Posted 23 September 2007 - 09:59 AM
Today I went into Best Buy and compared several TVs. I heard that Samsung LCDs are the pretty good for video games, especially for their low input lag. I actually brought my Gamecube into the store along with a game I am pretty familiar with, Super Smash Bros. Melee (SSBM). I feel I am familiar enough with the game to be able to notice small levels of lag, and I have no more scientific method available. Here are the TVs I tested and the notes I took for each.
1. LG LCD 37" 720p $1100 37LC7D
2. LG LCD 42" 720p $1150 42LC7D
3. Westinghouse LCD 42" 1080p $1200 TX-42H430S
4. Philips LCD 42" 720p $1300 42PFL5332D
5. Samsung LCD 40" 1080p $1800 LNT4061F
1. I only tested this TV in 480i, S-video. I noticed a bit of lag, more than I would want on a TV. I couldn't find a game mode, but I thought I heard that labeling the input as "game" would put some TVs into game mode, so I tried that, but I don't think it really helped. I would probably want a screen larger than this, but it was in a convenient place to test and I figure the lag would be the same on a larger model.
2. I tried hooking up to this TV with S-video, but it did not detect the input. I was not able to try composite.
3. This is the TV I tested most extensively. I initially tried 480i S-video on SSBM, and noticed a small bit of lag. It was more than I was looking for but not all that terrible. I then switched to 480p and the lag was almost un-noticeable. It may have been gone entirely. On this TV I tried two other games, Ikaruga and the Zelda collectors disc (to imitate an older game system's graphics). I still did not notice the lag in Ikaruga, and did more or less as well as I normally would at the game. I then tried out Zelda 1 and Zelda 2 on the collector's disc. 2D games like this always look questionable on HDTVs. When I ran the games at 480p they looked OK, about as good as I could expect. However, when I switched to 480i the games showed some strange effects. When a graphic scrolls on the screen (including the background in Zelda 2, it tends to "vibrate". I think this is due to the de-interlacing. It's hard to explain, but I think most people would notice it. It may have done a milder form of this in 480p mode; I don't remember. This is a pretty good price for a 1080p TV so I wouldn't quite count it out yet.
4. To be honest I am forgetting exactly what I thought of some of these TVs. The Philips was pretty decent, when in game mode, but not the greatest. Probably similar to the Westinghouse. This might have been another TV that did not like the S-video input, or maybe not.
5. This was my favorite. I know it's the most expensive - I was interested in the 720p Samsung above it but it was out of reach. I am assuming (hoping) that the 720p model would have no more lag than this model. This model, when in game mode, and running a 480i S-video signal, had such a small amount of lag that it was hard to notice it. It wasn't perfect, and probably wasn't as good as the 480p on the Westinghouse, but it was definitely playable. At this point, by the way, I was under the assumption that no TV would lag more running a 480p signal than it would running a 480i signal. So, this TV confirmed what I heard initially about the good quality, at least in terms of lag, of the Samsung.
Tomorrow I will try to narrow down my choices some, but I would definitely appreciate any input that people could provide.