PC Gaming In The Living Room?

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PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:06 pm

So I am thinking about moving my system into the living room to game. Anything I should be aware of, aside from response times, about TVs? I currently game at 1920x1080 on my monitors and hope I can make the jump to a ~50" TV at the same resolution and have a nice experience. Most of the time when I assume, things don't work out the way I hope. I haven't bought a TV yet. Thoughts? :D

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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:10 pm

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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:00 pm

If you're playing any sort of game that demands accurate movement/aiming or timing (from Mario Kart and Mario Bros, to Counter-Strike and Left 4 Dead), the TV will almost certainly present a latency problem, especially if you're used to different or no latency. The lowest HDTV latency seems to reach 24ms according to DisplayLag.com, which you won't "notice" per se, but is still likely to throw off your controls.

Latency is generally the biggest issue for gaming on TV's anyway, but most people don't care since they're not aware of how it affects their games. My friends and I are pretty casual gamers (meaning we don't play competitively), but an advantage like this is actually quite important when it comes to, say, defeating Bowser just as much as it is for professional or competitive gamers who need the right controls response to make flickshots and twitch movements.

Another issue is how graphics cards handle HDMI in the stupidest ways possible. AMD cards switch to underscan by default (say, when it's 1080p over HDMI), and this has to be corrected in the control panel manually to get the full 1080p picture. nVidia cards are worse: they limit the color range gamut heavily (about 16-235 instead of 0-255, on the same 1080p-HDMI connection), and the only way to correct this is to specify custom resolutions, which may cause flickering on some screens. I often dodge these issues by using DVI instead.

Other than those two: latency and incredibly stupid HDMI defaults (done in the name of compatibility, as things like that always are), I can't think of anything else to be wary of at the moment.

However, in addition, there's the obvious: Get a wireless mouse/keyboard if you don't have them already. An air mouse may be preferable depending on your wants and needs, something like this: http://www.androidhtpc.net/measy-rc11-air-mouse/ although if you're gaming, that one is obviously not a good option, nor are the laptop-style trackpads.

For the wireless Xbox 360 controller, you'll need the receiver. This one worked well for me: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HZ ... UTF8&psc=1 , and it didn't require any manual driver installation under Windows 7.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:12 pm

Yea I would have to go wireless. Maybe get some sort of adjustable mini table to put my keyboard and mouse on for when I play shooters.

Thanks for the info C-A_99. I don't play competitively anymore but a smooth and responsive gaming experience is ideal. That may be the "deal breaker" for me if there aren't any moderately priced TVs lower than 24ms.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:31 pm

Out of curiosity, what about a Plasma TV or an OLED TV?
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:35 pm

What JAE said!
Also, get a Logitech K400 if you don't already have a wireless keyboard and mouse, it's better than pretty much everything else if you are on the sofa.

The only real requirement is 1:1 pixel mapping, without overscan (sometimes called dot-by-dot). This mode usually bypasses the scaler, reducing input lag. If you have to faff with overscan correction, it's not true 1:1 and you'll get the added lag of the scaler. In my experience Samsung and Panasonic usually work well with 1:1 (I've owned these after using them as conference screens at work), whilst I've struggled with both Sony and Toshiba to get 1:1 working properly.

My advice for TV's is to keep it simple. Your PC is way better than the "smart" functions of Smart TV's so save your money and get a dumb TV! The money you save by getting a simpler TV can be spent on a HTIB sound system, because all TV speakers sound like mobile phone speakers - hissy and lacking bass. If buying a Samsung TV, get Samsung speakers. Panasonic TV? Get Panasonic speakers. The reason for this is that they talk to each other via the HDMI-CEC standard and whilst they ought to be cross-brand compatible, they rarely are.

LDC vs Plasma? The differences are minor these days; LCD's are fast enough that they don't ghost and have decent black levels, Plasmas are bright enough that you don't need to darken the room to watch them anymore and power consumption is better than it used to be. FWIW, I've been using an old Series 5 Samsung LCD with an entry level (~$300) 5.1 home-theatre-in-a-box. Four years on and people still comment on how good the picture and quality are....
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:08 pm

1:1 really depends on your TV. From what I've seen, most 1080p TV's are configured properly and don't over/underscan 1080p sources, but older TV's may not be configured properly. (However, most should still have an option to correct any scaling.)

