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Angry gamers petition LG due to input lag problem in its 4K HDR OLED TVs

by on November 12, 2016
 

Stephan Jukic – November 12, 2016

Today’s TV gaming console market is literally saturated with high dynamic range. The Xbox One S, The PlayStation 4 Pro and even the older regular PlayStation (or at least its slightly updated new compact version) are all outputting new games in HDR and this of course is aside from the native 4K gameplay and 4K upscaling chops of the PS4 Pro and the Xbox One S (4K upscaling only). Thus, the gaming consumer crowd has plenty of reasons to be happy about what’s going on with today’s technology.

However, they’re not entirely happy, and with one particular combination of technologies, console gamers are so displeased that they’ve even gone ahead with an online petition against LG and its 2016 OLED 4K TVs due to the serious frustrations they claim to be experiencing with the input lag of these television models during gameplay. They want LG to fix the HDR input lag slowness that these particular TV models are giving and they want this done quickly. Considering how much LG’s 2016 OLED TV models retail for, it’s hard not to sympathize with these gamers frustrations.

playstation-4-pro-horizontal-product-shot-01-us-07sep16

For those of you who aren’t sure, input lag is the speed at which a TV renders picture changes after receiving instructions of any kind from its input devices. For example, if a gamer using a console and controller wants to move something or perform any activity that will change what’s on the screen, input lag is the time it takes for the TV display to respond. Obviously enough, a speedy input lag is crucial for effective gaming and especially important for competitive high-speed gaming with other players online.

The problem, at least with LG’s HDR OLED televisions (but likely also with some other TVs from other brands) is that the televisions in question apparently hadn’t been built with anticipation of HDR 4K gaming consoles coming out so soon in 2016. Thus, while these TVs, being HDR models, can handle HDR game signals, they can’t do so with the low input lag of their Gaming Mode activated at the same time. Thus, with HDR activated from both the console/game and TV display ends, only a punishingly high, non-gaming input lag is possible.

Users who play games via console usually look for an input lag of 30ms or less in gaming mode and for ideal game-play, input lags of 20 milliseconds or lower are the most ideal. In the case of LG’s OLED HDR TVs, the input lag during HDR gaming can’t be reduced to less than 50 or 60 milliseconds, sometimes even slower depending on exact TV models among the 2016 G6, E6, C6 and B6 4K OLED TVs. This is intolerable to the gamers in question and it might cost LG a lot of goodwill for its technology.

Even more frustrating to the gamers who trusted LG’s generally stunning OLED 4K TVs for the best possible visual experience in their 4K HDR gaming TV is the fact that their counterparts who chose Sony or Samsung 4K HDR TVs over LG models haven’t had to deal with this same problem. Both of these rival brands quickly introduced post-release firmware updates for all their major TVs to make them HDR-gaming compatible and thus offer competitively low input lag metrics. Samsung has even given its TVs a genuine HDR Game mode which decreases HDR gaming input lag down to just 25ms. Sony has done something similar quite recently and both companies TVs are highly usable for competitive console gaming in HDR.

Thus we now come down to the petition to LG itself. Posted up on Change.org by console owners who have LG OLED TVs, the petition is waiting for as many signatures as possible before being presented to LG Electronics as a firm directive from consumers that LG get its stuff together and respond to these people who had the good faith to spend thousands of dollars on their 4K OLED TVs. At the time of this writing, the Change.org petition had just under 1,300 signatures and its writers carefully describe the reason for their frustration while also actually mentioning Sony and Samsung in the superior quality of their response to the HDR console gaming issue:

“Loyal OLED owners, who have spent thousands of dollars on their top-of-the-line TVs, request that LG address [the HDR lag] issue as other competitors, such as Samsung and Sony, have already addressed it with firmware updates for their TVs.”

LG itself has to now answer the question of why it hasn’t yet readied its 4K OLED TVs for HDR gaming at a decent input lag and, more importantly, explain what it plans to do about the issue, or clarify the matter if the company simply can’t do much of anything at all for the time being.

LG's OLED HDR TVs also happen to offer stunning high dynamic range, making this issue all the more unfortunate.

LG’s OLED HDR TVs also happen to offer stunning high dynamic range, making this issue all the more unfortunate.

