Okay, here's the deal: I'm using a fairly old (~8-10 years) 36" CRT as a display for my PS3. When playing Gran Turismo 5, my biggest complaint is how the 4:3 aspect ratio narrows the field of view, which basically means you have to enter tight corners blind and just guess where you're going to apex.
Normally, this isn't a problem. However, I'm very dedicated to the GT Academy competition where less than 0.800 separates 1st and 60th place (at least at Tsukuba). So entering a corner blind and guessing for the apex is entirely out of the question if you want to be competitive. I can force the PS3 to output a 16:9 image which grants the full field of view, but my TV displays the image as 4:3, so everything appears narrow.
I've been considering replacing my CRT with an LCD for quite a while, and this field of view issue is just about the proverbial last straw. However, with such little margin for error in GT Academy, I don't want to introduce significant input lag. To complicate things more, I'm on a super tight budget (<$470).
My first thought was to go for a 24"-26" Asus monitor. However, with my steering wheel set up and my seat positioned correctly, I feel like a 26" display would be too small and I can't exactly just move closer to the screen. So then I started looking at low-end 32"-37" LCD TVs. Right now, I'm considering a Vizio E370VL (37", 1080p, 60 Hz) and a Hitachi L32S504 (32", 1080p, 120 Hz). Image quality (color reproduction, black blacks, no backlight bleed, etc.) isn't a top priority. Of course, I don't want something that is horrendous to watch or has so much ghosting that it becomes difficult to follow what's going on. The Hitachi is about $100 cheaper than the Vizio at my local Sam's Club, which is a plus. GT5 doesn't output at 120 Hz, so that feature is pretty useless to me.
A post in the "Input Lag Wars" thread has a lag test of the Hitachi which has an input lag of 46-78ms. I searched high and low and couldn't find an input lag test for the Vizio. If every steering, throttle, and brake input is delayed by 0.046 seconds turn after turn after turn, it would seem that you're going to lose a lot of time to driving errors over the course of a lap (keep in mind, I'm talking differences of 0.010 sec. separating several places). I sort of just answered my own question in writing this post, but I would still like to get some experienced feedback.
Is 46-78ms considered a lot of input lag or am I just being obsessively picky? I understand all LCDs will inherently have some input lag, but the whole point of buying an LCD is to gain an edge from the increased field of view. It would be utterly pointless if that edge is diminished by driver error as a result of input lag.
Are there any LCD displays with minimal input lag to be had for less than $470?
Lastly, is there any place that still sells widescreen CRT displays in the 37" sub-$470 range. I'm not necessarily looking for HD resolution (though it would be nice to be able to read text without having to zoom in for once). The wider field of view is more important than higher resolution for this application.
Whew. Long post.