HDTVs and Video Game Lag: The Problem and the Solution. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 718 Old 07-11-2005, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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BEFORE YOU LOOK AT THIS FAQ, READ THIS:
THIS FAQ OUTLINES THE KNOWN PROBLEM OF STANDARD DEFINITION MATERIAL LAGGING ON HIGH DEFINITION SETS.

HIGH DEFINITION MATERIAL DOES NOT LAG ON A HIGH DEFINITION SET 99% OF THE TIME. SO, IF YOU HAVE A PS3, X-BOX 360, OR HTPC, YOU DO NOT NEED TO READ THIS.


fubarduck's HDTV / Video Game Lag FAQ version 2.5

Introduction
First of all, keep in mind that this is not a FAQ about HDTV. If you do not understand the basics about HDTV, this FAQ may be hard to understand so I would recommend checking out an HDTV-related FAQ first. Once you're comfortable with that, read this FAQ and you ought to understand quite well how to prevent or correct any lag-related problems. Also, while much of what I post has been tested and confirmed personally, some of my information only comes from what I have only heard from owners of other HDTVs. As such, I will constantly be updating this FAQ as new information surfaces.

Part I

Why do HDTVs lag on video games?
HDTVs typically only have one or two "native" resolutions. A set's native resolution is the resolution that it displays on the screen. This means that sometimes, the HDTV must "scale" the resolution you input in order to display it.

On regular, non-HD televisions, there is only one native resolution, which is 480i (240p). Whenever you play a video game on a standard definition TV, the game console always outputs 480i/240p and the TV displays it as 480i/240p. No need for any scaling, so response time is always normal and accurate.

However, because HDTVs NEVER have 480i/240p (Standard Definition) and usually not even 480p (Enhanced Definition) as a native resolution, that means that any video game console we have that can't output a High Definition signal is likely to lag on any HDTV display. It isn't that it is impossible to scale an image with no lag; HDTVs simply put the emphasis on image quality, which takes some time to process, rather than speed. Some newer HDTVs now come equipped with a "Game Mode" to speed up the scaling process and reduce or eliminate lag on the set. You can read more about "Game Mode" later into the FAQ.

So just how bad is the lag?
Although there is no real way to measure, and the numbers vary based on the HDTV, the average HDTV seems to lag roughly 6 frames, or 1/10th of a second when processing 480i material. DLP HDTVs seem to be a bit worse, some people claiming lag up to 15 frames, or 1/4th of a second. If these numbers will not affect your gaming habit, don't worry about it too much. Casual gamers probably will not notice a lag this small; you can stop reading and get back to gaming if that's the case. The most affected gamers will be those who play ultra-time sensitive games such rhythm games, sports games with swinging/kicking meters, shooters, or fighting games. If you fall into one of these categories, please read on.

UPDATE: There IS a way to measure HDTV Gaming Lag now. Guitar Hero II for PS2 and X360 has a built-in test under the video options, which measures lag in milliseconds. (~17ms = 1 frame)

I also recommend checking out this page started by another helpful AVS Forum member:
http://hdtvlag.googlepages.com/

Here, you can actually see someone who measured the problem very accurately with LCD HDTVs. The test on this site was done with 480i material.

Will my HDTV be affected by video game lag?
The greatest problem of video gaming lag occurs when playing 480i/240p (Standard Definition) games, but can also occur when playing 480p (Enhanced Definition) games. However, playing at a resolution of 480p (Enhanced Definition) or better typically eliminates most or all lag because the most strenuous process of scaling is the process of converting a 480i (interlaced) signal to a 480p (progressive) signal. The people that typically complain about lag even when playing in 480p (progressive) are DLP users, but in theory any HDTV that does not support 480p natively could still be affected. However, an HDTV signal should not experience lag on any HDTV.

As a rule of thumb, you should stay away from DLP sets if you plan on playing a lot of timing-sensitive video games.

So what resolution are my video games outputting?

Pre-PS2 game systems:
240p/480i (240p is the same scan rate as 480i and therefore experiences the same problems)

Playstation 2:
480i (most games), 480p (a few games)

Gamecube : 480i (a few games), 480p (most games)

X-Box: 480p (most games), 480i (a few games), 720p (a few games)

X-Box 360:
All X-Box and X-Box 360 games can be outputted to your choice of 480p, 1080i, or 720p.


These are the resolutions that video game systems can output. For a full list of what game supports what resolution, a good source is http://www.hdtvarcade.com.

What is the native resolution of my display?
CRT HDTVs usually have two native resolutions and sometimes only one. Those resolutions are typically 480p and 1080i. Sometimes, it is only 1080i. THERE ARE NO CRT HDTVS THAT CAN DISPLAY A NATIVE RESOLUTION OF 480i.

Plasma, LCD, and DLP HDTVs always have one native resolution. The native resolution is different for each set. Sometimes it's 720p, sometimes 1080i, sometimes 1080p, and sometimes something completely different.

Example Chart

Worst: You will notice lag.
Better: There is lag, but it may be an acceptable level for you.
Best: There is no lag.

Example 1 (TV: Samsung DLP with 720p native resolution)*
Worst: SNES Game (240p) --> Samsung DLP upscales to 720p --> Noticeable lag.
Worst: PS2 Game (480i) --> Samsung DLP upscales to 720p --> Noticeable lag.
Better: PS2 Game (480p) --> Samsung DLP upscales to 720p --> Fairly small lag.
Better: X-Box Game (480p) --> Samsung DLP upscales to 720p --> Fairly small lag.
Better: PS2 Game with Samsung DLP's Game Mode activated (480i) --> Fairly small lag.
Best: X-Box Game (720p) --> Samsung displays the image directly --> Small lag.
Best: X-Box 360 Game (720p) --> Samsung displays the image directly --> Small lag.

