How to choose the best gaming HDTV for you

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Ever wonder what the best TV to play video games is? Tech journalist, Anthony Carboni, explains the top five most important features to look for in an HDVT if you are a gamer! (Hint – #1 is refresh rate.)

Transcript Hi, I'm Anthony Carboni. And today we're going to learn about the five most important features to look for in an HDTV if you're a gamer. Number one, refresh rate. 60, 120, 240 Hertz-- what do these numbers mean, and why do they matter? So refresh rate is the number of times per second an HDTV is going to update the picture on-screen. So a 60 Hertz TV will update 60 times a second. You can find HDTVs on the market today that offer anywhere from 60 Hertz to 240 Hertz. 240 Hertz is the fastest refresh rate possible on an LCD panel. Any number larger than 240 Hertz is arbitrary, and it's mostly based on the manufacturer and their motion compensation technology. See, some manufacturers implement technology that inserts additional frames, and it multiplies the motion effect for even smoother motion. Whether you're a sports gamer or a first-person shooter junkie, you want to get an HDTV with a refresh rate of at least 120 Hertz for clear, smooth motion. Refresh rate is important for gaming, because it recreates natural motion with reduced judder and less blur. So you're going to see everything as if you were there. You can't get much closer to the action than that. Remember to head into a retail store to judge the motion performance for yourself, because the advertised numbers are not always an apples to apples comparison across brands. In addition to refresh rate, the other pieces of the picture quality puzzle are color and contrast. A TV's picture quality isn't just about the screen, it's largely dependent on the image processing engine behind it. So this TV has two powerful chips in it that fuel the picture engine. This engine's going to analyze each scene and selectively process it to give it clear, clean and lifelike pictures for your video games, movies and web videos. So stored on the chip is a database of images that are used to enhance what you're watching on the screen. It even improves the quality of low-resolution web videos. So you'll have no problem seeing the detail of your player's jersey as you run him down the field into the end zone. Now for contrast. Contrast has to do with how bright the bright spots are, and how dark the dark spots are, and everything in between. So on lesser quality TVs, you're going to find yourself turning up the brightness in order to see details. But that's also going to over saturate the colors, especially the greens in your image. This TV here also has something called local dimming, which meticulously controls the contrast so you can see the details of the picture even in the dark shadows. You really have to see this in person to fully appreciate the level of detail and clarity. So our second item is ports. You have to connect the gaming console to the TV, right? So the PlayStation 3 and other gaming systems occupy an HDMI input each. So make sure your HDTV has plenty of HDMI ports in the back. You want at least two, but you might want three or four so you can connect other devices like a Blu-ray player, or a streaming player, or a surround sound home theatre system. Finally, 3D. So many gamers prefer 3D gaming, especially on PS3 systems, as it's the most immersive experience you can get from video games. First-person shooters really benefit from the depth of field and the feeling of being right there in the action, so look for an HDTV with 3D capabilities. And yes, you're going to need the accompanying 3D glasses. But there are now lighter and more comfortable glasses on the market. Including titanium frames that weigh a mere 1.2 ounces and are engineered for ultimate comfort during gaming sessions. There is one bonus feature that you might also want to consider-- game mode. So some models come with a game mode, giving you the ability to connect and play your handheld gaming system on the big screen. Getting the best HDTV for gaming is a process and requires some homework. But there's nothing quite like it the first time you invite your buddies over for a split-screen gaming session on a truly superior HDTV. So here's a quick recap of the features to look for. Superb picture quality, a high refresh rate, 3D capability, and three or more HDMI ports. And do not forget to look for game mode. On behalf of Sony, I'm Anthony Carboni with Howdini. For more tips, check out sony.com/howdini. I have never felt closer to you than I do right now.
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  • Anthony Carboni

    Anthony Carboni Tech Journalist Anthony Carboni hosts Best Job Ever, a showcase of some of the greatest jobs in the tech world, and Retrovisionscope, a show best described as "Mystery Science Theater 3000 for the YouTube age." more about this expert »

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