According to recent reporting from Forbes 4K tech writer John Archer, who approached LG about the HDR console issue, the company has been vague in its response and one of their somewhat canned responses was a bit too round-about to really address the specific petition demand. According to Archer, quoting LG:

“HDR gaming is undoubtedly going to become more popular with an increase in console and title sales. LG are fully committed to delivering a wide range of HDR formats and choice throughout its OLED TV & LED TV ranges, and will continue to improve picture quality across all forms of content i.e. OTT, IPTV, Satellite and gaming consoles.”

Archer also found a a message from LG customer services for n owner of one of the company’s OLED TVs which indicates that the company hasn’t applied their own version of an HDR gaming update simply because they can’t for this year’s OLED TVs. Apparently, in the case of the 2016 OLED 4K models, improving the input lag in HDR gaming would require hardware updates instead of just a change to internal software. This is speculative of course but LG’s lack of responsiveness on this issue has indeed been unusual.

All of this is a real shame especially because, as we’ve covered on 4K.com, LG’s OLED TVs offer some of the best display technology there is to be found among all 2015 and 2016 4K UHD TVs, and their gaming chops are also generally very good in other ways because of this and the superb motion control specs of these TVs.

Story by 4k.com

21 comments
 
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  • Ben Ballard
    November 14, 2016 at 4:36 am

    Caveat Emptor!!!!

    This a case of not having all your information to hand before you buy your goods, OR, not asking the right questions at the point of purchase, OR, the sales person NOT asking all the relevant and pertinent questions when purchasing a new TV. Because of this, people have thrown all of their toys out of the pram instead of checking up on every single detail. There IS information out there regarding lag input times, IF, you could be bothered to do your research properly before jumping on the OLED must have bandwagon.

    Moral of the story? Use the Internet for what it’s intended for… information dissemination.

    Reply

    • Steve Dixon
      November 14, 2016 at 9:16 am

      No it’s not. HDR gaming didn’t even exist at the time these TV sets launched. There is currently only one site that has HDR gaming lag times and those were only published a couple of months ago. These set launched back in April. Regardless rival Sony and Samsung have been able to implement the same feature.

      Reply

      • Roger
        February 10, 2017 at 3:08 am

        input lag has nothing to do with gaming or not gaming.. the delay the display has is the same whatever you do on the TV – just as you play is when it’s critical – so it can (and has) been known what input lag is long before it was used for gaming..

        Reply

        • Prizm
          April 16, 2017 at 7:02 am

          “the delay the display has is the same whatever you do on the TV”
          No it’s not… that’s why TVs have game modes, where they switch off all the post-processing BS in order to refresh the screen as close to real-time as possible.

          Reply

  • Romey Moore
    November 14, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    True, but conversely OLED’s has some of, if not the best “possible” refresh rate. Somewhere around .001ms. If true, it has a reaction time of a millionth of a second. So to buy a set with a refresh rate of under a thousanths of a second and find out that it has a lag that feels like half a second: its unexpected – to say the least. Where did they go wrong to add so much lag to a panel that is capable of the best possible reaction times? This is why I understand the petition. Even though reallife teaches you better, when buying “slightly debatably” the best premium tv set offered, you dont expect it to be lacking exactly where it has the best potential performance. Something may have been overlooked. Hope that they get it fixed and bring it up to its potential.

    Reply

    • Trevor foxall
      March 15, 2017 at 6:37 am

      Regardless of refresh rate or pixel response, input lag comes from the tv’s processor having to process the image with effects like hdr or motion smoothing or any other picture enhancement​. Thats why when you select game mode on a Tv it turns off all processing resulting in a lesser quality or RAW signal and as a result a lower input lag as the tv has less to do before it can display an image.

      Reply

  • Coffeetron
    November 15, 2016 at 5:38 am

    There is not enough information concerning the input lag. There is some limited information about some models.

    4k is a disaster and Samsung is the only option for customers who play game consoles(most customers), but I am not sure if even Samsung TV’s can play 4k fast enough, let alone HDR.

    Vain resolution is harmful.

    Reply

    • Ben Ballard
      November 16, 2016 at 3:31 am

      I’m sorry but that is complete twaddle. I did a Google search on “lg OLED55E6V lag times” and got a return of “About 3,900 results (0.56 seconds)”.

