Whether you’re gaming on a console or a PC, there’s no arguing that a good gaming TV is essential in providing an enjoyable overall experience.
With consoles nearing PC-like performance, competitive first-person shooters and demanding triple-A titles have been progressively easier to run. Next-gen consoles like the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 feature significant performance gains over their predecessors, which can only mean one thing: max graphics!
And what better way to enjoy what these games have to offer than having a reliable and high-quality 32″ gaming TV to display it all. And that’s what we’re trying to get at here – to hook you up with a bang for the buck solution so you have enough dough to spare for extra games.
We’ve focused on the 32-inch department, as it provides a sweet spot for that optimal price-to-performance ratio, as well as a screen area that doesn’t overwhelm the senses. Smaller screens are often better for gaming.
This particular screen size will limit the features as opposed to larger models, but performance difference will be minimal at best. So, let’s discuss the factors that one should consider before jumping the gun.
32-Inch Gaming TV Buyers Guide
A game’s image quality is decided by various factors such as resolution, HDR, response time, and refresh rate. Resolution refers to the maximum amount of pixels a screen can display. 4K has been all the rave in the past few years, as the technological envelope keeps being pushed to meet this display standard. But do you really need a 4K capable TV?
For starters, only the current latest consoles like the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro, as well as high-end PCs are capable of “true” 4K gaming. Older consoles and lower-end rigs are either stuck with the standard 1080p resolution or rely on upscaling to output a “pseudo” 4K resolution. Take your current setup into consideration when shopping for a gaming TV, as you might underutilize or come short with your system’s graphics performance.
Another thing to look out for is High Dynamic Range (HDR) support, which is slowly gaining traction as more lighting details are being added to modern titles. HDR technology outputs images in a wider light range – think of this as the technology trying to virtually replicate how we see the real world with our eyes. This guarantees vivid colors, contrasts, and deeper blacks – which can work great with cinematic games.
Response time refers to the speed in which one pixel can go from inactive (black) to active (white) to inactive. The faster this is (measured in milliseconds), the less likely it is for ghosting to occur, which smudges the screen in high-speed movement scenes.
Finally, the refresh rate is a display’s ability to refresh an image at a time, in which the usual standard is 60 Hz. In perspective, we are used to watching movies at 24 frames per second, which gives it that cinematic effect. For games that can run at 60 fps, everything is evidently smoother and transitions are more fluid.
One can take advantage of this silky-smooth gaming experience with a 60 Hz-capable TV, but some are capable of up to 120 Hz – though keep in mind that this is the refresh rate cap for 4K TVs. As stated earlier, ensure that your hardware is capable of pushing images in the refresh rates to take advantage of the feature.
Another factor that gamers should consider when shopping for a TV is its input lag. Basically, this is the amount of delay from when you press a button on your controller or keyboard, to when that input is translated into action on the screen. In the past, TVs were a big turn-off for gamers as input lag figures were just detestable – some hitting 50 ms.
Luckily, TVs today have lower input lag numbers, with some even having a “Game Mode” option that lets the display bypass some image processes to reduce the delay. While sandbox games don’t really suffer as much if a TV has relatively high input lag, first-person shooters are another story. Relying on reflexes to land that winning headshot, high input lag spells a disaster for these titles, so take the games you play into account before settling onto a particular TV.
It is imperative to get a TV with low input lag if you want a decent gaming experience. Luckily, most modern TVs boast this feature, so you won’t have to worry much.
While display technology has been progressing at an impressive rate, consoles are still using HDMI whereas PCs are already utilizing DisplayPort as a high-quality media standard. It is important to take note of your hardware’s media output ports when buying a TV.
If you are planning to do a surround sound setup, ensure that the TV also has the necessary output/s for the specific application. This, of course, depends if you want to run audio from your TV instead of your console or PC due to certain hardware or software restrictions.
Of course, considering where to put your new TV will be an important factor in setting up the whole gaming mood. Since we are sticking with 32-inch TVs for this guide, you might need more space than what you would normally require for, say, a gaming monitor. You also have to take into account where your console/PC is going to sit, or if it is in the way of a direct light source – which may affect image quality as well.
