Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Guide to gaming on HDTVs

The current generation of home consoles introduced the world to gaming in high definition.

Both the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 are HD ready out of the box and as a result many consumers have found that they need to upgrade to a high definition television to get the most out of their console.

Xbox 360 and Playstation 3
Photo: momopeche

In high definition, graphics that previously appeared rough around the edges are crisp and smooth. Games also appear to run more smoothly as most high definition televisions process both 1080p and 1080i signals generated by high definition consoles.

It’s important to remember when buying a high definition television with gaming in mind that criteria that may denote a good television for movies and TV may not indicate a quality gaming set.

With that in mind, what suits gamers best? LCD, LED or plasma TVs?

Plasma TVs are capable of excellent contrast and excellent picture quality. However both LCD and LED televisions tend to be capable of running in higher resolutions leading to smoother game graphics. This is also an advantage when using watching online videos, such as Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s Afternoon Delights.

Photo: William Hook

Another large drawback to plasma technology is the issue of screen burn, where static images can be left burnt into a screen if left too long.

Considering many games have constantly static head up displays, gamers are more susceptible to this problem than most.

Both LCD and LED TVs are capable of displaying high resolutions although LED has a huge advantage with its dynamic backlighting.

Video gaming images tend to chop and change more than in television and movies, so a backlight that adapts constantly makes games appear brighter and gives better contrast.

Due to the higher price of LED TVs it is hard to recommend LED over LCD as an option for a TV primarily used for gaming. Although, if being used to also view Blu-Rays or high definition television, an LED TV is worth every penny.


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