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by Paul Sanders
It's getting better and better to be a video gamer. The latest video game consoles, combined with large HDTV displays and digital sound, can give you the most immersive playing experience possible. Choosing televisions that are fit for gaming is the first step in creating the ideal setup for your entertainment system. Here is a checklist for choosing a TV for gaming and getting the most out of your HDTV with the right components and accessories.
Go for 120 Hz or higher. Most plasma televisions and LCD TVs start with a screen refresh rate of 60 Hz, meaning they update the image 60 times a second. For most television and movie scenes, this is fine. But with fast-moving images in video games and action movies, motion blur can start to be distracting. You can reduce motion blur by having high-quality video sources, like the latest generation consoles and Blu-ray disc players, and by choosing a plasma or LCD television with a refresh rate of 120 Hz or higher.
Clarify motion with anti-judder technology. Another solution to motion-blur on high-definition televisions is anti-judder software. Different manufacturers have individual names for image-stabilizing software on their televisions. At various settings, a television with anti-judder will produce a crisper, more realistic picture.
Calibrate your television picture settings. Once you've chosen either an LCD or plasma TV, make sure you adjust the color, brightness, contrast and other settings. Test your favorite movies and games to get the deepest blacks and most stunning colors possible from your television.
Add the latest game consoles. The latest generation systems and games are designed to take full advantage of HDTV capabilities. If you're a computer gamer using your television as a monitor, make sure you have a video card with HDMI capability for a true high-definition display.
Make sure your cables support HD video. HDMI will transmit audio and video from your game console to your high-definition television with digital clarity. If you're still using old RCA cables or other standard-definition connectors, you're not seeing the full picture.
Connect surround sound for immersive game-play. Newer games are encoded for surround sound. Connect your new television and other devices to a true surround-sound system for a level of realism you've never experienced before.
Connect your system to the Internet. Many HDTVs feature Ethernet cables, or even wireless capability, to connect to your home network and the Internet. With your system connected to the Web, you can download firmware updates, stream video and play with friends online.