How to Fix input Lag on a TV

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Updated September 13, 2022

Today, TVs are more complicated than they once were. Calibrating your TV with basic picture settings such as contrast, color and brightness are nothing new, but with modern TVs, there are dozens of calibration settings to consider. Furthermore, they don’t always play well with input devices such as Blu-ray, DVDs, and Video game consoles.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Fixing a lag issue on your TV doesn’t require any technical skills and is just a matter of adjusting your TV picture menu.
  • Input lag is especially problematic while playing video games since most levels will require split-section actions. Input lag problem becomes worse in online gaming.
  • The time needed to process and calibrate the images depends on the TV’s processor speed and the number of tasks that need to be completed.

The best TVs can have problems with input lag. Fortunately, fixing a lag issue on your TV doesn’t require any technical skills and is just a matter of adjusting your TV picture menu. This post will outline a step-by-step guide on how to fix input lag on a TV.

What is Input Lag?

Input devices like Cable boxes, Gaming consoles, DVDs, and Blu-ray are subject to a problem referred to as input lag. Ideally, input lag occurs when your TV does too much image processing that the physical input from your device takes longer than usual to register on the screen. For example, while playing a video game, a character will respond to player input a few milliseconds after you have pressed on the controller.

Input lag is especially problematic while playing video games since most levels will require split-section actions. The input lag problem becomes worse in online gaming. Sometimes the location of your TV might be a factor. If this is the case, consider moving it to a different location. If the TV is wall mounted, here is how to remove a TV from a wall mount.

How Does Input Lag Occur?

There are three steps involved during TV image processing, this is:

  • Sourcing the image from an input device
  • Processing the image
  • Displaying the image on the screen

To get the image, a digital TV might need to convert the analog signals to digital, depending on the quality of your TV, which might take time. However, you can reduce the time by choosing to receive digital signals instead of analog.

After the signal is converted to a favorable format, it is processed through different operations, including picture adjustments, scaling the picture from 720p to 1080p, adding menus, and calibrating the image to match the TV’s refresh rate.

The time needed to process and calibrate the images depends on the TV’s processor speed and the number of tasks that need to be completed. TV users can reduce the time required to process pictures by making adjustments to the settings so that the video processor works on fewer operations. In addition, high-end televisions with dual processors can support multiple tasks reducing input lag on TV. If you are trying to do a presentation on your TV and have your computer connected to the TV, you want to make sure there is low input lag as well as set to the appropriate resolution for a clear picture. If you don’t know how to do this, rest easy, we have a guide on how to fit a computer screen to your TV that you can read.

Fixing Input Lag on a TV

Fortunately, fixing input lag doesn’t need you to have any technical skills or a trip to your local electronic repair shop (similar to programming a remote to a TV). You can simply fix it by following a few steps:

  1. First, find the picture menu on your TV, select “Game” or “PC mode”, and then disable all TV settings.
  2. Depending on the make and model of your television, you can try different combinations of the settings, inputs, and modes.
  3. Please note that in most modern TVs, you can simply go to “System,” select “General,” and enable “Game” or “PC” mode. Selecting this option will reduce input lag by 50%.

It is also essential to note that TVs with a “Game” mode setting will turn off some of the video processing tasks running, which take longer to complete and affect input lag. However, this doesn’t mean that by selecting “Game” mode, the input lag will significantly be reduced.

Choosing “Game” mode will adjust your television settings to help improve input lag using source devices like gaming consoles. Low input lag is one of the features you should look for in a gaming TV. Additionally, a fast refresh rate is also important. When looking at TVs you will notice that they will say something like 60Hz or 120Hz, this is the refresh rate. To learn more about why this is important check out what Hz is on TV. Finally, if for some reason you are experiencing glitches or corrupted apps, you may need to reset your TV to factory settings to fix the issues. To help you with this, we have a guide on how to reset your TV.

F.A.Q.S

What is input lag?

Input lag occurs when your TV does too much image processing that the physical input from your device takes longer than usual to register on the screen.


What steps are involved in image processing?

There are three steps involved during TV image processing: sourcing the image from an input device, processing the image, and displaying the image on the screen.


How does Game mode help reduce input lag?

Choosing “Game” mode will adjust your television settings to help improve input lag using source devices like gaming consoles.


How can TV users reduce image processing time?

TV users can reduce the time required to process pictures by making adjustments to the settings so that the video processor works to complete fewer operations.

Does Game mode help reduce input lag?

“Game” mode setting will turn off some of the video processing tasks running that take longer to complete and affect input lag. However, this doesn’t mean that by selecting “Game” mode, the input lag will significantly be reduced.



STAT: The value of the TV gaming market in the U.S in 2021 was estimated as $65.49 billion, with consumers spending $11.6 billion in the industry in 2020. On the other PC gaming industry is estimated at 37 billion in 2020 (source)

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