Input lag is an important term in the world of projector gaming. It is a word that relates to the gaming speed performance on projectors – the time between when the gaming system sends out its signal, to the time it is received by the projector, and is measured in milliseconds. The range of acceptable input lag speeds range from as high as 50ms (and a little bit above), to as low as 16ms.
50ms or a little above will be “acceptable” to all but the most hard core, high-speed gamers. We’re talking the competitive, first person shooter, career-gamer types. Some will begrudgingly admit that the display is fast enough around this speed, but no serious gamer is going to be truly happy with 50+ ms.
The next tier down is 33-40 ms, which we would consider to be pretty good. These speeds will be fine for all but the most aggressive gamers. My projector, the Epson Home Cinema 5040UB, performs well on graphics-heavy games, such as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (my current play) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (my husband’s current game). When he hops online to posse up, the gameplay is smooth – especially now that they updated online play from beta. If you didn’t get the beta version of online, trust me that the graphics and gameplay have significantly improved.
But back to input lag – my 5040UB is in and around 33ms, which is just over 1 frame behind on a 30 fps game, or 2 frames behind on a 60 fps game. That’s nothing to cry about unless you are, again, one of those career-gamers. If a projector measures in the 33-40ms range, consider it to be worthy of your short list (provided it meets your other needs) for casual gaming.
The best of the best measurements for input lag is in the 16-20ms range. Of course, 0 would be ideal, but it’s been years since we’ve reviewed any projector with less than a 16ms input lag. Manufacturers – if you’re reading this and have a projector you believe can end this sub-16ms-lag drought, send Art an email at email@example.com – I’m dying to get my hands on it for review!
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