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Looking for a gaming TV - fast response time essential

soojooko

Standard Member
Hello all! I recently bought a Philips 43PUS6753 4K TV for gaming. I was almost entirely happy with it. Cracking black levels. Great colours. Very good input lag. But damn... the response times were horrible. Playing games at 60hz resulted in some of the worst ghosting I've seen. Fast panning left/right while looking at sharp verticle edges would result in 3-4 ghost trails of the edge across the screen. Truly grim.

So, reluctantly, I'm sending it back and now I'm back in the hunt for another TV. The key things for me are, in order of importance, response times, black levels and input lag. My budget can stretch up to around £550. Maybe £600 for a TV that ticks all the boxes. I would prefer 40-43 inch but would consider up to 49 - but no bigger than that.

Can any of you fine people throw some suggestions my way? It would be most appreciated.

Thanks
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Sure its not an issue on the console side? Most games now run at less than 60hz due to lack of graphics power at UHD resolution.

Dialing back to 1080p or playing in performance/speed mode so you get 60fps rather than 20-30fps will make the biggest difference.

To clear the ghosting up if the frame rate is low you'll need the Samsung NU8000 at 55" or higher, as that is the cheapest and smallest TV that lets you use motion interpolation in game mode without adding extra input lag.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
Thanks for the input Dodgexander.

Sorry, I should have mentioned... I'm a PC gamer. Everything I play is 60hz. I can't stomach anything less.

I'm 100% sure its a response time issue. I can clearly see the contents of the last 2 frames remain on the screen when panning quickly - which implies the panels response time is over 33ms. Its happening across all games, so I know they are not the reason.

Its also worth pointing out that the Philips had decent motion processing, which made 25hz content look very smooth. However, none of the motion settings made any difference to the issue im describing, which again points to response time being the culprit. Plus all these games are perfect on my old plasma - so I do have a second reference point for comparison.

At 55 inches, the samsung is a bit big for the space I have. I'm not a big fan of motion processing ( or any type of processing for that matter! ). I just need a screen with a response time of 16ms or less. Do you have any idea what the response time on the 49 inch NU8000 is? It's not a stat that readily available on TV spec sheets, unfortunately. They all tend to brag about input lag - but I find low input lag means very little when the response time is poor.
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
right okay, that makes sense.

I don't know the exact response time but it will be as good as you can get from a 60hz panel. Sadly the TVs that have the very best response times in 60hz panels don't seem to be available in Europe...If I were to gamble I'd say it will be beneath 16ms.

Better off going for the Sony XF85/XF87 or XF90 at 49" though as then you'll get a 120hz panel which will have better response time, at the cost of some extra input lag though.

Otherwise best option is to look at an IPS paneled display instead, you'll get better native response time from a 60hz panel that way, but at the cost of poorer blacks/contrast and screen uniformity.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
Thanks again for the input.

I've looked at quite a few IPS panels, and I'm not impressed. I love my horror films/games, so black levels are important to me. Ive yet to see an IPS panel that has acceptable black levels. The Sony XF90 is a bit out of my price range. The XF85/87 are IPS as far as I can tell on the sub 55" screens, correct?

I was looking through your recommended TV post and the Hisense H50U7AUK caught my eye. Seems to have everything I need, and with a 120hz panel, it should - in theory - have good response times at 60hz. However, the 50ms input lag is a big put off.

The Samsung looks like the best of all worlds for me so far, assuming the response times are reasonable. Many reviews claim good response time, but I'm not sure I trust them too much. Search as I might, I can find a spec sheet that gives me the info I need. Again, to clarify, I'm talking screen response time, not input lag, which is very good on this set it seems.

Really disappointed I had to send back the philips. The picture was tremendous. Backlit, with uniform deep black levels and great viewing angles for a VA. Why did they have to compromise such a good TV with awful response times. :(
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
Well, pardon the pun but the difference between one panel and the next of the same type can be a "grey area" but its certainly true with VA type panels.