Example 2 (TV: Sony CRT HDTV with both 480p and 1080i native resolutions):
Better: SNES Game (240p) --> Sony CRT HDTV upscales to 480p --> Small lag.
Better: PS2 Game (480i) --> Sony CRT HDTV upscales to 480p --> Small lag.
Best: PS2 Game (480p) --> Sony CRT HDTV displays the image directly --> No lag.
Best: X-Box Game (480p) --> Sony CRT HDTV displays image directly --> No lag.
Best: X-Box Game (1080i) --> Sony CRT HDTV displays image directly --> No lag.

Example 3 (TV: Sony LCD with 1080p native resolution)
Worst: SNES Game (240p) --> Sony LCD upscales to 1080p --> Lag.
Worst: PS2 Game (480i) --> Sony LCD upscales to 1080p --> Lag.
Best: X-Box 360 game (720p) --> Sony LCD upscales to 1080p --> Small lag.
Better: Any game on any system with Game Mode activated (any resolution) --> Fairly small lag.

* Note that all Samsung DLPs pass the signal through its internal DCDi scaler which will result in lag even if you game at the TV's native resolution (Source: http://gear.ign.com/articles/744/744064p2.html)

The only way to completely avoid lag on any system is to only play games at a resolution in which your HDTV doesn't have to do any scaling.

As always, the BEST way to test for lag is to take your gaming set-up to your local electronics store and politely ask to test it on their HDTVs, which they shouldn't mind at all since you're a potential customer. Bring a time sensitive game, such as a fighting game, a rhythm game, or a golf/football game with a swinging/kicking meter. It's worth it to do a small trip to the store like this before you make such a large investment!



Part II: Reducing/Eliminating lag on HDTVs


Solution A: Getting all games to output in 720p, 1080i, or 1080p

Option 1
This is hands-down the best solution available, and has been well-documented already by Gerry Block at IGN Gear. Please see the article here:

http://gear.ign.com/articles/718/718587p1.html

Basically, this device will take any input and thanks to the "Game Mode" will output to ANY resolution with less than one frame of processing time. Unfortunately, this solution costs around $2,000 which is simply out of most gamers' price range. At the end of this article, the DVDO folks suggest that a cheaper product may be released in the future focused specifically towards gamers, but until then, this is the only end-all solution.

iScan VP20 or VP30 + ABT102d deinterlacing card and
iScan VP50

are the products that can do lag-free gaming, and are both highly recommended. Currently these are the only "end-all" solutions.

Option 2
Our next choice is to look to the next generation of consoles. The X-Box 360 can output all 360 games and compatible Xbox 1 games to either 720p, 1080i, and after a dashboard update via Xbox Live due at the end of November, 1080p. This is done by the X-Box 360 with no perceivable lag.

Update 5/24/07 - The PS3 is now be capable of doing the same thing as of Firmware Version 1.8, but due to the poor deinterlacing algorithm used for backwards compatibility, PS1 and PS2 games will lag on your HDTV EVEN if you output a 720p, 1080i, or 1080p signal to your display.

The Xploder HDTV Player is now shipping here: http://www.xploder.net/products/148/...DTV-Player.htm

However, it seems to be very bad at what it does, even at outputting a simple 480p signal. See IGN Gear's review here:
http://gear.ign.com/articles/742/742965p1.html
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Avoid the Xploder HDTV Player at ALL costs, as it does not perform as advertised.



Solution B: Getting 240p/480i games to output in 480p

Since playing a video game in 480p or better resolution typically greatly reduces or eliminates the lag, this is the second-best solution for HDTV owners.

This may reduce but not eliminate the lag on DLP sets. Across the Internet, many people claim that 480p still suffers from unreasonable lag on DLP HDTV's. Maybe you won't notice it, but if you're a hardcore gamer you probably will.


OK, so all we need to do now is find a VGA box that outputs 640x480 at 60Hz in NTSC mode (aka 480p), a resolution that any HDTV can accept. The only such VGA boxes that do this are Japanese. Time to point your Web browser over to http://www.ncsx.com.

The Products
First, we have the Hori Upscan Converter 2.
http://www.ncsxshop.com/cgi-bin/shop/HP2-143P2.html
Hori's product was designed specifically for PS2 but can take an input from any electronic device that outputs Composite or S-Video. However, the quality from any Composite or S-Video device is probably questionable. Of course, it's probably only the PS2 that we care about, since 95% of Gamecube and X-Box games can output 480p, anyway.

Next, we have Micomsoft's XRGB-2+.
http://www.ncsxshop.com/cgi-bin/shop/XRGB-2P2.html
The XRGB-2+ is hands-down the best VGA box available on the market. The $200 pricetag is for a reason--the XRGB-2+ is unique in that it is the only console that can accept a Japanese RGB input from any console with the proper cable. RGB is the best possible method that any current video game console can output video, but American TVs typically don't have an RGB input. It can also take Composite, S-Video, or D-Terminal input (a Japan-only style connector which is exactly the same quality as Component input in the US). The best possible quality connection from a PS2 would be to use a Japanese RGB PS2 cable and have it run to the XRGB-2+ which then outputs to your HDTV. However, reviewers have said that when they use the D-Terminal connection that they can't tell the different between that and the RGB connection. Either one is probably fine. The XRGB-2+ also comes with a Component to D-Terminal cable, so that you can use Component cables for the D-Terminal input. The XRGB-2+ also has a plethora of video and synchronization options that the Upscan Converter 2 is lacking.

