PC monitors have long been the preference of gamers who want fast refresh rates and cutting edge display tech, but they aren't the only game in town anymore.
Recently, however, TV manufacturers have gotten just as serious about the gaming market as top-notch players have about performance. Many manufacturers have begun to offer HDMI® 2.1-enabled TV models with features and price points that make them attractive alternatives to computer monitors.
“The idea of being able to use a TV with gaming features instead of being restricted to just monitors is great news,” said HDMI Gaming Ambassador Tyler Maclachlan, who is also known as Bustin on Twitch. “That means more choices and a lot more flexibility on where we can game.”
HDMI 2.1 TV Gaming Features
What makes today’s HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs ideal for gaming begins with resolution and refresh rate. With support for 4K resolution at 120Hz, not only do these sets offer greater spatial resolution with four times the number of pixels as full HD, but also twice the refresh rate of popular 4K@60Hz TVs. At 120Hz, fast-paced games appear noticeably sharper. For gamers less concerned about refresh rate and more eager for immersive, higher resolutions, these sets also support 8K@60Hz.
But there’s much more. Some HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs come with built-in features specifically designed for hardcore gamers, such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR), Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Quick Frame Transport (QFT).
VRR makes gameplay more fluid. Games render frames on the fly, and the time it takes to do so depends on a number of variables, such as the complexity of the frame, screen resolution and the speed of the GPU. VRR eliminates possible image lag, judder and frame tearing by waiting to display frames until they are completely rendered.
ALLM, also known as game mode, sends a signal from the game console or gaming PC to the TV that automatically puts the television into a low-latency, low-lag mode. When the TV no longer receives the ALLM signal, such as when watching a movie, it disengages ALLM to ensure the optimum entertainment viewing experience.
HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs also offer QFT, which reduces latency to eliminate lag in gaming and deliver real-time interactive virtual reality.
These TVs even give gamers accustomed to wearing headphones a reason to rethink their gaming audio experience. With support for Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC), HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs can support high-data-rate immersive audio experiences, such as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Plus, there’s a growing library of Dolby Atmos movies, TV shows and streaming services available. For gamers willing to give up the headphones or those playing in front of an audience, eARC is the path to an unmatched immersive audio experience.
The Ultimate Gaming Experience
The other part of this equation revolves around the development of graphics cards for gaming and game consoles that can take advantage of these features.
The newest, most powerful AMD and Nvidia graphics cards are HDMI 2.1-enabled with gaming features and support for 4K at 120 Hz. Similarly, Microsoft Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5 also support these gaming features as well as 4K at 120 Hz and even 8K.
Together with HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs, these consoles and cards offer serious gamers the best performance and the ultimate gaming experience.
Using the right cable to connect an HDMI 2.1-enabled game console or PC, TV and audio-video receiver (AVR) or soundbar is a must. The Ultra High Speed HDMI® Cable is the only cable that complies with the stringent specifications designed to ensure support of all HDMI 2.1 features. When connected, all that’s left to do is enable the right setting on the TV, AVR/soundbar and gaming device.
HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs built for gaming are great alternatives to computer monitors. Almost all major TV manufacturers have introduced or announced they will introduce models for gaming.
Available in convenient gaming sizes for use on desktops and large screen sizes for playing in groups, these HDMI 2.1-enabled TVs deliver top-notch, competitively priced performance for serious gamers and the best entertainment experience for watching movies and TV shows.
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