That said, scalers don't introduce as much lag as the panel type being used and all the motion blur compensation technologies employed. I can game through a VGA connection to a TN monitor (which requires analog to digital conversion) better than on most HDTV's with native resolution and no rescaling. I heard that VA's tend to have this problem, whereas IPS and TN's seem pretty close. (DisplayLag.com shows the best ones at 10ms.)

Unsure about input latency on plasmas, but it's possible that they may do better than VA panels.

It's definitely a good idea to keep the TV simple. Computers are much more versatile and superior to smart TV solutions. You can get a $50 Android-on-a-stick and use that for music/internet/etc.

I've also heard of those HDMI receivers (where you plug multiple sources into a receiver, and the receiver has one HDMI output to the TV itself) do processing to the signal and can introduce delay. It depends if the system passes the raw, unmodified signal to the HDTV or not.

I think if I were to setup my own living room, I'd go for a large monitor instead just to keep the latency down. I'm still keeping all of our CRT's around just for retro gaming; they're nice to have and the SNES/N64 are at their best on those TV's.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:28 pm

C-A_99 wrote:It's definitely a good idea to keep the TV simple.

Not just simple in terms of SmartTV functionality, but also simple in terms of image-processing. You don't need 240Hz or 600Hz processing, nor do you want motion-smoothing. A simple 60Hz model will be the fastest, and like C-A_99 says, panel type is important. I have always gone for IPS TVs and been happy with lag (or rather the lack of it).
C-A_99 wrote:I've also heard of those HDMI receivers (where you plug multiple sources into a receiver, and the receiver has one HDMI output to the TV itself) do processing to the signal and can introduce delay. It depends if the system passes the raw, unmodified signal to the HDTV or not.

HDMI from graphics card directly to the TV, every time. If the TV is capable of passing surround-sound out to the receiver, then do that, otherwise SPDIF the audio to the receiver seperately. Some TV's only used to pass stereo across to other devices over HDMI, but I think that's older TV's - I've not come across that in recent years.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:06 pm

Are "Smart TV's" even well updated with their software? A platform like Android, desktop Linux, or Windows will stay up to date, but not sure if the same can be said for a smart TV's browsers, apps, etc. That said, some of the best TV's shown on DisplayLag.com surprised me; they had 240Hz and smart functions, but reached 20-30ms of latency. I know this is just one source, but they seem to have the largest database of measurements that I've seen, and they have a pretty consistent testing method. That said, I do need to setup my own testing solution since most screens do not have any data about their latency anywhere.

Was unaware of larger IPS TV's, have to research into this since this may be a good solution if I ever get a TV. (Say, from 36" and larger.)

Definitely agree on 60Hz. (Although I used to buy in with the smooth motion processing present in 120hz before deciding it didn't add that much value.) Most of the higher ones don't even accept the accompanying input refresh rate. I haven't worked with those HDMI receivers, but it's no surprise that a direct would work much better. Most of the TV's I've known of will only output stereo over the Toslink connection. (Haven't worked w/ one that uses S/PDIF output.) 600Hz is just for selling plasmas to uninformed customers.

I've found that wireless peripherals introduce miniscule amounts of latency, so that's one reason I avoid them for desktop usage (aside from having to swap out batteries, and the fact that good mechanical kb and gaming mice are pricey for wireless), but I generally consider wireless to be a prerequisite for any situation where there's a long distance from the controls to the device. That said, I ended up getting a cheap wireless Inland mouse/keyboard pair for the purposes of TV usage.

Getting off topic, my router has a USB port and I tried using a mouse through it once. With a hardwired connection, I couldn't identify any latency (would have to measure it), but with wifi, the difference was extremely obvious, which is one reason I'm generally skeptical of the usefulness of the nVidia Shield's big feature. (A demo YouTube video of it where the guy said there was no lag at all showed at least one frame of delay that could be found by pausing at the right moments.) I game on wifi sparingly because of this, although good netcode generally minimizes problems from minor latency.

