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Game mode on TVs: reduces input lag, worsens picture quality

Sep 18, 2015
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Game mode on a TV is the same as playing on a PC monitor.
Nobody complains about PC monitors looking bad even though they look the same as TV in game mode.

As for picture quality, I like to play games they way they were mean't to be played.
Native.
 

Angry Grimace

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One turns to the other and says "does something taste funny to you?"
Mar 16, 2007
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Then what's the point of not using gmode all the time? Why does your tv even have a game mode?
I use game mode all of the time.

It's the only preset I found that didn't have weird shadows on everything that moved.
 

XOMTOR

Member
Feb 11, 2011
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This. Most of the time enabling game mode simply disables all the garbage that should be turned off in the first place. Sometimes you also lose the ability to fine-tune stuff like 10/20-point greyscale values so you won't get a 100% accurate calibration, but for the most part game mode should be able to get pretty close to reference. Assuming you don't have a really crappy TV of course.
What about FALD sets? Does it disable the local area dimming?
 

Pop_smoke

Neo Member
Nov 16, 2016
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I have a JU6500 from Samsung. The input lag in game mode goes from like 120 to 25 ms.
When hooked up to a console i do not notice the difference. However, this tv is 4k and has a great 4k upscaler.
With the ps4 and xbox one i have, they only output 1080. When i load up the remaster skyrim. Sure, It looks great in game mode! However if i turn off game mode and let it upscale to 4l. It looks almost as good as the ps4 pro... if only it had the same draw distance.

tl:dr.
ju6500 looks great in game mode but the 4k upscaler is amazing for some singleplayer games.
 

thisisamul

Neo Member
Apr 20, 2015
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in Higher quality TVs, for example, Samsung 8000 series and Higher and sony Triluminus Displays picture quality is basically unaffected.

But what s funny is that below 100 ms was great, now anything over 50 is horrible.
Hehe, yeah. I play a lot of fighting games so I sometimes get disappointed that my JS8500 is 36ms...but ah well, the only alternative would be to spend another $2K on a TV :-/
 

Harmondale

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Jun 12, 2015
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Welp, never used my gaming mode on my 2013 LG 55" because the colours looks like shit. Never realized I can manually Change the settings within game mode to copy Another mode, time to do that

However, Cinema mode looks kind of "Brown"ish. I Always use liveful, probably what other calls oversaturated colours but I want it be very very colourful :))
 

EvB

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Jan 20, 2012
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Mines a monstrous quality drop. But I honestly thought all TVs did that. Until I read this thread.
I suspect there are a lot of people here who simply can't see the difference, even when it is there.

I see an increase in noise on my set when I enable game mode, the image becomes more contrasts too. Presumably as the panel is driven harder for better response and various things are switched out for lower precision alternatives.
 

Rellik

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Nov 22, 2015
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Welp, never used my gaming mode on my 2013 LG 55" because the colours looks like shit. Never realized I can manually Change the settings within game mode to copy Another mode, time to do that

However, Cinema mode looks kind of "Brown"ish. I Always use liveful, probably what other calls oversaturated colours but I want it be very very colourful :))
LG's default game mode settings are trash. At least they were on the 2 I own.

PC Mode and Expert 2 calibrated for life.
 

MyleMan1010

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Nov 24, 2015
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So people here are claiming there is no difference with game mode on their Tvs because they turn off all the post processing anyways? Uh... Yeah that makes sense...

There is a difference if you want to reduce noise, enhance the color gamut, sharpen edges or use HDR on most sets. These things introduce input lag but enhance the image. This has nothing to do with what brand of TV you have or when you bought it. It's common sense.
 

Boy Wander

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Oct 20, 2012
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So people here are claiming there is no difference with game mode on their Tvs because they turn off all the post processing anyways? Uh... Yeah that makes sense...