If you don’t have enough platform space to put your TV on, a wall-mounted configuration might be the way to go. Ensure that the unit you will be purchasing has wall mounting support, or you might end up with more expenses by getting a new desk just for it. Also, consider how to tidy up your wires, so you won’t be hassled every time you need to connect or remove cables. Cable management solutions are aplenty, however, providing you the convenience and keeping your whole entertainment/gaming area neat.
That being addressed, let’s get started with the rundown of the best 32-inch TVs for gaming, shall we?
The Best 32-Inch Gaming TVs 2020
One can never go wrong with choosing a Samsung unit, especially the QN32Q50RAFXZA. This 32-inch OLED display packs impressive 4K capabilities which is ideal if your hardware can push 60 frames per second at the said resolution. Wouldn’t want to miss out on the buttery-smooth gaming experience, right?
Apart from that, the TV has a relatively low response time – about 5 ms – so you won’t have to worry about ghosting from occurring. Input lag is very low as well, allowing you to execute super-accurate quickscopes, which depend largely on your reflexes to pull off.
It supports HDR technology as well, which is decent for use in either bright or dark rooms/setups but doesn’t hold quite well in comparison to pricier units – only offering a slight boost in terms of contrast versus SDR quality. As this TV has a VA panel, consider positioning it directly in front of you when you play, as its measly 20° viewing angles might be annoying to deal with when poorly positioned. That being said, it still performs better than most units in its price range.
It has 3 HDMI ports – plenty enough for your console or PC’s output requirements – along with USB, audio, and other wireless connectivity options. All things considered, the Samsung QN32Q50RAFXZA is a great choice for your gaming needs, with its 4K capability being the main selling point to look at.
One of the highly-sought out gaming TVs of late is the Vizio D32X-D1. Not only does it come at an affordable price, but it packs great quality and performance for a lesser-known brand as well. It packs a 1080p resolution screen which is more than enough for most gaming needs.
Image quality is rich and vivid, bringing out the colors of your game and allowing certain elements to stand out on dark backgrounds – useful for spotting enemies or locating secluded locations and items in games. It also has good contrast between light and dark colors, with the ability to reproduce deeper blacks versus conventional offerings. This is possible due to the combination of the high native contrast ratio, full-array backlighting, and the utilization of local dimming zones.
The response time is slightly higher in relation to other models, but even at 11 ms, ghosting is hardly noticeable. If you play competitive titles or esports games, you might want to go for a TV with a lower response time just to ensure a smooth experience, but for casual gaming and triple-A titles, this TV works just fine. You are also treated with a low input lag figure, which makes your controller or keyboard/mouse input as seamless as possible.
It sports 2 HDMI ports, which is handy if you have both console and PC setups, and a generous amount of audio in/outs (digital and analog), a USB slot, and even Ethernet connectivity. Furthermore, its slim and minimal footprint allows you to mount it on a crowded table or platform just fine.
Seems like Samsiung is on a roll here – and we can’t argue with that, as the brand just delivers top-notch performance that established their reputation in consumer electronics. The Samsung 32″ The Frame QLED 4K is another offering from the electronic giant that adds an artsy touch to its capable package, with a frame-like bezel that mimics a painting aesthetic, especially when mounted to a wall.
The 4K tag on its name is partly true, due to it being an upscaled version instead of native 4K. The TV operates at 1080p, which isn’t too bad itself, and can be enhanced with the aforementioned AI upscaling technology. Image quality is top-notch as usual, with HDR capabilities flexing its muscles by giving games vibrant colors and improved contrast, providing richer hues and deeper blacks for better performance in either dark or bright environments.
As for gaming performance, this 32-inch TV has a fast response time to minimize any kind of ghosting that may occur in high-speed movements and transitions to lessen strain on the eyes. Apart from that, it’s low input lag is sure to give you the best in-game reflexes by keeping the delay between your controller input and in-game actions super low. Not impressed yet? Activating Game mode further lowers its input lag, making it a viable choice if you play first-person shooters above anything else.
