Best TV for Gaming

One thing gamers all can agree on is that a high-quality television can make for an excellent gaming monitor to create the ultimate gaming experience. After all, there’s no point in spending a large amount on the top gaming console and games if you don’t pair it with the best TV for gaming. Finding the best TV for Xbox One, Sony PS4 Pro, or Nintendo Switch means finding an option that has strong picture quality, good refresh rates, and low input lag times. If one of the best gaming TVs is a must for you, stay tuned.

So, as we set out to find the best TV for gaming, we focused on these factors above anything else. It was important for us to give you the best gaming TV, at the best prices we could find. This is why the Toshiba 32LF221U19 is our top pick. With an excellent picture quality, low lag and plenty of connection options, it simply offers the best gaming experience overall. With a TV this nice, your home will never stop being in game mode. Keep reading to learn more about the Toshiba and our other top picks.

Top 5 Best TVs for Gaming Compared

 #1  Toshiba 32LF221U19 TV

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Toshiba 32LF221U19 is a powerful little TV for gaming that features tons of HDMI ports and an excellent Fire TV user interface for all of your streaming needs. If you need affordability while still retaining good picture quality, this is the TV for you.

Pros
  • Best Amazon Fire TV
  • Low price
  • Lots of ports
Cons
  • No HDR content support
  • Black levels could be better

Gaming requires solid picture quality and overall high performance from your TV. Fortunately, the Toshiba 32LF221U19 offers just that, plus more. While this isn’t a 4K TV, it still features a high-quality display with great colors and low input lag. It could do better on black levels, but you’ll only notice in dark rooms. We were most impressed with this TV’s overall gaming performance for such a great price.

When you’re not gaming, you’ll also get the benefit of an Amazon-specific user interface, which gives you access to all of the most popular streaming services. The Fire TV UI is easy to use and you can even control your TV using the voice-enabled Alexa remote. If you need an affordable gaming TV that won’t fail after 2 months, you’ll definitely need to consider the Toshiba 32LF221U19. And let’s face it, with what we spend on the best Xbox one games, an affordable TV is a must. With the price cut on this TV, you can start saving for that XBOX One X.

 #2  TCL 32S327 TV

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: The TCL 32S327 offers a top of the line smart TV experience with its ever-popular and user friendly Roku TV interface. You can even navigate, control volume and search for content directly from your smartphone or tablet.

Pros
  • Best Roku TV
  • Excellent picture quality
  • Very user friendly
Cons
  • No 4K resolution
  • Parental controls can be confusing

If you’re looking for a gaming TV that’s extremely easy to use, look no further than this TCL Roku Smart TV. Its simplicity is only supported by a fantastic smartphone app, which gives you the ability to control the entire TV from your smart devices like tablets and phones. You can even plug your headphones directly into your portable devices and get the TV’s sound from that, which is a unique feature especially useful for gamers. The TCL also comes with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, giving you an even greater level of control over your device.

Unfortunately, the TCL 32S327 doesn’t offer 4K game resolution, instead opting for 1080p. However, we still found that it delivered a bright and colorful picture with good clarity and low input lag for a better gaming experience. You’ll also get a suite of parental controls with this TV, but they can be a little confusing to get started with. You will also want to get the best tv antenna for local channels.

 #3  Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 TV

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Insignia NS-43DF710NA19 is a fantastic TV for gaming that delivers an incredible 4K and HDR display that features over 8 million pixels for the ultimate gaming experience. It also features Alexa integration and an easy-to-use UI that gives you more access to streaming options and live TV.

Pros
  • Best 4K TV
  • Amazing 4K picture quality
  • Alexa-compatible remote
Cons
  • Could be brighter
  • Remote can be difficult to use without Alexa
  • Not the best contrast ratio

This Insignia 4K Fire TV boasts the best 4K display on our list. With amazing visuals that deliver crisp colors and relatively deep blacks, this TV creates a truly immersive gaming experience for you. Perhaps the best aspect of this TV is its seamless integration with Amazon services so you can get your favorite streaming services along with your gaming setup. This is an awesome addition for a quick break between gaming sessions. Plus you’re getting one of the best 4k TVs at a price point that won’t break the bank.

