Best HDTVs for gamers
That's the term for the delay, in milliseconds, between a TV receiving a signal and the results of that signal appearing on the screen. Those milliseconds are irrelevant for TV shows and movies, and they don't even matter for most games -- the majority of gamers probably wouldn't even notice if their TV was laggy. But if you're an attentive, skilled gamer, especially one who plays "twitch" games like Call of Duty, Halo, or fighting games, especially in online multiplayer environments, input lag can mean the difference between virtual life and death.
CNET just started testing for input lag this year, and so far we've corralled a bunch of 2013 TVs. Here are the best five TV so far, plus one projector, in ascending order of lag in Game mode -- or the least laggy picture mode, if Game isn't an option. For reference, we grade under 40ms of lag as Good, 40 to 70 as Average, and more than 70 as Poor.
Update, November 11, 2013: Since we last updated this roundup, no TV has cracked the Top 5. In response to reader demand, however, I posted a table at the end of the article that gathers the lag scores of every TV and projector we've tested so far. It will be updated periodically.
Vizio E500i-A1: 32.2ms lag
Speaking of cheap, this Vizio is one of the least expensive on this list at $650 for the 50-inch size. The best gamers might notice a tiny bit more lag than the Sonys in a side-by-side comparison, but it is still extremely fast (as are the ones below). Read the full review.
Toshiba 50L2300U: 33.4ms lag
Although it didn't score very well in our picture quality testing, the Toshiba has the distinction of being the least expensive TV on this list, beating even the Vizio by a few bucks. The Vizio is a much better all-around TV, however. Read the full review.
Panasonic TC-P50S60: 34.1ms lag
The highest-rated TV on this list -- and the only plasma -- the S60 is as gamer-friendly as they come. No, you don't need to worry about burn-in. And yes, if you want a Panasonic plasma you should buy one now. Read the full review.
Looking for specs and more info? Compare these TVs head-to-head. Click through to the reviews for additional screen sizes.
Input lag measurements of all TVs
Below you'll find a list of the input lag measurements of every 2013 TV and projector CNET has tested so far. The numbers reflect the lowest lag number the TV is capable of, typically achieved in Game mode. (One exception: The results for Samsung F8500 were achieved with the "trick" of renaming the input to "PC." See the video processing section of the review for details.)