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A question concerning lag in HDMI


toptenmaterial
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I'm running NES games through Retropie. In some games, the lag is unacceptable. I have a couple of questions. First, are there settings in the emulator itself that could reduce lag? Second, is it worth it to upgrade my 8 year old HD set for this purpose? I'm wondering how much lag is on the TV side, verses the inevitabilities of having digital everything (USB controller, etc).

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I would check first your TV settings. Some TVs actually have a game option you can turn on. Other things that can increase lag are factory overscan settings(even on LCD TVs). Mine actually had it turned on from factory. What this does it blow up the picture a bit to chop of the outer edge of the picture and thus increases time a bit to scale the image. They may call it something different on some TVs but you can play around until you find the setting.

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I would check first your TV settings. Some TVs actually have a game option you can turn on. Other things that can increase lag are factory overscan settings(even on LCD TVs). Mine actually had it turned on from factory. What this does it blow up the picture a bit to chop of the outer edge of the picture and thus increases time a bit to scale the image. They may call it something different on some TVs but you can play around until you find the setting.

Thanks. Mine doesn't have the game mode that is common these days but I can play around with it. It's an older set.

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Thanks. Mine doesn't have the game mode that is common these days but I can play around with it. It's an older set.

 

Disable all of the settings which involve computational resources (various kinds of signal processing). That's usually all a "game mode" option does anyway, is to let you disable all such stuff with one simple setting.

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I don't play many quick trigger finger action games, so I probably don't notice lag as much as some others do. My own personal lag overrode it back in the day, and it probably is no better now.

 

Don't most TVs though have a slower response rate than something like a gaming monitor? If your monitor has a response rate of 1-4ms, maybe that cuts down on it too. I do most console gaming on a monitor... even older stuff that uses the xrgb mini.

 

(disclaimer... I could be spouting of a bunch of nonsense of you want apples and I am giving oranges).

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I don't play many quick trigger finger action games, so I probably don't notice lag as much as some others do. My own personal lag overrode it back in the day, and it probably is no better now.

 

Don't most TVs though have a slower response rate than something like a gaming monitor? If your monitor has a response rate of 1-4ms, maybe that cuts down on it too. I do most console gaming on a monitor... even older stuff that uses the xrgb mini.

 

(disclaimer... I could be spouting of a bunch of nonsense of you want apples and I am giving oranges).

I think what you're saying is essentially true. Also I've never been quick on the draw myself. Often the display is the culprit; when I was emulating with the Wii, which uses RCA, I had to go back to a tube TV. However, Keatah told me that there can be considerable lag associated with USB controllers. Basically I'm trying to figure out whether or not to upgrade.

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Second, is it worth it to upgrade my 8 year old HD set for this purpose?

 

Yes. Your 8 year old TV is probably not that great and contributing to most of your headache, retropie also has a bit of lag. Those stacked together might be what you're experiencing.

 

If you're looking for new TV's in regards to lag: https://displaylag.com/best-low-input-lag-tvs-gaming-by-gamers/

 

rtings also tests TV's for lag

 

The TCL S405 series is very fast, and they're on sale since they'll be clearing out for the 2018 models.

https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/tcl/s-series-4k-2017-s405

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/tcl-49-class-48-5-diag--led-2160p-smart-4k-ultra-hd-tv-roku-tv/5878701.p?skuId=5878701

 

There might not be much you can do on the Pi end: https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Input-Lag

 

Personally, I find my Pi 3 with a fast TV (I have one of those 14ms TCLs) is just fine, but still a bit slower than a console+ossc or even the SNES classic for that matter.

Edited by keepdreamin
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I discovered a few interesting things on my 4k HDTV. When I have my Atari flashback 8 plugged in, there is a little bit of lag. When I switch the TV to game mode, the lag gets worse. When I plug in my laptop and play Atari via the Stella emulator (not in game mode) there is no lag and everything is perfect, especially because I can play homebrew games. So why the heck should I keep buying flashbacks that just are not up to gaming standard? I'm going to invest in a paddle adapter and say goodbye to the Flashbacks forever!

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Yes. Your 8 year old TV is probably not that great and contributing to most of your headache, retropie also has a bit of lag. Those stacked together might be what you're experiencing.

 

If you're looking for new TV's in regards to lag: https://displaylag.com/best-low-input-lag-tvs-gaming-by-gamers/

 

rtings also tests TV's for lag

 

The TCL S405 series is very fast, and they're on sale since they'll be clearing out for the 2018 models.

https://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/tcl/s-series-4k-2017-s405

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/tcl-49-class-48-5-diag--led-2160p-smart-4k-ultra-hd-tv-roku-tv/5878701.p?skuId=5878701

 

There might not be much you can do on the Pi end: https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/Input-Lag

 

Personally, I find my Pi 3 with a fast TV (I have one of those 14ms TCLs) is just fine, but still a bit slower than a console+ossc or even the SNES classic for that matter.

I ended up getting a Viewsonic monitor that rated very well for lag (and was very cheap). I'd love to snag one of those TCLs but they are slightly out of my price range. I left my older set, also a Viewsonic, in the laundry room of my building for someone to claim if they wish. As a special bonus my two year old has filled it up with coins!!

 

I tried looking the Pi up to my old CTR with a zune cable but the picture sucked. It's also not a great set.

 

Mostly, I do not notice any lag with the new monitor. Games like Super Castlevania feel as though they have an instant response time. But on some games there is... something. I know it's there, because some of these games I have been playing for ages and I know them to the bone.

 

That aspect of it must be on the Pi end.

 

Overall I am quite pleased!!!

 

If and when I get emulation running on my PC I'll check out 240suite.

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  • 1 month later...

Some weirdness to be aware of which I discovered on my Vizio 4K LCD.

 

Different HDMI ports may have different input lag. Weird, I know. I picked up my TV specifically because it had excellent input lag but I found out that it's only one HDMI input that has that minimal lag.

 

So it might be worth researching your particular TV to see if that's true, or even just switching around ports.

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