Plasma or LCD: Which TV is best for Gaming?


The days of gaming being something that only ‘geeks’ did are well and truly behind us. With so many advancements in graphical and sound capabilities, interactivity and storytelling, games have in many respects become more and more like interactive movie experiences, with their appeal now broader than ever. With the arrival of the next generation of cutting edge gaming consoles now upon us, you only have to consider the immense launch sales of the PlayStation 4 to know that video games look set to continue their assent to mainstream entertainment. With so many people out there ready to explore the wonders of these latest consoles, they are going to need a great quality television that will show the games in all their glory. Here is what you should keep in mind when searching for an ideal gaming TV:

Plasma screens

Plasma screens have great contrast settings, meaning they can display both light and dark colours clearly at the same time and their crystal clarity means they give very little motion blur. This makes them ideally suited to displaying games with dark, moody, atmospheric settings, richly detailed 3D backgrounds or fast paced action and sport games. Plasmas are not great at image retention however, as displaying the same image for a long time can cause screen burn, so keep this in mind when considering the kind of video games you are most likely to play.


LCD and LED TVs are great at showing bold, bright colours and one of their major benefits comes in the vast range of sizes on the market. While Plasmas are generally very large, LCDs are available in a much wider variety of sizes, meaning even gamers without the capacity for large screens can still have a high quality display to enjoy their games on. Due to their weaker contrast however, they are susceptible to a greater level of motion blur during fast paced sequences.

General tips

In conclusion, there are major benefits and a few small drawbacks to both main types of TV that are available with the final decision depending largely on the gaming desires of the individual. Essentially, with so many televisions on the market, no matter what kind you opt for, you should be aware of its Game Mode. Particularly with the intense quality of the new generation of games, your TV needs to be able to process and display images quickly. A time lapse between your TV receiving a signal through its HDMI and actually displaying the final image is known as input lag and it is the dreaded enemy of any gamer. You will generally find this information displayed as the ‘ms’, with around 30ms (or less if possible) being the optimum rate and anything over 60ms almost guaranteeing a lag filled gaming session. A TV with a Game Mode will automatically switch off as much unnecessary processing as possible to achieve this lower rating, reduce lag and optimise the gaming experience.