Unfortunately, as of this revision, the XRGB-2+ has now been discontinued because of the recently released XRGB-3.

http://www.ncsxshop.com/cgi-bin/shop/XRGB-3.html

The XRGB-3 is a quality product, but the way it functions is much different from the XRGB-2+. The XRGB-3 was designed with a frame buffer system which has a built in lag when using its normal function mode, which outputs at 1024x768, 1280x1024, or 1600x1200. Unfortunately, the XRGB-3 cannot output to these resolutions without lag whether it outputs VGA or DVI.

480i material suffers approximately 80-100ms of lag, while 480p material suffers approximately 10-20ms of lag.

Fortunately, the XRGB-3 has a downloadable firmware update from Micomsoft's home page (in Japanese) called "Line Doubler and Transcoder mode". This mode does NOT lag like the normal mode, but only outputs in 640x480 (480p) and only via VGA (not DVI). Many of the XRGB-3's special features such as freeze-frame and PIP also become unusable.

The XRGB-3 in this mode functions as follows:

- 480i signals are line doubled and displayed as 480p
- 480p signals are accepted and displayed as 480p
- 1080i/720p signals are accepted and displayed as 1080i/720p

So, it's basically exactly like the XRGB-2+ except with 480p and HD signal passthrough support. Keep in mind that 1080p passthrough is not supported.


Finally, Dreamcast-only users have one more option: as some of you may already know, Dreamcast ALREADY is capable of outputting a 640x480 60hz VGA signal! All you need is a Dreamcast VGA Cable, and you can totally eliminate the need for a regular VGA box. The Dreamcast game you are playing MUST support VGA mode for this solution to work, but the vast majority of games for Dreamcast support this mode (including all of the fighting games) so everyone here should be fine--check out http://www.hdtvarcade.com for a full list of VGA-Capable Dreamcast games.

Connecting these products to your HDTV
There are two different options--some HDTV owners luckily already have a VGA monitor port on the back of their HDTV. Those people can simply plug their VGA Box or Dreamcast VGA Cable's output straight into the back of their HDTV and they're all ready to go.

The other possible solution is to buy a VGA to Component adapter (such as the Audio Authority 9A60 VGA to Component Video Converter, google it). Such an adapter allows you to change the output of your VGA box/Dreamcast VGA Cable so that it plugs into a normal component video input on the back of your HDTV.

However, my personal recommendation for VGA to Component is now Micomsoft's XSelect-D4, available here: http://www.ncsxshop.com/cgi-bin/shop/XS-D4.html. Another high-quality Japanese product by the makers of the XRGB-2+, the XSelect-D4 is also capable of taking a VGA input (from Input 3 in the back) and outputting a D-Terminal signal (which can be converted to Component easily via a D-Terminal to Component cable). It also doubles as a high-quality Component video selector for those of you with multiple game systems.



Solution C: Game Mode

Another (and much easier) solution is to use your HDTV's "Game Mode" to speed up the scaling process from 480i to your HDTV's native resolution. However, not all HDTV's have such a Game Mode. HDTVs which utilize a game mode are STILL very susceptable to lag despite speeding up the scaling process.

Here is a quote from Samsung’s Dan Schinasi in an interview with gaming illustrated:
"Current 1080p models incorporate "GAME MODE" which minimizes lag time by 30 percent. This feature will be common on most 2006 models."

30 percent, huh? Well, for those of you happy with 30 percent . . .

Remember: DLP should be avoided at all costs, and Solution A and B are typically a better route than Solution C. However, Solution C may be a more reasonable solution for gamers who do not care about or need perfect time-sensitivity.

Most "Game Mode" functions in HDTVs will reduce a lag of 80-100ms to a lag of only 20-30ms, which may be acceptable for your gaming purposes. However, this is still enough lag to affect gamers who need perfect timing.




Conclusion
Fortunately, the ball is rolling now and many important people are aware of the problem of HDTV gaming lag. The only solutions now are either expensive, inconvenient, or both. However, as more companies roll out solutions specficially to target the problem of gaming lag, I anticipate that we will have a universal, cost-effective, and perfect (less than one frame) solution within the next year or two. Thanks to people noticing this FAQ and to contributions from others from AVSForum, IGN, Shoryuken.com, HDTVArcade, and Shmups forums, the problem has been publicized and steps in the right direction have been taken to educate the average gamer who brings home a new HDTV only to discover his totally sucky scores in Guitar Hero.

Be aware that these are all relatively new solutions that few people have had the time and patience to accomplish, although anyone should be able to do them with reasonable success.

Credit goes to acem77 from http://www.hdtvarcade.com for discovering the XRGB-2+ fix.




Part III: Q&A

Q: My friend says that CRT HDTV's don't lag.
A: All varieties of HDTV are susceptable to video game lag. CRT, LCD, Plasma, any HDTV. I have seen many posts lately saying that XXX technology doesn't lag which simply isn't true. All technologies are susceptable to the problem, because all HDTVs use video scaling.


