As we and a number of other tech watchers had initially reported, LG’s 4K OLED and LCD TVs ended up suffering from a major flaw when it came to using them for 4K UHD console gaming with HDR enabled. Specifically, the company’s 2015 and 2016 4K HDR TV models couldn’t manage to deliver HDR with the low input lag they are generally capable of delivering in their Game Mode settings. Instead, gamers who wanted to enjoy the rich visual impact of high dynamic range while playing console games from the Xbox One S or the PlayStation 4 Pro were (and so far still remain) stuck with much slower, input lags of 50, 60 or even more milliseconds. For competitive gamers in particular, this is something of a minor disaster.
new 2016 game consoles like the PS4 Pro on the right offer HDR 4K gaming
Input lag is the time delay between when a TV receives instructions to change image data on its display and when it actually does this. Thus if you’re using a controller, the input lag is what dictates how quickly elements on a TV’s display change according to what you’re trying to do. In LG’s OLED and LCD TVs and especially in their 4K models with both display types, the input lag seriously bogs down if high dynamic range is enabled for gaming, to the point where gamers have set up not just one but two petitions to LG so far at the website change.org.
At first LG was rather evasive on this whole issue but now it seems that the gaming community’s complaints have been taken seriously and the company has confirmed that it will be rolling out a firmware update which is going to address the HDR lag problem in its select TV models.
According to a response submitted to Forbes display technology reporter John Archer, LG states that:
“LG Electronics has been made aware that some customers are experiencing lag on their displays when playing HDR games on LG TVs.
LG engineers are currently working on a firmware patch to address the issue which is expected to roll out shortly.
LG is also working on a solution for 2017 LG TV models which may include the option of an HDR gaming mode.
LG is committed to providing the highest standards of product quality and customer service.
As such, we regret any inconvenience this has caused our customers and confirm our commitment to resolving this issue as quickly as possible.”
As Archer himself points out, LG’s response was nicely timed to coincide with the current Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales event which is going on for all major retailers of electronics across the U.S and serves to (possibly) reassure many would-be buyers of this brand’s otherwise usually excellent or in the case of their OLED 4K TVs, downright superb ultra HD display technologies.
The HDR gaming problem applies even to older LG TVs without HDR display according to some readers
However, it is worth pointing out that LG’s response to their input lag problem is distinctly lacking in details and fails to mention whether an HDR gaming mode will be introduced to their TVs or if the HDR lag will simply be reduced in a more general sense. Another crucial piece of missing information is also the timeline for this badly needed firmware update. Will it come before the end of 2016 or can we expect it in early 2017?
We ourselves are no strangers to LG’s responsiveness to any criticism of their 4K TVs that the company feels is unwarranted, and as an upcoming piece of reporting on other LG 4K TV issues we’ve noted will show, LG can often respond in considerable detail when confronted with specific complaints about their 4K UHD TVs. In this case however, we definitely look forward to a better answer from the company as far as the HDR gaming problem of their TVs goes.
Samsung, Sony and Vizio’s 4K HDR TVs for 2016 have generally shown themselves to be much more adept at handling 4K gaming from a console with HDR enabled. Samsung in particular showed itself to be nicely ahead of the curve by delivering superbly low input lag in its TVs’ gaming mode with HDR and 4K resolution both enabled. This is something we’ve noticed in all Samsung 4K HDR TVs we’ve reviewed for 2016, while noticing it in only some of Sony 4K HDR TVs.
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