Anyway, some more info from the OP on the setup would help. What kind of TV/sound system is running? Any need for 5.1? Even though things should be getting better now, always need to be wary of devices that don't pass 5.1 around properly. (Like my sound card, which I expected it to do when I bought it.)

In either case, I tried FPS gaming on my own family room a few times, and never went back. The Sony KDL55EX500 had massive latency in gaming mode, with digital input at native resolution. It wasn't an obvious latency, until I noticed that I couldn't hit any zombies in the head in L4D. For that reason alone, I'd never play Mario Bros./Donkey Kong Country games on there. (Except if the family uses the Wii U I'm about to get.)

Edit: *KDL55EX500, not EX600.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:43 am

C-A_99 wrote: For the wireless Xbox 360 controller, you'll need the receiver.
The USB wireless receiver is included in the package that I linked.


C-A_99 wrote:Are "Smart TV's" even well updated with their software? A platform like Android, desktop Linux, or Windows will stay up to date, but not sure if the same can be said for a smart TV's browsers, apps, etc.
My Sony TV updates its firmware automatically every few months. That's a good argument for having an ethernet hub close to your entertainment system, so that all of your devices can connect to the network.

I agree that there's more latency with the TV, even in "game" mode.

I use a Logitech cordless keyboard and mouse with the living room PC. The keyboard rests on my lap and the mouse runs on a mouse pad on the couch beside me.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:08 am

I threw together a secondary rig for hooking up to the TV in my living room, mostly out of leftover parts after doing the latest upgrade to my primary rig. i5 750 @ 4GHz and GTX 670 to a Samsung 46" TV.

I find it's great for playing 3rd person games, I would never play an FPS on it though, as I'm more inclined to have a mouse and keyboard and a monitor right in my face.

Recently played through Alan Wake on the TV PC and it was fantastic. The Batman Arkham games and GTA, LA Noire, etc are great as well. With this much power hooked up to my TV, it looks like I'll be passing on the XBone and PS4 altogether... Next gen = PC.

DPI scaling in Windows 7 has it's derpy moments, but as long as you limit your DPI setting to 125% or 100%, you shouldn't have any issues. I had some video playback issues at the 150% setting, which is a shame because things definitely looked best at that setting on the TV.


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+ Graphics 3589423744% better than consoles
+ Full PC functionality
+ 46 inches of PORN!!!!!!!! (somebody had to say it...)
+ Nice if you need a break from your office chair
+ No need to copy over video files you've legally downloaded to an external USB to play on TV. Just download and play!
- Not ideal for FPS games unless you think using a controller against Mouse and KB warriors is a good idea (it's not!)
- Higher power consumption than Console
- Larger than console (unless you have an awesome mATX case, I'm using my old trusty Antec 900 that used to house my main rig before upgrading to a Fractal Design Arc Midi V2)

Protips:
- Get a Logitech K400
- Make sure you're at 1:1 scaling, eliminate overscan by all means necessary
- Disable all image processing
- Use an HDMI input that is called DVI in your TV menu, or use a native DVI input if your TV has one.
- Don't go over 125% DPI, even if 150% looks better. Revisit this point if you get Windows 8.1 as MS is expected to improve DPI scaling
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:08 am

I would leave your rig hooked up to those two 27" LG monitors you've already got. That's a good setup for everything from FPS gaming to productivity/office work. If you want a HTPC/Couch-Potato-Gaming rig, build yourself a low-ish power mITX box and follow all the advice being given here for HTPC setups. Something like an i5 and a 7790 (I've seen them on newegg for as low as $100 after MIR) would push 1080p at high quality settings and would be easy for a diminuative mITX case to keep cool. Keep in mind, AMD's Hawaiian Islands GPUs are due out next month.