Q: My friend says the only HDTV's that lag are DLP's!
A: All varieties of HDTV are susceptable to video game lag. CRT, LCD, Plasma, any HDTV. I have seen many posts lately saying that XXX technology doesn't lag which simply isn't true. All technologies are susceptable to the problem, because all HDTVs use video scaling.


Q: My new Samsung DLP is supposed to have a Game Mode, but I can't find it.
A: On the newer Samsung DLPs, the way you turn on "Game Mode" is by actually setting the name of the input as "Game".


Q: Which HDTVs have a Game Mode?
A: Many newer HDTVs incorporate a Game Mode. Check the HDTV's manual to see if it incorporates a function, and remember, there is no Game Mode that eliminates lag 100% yet.


Q: I play PS2 all the time on XXX HDTV and it never lags, what gives?
A: What's more likely is that you don't notice the lag that occurs. Try a timing-sensitive game such as a rhythm game or a sports game with a swinging/kicking meter. If you still don't notice it, ignorance is bliss.


Q: I own a Samsung DLP. What should I do?
A: While it's best to avoid DLP technology altogether, the person who originally pointed me in the direction of the XRGB-2+ (acem77 from HDTVarcade.com) claims that when playing through the VGA port there is no lag. All other Samsung DLP users claim that 480p still lags through the Component inputs, so it is possible that going through the VGA input helps bypass more of the suboptimal DLP scaling processes. I have not personally verified this, but if you already own a DLP, there may still be hope. Try out an XRGB-2+ or XRGB-3 and see what it can do for you.


Q: So why does the XRGB-2+/XRGB-3 greatly reduce or eliminate lag? Does it output a digital/High Def signal or something like that?
A: No. The XRGB-2+/XRGB-3 are devices that upscan a video game signal from 480i to 480p, typically doing a much faster (and nicer-looking) job than most HDTV's built-in video scalers. First of all, the signal is analog, since we're outputting analog VGA from the XRGB-2+/XRGB-3. Secondly, 480p is still not a High Definition signal--but it's good enough to prevent most HDTVs from lagging.


Q: Why don't companies make HDTVs with a good built-in scaler, like the XRGB-2+?
A: Companies making HDTVs know what sells them: how good they look in the showroom. Therefore, HDTV manufacturers are concentrating on making scalers that make popular Standard Definition material such as Standard Definition TV channels and DVDs look as good as possible; processing time was probably not even considered an issue. They are still willing to ignore video gamers because the public is extremely uninformed and the less hardcore gamers probably do not even notice the lag. Have you ever seen the advertisement or brochure for an HDTV tell you how much it lagged on non-High Definition material? Didn't think so.
The XRGB-2+, on the other hand, was designed to make video games look good AND does so with no lag. If only HDTV companies would pick up on Micomsoft's idea!


Q: Who are you? Why do you know all this stuff?
A: I am one of the few hardcore video gamers who also happens to be an audio/video and home theater enthusiast. My main interest is 2D and 3D fighting games from Capcom, SNK, Sammy, Namco, and various other companies. I noticed lag immediately on my first HDTV set after trying to play Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike on it. As fighting games are time-sensitive down to the frame (1/30th or 1/60th of a second, depending on the game), it was very easy for my friends and I to notice. I am also a perfectionist, so ever since then I have searched and tested various products in order to find a solution for playing fighting games and many other video games on my HDTV at home, lag-free and without nasty scaling artifacts. After a few years, I have discovered what I believe to be the "best" solutions--for now.

Updated:
05/24/2007: PS3 Firmware 1.8 still lags PS1/PS2 games
10/21/2006: PS3: No Upscaling for PS1/PS2 games; Xploder HDTV
09/26/2006: XRGB-3, DVDO iScan VP20/VP30, and hdtvlag.googlepages.com
07/08/2006
03/06/2006: Version 2.0; heavy revisions and some new information
09/05/2005: Added Modding info.
07/12/2005: Added Dreamcast VGA Box.
07/12/2005: Added HDTVs with "Game Mode"
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post #2 of 718 Old 07-11-2005, 08:28 AM
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Yeah, I been waiting to try and get ahold of one of these. I did try an iScan last year, but it didn't eliminate the problem. Glad to hear there's more confirmation out there.

Cush
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post #3 of 718 Old 07-11-2005, 08:51 AM
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Don't VGA boxes forego de-interlacing 480i material in favor of just line-doubling it?

"ANYONE who pc games that doesn't have a 360 controller for pc use, well frankly isn't a gamer at all."
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post #4 of 718 Old 07-11-2005, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cush1978 View Post

Yeah, I been waiting to try and get ahold of one of these. I did try an iScan last year, but it didn't eliminate the problem. Glad to hear there's more confirmation out there.

Cush

Well, I think acem77 was right on the dot about the iScan--the iScan is a device designed for watching movies, not playing games. The DVDO Web site even mentions in the specs for the iScan line of products that you must route your audio through the iScan itself in order to sync the sound (to compensate for video processing delay) so it's no wonder it didn't work.

The XRGB-2 Plus, however, is a line doubler designed for playing video games. It's really too bad it only outputs VGA, but it's perfect for you Samsung DLP owners!! Perhaps in the future a smart company will notice the need for an all-in-one solution (no-lag line doubler with Component input and output). On another note, there is also one Toshiba DLP set that has a "game mode" which is supposed to eliminate lag, but I can't vouch for it since I never tried it. I remember reading something about the new Sony RP LCDs also having some sort of faster scaling mode. Until I've actually tried them out though, I am definitely sticking to my XRGB-2+/VGA to Component adapter combo!

