time of the day without any fear.
As for response time and lag, this gaming TV gets full marks. The response time is low enough so that even PC gamers wouldn’t mind using this as a gaming screen for their sensitive setups in which input lag could be the difference between life and death. The added chroma 4:4:4 support makes it suitable for PC gaming as well. So, if you are intent on going down that route you have nothing to worry about.
And unlike in the less pricey TU8000, the Samsung Q60T upscales lower resolution content very well, leaving no visible artifacts—your golden oldie games would literally gain a new lease of life if you play them with this gaming TV.
So, this is a great TV to get if you are looking to just edge into the advantages that can be gotten from the Samsung QLED lineup. As an entry level device however, you would be left without some nice-to-have features like the local dimming feature, variable refresh rate technology, and judder removal. But in spite of all this, the Samsung QN43Q60TAFXZA remains one of the best gaming TVs you could get at this size and price range.
Sometimes, you want to go beyond getting a gaming TV to get a television set that offers a great overall performance no matter the television related activity you decide to use it for. If that sounds like you then the Sony X800H would make a great choice of gaming TV.
It comes with peak brightness, excellent viewing angles, and superb default color accuracy. The contrast is not as great as compared to VA panel TVs like the Samsung Q60T and the Samsung TU8000, but overall it is not the worst you would see on an IPS panel TV.
It is also a smart TV, one that supports a wide array of apps available from Android TVs Google Play Store, and the remote comes with a built-in Google Assistant button. So as a general, multi-purpose TV, you would do nicely with this screen.
The same can be said of the Sony X800H as a gaming TV. This device comes with incredibly low input lag and a stellar response time that no gamer on earth would fail to appreciate. There is also a black frame insertion feature that helps reduce motion blur, and if that is not enough, the screen gets bright enough to enable play in a well-lit room without any problems—a nice tradeoff since it doesn’t perform quite as well in a dark room.
The HDR features present a wide color gamut, for sure, but it does not do as good a job of deepening the shades and making the blacks uniform (even though the grays look very uniform).
Like many other television screens in the mid-range, the Sony X800H does not support variable refresh rate technology, however, it does do well as PC monitor, nonetheless. Its excellent viewing angles would be a particular asset if your ever have to share your screen with others. The 4:4:4 chroma support means that reading text on this screen is a breeze, and there is no permanent burn-in risk when you use this TV for extended hours. All in all, the Sony X800H is a great TV overall for console gaming, PC gaming, and general use.
The price tag of the TCL 5S525 might prevent you from buying one and experiencing all the gaming and smart goodness it offers. But you don’t have to completely miss out. You could go for the less pricey, still awesome, sibling which is the TCL 43S425.
This step down will come with a few compromises, obviously, but not enough to significantly impact your gaming use and other television-related activities you enjoy. The TCL 43S425 comes with picture quality that is just as good as the TCL 5S525, except when you test out the extremes, for example the latter device can attain higher levels of brightness. And what’s more, the TCL 43S425 offers better reflection than its higher-end sibling.
This is a smart TV too, one that runs on the vaunted Roku OS which is extremely user-friendly and supports a bunch of apps you would find interesting.
As a gaming TV, this device has a lot going for it. It is great for high speed video games and console gaming because of its low input lag which is actually lower than in the TCL S525. The rock bottom response time means that you and your friends would have no problem keeping up with fast paced games like first person shooters, since motion is crisp and prompt once commanded.
The TCL 43S425 has a refresh rate of 60Hz, which is good for regular gamers. Professional gamers may be put off by the absence of variable refresh rates, but not casual gamers.
You can also get adequate HDR performance while gaming, in spite of the fact that this device does not perform as well from an HDR standpoint as it should. The color gamut is limited and this affects the level of brightness and darkness it can achieve. However, you do get picture quality and contrast that is better than what you would get on non-HDR enabled screens.
While gaming, you can expect the HDR features to provide deep blacks in a dark room due to the high native contrast ratio, as well as vivid colors and really bright highlights. You want to avoid playing your games in a room that is too bright though, given that the TLC 43S525 has lower levels of brightness.
PC gamers can also rest assured that their needs will be largely met when they use this screen as a PC monitor. There is no risk of permanent burn-in after keeping it on for extended periods of time, and the low input lag ensures that you can keep up with even the fastest games online.
If you are in search of a gaming TV that offers adequate picture quality, one that would not have to break the bank to get, then look no further.
The Samsung UN40M5300UA is an awesome HD smart TV. It comes jam packed with so many features that make it perfect for the ultimate gaming experience between friends and family.
This gaming TV comes with built-in smart functionalities like WiFi connectivity and access to and support for a wide range of apps like Prime Video, HBO Now, and Disney +. The Smart Hub menu helps keep things tidy by organizing your music and apps for easy access and binge watching. People who are looking for a general upgrade to their living room experience would have no trouble warming to this device.