While the Insignia Fire 4K gaming TV doesn’t necessarily offer the best contrast ratio of the lot, nor the brightest display, it still offers a stunning picture that makes games really pop. We recommend using the TV in darker rooms so as to experience the best picture quality and color. Using the Insignia is also really easy. Its UI is streamlined and efficient so you would have a hard time getting lost in settings or controls.

 #4  Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA TV

Award: Best Value

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA is designed with aesthetics in mind, featuring an ultra-thin profile and nearly bezel-less display. It also performs well when it comes to gaming, with a powerful UHD process and stunning 4K picture.

Pros
  • Best overall design
  • Stunning 4K resolution
  • Bluetooth gaming headset support
Cons
  • Larger sizes can get expensive
  • Heavier than other models
  • Can take a while to connect to WiFi

The Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA, also known as the Series 7 Ultra HD TV, is one of the most high-performing TVs we tested for gaming. It’s designed really well, with a thin profile measuring in at just two inches and a display that goes almost all the way to the edge of the device. It also just looks great sitting on your TV stand. Of course, we can’t forget the excellent 4K picture quality and 4K UHD processor that powers the TV. This processor also aids the picture quality for better gaming settings and quality. The UI is also extremely easy to use, which ensures you don’t get stuck on just trying to operate the TV. If you already have an Android phone, it makes sense to have an Android TV to go with it.

We were also really pleased with the built-in Bluetooth support for wireless headphones, something you don’t see every day. This means you won’t need to worry about tripping over long cables or connecting headphones to your console’s controllers. All in all, the Samsung UN43RU7100FXZA is an excellent choice for gamers mostly because it offers stunning picture quality, a great refresh rate and low input lag.

 #5  TCL 49S325 TV

Award: Best Smart TV

WHY WE LIKE IT: The TCL 49S325 is another Roku TV that’s made for streaming services and good gaming sessions. With an impressively low input lag and refresh rate, this TV can handle most games with ease.

Pros
  • Super affordable
  • Responsive user interface
  • Impressively low input lag
Cons
  • Middling picture quality
  • Not 4K
  • Disappointing contrast ratio

The TCL 49S325 provides a very nice budget TV for gaming. It features full HD resolution instead of 4K, but this is still more than enough if you’re not wanting to spend a lot. And while the picture quality isn’t the best when compared to other TVs on our list, it’s still good enough that you can experience the game in good color and smooth motion handling.

We recommend avoiding darker rooms with this TV, as it will quickly become apparent that the contrast ratio is a little disappointing. Blacks look a little gray in dark rooms. However, this is pretty easy to overlook when compared to the super low input lag, which means you won’t experience any stuttering or hiccups as you jump onto your console with the latest game in your lineup. If you want budget and decent picture quality, the TCL 49S325 is a wonderful option. This is definitely a great gaming TV.

What to Look for in the Best TV for Gaming

Input Lag Time: For gamers, it’s important to have the TV display be able to respond immediately when you press a button or input a command on the game controller. Any sort of delay in the response can make it difficult for you to succeed in your game, so figure out which TV can provide low input lag times, which should be 40 milliseconds or lower for high-end multi-player gaming and 55 ms or lower for single-player games. In our input lag testing, we focused specifically on TVs that could achieve 55 ms or lower.

Connection Options: You’ll be connecting your gaming console through a port on the television, but other components also require ports. So be certain your gaming television has plenty of ports for accepting the console and things like sound systems, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes.

Sound System: Most large screen televisions have poor audio quality using the built-in speaker system, so you may want to purchase a sound system or an audio bar to improve the quality of the audio for your games.

Mistakes to Avoid

Overspending for Refresh Rate: It’s natural to think that you need a high refresh rate with your television for gaming, as you’ll want the screen redrawn as many times per second as possible to keep up with the game action. However, current gaming consoles offer video output at maximum screen refreshes at 60 or 120 frames per second (or 60Hz or 120Hz). All large screen TVs on the market offer at least 60Hz refresh rates and most offer at least 120Hz, so poor frame rates really aren’t a concern for a gaming TV.

