You may have the latest PlayStation or Xbox console but the television you’re using could be letting you down on image quality and game performance. High definition screens have been significantly dropping in price but there’s a lot more to an immersive gaming experience than HDTV resolution.

Television manufacturers understand that many of their consumers are now judging their televisions on gaming capabilities. This means that manufacturers have had to integrate specific requirements into their units that will attract the game playing customer. If you’re a gamer on the look-out for a new television to complement your console there are a few specifications to look out for.

Look at the input lag

Input lag is basically the time it takes your television to generate an image after your have made your move on the console controller; this actually starts off when your brain kicks your fingers into motion. The higher the input lag is the less immersive and less enjoyable your gaming will be. Input lag can be counted in milliseconds and the higher the MS count the longer you’ll have to wait for your television’s processing system to convert and react. Very inexpensive televisions often lack the processing power needed and this means the lag time will be higher, and this should be taken into consideration when making a purchase.

Look out for the game mode feature

Game mode is now integrated on most of the latest televisions and this function is designed to provide a better gaming experience. Game mode effectively turns off much of the processing in order to reduce the lag time when using your games console. However, although some televisions will switch to game mode automatically there are certain models where the gamer will have to undertake this procedure by searching through the menu. Game mode should cut down lag time considerably and 20ms to 30ms is a good input lag while heading to 60ms and over isn’t a great response time.

Plasma versus LCD

Plasma screens do seem to be the winner in terms of decreased motion blur when compared to LCD and are excellent when playing games with dark scenery. Liquid crystal displays (LCD) are excellent for brightly coloured games and you have a wide choice of sizes with LCD, although LED (light-emitting diode) is the newest LCD generation of televisions. In fact plasma is rumoured to be dying out with LED now leading the way thanks to the excellent image quality and low manufacturing/purchase price. There’s always the option to go for the huge plasma screen and you can always pick up a second hand model for a low price as regular television viewers make the move to LED.

If you’re looking for reliable, high quality gaming televisions then manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung, Phillips, Vizio, Toshiba and Finlux all offer some of the best gaming televisions around. Make sure to quiz your TV provider on lag times; a good television salesperson will know exactly what you’re talking about and should be able to provide a demo in-store.