Prestige Worldwide wrote:Larger than console (unless you have an awesome mATX case

This might be the awesome mATX case you're talking about. Based on my comments above, (IMO) a gaming HTPC can and should be nearly console size. Unless your HTPC is serving as your main computer, it shouldn't need to be any bigger than mITX. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Cooler Master Elite 130 case. It's on my wish-list.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:45 am

DPete27 wrote:
Prestige Worldwide wrote:Larger than console (unless you have an awesome mATX case

This might be the awesome mATX case you're talking about. Based on my comments above, (IMO) a gaming HTPC can and should be nearly console size. Unless your HTPC is serving as your main computer, it shouldn't need to be any bigger than mITX. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Cooler Master Elite 130 case. It's on my wish-list.


I agree that it should be as close to console size as possible... but my goal was to make a secondary rig with parts I already had, whilst spending as little money as possible, hence the bulky mid-tower. The only new part I needed to buy was a Hyper 212 EVO as the liquid gear went into my new desktop.

Sadly that means I have to keep it on the floor. It doesn't really get in the way though, but it would have been nice to keep it in one of the cubic shelves on the unit my TV, PS3, and TV tuner. Not quite as sleek as a nice MATX HTPC would be, but good enough for my uses, and powerful enough to max out 1080p games on a 60hz screen.

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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:43 pm

I game on our HTPC -- just be sure to enable "game mode" or disable all dynamic scaling/color/contrast to reduce display lag.


The new version of the Logitech K400 (the K400r) moves the volume controls to be function-key enabled and puts OBNOXIOUS lock/power/home buttons where the volume controls are on the original K400. It does, however, fix the touchpad buttons so that you can click them from the corners much more easily.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:44 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:HDMI from graphics card directly to the TV, every time. If the TV is capable of passing surround-sound out to the receiver, then do that, otherwise SPDIF the audio to the receiver seperately. Some TV's only used to pass stereo across to other devices over HDMI, but I think that's older TV's - I've not come across that in recent years.

The problem is you can't get full uncompressed 7.1 audio this way like you can over HDMI. SPDIF and HDMI audio return channel are both only two channel + optional 5.1 encoding (dolby digital, etc) which is fine for movies (although arguably not bluray) but bad for games.

The reality is that on a TV you're always going to have some additional latency compared to a PC monitor. If you're setup is decent, you'll only notice it in twitchy FPS games with a mouse (I notice it in BF3 for instance, but it's still pretty playable) or music games (rocksmith etc. which are latency nightmares everywhere). The additional latency added by my receiver over that is fairly negligable in my measurements, although I do have a "through" mode on mine that bypasses video processing. The minor latency delta is far less important than uncompressed multi-channel audio since audio is a large part of the reason for HTPC in the first place in my opinion.

Other minor notes:
- Regardless of the little issues people are noting, it's a great setup and you'll love it. "Controller games" like Batman, Dirt, etc. all play great and look really nice at 1080p w/ AA.
- Absolutely get a wireless keyboard with built-in touchpad.
- Absolutely get an Xbox 360 wireless receiver.
- Steam big picture is awesome and works really well.
- You'll likely have some minor issues with Sleep/Hibernate and HDMI. Newer GPUs/TVs/receivers are better than some older ones but I've never seen a setup that works perfectly with sleep. Happily though it usually just manifests in needing the odd reboot after waking from sleep if display doesn't come back.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:42 pm

I guess everyone handles latency differently. My friend and I never "notice" any latency on the TV we tried. The only thing we noticed is that Mario Kart was much easier on the CRT TV, and we were playing much better in the Grand Prix. I've tried Battlefield and L4D on my home TV, and while playable, the experience is just awful when it's that much more difficult to hit anything. (And this was with a gaming mouse.) Attaching a SNES and playing some Mario Bros. or DKC is out of the question.

I guess the only way is to try it out and see if the large screen and audio experience is worth the latency, although I think it's worth looking into IPS tv's and what not.

Agreed that latency from wireless devices is too small to be worth having to deal with cables in a family/living room kind of setup.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:28 pm

C-A_99 wrote:I guess everyone handles latency differently.