Those that tend to have the slower response times are also the models that tend to have the best black levels. Those with the faster response times, tend to be models that don't do as well with blacks. Different vendors carry different traits depending how they make the panels.

Of course the backlight system and the quality control of manufacturing has a lot to do with how the end product turns out but it seems to me like you would be better off with a VA type panel that sways more towards response times than black levels so you will definitely be more happy with the NU8000.

I guess what I am trying to say is its the lesser of two evils, the faster the response time the panel, the worse blacks it may have and the same the other way round.

But its damn confusing when looking at other models because they use different panels at different sizes. The Hisense U7A at 50" is using a 60hz panel unlike the other sizes and it may well be a poor response time one too (very likely its even the exact same panel as the Philips) whilst the Sony XF85/XF87 at 49" is using a VA type panel at 120hz. Its reflected in the price that tends to be a lot more expensive compared to the competition at the price. Its the 49" and 85" Sony's that are using VA whilst the 43/55/65/75" use IPS panels.

So really if you wanted the best response time you should look at that Sony, it will give you better motion than on the NU8000 but at the expensive of input lag, HDMI connectivity and smart TV.

Its all about fining the right balance, as no TV is perfect.

Generally comparing the response times of 60hz versus 120hz panels you're only talking a difference of at most 4-6ms with most 60hz panels being around 16ms and most 120hz being around 12.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
Whoa... so much to consider! Thanks for laying it all out for me. Most appreciated.

I didn't know the 50 inch Hisense is using the same panel as the philips. Well, I can tick that one off the list!

The Sonys do look interesting - and its madness that some sizes use VA while others IPS. Looking at the specs on the Sony website, they are native 100hz not 120hz. As far as you know, will this mean 60hz won't be as solid as 50hz? It seems to me a source that's exact multiples of the native refresh would work better - but I'm not too wise regards how these TVs handle non-native sources. Also, I can't seem to find any reviews of the 49XF85/87. All the reviews are for the 55 and up and claim it to be a really poor TV, but I'm putting that down to the panel choice and is not indicative of 49 inch versions quality. Side note: Currys have the 85 and 87 at the same price.

The 49XF90, on the other hand, seems like a truly great TV, and very well reviewed across the board. Part of me thinks I should just wait, save my pennys, and go for this set further down the line. In your opinion, is it considerably better than the 49 inch 85/87?

On a final note, do you have an opinion regards the Samsung UE50NU7400?
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
They use 100hz in Europe as its a multiple of the PAL broadcast format, all TVs that are 100hz are panels that refresh at 120hz but can also refresh at 100. There is no such thing anymore like their used to be where you can get a 50/100hz only TV.

The reviews for the Sony XF85/XF87 are poor for exactly that reason, most people rate the traits of a VA panel more than an IPS panel which is part of the reason the NU8000 gets glowing reviews compared. If they were to review the 49" versions of both TVs it would be a different story.

XF87/XF85 are the same TV with different aesthetics, one is silver, one black. The XF87 may have software that allows stronger motion interpolation but that is not relevant really unless you know you want to use that on the strongest setting.

The XF90 is lauded because of its FALD aspect and much better HDR performance, its not needed really unless you want decent HDR. You can find good prices on refurbished models from the Sony centre direct refurbished store though. Last I checked the 49" was £630, but of course only with the standard 1 year warranty and not the usual 1+4/5 year extra retailer warranties you get with a new product. The risk is higher, but the gains can be bigger.

The 50" Samsung will be a gamble compared to your current TV, again I'm not sure what panel it uses and it may be the same vendor as the Philips with the poorer response time. If its true that the Samsung and LG 50" models use AUO panels instead of Innolux then it may be a faster panel but I can't be sure sorry. I would stay away from 50" as a size generally if you want the best chance of getting a faster response time panel, just in case you end up with the same as on the Philips.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
Some great advice there. Thank you. So, from what I'm getting, 50" is more of a risk that 49" due to the higher possibility of getting an IPS panel, correct?