Concern Over Image Resolution: While you certainly want a strong image quality in your gaming TV, keep in mind that current gaming consoles do not support output resolution of greater than full HD. So you don’t need a 4K resolution TV for gaming purposes at this point.

Most Important Gaming TV Features

Screen Size

  • Gaming televisions work well in nearly any screen size. If you naturally sit close to the TV while using your gaming console, you may not want a TV that’s too large, or you’ll have a hard time seeing the edges of the screen clearly during game play. Before buying a TV, sit down in the area where you’ll be placing it, and make sure you’re happy with the viewing angles.

Display Technology

  • OLED and LED-LCD are the two primary display technologies in large screen televisions, although OLED TVs are rare, as only LG manufactures OLED units currently. Learn more about the best oled tvs.
  • Because OLED TVs do not have problems with motion lag, they work well for sports and gaming, but they also cost quite a bit more than LED TVs and LCD TVs. When looking at a TV for gaming, you may want to consider your display’s peak brightness, but there is no need to go for the most advanced display technology. If you want a bit of an upgrade, take a look at the best GLED TV’s.

Resolution

  • You have two options in large screen televisions when it comes to resolution, HD and 4K. Many TV’s will also boast Dolby Vision as a spec, which relates to HDR viewing. As most gaming consoles currently do not support a higher resolution than HD, you don’t need a 4K TV for gaming. However, you may want 4K resolution for other programming. There are a number of benefits that come from having a TV that can run 4k HDR.

Screen Shape

  • You can pick from curved screens and flat screens when seeking the best TV for gaming. Some gamers prefer a curved screen, as it looks cool and it seems to provide a more immersive experience. But the screen shape is of personal preference.

Input Lag Time

  • For gaming TVs, the input lag time is important to ensure the display on the screen responds quickly enough to reflect the inputs you make on the gaming controller. A slow lag time could cause you to struggle with game play, especially online multi-player games. This is why we include response time as a feature in our guide.
  • Input lag time is not a specification that television manufacturers offer in the list of gaming features of a unit, so you’ll have to rely on third-party testing to see lag times. Anything faster than 40 milliseconds (ms) should be good enough for high-end multi-player gaming, while about 55 ms works well for single-player gaming.

Refresh Rate

  • The refresh rate measures in Hertz (Hz) how many times per second the television refreshes the screen. A higher refresh rate is helpful for viewing fast moving action on the screen without motion lag.
  • Keep in mind current gaming consoles only support 60Hz or 120Hz of output, which most large screen TVs can accommodate.

Connectivity Ports

  • Large screen televisions include USB, HDMI, and video input ports that allow you to connect your gaming console, as well as a sound system, a set-top box, and other components.

Which Best TV for Gaming Is Right For You?

Finding a great TV for gaming is easier than it may sound, as a lot of the reasons a TV works well for everyday programming will also make it work well for gaming. As long as you have enough connection ports and a low input lag time in the large screen TV, you should have a solid gaming television. And don’t forget that you’re going to use your large screen television for all kinds of programming, so make sure the unit you pick will have strong features in areas other than gaming.

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Kyle Schurman

Kyle has been a freelance writer for 20 years, focusing mainly on technology related topics. He's written product reviews, product overviews, how-to articles, product best of lists, and other types of articles.

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3 Comments

  1. your 120hz on most of these televisons is not true, as most are actually only 60Hz panel. If you hook up a HTPC and send a 120Hz signal to it. it will not work. The sony and vizio are the only true 120hz panel TV’s. Furthermore No television currently on the market actually can accept a 120hz signal at 4k (if that was even possible) as HDMI 2.0 can not handle that bandwidth. You will need DP 1.4 in order to do so. so really this is only 120Hz at 1080p.

  2. Thanks for the explanations. Since the manufactures do not list the Input Lag Time, is there a spec that is proportional? I would think it would be the refresh rate but I don’t see a correlation directly.

  3. Good starter article, one of the few that i’ve seen mentioning screen lag. For future articles could you also expand this for pc gaming, specifically around the hdmi connectors (hdmi 1.4, 2.0a, 2.0b for example) as this info can be tricky to find, even on manufacturer websites.
    Thanks

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