The Top Five

TVs For PC Gaming

Best Smart TV Reviews 2018
the best tvs for pc gaming

TCL 6 Series R617 TV Review (55R617, 65R617)

The TCL R617 is a solid choice for any one looking to save some money this year, but it doesn't come without some drawbacks. There are local dimming features with the R617, but the performance is mediocre and it also has a rather poor viewing ...

User rating:
7.8
$629.99 $799.99 Check Price
Full Review
Best value 2 TCL S517 5 Series TV Review

TCL S517 5 Series TV Review

I'm going to say it loudly for the people in the back: The TCL 5 Series is currently the best 4K smart TV right now. It comes at such a low price and offers so much that you cannot ignore it. The contrast ratio is very high and well above the ...

User rating:
7.8
$449.99 $699.99 Check Price
Full Review
3 LG SK8000 4K UHD Smart TV

LG SK8000 4K UHD Smart TV

The picture is quite nice and there are no real issues when viewing the SK8000 in the daytime. Though, once viewed a bit later in the night or in a darker room the poor contrast ratio becomes a bit more noticeable. Besides that the LG SK8000 has ...

User rating:
8
$696.99 $1,199.99 Check Price
Full Review
4 Vizio M Series 2018 4K Smart TV

Vizio M Series 2018 4K Smart TV

The Vizio M Series 2018 happens to fill a slot that most other smart TVs are struggling to fill. It comes with a nice picture, a solid handle over motion, low input lag, and decent smart features all for a nicely budgeted price! This is a nice ...

User rating:
7.6
Editor choice 5 2018 Samsung Q6FN QLED Smart TV

2018 Samsung Q6FN QLED Smart TV

The Samsung Q6FN is a solid option for anyone looking for a serious upgrade to their TV set. This UHD 6 Series model offers a great picture with its wide color gamut and insanely high native contrast ratio all while still managing to have a low ...

User rating:
8.4
$1,597.99 $2,199.99 Check Price
Full Review

Best Smart TVs of 2018

Buying Guide and Advice

How I Find The Best TVs

If you find yourself asking “What is the best TV for PC gaming?” then you are in luck. If the list didn’t cut it I have also put together some criteria I follow to find the best TV sets. The list constantly is changing so be on the look out and enjoy.

Low Input Lag

To start with the best TVs for PC gaming, you will need a low input lag. This is the most crucial for the most important reason above all: you need to be in control of the video game! A low input lag allows for just that. It shortens the time between your initial input and on-screen action, but the real question is how do you know when you’ve gotten a smart TV with a low enough input lag? Below is a quick overview of tested input lags to give a good idea.

tested input lags

My general recommendation is anything under 30 ms, but for PC gaming I’d recommend anything under 20 ms as I find the majority of PC gamers play competitive shooters or some type MMOG (massively multi-player online game). Some for my choices as the best TVs for PC gaming you will have most around 20 and even one at 15 ms to guarantee there to be no issues while online.

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Chroma Subsamspling 101

The second most important thing for the best PC gaming TV will be the support of more common PC resolutions or also known as chroma subsampling. Depending on the refresh rate of the smart TV you just cannot have support for some resolutions. For instance and TV set with a 60 Hz refresh rate shouldn’t support 1080p @ 120 Hz. This is good to know because different resolutions are best for scrolling text or static banner on the screen such as menus in PC games. Though, knowing that this is needed is only half of the battle, let’s dive in and see how it works.

chroma subsampling trt

The information your TV is sent happens to be broken in to three parts and also help measure if the content has been compressed. These three parts all play a role with the quality of your PC games, but the rule of thumb is that 4:4:4 is the best sine no compression occurred leaving you with the most ideal content quality. They are described as:

The Source: This is the first number in each series you see in the image above. Imagine this as the original way a scene or list of content was recorded and then distributed. There are no adjustments made here and are used as reference so we can see how content has been changed by a smart TV.