I certainly don't want to play the panel lottery and would rather get a set where the panel type is guaranteed. As far as Samsung goes, the 49NU8000 is the safest bet in my price range it seems - but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Although I have to say, I don't like the sound of bottom edge lighting. I can't help but think this will lead to seriously uneven black level performance when the screen is displaying a mostly dark image with some bright bits.

Regards the Sony sets we are talking about - one downside of the 49XF90 is the less than great input lag. Although I do like the local dimming feature, when considering the dark gloomy materials I like to watch/play. Do the 85/87 models have any kind of local dimming - and if not, is the black level performance good as far as you are aware? Also is their response time any better than the XF90?

Again, I would like to thank you very much for all your input. You have been great helping me navigate the panel variations minefield! I can't tell you how much this is appreciated.
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Some great advice there. Thank you. So, from what I'm getting, 50" is more of a risk that 49" due to the higher possibility of getting an IPS panel, correct?
Sadly its a bit more complicated depending on the model range you are thinking of. What you say is very true but with the NU8000 and XF85/XF87 it is not. With Samsung and Sony once you reach a certain price level (higher end models) you come across VA panels more often, even at 49". Different vendors make different panels and it just so happens at 49" there are more producers of IPS panels than VA panels compared to 50" where there are exclusively VA type.

But I believe the main producer of the 49" VA type panels found in both Sony and Samsung models in the mid range are made by Samsung.

Years back pretty much every TV Samsung had made were using VA type, but they recently switched (cost reduction maybe?) to shipping also their IPS type panels on 49" models too. In the North American market you can still find Samsung panels on their 49" TVs lower down the ranges without doubt. They are lucky because they can buy cheaper Samsung models knowing they will get a VA panel, something in Europe that is not often the case!

I certainly don't want to play the panel lottery and would rather get a set where the panel type is guaranteed. As far as Samsung goes, the 49NU8000 is the safest bet in my price range it seems - but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Although I have to say, I don't like the sound of bottom edge lighting. I can't help but think this will lead to seriously uneven black level performance when the screen is displaying a mostly dark image with some bright bits
Different lighting systems have pros and cons, edge lighting doesn't necessarily mean you'll get worse uniformity but it will mean that parts of it are more noticeable than others. Compared to direct lighting (such as your Philips) you may notice that the bottom part of the panel the lighting is more visible compared to the top, you may also notice more raised panel brightness as a whole if there are bright highlights towards the bottom. However direct lit TVs also can have their own issues with uniformity as without any form of local dimming they cannot separate one part of the picture from the next, yes you do not get single stirip of lights on the bottom of the TV but you instead get lights spread behind the panel and with no control in zones for which lights are bright and which are dim, you can end up with worse screen uniformity than edge lit models and higher, raised black levels. The opposite to edge lighting can also be prevalent, where the centre of the TV is noticeably brighter than the sides.

Its not just about the lighting system too, some VA panels will leak more light than others. It can easily be seen when you notice the contrast ratio and black levels of different TVs with VA type panels. Those that have innolux panels with the higher response times also score the best with contrast and blacks, this is because they block more light from escaping from behind.

Those with better response times such as Samsung panels don't have as good measured black levels or contrast ratio. There is no perfect solution.

Although compared to a TV with an IPS panel, any VA panel should be a drastic improvement.

To cut a long story short I would not worry so much about it, you can get good and bad specimens regardless of the lighting system and the only time direct lighting is useful is when there is local dimming functional also...such as with the Sony XF90.

Regards the Sony sets we are talking about - one downside of the 49XF90 is the less than great input lag. Although I do like the local dimming feature, when considering the dark gloomy materials I like to watch/play. Do the 85/87 models have any kind of local dimming - and if not, is the black level performance good as far as you are aware? Also is their response time any better than the XF90?
The input lag is higher, almost double in fact compared to the NU8000 but its still low enough for most people. I haven't heard anyone who has bought the Sony for gaming felt the need to return it because it has too much input lag..but again its a personal thing as some people can be more sensitive to input lag than others and some people play games that are more dependent on input lag than others.