Definitely let us know when you have a chance to test this solution out. I think you'll be quite satisfied with the results

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty L View Post

Don't VGA boxes forego de-interlacing 480i material in favor of just line-doubling it?

Forgive me if I misused any A/V lingo. I'm not an A/V expert, just a gamer and an A/V hobbyist.

Regardless if what VGA boxes do (whether it's deinterlacing or line-doubling), they do it with no lag which is the #1 most important factor to any serious gamer who plays games that require distinct timing. Quality is #2, and the XRGB-2+ is undoubtedly the best quality 480i-->480p product (in terms of picture quality) available for video games.
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post #5 of 718 Old 07-11-2005, 11:11 AM
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Does lag occur in 480P games as well? I only play Halo 2 on my Pansonic Plasma 50PHD7UY which I go through component... I do have a VGA input.

Are you saying if I switch to the VGA input...it will reduce lag?

Thanks,

Chris B.
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post #6 of 718 Old 07-11-2005, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbarone View Post

Does lag occur in 480P games as well? I only play Halo 2 on my Pansonic Plasma 50PHD7UY which I go through component... I do have a VGA input.

Are you saying if I switch to the VGA input...it will reduce lag?

Thanks,

Chris B.

Your Plasma HDTV of course has to scale the 480p signal to its native resolution, but HDTVs can basically do this process instantly.

All that the VGA solution is doing is allowing a 480P signal to be sent to the HDTV rather than a 480i signal on consoles/games that CAN'T send a 480p signal. Therefore, any games ALREADY running in progressive scan should NEVER experience lag. This solution is aimed at anyone who plays Playstation 2 and older console systems on their HDTVs! Gamecube and X-Box are 95% unaffected as most of their games already output a 480p signal when using Component video cables
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post #7 of 718 Old 07-12-2005, 07:37 AM
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thanks bro. I am assuming all new Xbox 360 games will be in progressive scan so I wont have to worry about it. Can wait for Xbox 360.

Peace,

Chris B.
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Halo 2 is supposed to have a lag issue that can be fixed with a patch. I don't know, I'm not an expert.

Fubar, how did you get ahold of your XRGB-2+? Acem said he got his for about half the retail price. I'm not looking to pay $200+ since most of these come out of Japan. I'd try one as soon as I can get one for a reasonable price.

btw, you can't route audio through an iScan plus. Only has composite and S-video inputs, no audios. Worked fine on my VGA monitor, but not on my DLP.

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post #9 of 718 Old 07-12-2005, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cush1978 View Post

Halo 2 is supposed to have a lag issue that can be fixed with a patch. I don't know, I'm not an expert.

Fubar, how did you get ahold of your XRGB-2+? Acem said he got his for about half the retail price. I'm not looking to pay $200+ since most of these come out of Japan. I'd try one as soon as I can get one for a reasonable price.

btw, you can't route audio through an iScan plus. Only has composite and S-video inputs, no audios. Worked fine on my VGA monitor, but not on my DLP.

Cush

I live in Japan right now, so I just got my XRGB-2+ from my local camera shop. Wasn't cheap, cost was about 23,000 yen (about $207 by current exchange rates) but I got it brand new. I could have found a cheaper used one if I travelled to Akihabara (huge electronics district) but after factoring in travel costs it was still cheaper just to buy it locally Plus, I was eager to try it out!

Anyway, if you just keep an eye on Ebay I'm sure you can find something cheaper. Google it just to make sure though, I think I saw a couple of US-based sites selling it for around $170, which is already cheaper than the $209 that National Console Support wants for it.

Keep in mind that you could also try a cheaper solution such as the Hori Upscan Converter 2 (since you need to fix PS2 lag specifically, like myself)--however, it may or may not work to full satisfaction, it's just theory right now. The XRGB-2+ is pretty much guaranteed to work if you're willing to take mine and acem77's word for it.

Also, I am quite shocked about the iScan Plus having no audio passthrough! Anyway, I don't recall what the problem you had with your iScan was, but please give the XRGB-2+ a try.

Also, for a laugh and some good memories, check out this thread at HDTV Arcade. Maybe we should have put some more thought into your suggestion! =P
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post #10 of 718 Old 07-12-2005, 12:36 PM
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Am I the only one that doesn't notice any lag playing Halo 2 on my Plasma?

Steve
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post #11 of 718 Old 07-12-2005, 12:59 PM
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This sounds great. I'm seeing a very slight input lag on my new Samsung LCD TV (I even see lag using a Wavebird Wireless controller though) but what annoys me more is the artifacting I see with older 2D games when something flashes rapidly. With Super Metroid in particular, certain objects don't flicker at all, they're just permanently interlaced. (they don't flash but have black lines through them) I would assume this box sorts that out, as it's the de-interlacing process on the TV that causes it.

However, I've only got my PS2 and Super Famicom connected up with SCART cables through a switch box. (Gamecube is component, but I would pick up another RGB SCART for it) I know I could just buy component cables for the PS2, but RGB SCART is the best I can get out of the SFC.

Is it easy to convert EuroSCART to Japanese RGB? The interface is the same, but is it just as easy as changing the pin-out or not? (or can you buy pre-made cables anywhere?)

Spelosi, if you're playing in 480p (and if you're not, you should be!) then there is no lag introduced. It's the de-interlacing process that causes it. If you're playing in interlaced, then it may just be that you don't notice it. It's very slight on newer sets.
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post #12 of 718 Old 07-12-2005, 01:21 PM
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I play Halo 2 on my Panasonic Plasma 50PHD7UY through component and I dont experience any lag. At least I do not think I do. It seems to play great even online.