Well, and every setup is different too. TVs in particular span the entire region from fairly minimal latency to completely obnoxious, even in so-called "game mode". All you can really do is test a given setup and see whether it works for you. Luckily plugging in any laptop or similar device to your setup and jiggling the mouse is an easy first approximation...
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:36 pm

Another point I missed, make sure your GPU performs all scaling instead of the TV. It will eliminate that aspect of input lag (but not all input lag).

This should be easily set in the nVidia / AMD drivers.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:10 pm

GPU scaling's been addressed a few times in this thread, I think. Although I've found latency from scaling and/or analog conversions is minimal in many cases (particularly on monitors), but it's always good to eliminate that part since many TV's make it fairly easy to do.

As for the mouse jiggling test, that's precisely the test I made after deciding my friend's TV was "good enough" for low latency. Next thing I know, I'm having trouble aiming when we play Xbox on the thing, and my friend ends up kicking ass on Double Dash after moving the Gamecube off that TV to a CRT. I suppose the remedy to this is to actually test a game (or develop a crude testing method with numbers) instead of just jiggling the mouse around. (Since, if you do have a mouse/laptop, you should be able to fire up your FPS game of choice for comparison. I think any Source-based games are great for this.) The problem is that even "low latency" TV's still hit 24-30ms, while good computer monitors hit around 10ms. (At least according to DisplayLag.com.) I've found 10ms to be very well tolerable, easily to the point where the resolution, sharpness, and screen size make it a much better option than a CRT.

One thing I may try is using the MHL adapter and video reference, getting an approximation of base latency on the best digital monitors I have, and then comparing other devices (say, in a store) to that. I could also do the same for a laptop, which doesn't require a USB power source.

Anyway, as said earlier, all a matter of preference and tradeoffs. It's good to be wary of this however, before buying a TV that ends up providing a poor experience. (Of which I did exactly with the Sony EX500. Great TV for shows, movies, and web browsing, but not for most game genres.)
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:25 pm

I think the IPS thing is my mistake, I though it was IPS because I remember that my Samsung TV used a non-Samsung panel and my first instinct was, "Ah, must be LG-Philips S-IPS"

Turns out it's A-MVA3 from AUO, good for 8ms response; whilst higher than the OMG 1ms TN GAMING PANELZ!1 is close to the 6ms I'm used to on my Korean screen and that's almost impossible to see ghosting on.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:46 pm

TardOnPC wrote:So I am thinking about moving my system into the living room to game. Anything I should be aware of, aside from response times, about TVs?


Be aware that you will grow to get really used to gaming from the couch, using a controller and then start to wonder why you ever sat a foot from a 23" monitor in the first place. But that may just be me. I'm a converted lifetime console gamer (except for a dark World of Warcraft period), so couch gaming with a gamepad is something I am very used to.

If the TV is only going to be for gaming, stick to a barebones, 60hz LCD or LED-LCD with good colors and contrast. Just double check the specifications to be sure the TV will handle the resolution you want at the frequency you want. This is probably not an issue for newer TVs, but in my case, I have to use a VGA connection to get 60hz refresh at native resolution - using HDMI I'd only get 30hz and that's just not acceptable.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:25 pm

A lot of good info here! This morning I was put off after reading a few reviews about input lag. Frame skip, network lag, wireless lag, and then straight up "input lag" because the TV wants to do some processing? Depressing.
http://www.techradar.com/us/news/televi ... s4-1158413

My notes so far:
LCD VS Plasma: Both have matured to where they are comparable
60Hz preferable, 120Hz max (With the 780 I get well over 60 FPS on most games. I kind of figure the 120Hz would be somewhat beneficial)
Normal TV. No "Smart" TV BS since my PC can do all of that and more.
Disable all processing on the TV/Enable game mode.
All scaling on GPU set in the Nvidia control panel.

