With the advent of Xbox One S and expected release of PS4 Neo both of which promise to introduce gamers to the world of 4K gaming, we here at Top Upminster Technology Venture could not have been more excited. For the first time we will be able to enjoy the games in all of their 4K glory. 4K gaming has existed for PCs but this is the first time we’ll see it on the classic gaming consoles. However with the plethora of options out there, choosing the right gaming TV can be a daunting task. Hard-core gamers will agree that even a small difference in Input Lag, Screen Resolution can get you that elusive, perfect long distance “head shot”, when you are out there sniping, or that combo score when there is too much happening on the screen and speed is of the essence.
Our Choice – The LG OLED55B6V 4K TV – Great for Gaming!
(used from £865.00)
If you’re an avid console gamer or a PC gamer and are buying a 4K Ultra High Definition TV for gaming as well general use such as watching movies, sports etc, then Hisense H55M3300, Hisense H50M3300 and LG 55UH661V, LG 49UH661V are the perfect choice. They have average Input Lag but the picture quality at all angles is amazing. If your room and gaming experience deserve nothing but the best and cost is not a factor then you can also go for the beautiful, albeit somewhat pricey LG OLED55B6V or Samsung Series 6 JU6400.
Also read our recent article about 4k TVs that you can buy in the UK under 1000 pounds or our Layman’s Guide to Smart TVs.
Input Lag and Motion Blur of the 4K TV being used:
Input Lag is the time a television takes to generate an image after a command is given. It is essentially the time it takes between pressing the button and the action happening on the screen.
It’s a very small fraction of time, but for pro-gamers this could make a significant difference in the game’s performance. Therefore, the lesser the Input Lag, the better.
Motion Blur is when moving objects or fast images appear a little blurred. This is another major factor for a great gaming experience as gaming is all about super-fast screen change and a few milliseconds’ difference in locating far off objects can be critical in various gaming environments.
There are only a few options in 4K TVs that have both – low Input Lag and low Motion Blur and are ideal for 4K gaming.
The HDMI Port of the 4K TV being used:
All earlier 4K TVs had the HDMI 1.4 input which is not really the best for 4K resolution media, especially for gaming. At 4K resolution i.e. at 3840 * 2160 pixels, HDMI 1.4 can give a frame-rate of only 30 frames per second or 30 fps whereas most games require 60 fps for optimum quality and experience.
All 4K TVs reviewed by TopupTv.co.uk have HDMI 2.0 which is suitable for 4K resolution and gives a frame-rate of 60 fps.
Getting the Basics Right – What is a 4k TV?
4K TVs are essentially Ultra High Definition Televisions (UHD TVs) with horizontal * vertical resolution of 3840 * 2160 pixels. Although 4K resolution is traditionally used as a standard for cinema (Digital Cinema Initiatives DCI 4K) for horizontal resolutions of the order of 4000 pixels, many TV manufacturers are marketing TVs with resolution 3840 * 2160 pixels as 4K TVs or just 4K making it a bit confusing for the average Joe really.
The conventional way of writing the resolution for high definition televisions, which was done vertically and not horizontally, such as 720P or 1080P, is seeing a change wherein 4K resolution now stands for televisions with horizontal resolution in 4000s of pixels. In the conventional terminology, 4K resolution is actually simply 2160P because the vertical pixels are 2160 only.
Conceptually, it would seem obvious that 4K or 2160P or UHD resolution would definitely be better than 1080P resolution and would surely have better picture quality and would be more real. And so upgrading to a 4K TV is a no-brainer, right? No, not in all circumstances.
Do You Really Need a 4k TV for Gaming?
- 4K Ultra HD TVs won’t make your content 4K: What this essentially means is that to utilise the capability of 4K TVs, you need 4K content. If the content is low res, 4K TVs will only upscale this low res content into 4K (by duplicating and stretching the pixels) which may improve your viewing experience a little bit but it won’t do wonders. However with Xbox One S already scaling old HD games to 4K and both Sony and Microsoft promising games in 4k resolution as early as end of 2016, this decision is getting easier to make.
- The transition from HD to 4K is not like SD to HD: There is a particular limit to what the human eye can perceive and also, after a certain point, the improvement that you notice will become smaller and smaller. So HD is already quite good in terms of picture quality and smoothness. Moving from HD to 4K will surely be an improvement your viewing experience but don’t expect it to be as dramatic as moving from SD to HD.
- Viewing distance can be the deciding factor: The distance from which you watch your TV makes a lot of difference in whether you will notice the higher resolution and the difference between how smooth the edges look or how much detailing there is in every inch of your screen.
Now that we’ve discussed using 4K TVs for general use, let’s move on to console and PC gaming in 4K resolution. Following are some important factors to consider for 4K gaming:
While these factors are important, it is very easy to get caught up in the detail. No TV is perfect and the industry is continuously evolving. Most TVs recommended above should be enough to please you given the technology in 2016. The differences should not be visible unless you explicitly look for them.
If you are looking for a basic gaming TV with well rounded set of features Hisense H50M3300 is a good option but if you want to future proof yourselves for a few years then LG OLED55B6V will be a better choice.
Have a question? Ask below by leaving a comment.