The Samsung UN40M5300UA comes with a USB port that makes it easy to play slideshows, music, and movies directly from any portable storage device. And the built-in speakers which incorporate Dolby DTS Premium Sound 5.1 audio technology, enhance the viewing atmosphere by creating a sound surround experience, something which you will greatly appreciate when in the heat of battle during intense gaming sessions.
This TV comes with 1080p resolution which is not as future-proof as 4k HD resolution levels. However, the screen leverages Samsung’s Eco Sensor programming which makes it smart enough to automatically adjust the screen’s brightness whenever ambient light is detected. This prevents your viewing experience from suffering due to your environment. This is a great feature to have if you foresee yourself playing in brightly-lit areas.
Finally, to provide images that appear truly real and immersive, the Samsung UN40M5300UA TV comes with a wide color enhance mechanism that makes for better saturation. It also comes with a color wheel that provides enough variety and depth to support life-like pictures.
This is a TV that would be an asset for any gamer, as well as fit nicely into any general purpose living room.
What to Look for in a 40-Inch Gaming TV
There are lot of great 40-inch gaming TVs available on the market today, making it difficult to decide on which to walk out of the store and take home with you. To make the burden of choice less difficult for you to bear, here are are a few things to bear in mind when buying your 40-inch gaming TV:
Just as with size, gaming TVs usually come in various resolutions, and these range from the mundane 720p all the way up to 4k UHD panels. Your choice of TV should depend on the sort of games you intend to play with your TV. And if your screen is not meant to be solely used for gaming, but also for general purposes, think of the sort of movies you intend watching with the screen as well.
For many gaming purposes, a 1080p full HD television screen would do just fine, especially since most console games and PC games are made to support this resolution. However, the gaming industry is nothing if not forward leaning, and eventually 4K resolution will be the default for games, meaning that if you want to future-proof your TV and gaming experience, you want to seriously consider getting a 4K resolution screen, preferably one with HDR for high contrast and immersive display, so that you don’t find yourself on the lookout for a new screen after just a few short years.
As for movies, 1080p works for Blu-Ray and regular DVDs. However, streaming UHD content or watching UHD DVDs require 4K model TVs.
- Ultra HD vs Full HD: Some people argue that you can’t see a difference between UHD and Full HD on screens smaller than 55 inches. But that would not be exactly true. If you take the time to keenly observe the same picture on both screens you would see a difference, especially if that image is using High Dynamic Range.
So, you want to go for a TV with 4K Ultra-HD, if you can get your hands on one, because it matters. Under 55 inches, they may not be as far ahead of Full HD, but if you are serious about getting a better visual experience, 4K is important.
Input and Output
People don’t give enough attention to this until they get home and discover that the brand new gaming TV they just got has only one HDMI port.
Having several HDMI ports, along with other connection options like RCA and audio out, gives you the freedom to connect more of your devices. A huge cross-section of console gamers also count as PC gamers for example, and if you happen to be among that group, you want to take input-output connectivity seriously.
The same can be said if you intend to use your TV screen as a multimedia center and intend to connect other devices at the same time with your game.
The alternative of course would be to get up and switch cables every time you want to change input. That would be great exercise. But you could easily avoid the hassle by simply going for gaming TVs that promise several input/output ports to take all your devices
You might think every 40-inch TV comes with a smart TV operating system installed. But that would be a mistake. There are still a few of the models that exist from a time when Netflix and Youtube had yet to gain prominence as smart features.
If you would like having streaming services on your TV without having to get dedicated streaming devices like Roku, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV Stick, then you want to ensure the gaming TV you buy has smart functionalities.
The good thing is that you can easily get reliable, 40-inch smart TVs without breaking a sweat. They are easily the more popular version of gaming TV available on the market today.
What you want to keep in mind is the type of platform you want. Would you prefer Roku’s user-friendly platform? LG’s webOS? Samsung’s Tizen? Go for one that offers the features you most want. At the same time, you want to make sure that you don’t choose a gaming TV that runs with only one platform and leaves you isolated.
Voice commands are also becoming the standard with gaming TVs, especially smart TVs. Many smart TVs now come with hands-free voice control systems incorporated in to their setup like Alexa and Google Home, while others even go as far as connecting with your smartphone so you can use Cortana or Siri.
What Is the Best 40″ Gaming TV?
You would likely get as many answers to this question as the number of people you ask. It’s a matter of preference.
But the safest bet would be to go for a gaming TV that has the best picture quality over a broad range of different TV-related exercises. Your gaming would benefit if your TV already has deep and uniform blacks and bright colors when streaming content or watching movies.
Other factors matter, of course, but not as much as having a solid all-round audio-visual experience.
Other factors that would weigh in to make any TV the perfect gaming TV would include:
- Variable refresh rate to handle games of different speeds, especially PC games
- Dedicated and automatic game mode, so you don’t have to manually switch yourself all the time if your HDMI is shared.
- And also, you want to watch out for TVs that don’t suffer burn-in, if you envisage playing for long hours.
At the end of the day, the TV that meets the most of your requirements, or satisfies your needs in the best way possible is the best gaming TV for you.