Tips to reduce input lag for your TV

There is a subtle but important element that some gamers overlook; input delay. In more technical terms, this is the (usually small) delay between the GPU sending a frame to the TV or monitor and the monitor actually playing that frame.

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Or in short — it’s the delay from pressing a button to the actual game or image on the screen reacting. In the world of technology and games, it is generally believed that about 15ms (milliseconds) input delay is suitable. But paradoxically, some of the flashy, powerful TVs of the modern era can be on their own in some respects — with features and settings that might get in the way. Fortunately, there are methods—some quite simple—to eliminate much of this input lag.

Turn off image enhancement or alteration features

TV picture options Added picture movie mode selected

While many modern TVs come with a ton of picture-changing settings and filters, they don’t always work for a great gaming experience. In fact, they can sometimes be harmful. Dive deeper into image settings for labels such as “Decrease MPEG”, “Noise reduction”, and unique name “Mosquito noise” and flip them over.

These mitigations and picture settings — although they look appealing to play with — can cause some input lag as they adjust the signal between the console’s video output and the TV screen. .

Check other HDMI inputs

Best HDMI TV Input

It seems unorthodox and incapable of actually moving the needle, but in reality, Some gamers have reported a small but noticeable improvement in input lag of only try different inputs.

And luckily, most newer TVs don’t lack HDMI inputs to tinker with. There is always the possibility that the input being used is slightly better than the input that is not being used. It might be a small difference, but with the accuracy, speed and quick response times that gaming typically requires, even a few milliseconds of latency can make a difference.

Use separate speakers

LG Soundbar

Let’s face it, most serious gamers are likely to forgo often inferior TV speakers and opt for heavier, more dynamic sound systems. But for those who like to save money on this side—it might be worth the investment in external speakers or a soundbar. Not only does the game sound better, but it feels a bit sharper, even adding to the immersion factor.

Using a separate sound system makes the TV less susceptible to interference, which means more visuals and instant movement on the screen. Gamers are reported to have noticed a difference in about 8ms related to input delay.

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Reduce resolution

Dragon Age Elf mirror mode low and high resolution

Like a mainframe computer screen, you can reduce the resolution on their TV for a smoother, faster playing experience—However, they didn’t mind the slightly messier image. Almost all TVs (especially modern TVs) will have options to change the aspect ratio in one “display”, “options,” or “Setting” menu.

Serious gamers might want to consider sacrificing that sharp 4k at least temporarily, and reverting to one-tier resolution for those particularly hardcore, action titles. After all, most players managed with 1080p or lower in the 2000s and even 2010s — why not now?

Turn off power saving options

TV power saving mode

Most modern sets come with at least a few power-saving options, be it power and green. When it comes to precise, fast-paced gameplay, however, they don’t really do that.

Review the various settings related to the image and Make sure that all kinds of power saving and ambient screen dimming features are off. Just disabling this can add more 10ms or.

Turn off HDMI-CEC

The HDMI CEC Chromecast cord is plugged into the back of the box

Short for “HDMI Consumer Electronics Control,” this setting is a feature that provides compatibility with other devices. Essentially, when turned on, other CEC-enabled devices can command, control, and recognize the TV. While this mode is usually disabled by default, it might be a good idea to dig through those advanced settings and make sure it’s turned off.

Many reports have noticed around 10ms that is immediately discarded when the function is not used. It’s not too bad to consider this more or less an insignificant peripheral feature.

Turn off Motion Smoothing

TV Smoothing Motion Processing Settings

Motion mode or motion smoothing can help trim and smooth video quality — though it also delivers slightly less sharpness in terms of gaming input response. This can usually be found somewhere on your TV’s “picture mode settings” or “picture preferences”.

Simply turning off motion smoothing can easily cut down a few tens of milliseconds — and produce faster, more responsive input lag, starting about 30ms or less.

Using Game Mode

TV set game mode jungle shooting game

The biggest feature or tweak when it comes to minimizing input lag, unsurprisingly, is “Game mode.” This is a setting that is becoming more and more common, although it is still not exactly universal. It’s basically a bunch of pre-programmed settings optimized for the best gaming experience, and this includes thin input lag.

Like most options, each brand and model of TV will vary in menu placement — and effectiveness. But in general, “Game Mode” can be found in the “picture” or “general” settings. Sometimes users will have to venture a little deeper to find it. For example, many Samsung TVs around 2020 will need to go in General > External Device Manager > Game Mode Settings.

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