No the XF85/XF87 just the same as the Samsung NU8000 lacks local dimming, or at least lacks functional local dimming. You'll find manufacturers add local dimming as a feature on some TVs even when it does nothing, or next to nothing (Samsung are good at this).

Again, I would like to thank you very much for all your input. You have been great helping me navigate the panel variations minefield! I can't tell you how much this is appreciated.
No problem at all and happy to help, its confusing and I have to concentrate hard to make sure I am giving out the right info when I reply. The manufacturers could make things a lot easier if they didn't offer such a variety of panels between each size. In my view a TV should be the same spec regardless of its size. If not, they should give the TV a different model number.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
More clarity. Just what I need. Thanks. :)

To add more confusion to the conversation, I've been reading some reports that say the Sony 49XF85 range are not all VA. Some people have said that the 8505 is sometimes an IPS, and the 8577 is the one that's consistently a VA panel. Although I'm not sure if this applies to the UK market. Have you heard any similar reports? Annoyingly, the 8505 is readily available in the UK but the 8577 is hard to find.

On another note, I found this:-
Samsung NU8000 Review (UN49NU8000, UN55NU8000, UN65NU8000, UN75NU8000, UN82NU8000)
Which answers the question regards the 49NU8000 response time. It manages a 100% switch in 12.8ms ( 4.7ms for 80% ). That sounds perfect. Shame I can't find a similar test for the Sonys we're talking about.

With this response time, very low input lag and reports of decent-ish black levels, I'm swaying towards the Samsung. Im going to keep digging to see if I can find more info on the Sonys before I bite the bullet. There's still a little part of me that wants to splurge on the XF90! Input lag doesn't need to be too zippy, as I'm not really a twitch gamer. I'm more into slow-paced immersive type experiences.
 

desinho

Well-known Member
More clarity. Just what I need. Thanks. :)

To add more confusion to the conversation, I've been reading some reports that say the Sony 49XF85 range are not all VA. Some people have said that the 8505 is sometimes an IPS, and the 8577 is the one that's consistently a VA panel. Although I'm not sure if this applies to the UK market. Have you heard any similar reports? Annoyingly, the 8505 is readily available in the UK but the 8577 is hard to find.

On another note, I found this:-
Samsung NU8000 Review (UN49NU8000, UN55NU8000, UN65NU8000, UN75NU8000, UN82NU8000)
Which answers the question regards the 49NU8000 response time. It manages a 100% switch in 12.8ms ( 4.7ms for 80% ). That sounds perfect. Shame I can't find a similar test for the Sonys we're talking about.

With this response time, very low input lag and reports of decent-ish black levels, I'm swaying towards the Samsung. Im going to keep digging to see if I can find more info on the Sonys before I bite the bullet. There's still a little part of me that wants to splurge on the XF90! Input lag doesn't need to be too zippy, as I'm not really a twitch gamer. I'm more into slow-paced immersive type experiences.
'Reading reports' about the 49XF85? Would be useful to link to them when making such comments. Afaik it simply isn't true ...
Also the NU8000 test is regarding the 55", the 49" is a 60Hz model and test results for the 55" don't necessarily say anything about the other sizes.
Surprised the 43" Philips is so poor as should be an AUO panel if VA. Generally they are one of the best VA panels when it comes to response times (along with Samsung these days liked in the NU8000, the 120Hz ones I guess. The 60Hz in the NU7xxx series don't seem to do so well) but then again this is a budget model ...
This is an example of a 43" 60Hz AUO panel: Sony X800D Review (XBR43X800D, XBR49X800D) 0-20% does seem to be slow here but is relevant for darker scenes only, otherwise seems to be quite good.
 
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soojooko

Standard Member
Yep. I should have posted where I read that. Here you go:-
XF85 with VA panel
Again, not sure if any of this applies to the UK market. But reading the comments, I got the impression that it's not clear cut. Its not exactly like the source of the link is conclusive! You sound confident it's not true, which is good news for me as I didn't want to dismiss the Sonys just yet. But its proving rather difficult finding any reviews of the 49 inch models.

