If you are the proud owner of a new gaming console and are looking forward to all that wonderful high definition graphics and sound that will knock you out of your seat, you should be aware that the TV that you intend to play it on may not be properly set up to give you the full gaming experience that high-powered gaming consoles can offer. As systems become more powerful, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that the screens they are displayed on are capable of demonstrating just what the console can do.
A gamer’s television, ideally, should be able to handle these new power systems, but even if you have a newer television, if the gaming settings are not properly set, you will only get a fraction of the gaming experience you could be getting.
The systems that will be purchased for Christmas this year may be capable of rendering 120 FPS at 4K, but if your TV is incapable of doing so, you will never be able to experience the full power of the gaming system. Unfortunately, in most cases, this means that the purchase of a new gaming system should be accompanied by the purchase of a new television set or monitor.
With this in mind, the following suggestions are worth considering if you want to improve your gaming experience.
The (display) golden numbers
The most recent target for the specifications of gaming TVs is 120 frames per second with 4K picture quality. If your television cannot already do this, understand that the console you are gaming on, which is capable of hitting these numbers, will send the information to your screen, but your screen will only display a portion of that information.
Most gamers look for televisions and monitors that can render the graphic specifications of their consoles, but the casual gamer may be unaware of this. If this is important to you, compare your console’s graphics capabilities to those of the television you already own or are considering purchasing.
Most people are perfectly content to leave the television settings at the factory default when they first take a new television out of the box. This includes the color settings, which 99% of people never consider unless the setting is accidentally changed and everything on the screen appears to be rendered as an 1800s sepia photograph. However, one of the simplest ways to improve your gaming experience on your console is to adjust the color settings on your television.
Almost every television has color settings that can be changed by the user; however, how much changing should be done depends on the user’s preferences. Sharpness and tint, or G/R, should be turned all the way down if the television settings allow it Color should be set to 50% to ensure the best possible picture while accounting for input latency.
This setting makes colors appear brighter and darker areas appear darker. This allows the game’s graphics to stand out more vividly, or “jump out,” as some people put it, though in some games the graphics details suffer as a result. Depending on the game and the frame rate, this option should be disabled entirely if it is available.
True Cinema and MotionFlow
These settings, which are common on Sony televisions, enable the user to lock the display’s frame rate when the unit is turned on. Its intended purpose is to make older movies and television shows look a little better on the big screen. However, it can have a negative impact on gaming. Gamers will want to disable them if they are on by default. If the frame rate is locked, the game may appear more consistent, but this can have a negative impact on input latency, which is important in many multiplayer games or games that require quick reflexes.
This is a common setting found on LG OLED units that fills in “blank spots” in the pixels, such as when an image is displayed on the screen at a lower resolution than the screen is capable of rendering. For example, in a movie that outputs at 1080p when the unit is capable of outputting at 4K, this setting is intended to make the image appear clearer and sharper. The issue here is the amount of time, no matter how brief, it takes for the system to render this enhanced image.
This can cause input latency issues, slowing down fast-paced games. This can also cause issues with online games, so the setting should be disabled if you frequently play these types of games. It may, however, improve the appearance of older games.
Settings on the console itself
Only in recent generations have gaming consoles included their own graphical settings, allowing the user to fine-tune them for optimal performance. For example, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 did not allow for this, but every generation of the console after these has had graphical settings that can be changed. The settings on the console should be tweaked to ensure that the output to the TV is at the maximum rate that the TV can handle, particularly on older TVs.
This setting actually has nothing to do with audio. Put simply, the setting attempts to remove some of the detail from the graphical image, or “noise,” in order to render the image more clearly on the screen. This is useful if you want to play older games in standard definition, but if you have a newer console with newer games, you should turn it off to get the best picture quality and the highest rate of detail.
Many horrors and Gothic-themed games have very dark and moody graphics. These games typically have built-in settings that allow the gamer to adjust the brightness of the picture, but the television settings should be taken into account if playing dark theme games like these. If you play games with a lot of dark settings that make it difficult to see what is going on the screen on older televisions, set the brightness to around 50%.
Many of the settings already discussed here can improve your gaming experience, but if your television has an onboard “game mode,” some of your settings adjustments may be simplified. In the settings, the unit will automatically reduce input and image latency, as well as change the displayed graphics for optimal screen rendering. This is especially useful for online gamers and first-person shooter game players. Most televisions manufactured in the last five years will have the setting, though older models may not.