      First site I clicked on and did a Ctrl + F search of “Lag” got me the result of 34ms, which in no way is even good enough to game on.
      Second site I clicked on and did a Ctrl + F search on “Lag” got me the same OLED55E6V result back, PLUS further down the page were multiple TV models from multiple TV manufacturers with the Lag times CLEARLY stated for you to read……

      Reply

      • Michael Angst
        November 16, 2016 at 10:22 am

        You’re talking about it now. What about the people who bought the tv’s when they first came out when hdr gaming was not tested. Stop being ignorant and supporting companies not caring about their consumers. Sony and Samsung fixed the input lag for hdr on theirs so Lg should be able to.

        Reply

        • ADRIAN
          February 2, 2017 at 8:56 am

          Lg advertises HDR on a lot of new 4k tvs. What is HDR used for? Gaming for one thing. So why advertise it if it is broken? I connect my console to regular mode, non hdr, and the lag is hardly noticable. On hdr it feels lie a Second! Fix this lg my tv is the 49uh6030…

          Reply

          • Mike S.
            March 6, 2017 at 6:21 am

            HDR only works for this TV if the game supports it. I got Horizon Zero Dawn last week and the HDR setting automatically comes up. This also works for FFXV and Uncharted 4. I believe the setting is on the base PS4 somewhere in the video output settings to where you can have HDR set up automatically.

            If the game doesn’t support it, it won’t come up on this TV. I do notice some slight lag when turning the camera around in my games. When walking/running a character in a straight direction, it works fine. Not sure if this TV needs a fix or that’s just the way it is on this TV.


          • Mike S.
            March 6, 2017 at 9:09 am

            I did some research. Turns out there’s a software update for HDR game mode for the LG 49UH6030 – http://www.lg.com/us/support-product/lg-49UH6030

            My TV didn’t auto update, so it’s possible that the problem is resolved with the framerate pacing issue. I’m using a PS4 base model, so hoping that applies to it also.


  • Alex S
    November 15, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I’m sure the 2017 models will be much much better when it comes to motion handling and lag time. They didn’t expect HDR with gaming to go mainstream so fast. This is one of the reasons (along with waiting for the 4K alliance standards to get agreed upon which was around June time) I already planned on getting a 2017 model. I told a few friends of mine to wait until 2017 so the newer models would be that much more future proof.

    Reply

  • Nelson
    November 15, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Now I’m really glad I held off on buying that LG OLED. Thanks for the info!

    Reply

  • STEddy7
    November 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    I own an LG 55EG9200 (4K HDR OLED) from 2015, and I have absolutely no issues with input lag on my PS4 Pro. Absolutely stunning picture too.

    Reply

  • Steve
    November 18, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    LOL. Sony’s TVs have way more input lag than LG’s OLED range, but are praised for releasing firmware updates and having “competitively low input lag metrics”.

    The Sony X850D had 90-100ms of input lag in HDR mode before the latest firmware update dropped it to 58ms.

    The LG B6 drifts between 38.2-54.5ms of lag. It is lower across the board.

    No question Samsung are killing it with input lag in the 20s but the LG is no worse than some of the other products being praised in this very article!

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      November 18, 2016 at 6:22 pm

      Hello Stve, this is actually true to some extent, Some of the Sony models do deliver high, 50ms or higher input lag for HDR 4K gaming. Oddly, it seems to apply more to the pricier X850D, X930D and X940D models, while the cheaper X800D and X700D models offer very decent 4K HDR input lag at 32ms. However the point remains, at least some of the Sony TVs can handle HDR at low lag, while LG’s OLED models uniformly fail to do so becuse of said hardware problem.

      Reply

  • Aaron
    December 13, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    what about the LGB6!!!!!! I am about ready to return mine.

    Reply

    • Stephen
      Stephen
      December 14, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Hello Aaron, as far as we’re aware, all of the 2016 OLED TVs will be or are already getting the firmware update for HDR gaming support in low input lag. Try to update your model and see if it works.

      Reply

  • RLW
    January 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

    What difference did the update make on the lag? Just curious. I see the LG site shows 4.30.29 as addressing the issue and now they have moved on to 4.30.95.

    Reply

  • Filipe Miranda
    February 14, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Same thing happening with the Sony 2015 and 2016 TVs (specially 930D/940D) – help us make Sony stop ignoring their customers: https://www.change.org/p/sony-sony-improve-the-input-lag-for-4k-hdr-on-2015-2016-bravia-tvs-so-we-can-use-it-for-games

    Reply

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