Good monitors and TVs for gaming

Isn’t a display just a display? Well, if that was the case, we’d routinely use TVs as monitors and monitors as TVs.

13 Dec 2018

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man with headphones playing game on gaming monitor 1140x450

To help you decide whether you need a monitor or a TV for gaming, and to help you get a better feel for the landscape, take a look at our guide.

TVs vs monitors

  • Monitors are designed to be used up close. They’re better, in the main, at displaying very fine images - like text. TVs are designed to be viewed from afar. They tend to favour size, and almost always come with built-in speakers, making them good for social occasions. Monitors with inbuilt speakers are rare.

  • However, the majority of monitors have better input lag than TVs.

What is input lag?

Input lag describes the delay between moving your mouse and having the input registering on your screen. Or moving a thumbstick on a game controller, and seeing your character moving on the screen.

TVs come with game modes designed to drop the input lag when you’re gaming. But monitors still have the edge here, as they can keep input lag low and visual fidelity exceptionally high, even close up.

  • On the other hand, TVs tend to output in higher resolutions. Why? Well, you need the extra pixels when you’re sitting further away. It also makes more sense to output at a higher resolution when the surface area is bigger (the differences are more discernible).
  • That’s why 4K TVs (which display a horizontal resolution of approximately 4,000 pixels) are cheaper than 4K monitors, as they’re more regularly made.
  • TVs are also more likely to have HDR 10 support. HDR – high dynamic range – is a technology that increases the brightness in light areas of an image, and the darkness in dark areas of an image, creating a bigger contrast between the two.

So, in a nutshell: monitors are great for close, very fine viewing. TVs are better for sheer spectacle.

Good gaming TVs

LG OLED 55 B8

OLED is one of the newest technologies to come to the TV market.

Unlike LED TVs and LCD TVs, an OLED doesn’t use a light at the back of the display to light a scene. Instead, each individual pixel lights itself. That means that when the screen goes black during a dark scene in a game, it’s completely black. OLEDs, then, have pinpoint colour accuracy. However, they can be expensive.

That’s where the B8 comes in - a quality OLED display that doesn’t break the bank. The 55” screen is ideal for gamers, thanks to its low input lag (this hovers around 21 milliseconds, which is excellent), its four HDMI ports and outstanding colour accuracy.

Samsung NU7020

This 50-inch 4K Samsung TV is within almost any buyer’s reach. Yes, it’s an entry level model, but it natively displays 4K content and has HDR10 support. In short, games with high dynamic range will look fantastic.

Samsung has cut costs by offering 2 HDMI ports instead of 3, and using edge lighting instead of a full array of LED lights. Edge lighting is perfectly common, however  - while blacks won’t be as “black” as a TV that uses direct LEDs, edge lighting has a number of advantages, including avoiding the “halo” effect that some full LEDS produce.

Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ 32”

 

The Asus XG32VQ is not just a good gaming monitor, it’s an incredible piece of viewing tech. It displays content at a resolution of 2560 x 1440, which means that, while it’s not full 4K, picture quality will still take your breath away.

This is a part of the Republic of Gamers (ROG) Strix lineup that Asus has introduced, so you can rest assured it’s a proper piece of hardware. The 32-inches of screen space are going to feel like they’re engulfing you whole – games are going to look enormous.  

The small stuff counts too: the ability to customise a special “light signature” is a neat touch, and lets you project a light beneath your screen.

For total immersion and an Asus seal of quality, the 32” ROG Strix is a good bet.

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