There is a difference if you want to reduce noise, enhance the color gamut, sharpen edges or use HDR on most sets. These things introduce input lag but enhance the image. This has nothing to do with what brand of TV you have or when you bought it. It's common sense.
The problem is that there is so much image processing going on modern TVs that if you don't switch it all off you get horrendous lag. My Samsung KS8000 (US 9000) being a case in point. Yes, it looks a little better as a static picture with game mode off (in my eyes, but again it's open to interpretation) but once you push the stick up and see a visible lag between that and the movement on the screen, you begin to realise actually how much time that processing is adding on. You obviously don't notice it watching TV because it's not interactive - there's no feedback - but for gaming, it makes things unplayable. And I'm not talking twitch reaction fighting games here - it's literally any game - if it's not delayed movement it's weird blurring, so playing without game mode on is simply not viable.
 

thisisamul

Neo Member
Apr 20, 2015
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I have a JU6500 from Samsung. The input lag in game mode goes from like 120 to 25 ms.
When hooked up to a console i do not notice the difference. However, this tv is 4k and has a great 4k upscaler.
With the ps4 and xbox one i have, they only output 1080. When i load up the remaster skyrim. Sure, It looks great in game mode! However if i turn off game mode and let it upscale to 4l. It looks almost as good as the ps4 pro... if only it had the same draw distance.

tl:dr.
ju6500 looks great in game mode but the 4k upscaler is amazing for some singleplayer games.
Yeah - I'm actually surprised 1080p content looks so good on 4K televisions. Seems like they all do an excellent job at upscaling!
 
Aug 9, 2013
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Yeah, I don't use it because of the reduction of image quality. I had no idea it reduced lag, but since I've not been using it for all my life I guess I wouldn't know. Yeah, I'm not going to play on that ugly screen.
 

Klotera

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Sep 9, 2005
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Game mode does not mean the exact same thing on all TVs. Some TVs disable most post-processing, some only disable certain features. Hell, some even introduce post-processing. Some don't even actually disable anything, but simply provide recommended presets values.

In reality, a lot of good TVs actually have low enough latency in non-game modes that you can use them just fine without it.

For example, my Sony Xbr55x850b game mode defaults to off for "dynamic contrast" (i.e. automatic adjustment of the backlight based on on-screen content) and turns off any interpolated motion or reverse 3:2 pull down. Neither of these are things you would want with games anyway. I can change pretty much everything else and my picture quality (after calibration) is as good as any other source in other modes.
 

n0razi

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May 1, 2014
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Then what's the point of not using gmode all the time? Why does your tv even have a game mode?
You wont see a difference on a modern console which is sending a full uncompressed video feed. It affects mostly stuff like OTA or steaming video where noise reduction and edge enhancements can help clean up a low quality source.


If you go into settings and turn off all enhancements then thats pretty much the same thing. This is just does it all in one. Those enhancements dont improve an already uncompressed, high quality feed.



So all the people who say it does nothing are comparing game mode on and off while playing a high quality source (ps4, bluray, etc)... you will see a difference when you play low quality video sources.
 

Primethius

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Jan 20, 2008
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I've never had a reduction in image quality in game mode. If anything, I find the games look way better with all the extraneous features turned off as it's more truer to what the devs intended.

Luckily with my old Bravia, I didn't even have to tinker much with game mode to have it calibrate it properly. Just had to mess around with the color settings a bit, sharpening, brightness and contrast were already at proper levels.
 

MyleMan1010

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Nov 24, 2015
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You wont see a difference on a modern console which is sending a full uncompressed video feed. It affects mostly stuff like OTA or steaming video where noise reduction and edge enhancements can help clean up a low quality source.


If you go into settings and turn off all enhancements then thats pretty much the same thing. This is just does it all in one. Those enhancements dont improve an already uncompressed, high quality feed.
Bluray movies and cable TV can be noisy as well.
 

JudgmentJay

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Apr 22, 2014
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What about FALD sets? Does it disable the local area dimming?
Not in my experience, but I can only speak for Samsung's recent high-end TVs. Local dimming stays on on the JS9500 and KS9800 in game mode. I imagine the same is true for most TVs from recent years.
 

laxu

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Jan 10, 2013
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If you have a Samsung manually label the input to PC mode reduces lag even further.
Depends entirely on the model. The Samsung KS8000 actually has more lag in PC mode than it does using any other label and running Game mode. To me the label of the input affecting how it performs is such an idiotic feature. It should be just that, a label with a separate option for PC mode. In fact the KS8000 has that but labeling of the input still tends to force it to PC mode!

