Is VYPER worth it?
July 16, 2007 5:08 AM   Subscribe

HDTVFilter: Is "gaming mode" just a gimmick or does it have a real benefit?

Still slowly doing research on HDTVs (my previous question on the subject is here), and I'm confused about yet another statistic.

LCD tvs in my price range seem to have a "response time" of 6ms. That seems pretty imperceptibly fast to me. But some tvs -- even cheaper and smaller than what I'm looking at -- have a "gaming mode" (like Sharp's 'VYPER'), which supposedly speeds up the response time for playing video games, but I can't really find a full explanation of it anywhere.

Does this really make all that much of a difference? Or is it just marketing hype?
And if there's a mode that speeds up response time for gaming, why not leave that refresh-rate turned on the whole time?

Currently, the latest-gen game system I'll be hooking up to the TV is a Wii, but I potentially plan to get a 360 or PS3 at some point in the future.
posted by jozxyqk to Technology (12 answers total)
 
Gaming mode is used to reduce lag from the scaler at the cost of some image quality. Whether or not you actually need it or not depends on your tv and the type of games that you play. Every fraction of a second of responsiveness is useful in a fps or something, but, not so much in a rpg. Also, if you're doing HD gaming from a xbox 360 or a PS3, gaming mode might not be needed (depending on your tv) if you're playing at the native resolution of your TV.

This isn't used all the time, simply because for stuff that isn't interactive, it doesn't matter if the scaler introduces any lag or not.
posted by yeoz at 5:38 AM on July 16, 2007


There were TV's a few years back that introduced a full half-second lag in what they displayed. It was fine for everything BUT video games, for obvious reasons.

Even if there's no large scale caching of frames, there might be deinterlacing. If you wait until frame #2 to reconstruct frame #1 fully, that's a 1/60th of a second delay. Doesn't sound like much, but it does have an effect.
posted by effugas at 6:20 AM on July 16, 2007


Followup question:
Sticking with Sharp as an example, why would their VYPER technology only go up to the 37" model, while their 42" model (which is the TV I'm most likely to be ending up with) and larger do not include this feature? Do they expect gamers to prefer smaller TVs, or do their larger models have super lag reduction built-in, or what?

The types of games I'm mostly playing are not going to be the "twitch" style FPSes or anything, and I'm unlikely to be doing much online console gaming ever, but even Wii games can be awfully reliant on quick timing... So it's a real concern, but unfortunately I have no way to test this situation "under my conditions" to see if I would really notice.
(I don't notice any sort of lag on my standard-def 27" tv, but I presume that it's a lot easier, and an entirely different science, to avoid lag on CRTs than on LCDs)
posted by jozxyqk at 6:37 AM on July 16, 2007


I believe I have a game setting on my Vizio, but I never use it. If you have a set properly calibrated, you should not need to continually adjust your image settings. Pick up an Avia guide to Home Theatre disc and calibrate the stereo and television.

IMO, the gaming mode just cranks up some settings to give you really stunning images, but they may be more of a hinderance (if it is too bright, too much contrast, etc) than a help, so just calibrate the set properly and leave it on that custom setting.

Oh, and I use my TV for video from a computer, HDTV over the air, Xbox 360 and PS2. I always leave it on my custom settting and never experience any lag.
posted by ijoyner at 6:38 AM on July 16, 2007


From some random C|Net page:
I bought a Samsung rear-projection tv in december of '05. Originally i hooked up my PS2 to it via component cables and tried to play NCAA '06 but it was unplayable. The game had a meter that you used to kick off with (similar to golf games that have a backswing button push and forward swing button push). You had to push a button to start, and another at the top of the meter in order to get full power. There was enough lag between the screen showing something and the ps2 knowing what was going on. This made kicks terrible because of this lag. Luckily, my tv had a gaming mode (even though it wasn't a marketing thing yet). Turning on the game mode basically fixed the problem. As I understand it the gaming mode in this tv basically turns off some of the noise filtering/ processing that the tv does to the signal. When watching tv this processing probably has value, but in gaming you don't want any lag between what you see and what is going on.
posted by effugas at 6:53 AM on July 16, 2007


Something else to think about: When playing rhythm and/or music games such as Guitar Hero or DDR, the gameplay absolutely depends on the sound being as closely synced to the imagery as possible. Even a difference of a few milliseconds can kill the gameplay. So if a TV model has a gaming mode (and it actually works as advertised!) and you're planning on playing these types of games, it's worth looking into.
posted by Shecky at 9:42 AM on July 16, 2007


Can I tag onto this please? I have a flat screen plasma, and it works just fine.

However, on the odd occasion that I have both the plasma on as well as the old CRT tube in the bedroom on, tuned to the same channel, and I'm standing where I can hear both, I'll notice an extremely annoying delay, making almost an echo effect. Is this because the plasma is somehow slower? Can anyone explain this?

It doesn't really bother me, because it's so rare that the situation comes up that I even notice it. It's just weird and something I've been wondering about. Also, I play an XBox360 on the plasma, but the delay isn't a problem that I've noticed.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 10:00 AM on July 16, 2007


When playing rhythm and/or music games such as Guitar Hero or DDR, the gameplay absolutely depends on the sound being as closely synced to the imagery as possible.

I would be pretty certain that whatever delays the video would also be delaying the audio. (It would be a pretty huge f**k up on the manufacturer's part and be distracting on normal TV also.)
posted by NailsTheCat at 1:23 PM on July 16, 2007


I would be pretty certain that whatever delays the video would also be delaying the audio. (It would be a pretty huge f**k up on the manufacturer's part and be distracting on normal TV also.)

Not necessarily, if you've got your sound routed to an external deck. With a previous flat-panel that I had, the sound (SPDIF) would play just a bit before the image, making the aforementioned games frustratingly unplayable. In fact, the sound deck I have has an A/V sync option that delays the sound playing by a few milliseconds, for the situation when your TV isn't syncing up to your audio (and there isn't a "gaming" option as we're discussing here).
posted by Shecky at 1:47 PM on July 16, 2007


With a previous flat-panel that I had, the sound (SPDIF) would play just a bit before the image, making the aforementioned games frustratingly unplayable.

Yikes. I've never come across that before -- I stand corrected. (I would return the TV if I had such a set.)
posted by NailsTheCat at 2:05 PM on July 16, 2007


The "response time" of the LCD panel itself might be 6ms, but there is likely a delay introduced by the TV's display circuitry.

All I really know myself is that there is a plasma screen in my house, and it is damn near impossible to play Contra on it.
posted by neckro23 at 4:05 PM on July 16, 2007


I've seen this problem at work. I'm a film and video editor, and on a consumer HD TV we have hooked up to one of the editing systems, there is clearly a 2-3 frame between the HD TV and the audio and standard def pro monitor we have hooked up. It's a real pain.
posted by MythMaker at 4:17 PM on July 16, 2007


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