LCD Television

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An LCD Television

Max Resolution 1080p
Possible A/V Inputs RF, S-Video, Composite, Component, HDMI
Display Lag Varies
Weight Varies
Availability Widely Available

For our purposes, we're going to lump every television into two categories. There are the CRT TVs and then there's everything else. The page is named LCD TVs and while there are different kinds of LCDs and there are also plasma TVs, the important thing to understand is that all these technologies have something in common. They all have a little problem called display lag. The CRT TVs by contrast do not have display lag. By display lag, we mean the moment of time from when the television receives the video signal to the time that it is displayed on the television screen.

Display Lag

With a CRT television, as soon as the TV receives the video signal it is instantaneously displayed on the screen. With an LCD or Plasma television, some processing of the image is required and this introduces a certain amount of display lag. How much display lag depends on a variety of factors. How much display lag affects your gameplay depends on the game and how well you are able to adjust to it. In the images below I have a CRT TV on the left and an LED LCD TV on the right. I've hooked up F-Zero GX running at 480i from the Wii. The composite cables are hooked from the Wii into a powered splitter and the splitter is sending the video signal to both televisions at the same time in the picture on the right. I rearranged the TVs to be close to each other for a screenshot. The CRT is on top and the LCD is on the bottom. Notice how the timer is showing 6'31''9xx on the LCD and that it is just about to move up to 6'32. The CRT has already displayed 6'32'0xx.

Left: A CRT TV Right: LCD TV
Top: CRT TV Bottom: LCD TV in gaming mode

Reducing Display lag

  • Find the right TV - Not all LCD TVs have the same amount of display lag. How much lag there is varies widely across different models. The good people of Shoryuken have put together some listings of televisions with minimal display lag.
  • Match your console's resolution settings to your TV's native resolution settings - If you are using a modern console, set the console's resolution settings to match the native resolution of your television. If your TV's native resolution is 1080p then changing your console's resolution setting to 1080p will prevent the console from having to resize the image

*Enable Gamer Mode - This is a setting of the television where the TV does not try to do as much processing on the video signal before displaying it. This will help reduce lag. This setting is not available on all televisions.

Regional compatibility

People in "pal-countries" are frequently interested in acquiring ntsc-consoles (the opposite can of course also occur to have access to certain region specific releases). One of the topics to investigate in that case is how it will be displayed on the TV. As a general rule, modern TVs are able to display both pal and ntsc. However, there are sometimes artifacts on the screen when trying to display signals from a different region. It's usually not a problem for speedrunning though (or if you know of problems, please edit this). Old (CRT) pal-TVs often display ntsc in black and white.

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