You make a good point regards the Samsung test being for the 55 inch model. If there's anything ive learned from this thread is to not assume anything regards performance between sizes. Although there have been many people satisfied with the 49 inch. If anybody can shed some light on the response times and black levels of the 49 inch panel, that would be great.
 

desinho

Well-known Member
Thanks for the link, the XF8577 is nothing but a silver variation. Maybe the blacks look darker because the bezel is lighter :laugh:
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
I'm not sure your Philips is using that AUO panel if you notice response times are bad. If it is then it can be that you won't be happy with a VA panel period.

Best test? I guess only when you view the TV, or probably own it. You could try see one in the flesh somewhere and take some motion sensitive video material to test how you think it fairs with motion. It may be hard to find somewhere willing to help you though.

The link doesn't really prove anything, they could have a VA type panel with poor screen uniformity, someone had one here on AVF recently.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
I just had another good look at my 43" Philips, before I pack it up for return. I had a final thought: maybe the upscaling from 1080p to 4K was having a negative effect on response times. So I played some games that I could run at 60hz at 4k. No improvement. Grrrr. I was looking at a scene in Farcry5, where there was a black telephone wire against a bright blue sky. Panning left and right at reasonable speed, I could see 4 clear wires, each slightly more transparent than the next. That implies the response time is actually above 60ms before the pixels 100% switch colour. Shockingly bad.

I thought I should post this up for anybody considering the 43PUS6753 for 60hz gaming. Stay well away. Other than gaming, its a great TV for the price.

@Dodgexander
I was looking at the Sony refurb website. Thanks for the tip. Some great prices on there. Right now there's a 49XF8505 for £429. Very tempting! But I can't figure out if its grade A or B. Waiting for a Sony chat person to confirm. I would happily sacrifice some input lag to get the improved response times from the 120hz panel.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
I just got an email back from Sony, replying to my question regards confirming the panel types in the 49XF8505 and the 49XF8577. The answer was absurd:-

"With reference to your enquiry regarding panel type for the Sony KD-49XF8505 and the Sony 49XF8577 TVs, we would like to confirm that this information regarding the type of the panel cannot be disclosed from our end."

Considering the differences between VA and IPS panels ( both having very different pros and cons), I find it ridiculous that they can't confirm. Imagine buying a car and getting told: "We can't disclose the engine type". When a company can't disclose something as deeply fundamental as the panel type of a £700 TV, quite frankly that's enough to put me right off. And it's also a clear indicator that these TVs do indeed come with VA and IPS panels. If they didn't, Sony would have replied more definitively.
 

desinho

Well-known Member
It's not a clear indicator, they NEVER disclose this info. I have not encountered any real proof at all of an IPS panel exisiting in the 49XF85 (in fact it uses the same panel as the 49XF90).
[one way to check for proof is searching for the t-con board part from a used 49XF8505 and you can search high and low but you won't find one made by LG]
Then again I must add that I've been told their original intention was for it to have an IPS panel just like the rest of the range (excluding the 85") but couldn't source the proper panel.

Here is one pulled from an 8505: t-con pour tv sony 18y_shu11a2h2a4v0.0 | eBay
This would be a Samsung one (an LG one will clearly say LG Display on it; as will an AUO one say 'AUO')
Same one pulled from 8596: t-con 18y_shu11a2h2a4v0.0 sony kd-49xf8596 | eBay
And from an 8796: SONY KD-49XF8796 18Y_SHU11A2H2A4V0.0 T-CON BOARD BOX 66N | eBay
This is an LG one from the 43XF8505: T-CON LVDS 6870C-0749A 6871L-5439AG FOR SONY KD-43XF8505 TV | eBay (top center says LG Display)
 
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soojooko

Standard Member
Hmm... you seem pretty sure. I just don't get why they can't confirm. They will happily disclose every other specification, but hold back on arguably the most important spec of all. Boggles the mind.

The t-con boards do settle the nerves a bit. Thanks very much for the info.