Peace,

Chris B.
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post #13 of 718 Old 07-12-2005, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewfee View Post

Spelosi, if you're playing in 480p (and if you're not, you should be!) then there is no lag introduced. It's the de-interlacing process that causes it. If you're playing in interlaced, then it may just be that you don't notice it. It's very slight on newer sets.

Exactly.

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Originally Posted by andrewfee View Post

Is it easy to convert EuroSCART to Japanese RGB? The interface is the same, but is it just as easy as changing the pin-out or not? (or can you buy pre-made cables anywhere?)

From what I've read, you CAN modify your Euro SCART cable to Japanese RGB, you just have to change the pin-out like you said. The best site to go would be GameSX, they have pinouts and modification guides to get RGB out of any system that can possibly output such a signal.

Unfortunately, pre-made Japanese RGB cables are pretty much impossible to find. There were two different ones commercially manufactured for PS2 (actually, for PS1)--one by Gametech and one by Cybergadget--but they stopped producing them after it was discovered that you could play DVDs without copy protection on the first model PS2s in combination with a Japanese RGB cable.

I DID find this US-Based company selling this cable, which is supposedly a single Japanese RGB cable for all the major systems, but I don't know if you can trust it since it doesn't really specify that it is Japanese RGB standard. It's only $10.00 if you don't mind taking the risk, though. Maybe you should ask the Webmaster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewfee View Post

This sounds great. I'm seeing a very slight input lag on my new Samsung LCD TV (I even see lag using a Wavebird Wireless controller though) but what annoys me more is the artifacting I see with older 2D games when something flashes rapidly. With Super Metroid in particular, certain objects don't flicker at all, they're just permanently interlaced. (they don't flash but have black lines through them) I would assume this box sorts that out, as it's the de-interlacing process on the TV that causes it.

That's really strange! The lag you are experiencing is indeed the lag which is universally present in HDTVs, but I've never heard of an interlacing artifact like that. I think you're right though, the XRGB-2+ will probably fix your problems.

Be sure and let us know the results if you decide to try this out!
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post #14 of 718 Old 07-13-2005, 02:50 AM
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Thanks, I think I will go for this, just have to wait until I get paid.

As I've got everything going into an AV switch, I wasn't specifically meaning SCART > J RGB for the consoles, just for the connecting cable between the switch and TV.

While I do have a VGA input on my TV, I'd prefer to put it into a component switch. (as I hook up my Powerbook a lot) Are there any converters that do the job without introducing any extra lag, and at a reasonable price?
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post #15 of 718 Old 07-13-2005, 03:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewfee View Post

Thanks, I think I will go for this, just have to wait until I get paid.

As I've got everything going into an AV switch, I wasn't specifically meaning SCART > J RGB for the consoles, just for the connecting cable between the switch and TV.

While I do have a VGA input on my TV, I'd prefer to put it into a component switch. (as I hook up my Powerbook a lot) Are there any converters that do the job without introducing any extra lag, and at a reasonable price?

Ah, I see, sorry for the misunderstanding.

Well, as far as American companies there are now four options: for an excellent description and comparison of the four adapters check out this page at Keohi HDTV.

The four adapters are:

Audio Authority 9A60
Key Digital KD-VTCA3 / Clear Color 3
RCA VHDC300
RF Systems VR-23

If you want to use component, the CHEAPEST adapter out there is the Audio Authority 9A60, which you can probably pick up used on Ebay for less than $100.

The RCA, however, might be easier to find since Circuit City (a US electronics store) carries it. The retail is about the same.

I don't think you should have additional lag problems with any of these units. However, the Audio Authority has been the most tried and tested, and many people have been satisfied with it so I'd recommend that one.
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post #16 of 718 Old 07-13-2005, 07:38 AM
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Thanks, I'm actually in the UK, but I'll look into that Audio Authority box.
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post #17 of 718 Old 07-13-2005, 09:23 AM
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Just done some extensive testing, and I can't see a spot of lag introduced on my set actually. (using 2D games where it counts too) It's a Samsung LE32R41B (that's the UK model code - it's the latest 32" LCD they do, and almost identical to the US one, aside from the fact it has more inputs)

However, there is some blur introduced (combing really) and artifacts caused by de-interlacing very fast flickering stuff, so I think I might still go for it. There is some very slight bleeding on the SCART sockets on this set too, which should also be eliminated with this.
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post #18 of 718 Old 07-14-2005, 07:34 AM
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Wow, yeah, I was on the right track huh? I just can't order all these systems that cost at least $100 to try 'em out. Returning them's not a free or convenient option. I'm glad someone else out there can confirm with the XRGB2+. If I'd hit on that one a year ago, this problem would be over.

I concentrated on PS2, but I'd like to be able to play Saturn, NES, SNES, etc., as well. Right now the S-Video out on my receiver routes to another TV. In this case, I'd just route it through the XRGB-2+ and then to the DLP.

The problem with the iScan was that it didn't save any time. Must've taken just as long to deinterlace as the TV because there was no discernable difference with it hooked up.

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post #19 of 718 Old 07-14-2005, 11:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cush1978 View Post

Wow, yeah, I was on the right track huh? I just can't order all these systems that cost at least $100 to try 'em out. Returning them's not a free or convenient option. I'm glad someone else out there can confirm with the XRGB2+. If I'd hit on that one a year ago, this problem would be over.

