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