Tv gaming – most people think of it as just for console players. Or, at least they did. Nvidia at CES 2018 got the PC gaming world super excited about big-screen gaming when they showed off their 65-inch big-format gaming displays, or BFGDs and then promptly gave the entire community a serious case of the blue balls when they announced that they wouldn’t be coming until sometime later this year. Well, what if you don’t want to wait until later this year? Good news – because mostly under the radar there has been a way to get high refresh rate gaming in your living room, on a big-screen TV, for months. The vizio p series runs at 120 hertz and you can buy one today.
But there are some compromises – so are they worth it or should you keep waiting? World of Warships is a free-to-play historical online combat game from Wargaming, featuring an exciting blend of action and strategic gameplay. Stay tuned later in the video for an exclusive offer. ♪ (Upbeat electronic music) ♪ So the 65-inch variant of Vizio’s flagship P series behind me here uses a VA panel. That means that you can expect good, if not industry-leading viewing angles, color gamut, and overall image quality. But – and this is important for gamers – it also means better pixel response times than a typical IPS.
And, at normal viewing positions those other disadvantages melt away somewhat, in light of its 120Hz capability. So, it’s pretty compelling, at least on the surface. But it still requires some further investigation.
High advertised TV refresh rates are typically just motion interpolation – an effect that subjectively looks terrible, and objectively introduces additional input lag, so it’s really bad for gaming. But I mean, the panel itself, like many TVs today, runs at 120Hz natively. So what that means is that, if a manufacturer chooses to expose it, separate from any motion compensation nonsense – which, by the way the P series doesn’t have, anyway – the TV can, and will, accept and display a true 120Hz input. With a catch – Hdmi 1.4 doesn’t provide enough bandwidth to run 120Hz at our panel’s native 4k resolution. So we’re stuck at 1080p. But – I mean if you’ve ever played around with a retina resolution calculator, you probably know that unless you’ve got eagle eyes, the difference between 1080p and 4k on a 65 inch tv can be difficult to discern from further than about ten feet away.
So this might still be viable, but we need to answer some questions first. Will 1080p to 4k scaling cause blur and quality degradation? How is the input latency of this display in its various modes? And what about the rest of its features? So to answer, we grabbed our test bench and our 8k high-framerate RED camera, and a seat on the couch. We started with our biggest problem with other TVs – input latency.
And we’re happy to report that at 120Hz in game mode, it was basically imperceptible. Subjectively speaking, it was actually pretty close to other 120HZ displays that we’ve tested, and using our Makey-Makey, we measured an average end-to-end delay of roughly 40 milliseconds, regardless of game mode. So it could be better – but it is definitely acceptable. Bumping up our resolution though, we see a jump to 78 milliseconds – though it should be noted as well that this was with game mode on, and at 4k, game mode did end up making a difference.
So, this is still not too shabby for a TV and it’s fine for casual games, but to say we could tell the difference between high refresh rate mode and 4k would be an understatement. As for image quality, again it’s pretty good – it’s not OLED but its blacks are deep and, thanks to the 128 zones of local dimming, contrast stays high even when it’s dealing with small bright objects on a dark background. The app experience is really cool – it’s got a built-in Chromecast that Vizio is calling SmartCast, and it pairs quickly with Bluetooth 4.0 and uses Wi-Fi to actually do everything from powering the tv on and off to accessing all of its settings. So fire up that app, turn the sharpness setting to zero, and for the most part, enjoy your TV.
For the most part. The scaler – well, it’s not horrible but it’s not gonna blow anybody away either. It is certainly no M cable. Though with that said, if you’re using your TV with a PC – as we’re kind of proposing here – you may actually prefer it that way, since it does prevent the text anomalies that the M cable can produce in its current form. Now with five HDMI’s and a component input, though, we aren’t stuck with PC gaming all the time. Modern consoles will run about like you’d expect, so actually better than a typical 60Hz tv with high input lag, but not as good as switching to 120Hz on a PC and as for retro content?
well, at lower resolutions, you’ll see a big drop in quality as expected – blurry text and characters with no obvious way to improve it, and unfortunately that sharpness function doesn’t help, it just puts a sharpness filter over top of it, and as for 720 and 1080p modes, on a Super NT, we actually got pretty clean results. Tl;dr: if you can pre-scale your retro games you will actually get some pretty darn good results here. And in fast 2D games, it gets especially good if you enable the Clear Action backlight-strobing function. This reduces visible motion blur at the cost of some brightness.
So bottom line, then. High-performance big screen gaming – what do you do? Well, LG actually has a couple of OLED models – the C7 and B7 that have this same 1080, 120Hz functionality.
But i would recommend against gaming on OLEDs – not just those ones, but in general, because bright, static on-screen elements, like huds or speedometers are very, very likely to cause permanent burn-in – bringing our options, then, back to the P series here or waiting for Nvidia’s partners like Asus with their BFGDs. So with a BFGD you get variable refresh rate with G-SYNC, which is kind of a big deal. You get 120Hz at full 4k resolution – assuming you have the hardware to run it – and you get even lower input lag, with an Nvidia Shield console built in. However with the Vizio, you get instant gratification because it’s available now, a well above average big-screen gaming experience, and a pretty darn good TV overall.
Also, if my speculation is anywhere near correct, and I think it is – you also get a price that is anywhere from one half to a third of what Nvidia’s solution will cost, so… The P series is actually looking pretty darn good. Let us know in the comments which one you’d prefer. Thanks to Wargaming for sponsoring this video.
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Although, the offer applies to new users only, so move fast. So thanks for watching, guys, if this video sucked you know what to do but if you liked it, hit like, get subscribed, maybe consider checking out where to buy the stuff we featured at the link below. Also linked down there is our merch store – it has shirts like this one – and our community forum, which you should totally join. Go join.
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