For sound I will use my 7.1 Creative set. I will connect directly to the TV through HDMI on my GPU. I am having some trouble finding response times for TV's though, and even the cd/m2 luminance ratings. All the specifications are the BS marketing specifications. The only TV I have seen with a specified response time is a Dynex TV at 8ms on BestBuy; kind of concerned about the brand quality and it's dirt cheap, 60" for $800.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:33 pm

TardOnPC wrote:My notes so far:
60Hz preferable, 120Hz max (With the 780 I get well over 60 FPS on most games. I kind of figure the 120Hz would be somewhat beneficial)


120hz tv will not accept 120hz signal as per HDMI spec. It will just interpolate a 60hz to fake 120hz.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:25 pm

The 120/240hz frame interpolation is one of the largest possible causes of latency around. Also, keep in mind that response times are not equal to input latency. They are related, as motion blur does affect latency (prevent you from seeing things clearly in reasonable time), but they are still two different issues as LCD's can have low response times (thus, low motion blur), and high latency. Virtually no manufacturer measures latency, while most measure response times. (With varying methods.) There is a lot of fud out there on the web that confuses between the two. The AVScience forums should be a good place to read up on it, since from what I've seen, people there generally know what they're talking about.

Aside from GPU scaling, I'd watch out for the limited color gamut mentioned earlier. I'm curious to know whether you get the same problem with nVidia HDMI output being stuck to limited color gamut at standard "HDTV" resolutions (1080p in particular). You may not notice it, but it just won't seem right, as if there was something wrong with the TV. (It's not, and no adjustment of contrast and other settings will fix it.) I know nVidia refuses to fix this bug on the Geforce 540m/Intel GPU switchable graphics, so I'm curious if their standard cards have the same problem, because improperly functioning HDMI (and driver hacks/workarounds) aren't good enough for me.

Anyway, lots of stuff out there, but the simple takeaway from it all is to try things out and see what works for you. I guess the only easy way is to bring a laptop into a store and try gaming and/or crude input lag tests on different TV's. I plan to try this with a GoPro sometime, since it does have a high framerate option. (120FPS, accurate to 8ms. I can't capture actual latency due to the laptop's possibly different timings between it's own screen and outputs, but I can get relative latency between different displays. [Taking numbers from VGA vs. HDMI with a grain of salt.] The perfect control test is a CRT monitor.)
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:13 pm

C-A_99 wrote:Aside from GPU scaling, I'd watch out for the limited color gamut mentioned earlier. I'm curious to know whether you get the same problem with nVidia HDMI output being stuck to limited color gamut at standard "HDTV" resolutions (1080p in particular). You may not notice it, but it just won't seem right, as if there was something wrong with the TV. (It's not, and no adjustment of contrast and other settings will fix it.) I know nVidia refuses to fix this bug on the Geforce 540m/Intel GPU switchable graphics, so I'm curious if their standard cards have the same problem, because improperly functioning HDMI (and driver hacks/workarounds) aren't good enough for me.


Not sure if this is a problem on all of their cards. Things seem OK to me on i5 750 & GTX 670 to HDTV over HDMI.

I feel like some pictures can look a little bit grainy at times, but I think that's more of a DPI scaling issue, or maybe even a screen sharpness issue.

When I'm in game everything looks phenominal, Alan Wake maxed out with 1080p 8xMSAA and FXAA and Batman: Arkham Asylum look great on a 46 inch screen. GTA IV looks good too. So maybe it's just a Windows DPI thing. I haven't played too many games on it but when I do, it's really enjoyable for 3rd person games that don't require the accuracy or alertness of a desktop environment.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:37 pm

C-A_99 wrote:I suppose the remedy to this is to actually test a game (or develop a crude testing method with numbers) instead of just jiggling the mouse around.

Yep no doubt, I was just suggesting a very rough first impression with the mouse wiggle. TBH some setups are DOA even after that simple test, so you don't always need to bother with the game :) After that, definitely try whatever sorts of games you're interested in playing. You can certainly do latency tests with any decent camera and a countdown timer application/web site as well - I did those on my setup to make sure it was as optimally configured as possible - but different folks can tolerate different amounts of latency, so it's always good to try the actual game too until you have a baseline for your needs.

C-A_99 wrote:The problem is that even "low latency" TV's still hit 24-30ms, while good computer monitors hit around 10ms. (At least according to DisplayLag.com.) I've found 10ms to be very well tolerable, easily to the point where the resolution, sharpness, and screen size make it a much better option than a CRT.