Marketers should not get near TV settings. All these HDR+ and whatever confusingly named image worseners are just so annoying.

At least on the KS8000 the image quality in game mode is still really good. My previous Panasonic plasma caused some minor image quality drop, not enough to matter in motion but still noticeable. What I don't understand is why color correction on some TVs is a feature turned off in game mode when on desktop monitors it is something that is always on yet those can still have a lot lower input lag than most TVs.
 

taybul

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Nov 17, 2012
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I was trying to play Super Mario Bros on NES on my raspberry pi and just discovered that my TV has a game mode, which made the game much more playable due to reduced input lag. Does SMB on the virtual console for the Wii have this same lag?
 

infinityBCRT

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Jun 2, 2008
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We literally had this thread a few months ago:

http://neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1280538

Conclusion the OP came to eventually (which is the right one) is that as long as your TV is calibrated, game mode should look no worse than any mode. It disables shitty processing, which you don't need because the image you are getting from your game console is already pristine.

Basically, most TV's have independent settings per input and per mode, and the difference probably just comes from the default settings for that mode being bunk for your tv. If you fix the settings it should look fine.

Depends entirely on the model. The Samsung KS8000 actually has more lag in PC mode than it does using any other label and running Game mode. To me the label of the input affecting how it performs is such an idiotic feature. It should be just that, a label with a separate option for PC mode. In fact the KS8000 has that but labeling of the input still tends to force it to PC mode!

Marketers should not get near TV settings. All these HDR+ and whatever confusingly named image worseners are just so annoying.

At least on the KS8000 the image quality in game mode is still really good. My previous Panasonic plasma caused some minor image quality drop, not enough to matter in motion but still noticeable. What I don't understand is why color correction on some TVs is a feature turned off in game mode when on desktop monitors it is something that is always on yet those can still have a lot lower input lag than most TVs.
The PC label makes it display in 4:4:4, because desktop PC's can look poor if it is not displaying in 4:4:4.... but yeah, TV's suck and explaining what they are actually doing, and they have way too many dumb options. If I made a TV, the only thing you'd be able to adjust would be the brightness. Everything else would just be optimized to display the best picture per device.
 

just-a-spaz

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Mar 16, 2014
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The reason I don't use game mode permanently is because game mode forces my TV into 60hz mode.

For watching Blu-rays, I want the TV to use 24hz mode so the picture doesn't judder from trying to convert 24fps in a 60hz refresh rate.

So yeah, I use game mode for gaming and I turn it off to watch movies correctly.
 

LukasTaves

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Dec 14, 2011
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I don't see how it would reduce IQ, it probably just give an untouched image, which in my book is preferred compared to those shitty filters/ motionWhatever anyway.
 

chrislowe

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Mar 19, 2009
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All these filters etc on modern tv:s are like the loudness button on old stereos.

I wish there was a tv that just put out on the screen what is being input.
Not adding loads of filters etc.

I actually use my Samsung 4K in game mode all the time. If not, all movies etc look like there is a wierd filter on them (and there is)
 

Deepo

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Jun 20, 2011
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One thing I hate about my LG C6 OLED is that turning on game mode inexplicably locks the color gamut to wide. Even after calibration, they don't look right like they do in ISF mode.

What's strange is that you can use normal color gamut in the newly patched HDR Game Mode.
This is driving me nuts. Might actually return it because of it. It's one issue on an otherwise fantastic TV, but it affects like 75% of my usage of the thing.
 

Vinterbird

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Nov 17, 2006
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Is there any actual difference between game mode, and just manually disabling all effects in Cinema Mode or whatever else the TV throws at you?

Game Mode is just a basic starting point I assume?
 

JudgmentJay

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Apr 22, 2014
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One thing I hate about my LG C6 OLED is that turning on game mode inexplicably locks the color gamut to wide. Even after calibration, they don't look right like they do in ISF mode.

