Home theater systems aren’t just for movie buffs anymore. Increasingly, serious gamers are building themselves respectable high-end entertainment systems for their favorite games—including the latest televisions and audio systems.
Just like any cinephile worth their salt, dedicated gamers are concerned with the picture quality of their set and the sound quality emanating from their speakers. But they also face another issue that many may not consider until they pick up their controller: input lag.
The term refers to the amount of time it takes for a television or projector to produce an image. Different sets, depending on their design, resolution and the quality of the input signal, may produce different levels of lag. As a recent article on CNET points out, this effect is generally rare for movie watchers to experience, apart from the occasional lip sync issues. But it can be much worse for gamers, who are relying on their control input to match up as closely with the image on screen as possible.
Think of it this way: when you’re blasting away at aliens or your undead creature of choice, and you get an enemy in your sights, you want that virtual gun of yours to go off right when you squeeze the trigger. Not a half-second later.
This effect can be even more pronounced when playing games online, when lag is not only determined only by your television set, but also by the strength of your internet connection.