The Compression: This is both the second and third number in the sequences you see above. This can be 0, 2, or 4. The first of the two references the horizontal compression it will take into account (if any at all). The second of the two numbers takes in amount of vertical compression it will account for which can again be 0, 2, or 4. So in the case of 4:4:4, no compression will occur. In another example, 4:2:2 has half the chroma of 4:4:4, and 4:2:0 has a quarter of the same information available. This is important for a variety of reasons which I’ll touch on next.

End Result: By definition Chroma subsampling is the encoding images by allowing less resolution for chroma information than for luma information. This takes advantage of the human visual system’s lower acuity for color differences than for luminance. So in essence we are tricking our eyes into perceiving a clearer and more crisp picture even though (digitally) it has been altered. This, of course, is not an issue for smart TVs that support 4:4:4 sampling.

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Pixel Motion Blur 

Another necessary thing for PC games is a quick response time, but what does it do? Well, a response time is measurement of how long it takes for one individual pixel to change from its initial color to another. Ideally it would be to a different color, but often times it can be measured accurately with a G-to-G rating which stands for gray to gray.

motion blur response times

Now how does it make a TV the best for PC gaming? See, by lessening the time needed for pixels to switch colors you shorten the actual blur of the picture. This limited the “smeared image” effect and gives you a more crisp picture for fast, action packed PC games especially. In addition to this, since the picture itself it literally held together better, it helps prevent eye-tracking which is annoying for any one. Think of watching a forest pass by as you drive in car. Ever notice how your eyes jump around? This is the same for eye tracking on smart TV. Thank goodness its nearly been removed from most TV sets.

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Variable Refresh Rates

This is a minor feature in my opinion as not many of the best TVs have it available. Though, its performance is amazing and an absolute life-saver from time to time. What a variable refresh rate does it ‘sync up’ the TVs refresh rate with the incoming rate of the inputs source such as a Xbox One, Playstation 4 or PC. This is important for a variety of reasons, but the most important is that it maintains a clear picture by preventing screen tears, artifacts, or studdering, but why the best PC gaming TVs?

See most PC gaming rigs can play most games without worry or concern, but they cannot maintain a steady level of frame-rates. They often fluctuate which is exactly what a variable refresh rate is meant for! Companies have different names for this type of features and even some different standards, but their common names are: AMD FreeSync, Nvidia G-Sync, VESA Adaptive-Sync, HDMI 2.1 VRR, and Apple ProMotion.

variable refresh rates

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FAQ

Do I recommend refurbished TVs?

I actually have a good article over refurbished smart TVs with their pros and cons. In short: I do not recommend these types of televisions too often, but they can potentially save you money depending on the situation.

How do I know if I need a wall-mount?

This is actually quite simple once you know what you’re looking for. You should not be looking down towards your smart TV nor be looking more than 15 degrees up towards it either. I cover this topic more thoroughly inside of my TV Viewing Distance article.

What are the most important features of a smart TV?

You’ll want to look for a good series of native contrast ratios, low response times, 4K support, and the ability to prevent reflections or glare when hunting for a good television. This is especially true when you have a small budget as with the top smart TVs under 500 dollars.

What are some of my favorite PC games?

I am currently enjoying Tabletop Simulator. There are just too many fun times that I’ve had with that video game. Some other great games I keep returning to are Fallout 4Enter The Gungeon, Darkest Dungeon, and MTGO (Magic the Gathering: Online).

What about HDR Video Games?

The only thing you will want in addition to what I’ve mentioned above are a wonderful contrast ratio, and incredibly wide color gamut so the gaming TV can produce deep blacks while realistically saturating its colors.

Are there any other things to avoid when looking for a TV for PC gaming?

This is actually a tough question as most of the best TVs for PC gaming handle about the same, but if the list wasn’t for you, I’d recommend you avoid TVs with poor uniformity or and “bleed” of colors. This is because the inconsistent colors of the pixel rows and columns can have your eyes wandering around the screen when you should be focusing on the action.

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Changelog

6/25/18
AddedTCL R617, TCL S517, LG SK8000, 2018 Vizio M Series, and Samsung Q6FN
Removed: N/A

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