I just found a brand new 49XF8796 for £629 ( inc delivery ) with a 5 year warranty. I'm really tempted to pull the trigger, but still have niggling worries about panel type. Man, this TV hunting malarky is a quagmire!
 
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Dodgexander

Moderator
They never give the info away, the one time someone from here did get them to give the info, the customer service was not given the correct info.

In short, the corporation do not share the info, the customer service do not know, even the reps probably don't know.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
I can understand that. But the choice of words they used is unwise. To say "can't disclose" is to imply they know but won't tell me!

Regardless - I went for it! Ordered the 49XF8796. Should be here within 1-3 days. I'll report back once I've got it and given it a twirl.
 

soojooko

Standard Member
Hello again. Thought I should finish up this thread with some feedback on the 49XF8796. In a nutshell - I couldn't be happier! The response times are phenomenal, even with motion flow off. But with MF on, it's basically as solid as my plasma. Not the slightest hint of ghosting at all. Aside from that, the black levels are just a little touch lighter than the Philips, but it's negligible. Certainly not enough to put me off - and still very dark for an LCD. And finally input lag is spot on. I don't even have to use game mode. I have it on 'custom' and the lag is still not a problem at all. I would still rather use game mode, but it doesn't have any motion flow fine tuning. So the choice was rock solid motion with slightly more input lag. Or shorter lag with a bit more ghosting. It was an easy choice for me to make: give me solid motion any day.

Another thing that really surprised me was the brightness. I didn't expect a display with 350nits ( apparently ) to be able to create a punchy HDR image. But when I switched FarCry5 to HDR mode, it was quite a shock! I had to squint my eyes when looking at the sunset. I was totally expecting to ignore HDR - but seeing how commendably it handles it, I may well use it more often than I thought.

The negatives: Black level consistency when looking at a totally black screen is a bit patchy. The philips was very uniform by comparison. But it's not noticeable at all when actually watching something - even if the content is dark. Its mostly only noticeable when in windows 10, which has a solid black background on my setup. And the remote is a bit sluggish. That's about it.

All in all - I'm *very* happy. It's a cracking TV. I want to extend a fat dose of gratitude to Dodge and desinho for helping me make this choice. I would have bought an inferior TV without your guidance, for sure. Thank you very VERY much. Peace. :)
 

Dodgexander

Moderator
Hello again. Thought I should finish up this thread with some feedback on the 49XF8796. In a nutshell - I couldn't be happier! The response times are phenomenal, even with motion flow off. But with MF on, it's basically as solid as my plasma. Not the slightest hint of ghosting at all. Aside from that, the black levels are just a little touch lighter than the Philips, but it's negligible. Certainly not enough to put me off - and still very dark for an LCD. And finally input lag is spot on. I don't even have to use game mode. I have it on 'custom' and the lag is still not a problem at all. I would still rather use game mode, but it doesn't have any motion flow fine tuning. So the choice was rock solid motion with slightly more input lag. Or shorter lag with a bit more ghosting. It was an easy choice for me to make: give me solid motion any day.

Another thing that really surprised me was the brightness. I didn't expect a display with 350nits ( apparently ) to be able to create a punchy HDR image. But when I switched FarCry5 to HDR mode, it was quite a shock! I had to squint my eyes when looking at the sunset. I was totally expecting to ignore HDR - but seeing how commendably it handles it, I may well use it more often than I thought.

The negatives: Black level consistency when looking at a totally black screen is a bit patchy. The philips was very uniform by comparison. But it's not noticeable at all when actually watching something - even if the content is dark. Its mostly only noticeable when in windows 10, which has a solid black background on my setup. And the remote is a bit sluggish. That's about it.

All in all - I'm *very* happy. It's a cracking TV. I want to extend a fat dose of gratitude to Dodge and desinho for helping me make this choice. I would have bought an inferior TV without your guidance, for sure. Thank you very VERY much. Peace. :)
Fantastic to hear. Good to know that you are happy with the TV.
 

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