The same picture quality characteristics we evaluate in HDTVs for home theater are often great indicators of how an HDTV will perform as a gaming device
. In addition to encouraging you to check out our top product lists for specific models, here's a look at how the different TV types will work as gaming displays.
LCD (technology, top products): If you're a hard-core gamer, LCD is probably the best all-around choice. LCD panels typically have 1,366x768 resolution, and many of the newer, more expensive ones are 1,920x1,080 (or 1080p), which really shows off the high resolution of HDTV-enabled games and consoles. If you tend to play in large groups, with players seated on the edge of the sofa, for example, the tendency of most LCDs to wash out or discolor from a side angle may be an issue.
Plasma (technology, top products): Plasmas make great gaming displays as long as you're aware of the possibility of image retention. In other words, don't leave the game paused for hours without a screensaver. At large sizes, plasmas cost less than LCDs. Off-angle performance is not an issue with plasmas, but they do reflect more ambient room light than LCDs, so if you play in a room with a lot of windows or other light sources, reflections might be a problem.
Rear-projection (technology, top products): Whether DLP, LCD, or LCoS, the rear-projection HDTVs also make excellent gaming displays. Their big screens are perfect for really getting into play, and the sharp pictures of these microdisplays really show off high-res games. If you spend a ridiculous amount of time gaming, you might want a flat panel, however, because you'll typically have to replace the bulbs on most microdisplays after 3,000 to 5,000 hours.