What's strange is that you can use normal color gamut in the newly patched HDR Game Mode.
This is driving me nuts. Might actually return it because of it. It's one issue on an otherwise fantastic TV, but it affects like 75% of my usage of the thing.
Try changing the input icon to PC, setting the picture mode to ISF Day/Night, and disabling all the junk that should be disabled. With this setup on my C6, I notice no difference in input lag between game mode and ISF Day/Night. Rtings claims 51ms outside of game mode vs game mode's 34, but I don't believe that. 40ms tends to be the cutoff point for me where I start to notice, and as I said I can't perceive any difference. I tested by switching between the picture modes while moving my mouse around on my desktop which is where I feel input lag is most noticeable.
 

2n2

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Jun 9, 2004
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It's crazy that game mode is considered a feature by manufacturers when it's actually what the pure image should look like without all the crap post-processing. It should be the default.
 

JudgmentJay

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Apr 22, 2014
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It's crazy that game mode is considered a feature by manufacturers when it's actually what the pure image should look like without all the crap post-processing. It should be the default.
A reference-quality picture doesn't sell TVs in brightly-lit Best Buys though.
 

nkarafo

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Nov 30, 2012
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Game mode only makes input lag slightly less bad. I still use a CRT PC monitor and the difference is still night a day. I just can't get rid of the bulky thing because of this (works great for retro games).

Oh and for the motion resolution (no blurring during scrolling).
 

beril

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Aug 25, 2010
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It doesn't really worsen image quality; it preserves the image from horrible filters. I turn all that shit off even when not playing games
 

AlterOdin

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Jan 20, 2013
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I always thought about it like this:

When viewing videos the quality can be very uneven, compression, low res, etc. Here post-processing is an attempt to clean up some of these "short-comings. In other words if the video was sent in the raw high-res format you would not need post-prosessering.


As apposed to a typical 3D game, where there are no "compression" to speak of, you see the raw footage (no compression, w/res of choice) of your 3d rendering and the post-processing is not as useful (or useful at all?)

Can be talking out of my ass, just my 2cents.
 

Harmen

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Jul 24, 2014
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Not inage quality, but game mode on my older (1080p) Bravia looks like shit in comparison to other modes.
 

Espada

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Feb 26, 2007
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This is why you do research on your TV before buying it. I've heard some HDTVs lock certain options when you switch to Game Mode, but I haven't heard that being common for the past 3-4 years. As most people have said, Game Mode just disables most/all of the image processing shit that's causing severe input lag. Some TVs also have 1:1 pixel ratio scaling options for the image, special modes for use with PC video input, 4:4:4 support, etc...

It's that extra shit you should be concerned about once you have input lag as low as possible.
 

Shin Johnpv

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Nov 12, 2004
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I have a JU6500 from Samsung. The input lag in game mode goes from like 120 to 25 ms.
When hooked up to a console i do not notice the difference. However, this tv is 4k and has a great 4k upscaler.
With the ps4 and xbox one i have, they only output 1080. When i load up the remaster skyrim. Sure, It looks great in game mode! However if i turn off game mode and let it upscale to 4l. It looks almost as good as the ps4 pro... if only it had the same draw distance.

tl:dr.
ju6500 looks great in game mode but the 4k upscaler is amazing for some singleplayer games.
The tv is upscalling to 4k regardless of what mode you're in. These are fixed pixels displays, it needs to scale it to 4K to fill the tv regardless of the mode.
 

score01

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Dec 25, 2013
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Op, you are not going crazy. I have the same with my 2015 Sony Bravia. Game mode is a lot more blurry than general mode. I'm not just talking sharpening filter either. There are probably some settings in general mode that are switched off in game mode such as edge detection, noise reduction, true colour. I haven't messed about enough to figure it out yet but the difference in clarity of textures and world in something like the witcher3 convinced me to stick with general for the time being.

People gonna call me crazy but some of the picture processing makes the iq much better. Not the frame interpolation, true motion stuff though.