Thinking about getting a Sony PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series S|X this holiday season, or any point in the future? If so, the odds are your current TV won’t be good enough to get everything out of these next-gen1 consoles. Here’s why…
What’s Special About the Next-Gen Consoles
The next generation of console gaming is here and with it brings a variety of new technology that will make gaming exponentially better than previous generations. For starters, both new consoles come with solid state storage (finally!) that will make loading times 100 times faster than older systems. Another significant change is how similar the two major systems (PS5 & Xbox) compare in performance. In years past we could see an easy winner of performance on paper, but this generation, it’s much closer. The PS5 and Xbox Series X both make claims of achieving 120 frames per second2 at 4K resolution3 , which was previously only possible on very high-end computer rigs.
So Why Do I Need a New TV?
Let’s say for a moment you got a nice shiny new 4K TV a year or two ago and think that your new gaming system will look great on it. Yes it will display at 4K, but you won’t get the new features that allow 120fps gaming or advanced HDR4 for gaming. Keep in mind, if you’re TV isn’t updated, you’re better off waiting to get a new PlayStation or Xbox until you get a new TV or there is a specific game you want to play on the next-gen consoles. If you currently have a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One or One S, you’re not even currently getting above 1080P5 gaming. You need a PS4 Pro or Xbox One X6 to get the higher resolutions. If you’re fine with not getting the most out of your new system and just want the next-gen consoles, then you’re good to go and don’t need to keep reading.
What Do I Look for in a New TV?
There are three major keys to look for in a new TV for your next-gen console. I would make sure the TV you’re selecting has all of these features to make your experience the best it can be.
- HDMI version 2.1
This is the latest spec of HDMI that allows 3x more data to go through the cable. Both systems have HDMI 2.1 ports, so your TV needs to as well.
- 120hz refresh rate
This is how fast a TV refreshes the picture. Most TVs operate at 60hz. The 120hz refresh rate is needed to hit that 120fps mark.
- HDR10+ or Dolby Vision support
These are competing HDR standards. This will allow you to get the most 4K/HDR content out of your new TV. I personally prefer Dolby Vision, but if you buy a Samsung, it will have HDR10+.
Bonus features to look for: VRR (Variable Refresh Rate), G-SYNC, FreeSync, HGiG, and ALLM (Auto Low Latency Mode)
Just Tell Me What TV to Buy
If you don’t want to look for a TV that has everything you could need to enjoy next-gen gaming, I have some recommendations for you.
- Top Pick: LG CX OLED 55”, 65” or 77”
- Has all the bells and whistles plus it’s OLED so it looks incredible
- Supports Dolby Vision
- Samsung Q80T LCD 55”, 65” or 75”
- Great alternative to the high-priced OLED, also has everything you need
- Supports HDR10+
- Budget Pick: Vizio P Series Quantum X LCD 65”, 75”, or 85”
- Great pick if you want a super-large TV
- Supports both HDR10+ & Dolby Vision
If you’re interested in getting into the minute specifics of these details, it’s a great rabbit hole to go down, check out my favorite site, RTings, here: https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/best/by-usage/video-gaming
Personally I chose the LG CX OLED 65” for my home theater and gaming TV. The TV was discounted heavily for the holidays and met all my requirements. Now all I have to do is wait for my Xbox Series X to show up.
- “Next-Gen” means the next generation of gaming which usually introduces significant leaps in technology over the previous generation.
- Frames per second or FPS is how many frames appear on screen within one second. The higher the number, the smoother it looks. Movies are 24fps, where as 60fps gaming is becoming more standard.
- 4K resolution is 3840 x 2160.
- HDR = High Dynamic Range which allows you to see more color than ever before. More important of an upgrade than 4K.
- 1080P or HD resolution is 1920 x 1080.
- These are not “next-gen” consoles, but rather mid-cycle updates to the previous generation.