I concentrated on PS2, but I'd like to be able to play Saturn, NES, SNES, etc., as well. Right now the S-Video out on my receiver routes to another TV. In this case, I'd just route it through the XRGB-2+ and then to the DLP.

The problem with the iScan was that it didn't save any time. Must've taken just as long to deinterlace as the TV because there was no discernable difference with it hooked up.

Cush

Although I can't make any guarantees, I am pretty confident that the XRGB-2+ will fix your lag problem. I have not tried on a DLP of course, so you'll have to trust acem77's testimonial (although on paper everything checks out).

Logically, if nothing lags at 480p then sending a 480p signal to your TV with zero lag (which I believe the XRGB-2 does), your issues will be solved.

It also might be a cool side-project to build Japanese RGB cables for your old game systems (Saturn, SNES, etc)--juding from acem77's screenshots, the classics look truly excellent when run through the XRGB-2+ with RGB cables!

Cheers, and good luck. I just want all of our problems to be solved
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post #20 of 718 Old 07-19-2005, 07:21 PM
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Hmm, well I just got my XRGB2+ today, and have been a bit disappointed, in more ways than one.

Firstly, tried hooking up my Gamecube through the JRGB input with the included component > jrgb adapter - no picture. I did mod a SCART cable to JRGB, but decided against trying it if the included one didn't work.

Tried hooking it up to the "D1" input (I assume that's D-Sub? love the connector anyway; wish it was used here) with the included adapter and it worked. I've tried hooking up my Super Famicom with a JRGB cable and it wouldn't work either, so it looks like the input is dead. While I'm not going to be using it, I tried out composite, and it gets an image for a second then cuts out, so I guess there's something wrong with it too. Emailed lik-sang about it now.

When I was troubleshooting the JRGB input, I hooked up the box to my old computer monitor. After getting it actually working, I was surprised at how good it looked and how well it worked on it. Even 50Hz stuff was working perfectly. (I thought it was supposed to be NTSC only)

However, once I brought it through and hooked it up to my LCD I was in for another disappointment. First off, it seem the VGA input is technically a "PC" input on it, and doesn't work with 50Hz, as PCs generally only output 60Hz+. Every other input on it apparently supports 50hz though.

I had planned on also hooking up TV to it (the main 50Hz source) but I guess I can make do with interlaced for now. (HDTV still hasn't come over here, and I won't be able to afford it when it does) At least I'll get to keep aspect ratio switching that way.

The biggest problem though, is that on my LCD, vertical lines are not straight. They're constantly "flickering" / "wobbling" like there's some kind of interference. I have tried to sort it via the TV's "image lock" options, and the one on the box itself, but can't get it sorted. Perhaps I will if I spend more time, but there's 149 positions on the XRGB2+ and 2x 100 on the TV. (coarse / fine) That's a lot of combinations I could have to go through.

1024x768 wasn't working on the LCD either; came up as "unsupported mode" but it looked much worse than 640x480 did anyway. (on the CRT) So I'm not really bothered about that. (it was very pixellated; the TV does a better job scaling)

On a more positive note, it does remove the slight blur I was getting on this TV, and the picture is improved in general. It's not on par with proper 480p, but does look nice. I don't see a lag improvement, because there wasn't any to remove. However this means that it's not adding any, and should definitely sort out any problems anyone has.

I assume I'll have to send it back to HK to get a replacement but I think I'll just replace my SCART switch with a component one and buy component cables for my consoles now. (with the SFC using the JRGB input)

I may have sounded quite negative, but if I can get a stable image on the LCD, then it will have been worth every penny, because it does look very good. (the flickering isn't that noticeable ingame though, mainly in menus etc)
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post #21 of 718 Old 07-20-2005, 06:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewfee View Post

-snip-

I see. As acem77 said on HDTV Arcade forums, there does indeed seem to be a flickering problem on fixed pixel displays. Sorry you got a dud, that's quite disconcerting! I hope you can get it sorted out.

It does however seem to do lag removal job quite well. Let us know if you can get a stable image on your LCD!
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post #22 of 718 Old 07-20-2005, 11:37 AM
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Thanks for typing this up. I was considering skipping out on a DLP because of this. I guess I'll just use an older TV to play games in 480i
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post #23 of 718 Old 07-28-2005, 11:22 PM
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Thanks so much for the suggestions on this thread...

After I went (Samsung) DLP in December, I got rid of the PS2 due to the lag problem. After reading this thread, I hooked up a slim PS2 to my Samsung 5085 via the Upscan Converter 2 (I was not willing to pay the $200 for the other solution), and VGA cables purchased at Fry's (6 ft plus 6ft extension). Except for some slight "flowing" vertical lines that are very visible when looking at a zebra pattern, but not very noticable otherwise, the picture is great (luckily, there aren't many PS2 games dealing with zebras), and I haven't observed any lag...

I had to do quite a bit of adjustment on the brightness and the contrast (via THX setup on Finding Nemo), but now the picture looks really good. Setting the TV to "expand" seems to maintain the seemingly correct picture aspect ratio for normal games (slight border on top and bottom). Setting the TV to Wide PC maintains the seemingly correct picture aspect ratio for widescreen games.

