Why modern HDTVs are ruining precision-based gameplay.

PaRappa the Rapper has always been a hard game, but now it may be harder than ever due to a common issue of display-latency in HDTVs.

The HDTV’s fatal flaw lies in its many filters: deep-blacks, vivid colors and high-resolutions may look fantastic, but the amount of post-processing power required to boost HDTV quality creates a complicated, lag-inducing system. Sometimes older technology is more reliable, such as the classic standard-definition cathode-ray tube (CRT) TV. Unlike the HDTV, CRT TVs were built with relative simplicity, requiring less processing, and suffering from little display-lag. Consumers are unlikely to notice HDTV latency while watching movies, but during music/rhythm and other precision-based games, players may experience a penalizing disparity between their input-accuracy and what’s noted on screen.

According to Edge, there are ways to minimize display latency on modern TVs, including using VGA cables instead of HDMIs, and by following this definitive online guide to HDTV lag.

Edge also noted that newer, capacitive touchscreen technology suffers from latency too:

[…] does anybody wonder why the 3DS and Wii U tablet didn’t follow the trend away from resistive touch screens in favour of the ubiquitous capacitive variety? Well, you may want to ask yourself why we haven’t seen any rhythm games of the quality of Inis’ DS masterpiece Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan! on iOS. Current capacitive touchscreens introduce around 100ms of lag – something which interestingly, only Microsoft seems determined to improve upon. This is why using the stylus provided with the Samsung Galaxy Note feels like such an alien experience – your sketch is always one step behind, like a shadow of your movements.

As technological advancement marches onward, it’s only a matter of time before latency in new displays becomes a non-issue, but for now, fighting and music game-lovers should be wary of “high definition.” It comes at a cost you may or may not be willing to spend.