Right, I don't think anyone is trying to say that TVs are going to be as good as computer monitors... I've never seen a TV that was. But they can be tolerable for some sorts of games, as all of the console folks testify to (although controllers/analog sticks are more forgiving to latency than mice of course as they are not 1:1).
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:08 am

C-A_99 wrote:Aside from GPU scaling, I'd watch out for the limited color gamut mentioned earlier. I'm curious to know whether you get the same problem with nVidia HDMI output being stuck to limited color gamut at standard "HDTV" resolutions (1080p in particular). You may not notice it, but it just won't seem right, as if there was something wrong with the TV.

I witnessed a limited color gamut when I plugged my A8-5600K HTPC into my TV via HDMI for the first time. (I had it temporarily connected via VGA while waiting for a HDMI cable to arrive, so the change was easy to spot) Everything had a brownish washed-out tint to it and gradients were splotchy. The gamut was indeed set to a lower spectrum in CCC. It was an easy fix in the CCC color settings, but the difference was night and day. Black was BLACK and colors were much more accurate and vivid.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:53 am

For the 540m/Intel, I had to fix it by creating custom resolutions, but I couldn't figure out how to set the timing settings to stop random white-pixel specks from flickering on one of the screens I use at work. (I've since stuck to DVI via HDMI to DVI cable. Works perfectly.)

Never noticed color gamut issues with AMD (5770 and 6870), just underscan. They had some driver bug earlier where the CCC wouldn't actually correct the underscan, but fixed it, so the only thing wrong left is the default setting. (It's an easy fix though, usually.)
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:09 am

Obviously you could go into a store and hook up a laptop to various displays to try the cursor-wiggle test, but realistically there are three things to consider:

1. Total response time (Input lag + pixel response) of <16ms (1 frame ) is pretty rare for TV's and not common for desktop monitors.
2. some "120Hz gaming screens" have total response times of >25ms anyway.
3. laptop trackpads add their own lag :\

Without going into a store and testing for yourself, look for a model that specifically mentions DVI support. That normally implies (but doesn't guarantee) the input is expecting 1:1 from a PC. The "game" modes on my Samsung and the office Panasonic here don't actually turn of processing, I think they're both designed for consoles and they utterly maul the image quality of the connected PC's.

Once connected you'll have to go through the OSD turning stuff off like black-crush, HDMI black levels, edge enhance, sharpening, NR, smart-colour or other rubbish. I wish there was a standard but there isn't.
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Re: PC Gaming In The Living Room?

Postposted on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:00 pm

This is why I like DVI: It's straightforward and gives virtually no room for misconfigurations or other ****. You get 0-255 colors, RGB color format, and no underscan, lower color gamuts, or other garbage. The standard simply makes no room for it.

Lots of monitors are actually at 10ms latency (again, from DisplayLag.com measurements. I really need to look up other sources and measurement systems to verify these), coupled with 4-6ms response time, so yes, they are within (or very close to) 1 frame of latency. A non-vsynced setup with a good LCD monitor should be less latent than a vsynced setup with a CRT, although I'd have to test this. From what I've seen, HP, ASUS, and Acer tend to have this down pretty well. Lots of LG displays do too, but I've had bad experiences with that brand elsewhere. (i.e. An overheating BD player, a friend's TV with insane latency, and another friend's monitor that produced vertical streaks/lines afew a few months of regular use.)

Trackpads are on the input side; I'd deal with input device latency differently than display. I've had cheap Xbox 360 knockoff controllers (*ahem Afterglow) where the sticks have latency moreso than the buttons, making combos (i.e. for fighting games) extremely annoying to pull off. Input devices are a separate issue though, and trackpads aren't usable for the vast majority of games anyway. (Capacitive touch tends to be latent in general, which is part of why touchscreen only mobile gaming can't handle a lot of game genres such as platform, racing, or FPS at all. I'm also pretty sure it's the same reason Nintendo keeps using resistive touch, but it's difficult to make these assertions without some numbers and measurements.)
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