It still houses the standard 60 Hz refresh rate, which is more than enough for any kind of game, giving you that buttery-smooth fluidity while hunting those monsters or exploring environments. For connectivity, it has 2 HDMI ports, which is plenty enough if you’re running a console and a PC into the TV at the same time. There are also USB ports, audio ports, and wireless connection options for wifi and Bluetooth use. If you intend to do more than gaming, this smart TV has more to offer for your multimedia applications.
Another contender in the budget department is the Vizio D32F-G D-Series, which is an updated version of the Vizio model above. While it retains the 1080p standard, it comes with an improved build quality, added Smart TV features, and overall performance. As such, it isn’t a surprise why it performs admirably as a gaming solution as well.
The TV holds well in terms of image quality despite the lack of HDR support, as its native contrast ratio is higher than most conventional offerings. This works together with the full-array LED backlight to bring out vibrant colors while keeping blacks deeper, allowing for that noticeable contrast and making details pop out more from the background. This is especially helpful if you’re spotting enemies over long distances on first-person shooters, or to further enhance in-game environments on triple-A titles.
Response time is slightly faster than the previous model, which means an even lower chance of ghosting to occur. This reduces the eye strain that may otherwise worsen when ghosting makes fast-paced scenes and animations blurry. Input lag is fairly low as well, so go ahead and try your competitive shooters and esports titles without worrying about losing that split-second edge in landing headshots or casting spells – as your button presses are converted into on-screen action in almost real-time efficiency.
You get two HDMI ports, various audiovisual connection options, and a USB port – the standard configuration you need to get your gaming crib up and running in no time. It also sports the usual Smart TV features as well, allowing you to use it as a multimedia entertainment device when not gaming.
Another entry from the reputable brand, the Samsung UN32N5300 doesn’t pull punches if you have enough leeway in your budget. This 32-inch beauty is another full HD 1080p display, which is significantly lower than the previous 4K Samsung suggestion but is more than capable of delivering a decent experience, especially if you aren’t too touchy with high-resolution gaming.
The TV offers an impressive image quality for its category, thanks to its IPS panel which provides more accurate color reproduction, and the combination of HDR technology and direct LED backlighting that brings out the contrast between light and dark colors, providing more vivid hues and deeper blacks. This makes it perfect if you want to run AAA titles or sandbox games, as you can appreciate the scenery more with the enhanced contrast, but can work well with competitive esports games as well, thanks to its smooth 60 Hz refresh rate.
The IPS panel also provides better viewing angles – at 178° in both horizontal and vertical perspective – than other variants like TN or VA, making it great if you plan to mount the TV at an angle. It has a low response time of 6 ms as well, minimizing the occurrence of image ghosting, which can be rather annoying during high-speed movements or animations. To further amp up the whole experience, its amazing low input latency provides a snappy keypress register to give you that edge in competitive titles.
It has 2 HDMI ports, a web browser, and various Smart TV functions as well – making it a great all-rounder if you don’t intend to game full time on it.
Are you looking for a capable TV that can keep up with the high-stakes demands of competitive first-person shooters or esports titles? Maximize your console or PC’s performance by pairing it with the TCL 32S327 Roku Smart TV. This particular unit is capable of 1080p gaming, but that’s not the highlight of the show.
What this TV has that makes it appealing for competitive games is its amazing 120 Hz refresh rate. This is double the normal 60 Hz standard seen on most TVs. As long as your hardware can consistently push the frames needed, you can enjoy silky-smooth fluidity on your screen, which can give you the edge over competitors using 60 Hz displays.
As far as image quality goes, the TCL 32S327 boasts its proprietary True Color technology, which makes use of the high native contrast ratio to allow colors to be more vibrant while giving dark shades a deeper hue. Its direct LED backlighting also improves the contrast between light and dark colors, making in-game environments stand out with detail without the need for HDR technology.