So, wrapping up:

Pros:
A use for the 5085's VGA input
"Relatively" inexpensive solution
Surprisingly good picture quality
Makes the PS2 usable on a Samsung DLP

Cons:
Although the picture is beautiful, it's not perfect (some "flowing" vertical lines) sometime adds a bit of jitter
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post #24 of 718 Old 07-30-2005, 10:02 PM
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I have a 50 inch RCA DLP and I have noticeable lag on ps2. I noticed it on the pitch and swing meters on MVP 2005. I have tried connecting through composite and component, and with Progressive Scan (which may have slightly improved the lag). I have read the threads, but I want to make sure I am reading correctly. What should I buy to fix this. If possible, I don't want to spend hundreds (USA). Please help me out.

Thanks,

Justin
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post #25 of 718 Old 07-30-2005, 10:06 PM
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I have the PS2 and my pc connected to a 50 in SOny LCD rear projection. No lag at all with either.
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post #26 of 718 Old 07-30-2005, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosaii View Post

I have a 50 inch RCA DLP and I have noticeable lag on ps2. I noticed it on the pitch and swing meters on MVP 2005. I have tried connecting through composite and component, and with Progressive Scan (which may have slightly improved the lag). I have read the threads, but I want to make sure I am reading correctly. What should I buy to fix this. If possible, I don't want to spend hundreds (USA). Please help me out.

Thanks,

Justin

You should not have any lag whatsoever when using Progressive Scan. The only thing this solution does is feed a Progressive Scan signal to your TV where normally the TV would have to line-double the signal. If your TV lags when being fed a progressive signal, this solution will not do anything differently. If your TV is lagging with a Progressive Scan signal, you are either imagining things or you should get a different TV for games.
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post #27 of 718 Old 07-31-2005, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fubarduck View Post

You should not have any lag whatsoever when using Progressive Scan. The only thing this solution does is feed a Progressive Scan signal to your TV where normally the TV would have to line-double the signal. If your TV lags when being fed a progressive signal, this solution will not do anything differently. If your TV is lagging with a Progressive Scan signal, you are either imagining things or you should get a different TV for games.

After looking up how to do so, I started MVP 2005 on ps2 with Progressive Scan (by holding triagle and X, it gave me the option). The graphics were noticeably worse, but it was definitely different. The lag was still there. It is not a huge lag, but it is definitely there. When using the pitching meter, in order to stop the meter at the right point (the middle), I have to aim and press about an inch too soon. I guess it is playable, but I seem to be late on all of my swings too. I am not imagining the delay, I have played the game MANY times on my normal tube TV. If anyone has a solution or workaround, I appreciate the help. Also, if anyone knows why the graphics would be worse on Progressive Scan, let me know.
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post #28 of 718 Old 07-31-2005, 02:47 PM
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i also put mvp 2005 in progressive mode by holding all four buttons in at the start-up. it offers me to switch into progessive and i say yes. lag still present.
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post #29 of 718 Old 08-01-2005, 03:25 PM
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My replacement arrived today. Posted this on another board I visit:

More impressions.

I was going to order JRGB cables from someone, but am having issues with Paypal right now, so I can't pay him. So, I found an old SCART switch I had that wasn't amplified and decided to give it a shot. Rewired it properly so now I can just plug European SCART cables into it, and it's JRGB coming out. As it's not amplified however, there's some signal loss. After the success of this though, I may just mod the other cables myself.

The PS2 was working through this setup, but the Super Famicom wasn't. It just said "No Signal" Was talking to a friend and he told me you have to remove the capacitors/resistors from the RGB cable to use it. I thought this was strange, as it was working on my TV perfectly before, but I twisted them to short them out, bypassing them, (couldn't be bothered soldering again) and it did the trick.

I had been seeing a slightly wavy picture on the top of SFC games before, and this seems to have removed that, so I guess that's what was causing it.

2D games look stunning. There's not much more to say than that, lol. This is the best 2D you'll get out of an old system, virtually identical to what I got emulating the games and outputting over VGA. This gets rid of 99% of interlacing artifacts, which justifies the cost alone for me.

Colour is a bit trickier to set up, I'm still tweaking, but it's nice having so much control.

3D games look nice, and are a fair improvement, but are not on par with 480p. Better than 480i though, and as mentioned previously, if your television has lag, this should remove it.
It does make aliasing more noticeable though.

Overall I'd say this was definitely worth the money, and if you're serious about your retro games, you should pick one up.

I still haven't been able to get the image lock perfect, but it's barely noticeable when you're actually playing a game. The menus on it still look awful, but this is just how the menus are, it's not the image lock settings, as I had previously thought.

Only thing is that I have a few PS2 games that support 60Hz, but it's a pain having to do it "blind" Metal Slug 3 takes about 30 seconds, you then have to hit "english" wait 3/4, hit down and X to choose 60, then up and X to accept.
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post #30 of 718 Old 08-01-2005, 08:39 PM
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I've read just about every thread on the "gaming lag" issue.

Clear something up for me: Is this just an issue on Sammy DLPs or is it for any LCD/DLP/Plasma? Or is it just worse on the Sammy DLPs?

I'm on the cusp of purchasing a HDTV dedicated to gaming, though almost exclusively 480p+ gaming. Is this pretty much a non-issue for me?

The Sammy DLP (42") is my favorite but I worry about the gaming lag stories. There are no issues in 480p and beyond right?

Another TV I'm looking at is the Panasonic 44" LCD (PT44LCX65). What's the differences in gaming on a DLP vs. LCD? Does the LCD suffer some of the gaming lag as well?

Buying a TV is never easy
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