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5 benefits of gaming on a big screen TV

As big TVs continue to get cheaper, it's time to get your game on

A man's hands hold a gaming controller while playing a RPG on a TV. Credit: Getty Images / simpson33

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The last few years have seen significant improvements in TVs, all while overall prices continue to come down. Landing a massive screen that once cost many thousands of dollars can now regularly be found for under $2,000 or even $1,000.

That’s still a chunk of change, but with the release of the Xbox Series X and the PlayStation 5, we’re in a fantastic era of gaming. It’s the perfect time to grab your controller and delve into the world of big-screen gaming TVs. Here are five benefits you’ll get from taking the plunge.

A more immersive experience

When I sit down on my couch to play a game, I want to be fully immersed in the game world. It’s a great way to decompress and get a break from the daily grind. A big screen is the ideal solution. An image that fills a greater amount of your field of vision has the potential to really draw you into whatever you’re playing.

The rule of thumb is to have your screen fill at least 30% of your field of vision (the recommendation for theaters according to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, or SMPTE), which is a little under 9 feet away from a 65-inch screen. Getting even closer increases that immersion potential—we recommend filling closer to 40% (or more) of your view, which is 6.5 feet away from that 65-inch TV. If that doesn’t work in your space, it’s worth considering going bigger than 65-inches.

The TCL 5-Series with Google TV displaying 4K content in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The 5-Series isn't the brightest TV money can buy, but it's brighter than most TVs in its price bracket, and the contrast is good enough to hold up in a bright living room.

The TCL 5-Series with Google TV is available in sizes up to 75 inches and delivers solid performance, both visually and with its built-in smart platform, without breaking the bank. The 5-Series lacks some cutting edge gaming features like HDMI 2.1 and 120Hz refresh rate, but for casual gamers the inclusion of Auto Low Latency Mode and Variable Refresh Rate will make sure your TV is always delivering a low input lag and a picture that’s free from screen tearing.

A plethora of gaming features

Many TVs nowadays include a bunch of features to improve their gaming performance. The two big ones are Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM) and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). ALLM switches a TV into its game mode, enabling the lowest input lag setting and turning on VRR, which makes sure you don’t see any nasty screen-tearing artifacts.

But even more gaming features are showing up on TVs these days, including heads-up displays that show frames-per-second (FPS) and VRR status or have submodes that fine tune picture quality for different types of games—like first-person shooters or roleplaying-style games.

Included with Samsung displays like the S95B is the Gaming Hub app where you can access different services for cloud gaming. So even if you don’t have a next-gen console, you can still get your game on.

More screen for more friends

Group of friends play video games together having fun at home
Credit: Getty Images / Jovanmandic

One of the best aspects of gaming is it brings people together. Friends gather on the couch to race one another or team up to take down enemies. In these party games, sometimes the screen can be split up so everyone has their own quadrant. With a bigger screen, each person gets more real estate.

One of the drawbacks for any TV is a degradation to the picture when you’re sitting off axis. It can cause the picture to look washed out or might add an undesirable color tint. But the bigger the TV, the closer people can be to the sweet spot and avoid any viewing angle issues. So not only will that 75-inch Hisense U6H give everyone more screen for themselves, it will deliver a similar experience to the entire group. The Hisense also includes ALLM, VRR, and four HDMI 2.1 ports (although they are limited to 60Hz). But when it comes to screen size for the price, it’s tough to beat.

Better detail can cause you to play better

If you can’t see something, it’s really hard to avoid it or attack it. Not only does a big screen TV have a big picture, but every one we recommend has 4K resolution, so detail is crisp. Add in excellent dynamic range (how dark and bright the TV gets) and your own gaming abilities can be elevated to a new level.

The LG C2 is one of our top recommended TVs for this reason. The detail is spectacular and because of how OLEDs work, there’s incredible detail in shadows that lets you see any hiding enemies. It’s a TV that will bring your gaming enjoyment to new heights.

The LG C2 OLED TV displaying 4K/HDR content in a living room setting
Credit: Reviewed / Betsey Goldwasser

The LG C2 is one of the best TVs of the year.

Big TVs are brighter than ever

Many of us game in our living room, which might be bathed in sunlight for much of the day. To combat that ambient light, we need a TV that puts out a lot of brightness so we can still appreciate the visual dynamic range of our favorite games. Bigger LED TVs usually have the capability to blast out more light thanks to more LEDs as backlights.

That light output also benefits the TV’s HDR performance when the lights are off, too, as specular highlights are able to pop more with the extra brightness. Sunlight blooms with realistic intensity, explosions burst with fiery exuberance, and light reflections add depth and contrast for a visually enticing image. When a TV delivers great HDR, there’s a rush of excitement that comes from speeding out of a tunnel into sunlight in Forza Horizon 5.

The brightest big TVs in the current market have LED backlights, and one that combines excellent brightness with superb color and plenty of gaming features isis Samsung’s QN90B. It’s one of the brightest TVs we’ve seen that really showcases HDR, both with games and for movie nights.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.