What TV to get for the PS5 or the Xbox Series X
For the past couple of months, Sony and Microsoft have been dropping tidbits of information about their respective next-generation game systems, the PS5 and Xbox Series X, giving us a glimpse of what the two can do.
As expected, both systems are considerably more powerful than their predecessors. However, until we see them in action, we can’t really say how much the graphics or the performance have improved.
With what’s being promised though, we’re left wondering if we’re going to need a new TV to get the most out of the two systems’ visual capabilities.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to buy a new display as any TV equipped with an HDMI port will probably do just fine. But you could be missing out on a lot of what makes these new systems look and feel truly “next-gen” by playing it on one that’s not up to the newer visual standards.
That’s why we’re listing some of the things you should take note of if you're looking to get a new TV to pair the PS5 or the Xbox Series X with.
Resolution and refresh rates
For starters, you’ll want to consider the maximum display resolution and refresh rate that your TV supports.
Display resolution is the visual dimensions of your TV measured in pixels. The higher the number, the sharper and clearer images supposedly appear. We say “supposedly” here because how much detail you can possibly discern will depend a lot on how close you’re sitting to your display and its size.
Meanwhile, refresh rate is the number of times images can be redrawn in a single second measured in hertz (Hz). But how fast these images can be redrawn depends on the frame rate that is being sent to the display. You can treat refresh rate as sort of the cap to your source’s frame rate, which in this case is the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
So, if your system can run a game at 60 frames per second (fps), for instance, your display refresh rate must be at least 60Hz for you to have a smooth image.
Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are reportedly capable of pushing video resolutions up to 8K and frame rates at up to 120fps. However, we likely won’t see games running at these numbers until at least 2 or 3 years after launch. The best we can probably expect right now are games running at the systems’ native resolution of 4K with frame rates of 60fps.
Does that mean you’ll eventually need an 8K, 120Hz TV? Well, if you have the budget for it, it should, in theory, provide the best experience possible with the 2 systems.
Yes, 8K is superior when it comes to the amount of detail it can produce versus that of 4K, for example. But, again, you probably won’t notice much of a difference between it and 4K on, say, a 55-incher, which is the smallest 8K TV in Samsung’s lineup, unless you’re sitting directly in front of it. Even then it may still be hard for some to make out any difference.
You also have to consider the space you have and how far you’re going to be sitting away from it. From there, you can check charts online for optimal viewing distances relative to the TV’s size and resolution. That way, you find one that fits your viewing needs without sacrificing the amount of detail you can see.
Another spec to keep an eye on: HDMI 2.1. Most, if not all, the new 8K TVs out right now already carry the new HDMI standard that both systems are expected to support.
HDMI 2.1 supports 4K video resolutions at up to 120fps and 8K at up to 60fps. It also comes with variable refresh rate, a feature in displays that lets it match the output frame rate of the source, making for a smoother and more responsive experience.
It's the latest standard for the interface, so it's great if you want to do a little future-proofing. But if we're being practical, it's not yet necessary right now. It's not even known if the next-gen consoles will have games that can actually reach those performance standards.
We suggest checking out mid- to upper mid-range sets that support 4K video resolutions and at least 60Hz to get a decent experience with the PS5 and Xbox Series X.
Another feature you might want to take note of is high dynamic range or HDR, for short. HDR is an imaging technique that expands the color gamut and contrast ratio of displays, creating for better-looking and more life-like images.
Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X are going to support HDR in some capacity, with the latter already announcing that some older titles will receive HDR enhancements through the help of artificial intelligence.
While almost all 4K sets include HDR, performance between them can vastly vary. Our tip: check out sets with an “Ultra HD Premium” badge – these have been certified for having better HDR than others.
Arguably the most important thing to consider when picking a set for gaming is input lag. As you can probably guess from its name, input lag describes the amount of time it takes for your set to display an image after a signal is sent. In this case, it’s the millisecond delay between you pushing buttons on your controller and seeing your actions appear on-screen.
High input lag can be extremely problematic for games that require split-second reaction times such as shooters and fighters. All modern sets, however, will have some degree of input lag as images go through a post-processing software for fine-tuning before they’re displayed.
If you’re not looking to buy a new set, you can always minimize the input lag by disabling as many of the post-processing features as possible.
But, if you’re shopping for a new one, keep an eye out for ones that include a game mode. This is a setting that cuts the amount of time it takes for your set to process images, optimizing it for playing games. Then again, you can also just check reviews of a set as some don’t include a game mode but actually have low input lag. – Rappler.com