Response time is at 6.5 ms, which is already commendable for a TV, as most were plagued with double-digit figures in the past. This allows for minimal ghosting during high-speed motions and movements. Its low input lag also makes the gaming experience snappy and fluid, allowing you to land those flick shots with deadly precision.
If you don’t care about brands and just want something to grab and game on, the Eboxer 32 Inch Curved TV might be for you. It comes at an affordable price point, which might be due to it being an OEM rebrand. Nonetheless, it comes at a non-standard resolution of 1920×1200, which is slightly above 1080p in terms of vertical pixel density with an aspect ratio of 16:10. This gives you a modest bump in display area for improved field of view in games.
You can even bump things up to 4K, albeit artificially, as this TV can upscale its native resolution to 4K. Obviously, it will not have the same level of detail as that of native 4K, but it’s worth the shot if you want something similar to the real 4K experience. As for image quality, it isn’t the best out there as color reproduction is somewhat washed-out, and the distinction between light and darker hues aren’t that pronounced. It still has fairly decent brightness though, so you won’t have to worry about placing it in either bright or dark environments.
As per usual, response time is fairly decent, with minimal amounts of ghosting – if noticeable at all. Input lag is low as well, giving you that almost real-time feedback from the moment you press the button to it being translated as an action on the screen.
You only get a single HDMI port though, which limits you to one console/PC connection, but has a fair share of media connectivity and wireless options. It even has a VGA port for older consoles or PCs, giving it that retro capability in case you want to pop some classics onto it. You get what you pay for with the Eboxer 32 Inch Curved TV, but it’s honestly great value for the money to pass out on.
While most people shy away from lesser known brands, it is no secret that technology has been keeping up to provide consumers with the best products possible. While relatively unknown, the GPX TDE3274BP LED TV is a great gaming option for those on a tight budget.
To keep production costs down, this particular model has settled for 1080p resolution, which is already a decent platform for casual gamers and hardcore enthusiasts alike. Aside from being a good match to the 32 inch screen, this specific resolution also makes games easier to run on older consoles and hardware, pushing out consistent frames to match the 60 Hz refresh rate on this display. This means a smooth and seamless experience with no stutter whatsoever, allowing you to stay on top of your game in crucial win-lose moments.
While not equipped with HDR support, this TV provides a decent image quality especially for its price bracket. The native contrast ratio is quite impressive, allowing colors to be more vivid, gives light and dark hues a notable distinction in relation with each other, and provide deeper blacks, but be wary when playing in environments that are a tad too dark or bright, as it may affect image quality. While not on the level of pricier and well-known brand units, the GPX TDE3274BP holds well for use on casual and competitive titles if you don’t care too much about getting that accurate level of in-game detail.
Its low response time is great for fast transitions or high-speed movements as it minimizes the ghosting or blurriness from occurring, allowing you to appreciate adrenaline-laced chases in full glory. The low input lag also makes it viable as a first-person shooter display, giving you the advantage to land accurate shots with virtually-nonexistent delay.
While not a Smart TV, the GPX TDE3274BP provides a generous allotment for connectivity, with 2 HDMI ports (if you plan to run multiple consoles), data inputs such as USB, as well as analog and digital audio/video ports. It also has a built-in DVD player, and the center stand swivels for easier adjustment.
Some 32″ Monitors to Consider…
Monitors are arguably more suited to gaming than TVs are. With that in mind, we’ve decided to throw in a couple of 32-inch monitors to consider – if you weren’t 100% decided on getting a TV.
If you want true 4K “balls to the wall” gaming, the Acer Predator XB321HK is an excellent unit to consider. Hailing from the gaming-oriented sub-brand of Acer, this monster of a monitor puts other 32 inch offerings to shame by packing UHD 4K capabilities at 60 Hz of refresh power. Imagine soaking all that ultra high-definition detail in a silky-smooth fashion. Sublime.
This monitor doesn’t come cheap, though, but considering the potential buyer’s premium gaming hardware to match it, this won’t be an issue at all.
This monitor boasts an IPS panel, which provides optimal viewing angles no matter the screen position, making it a great choice for those who want to laze casually on their couch or bed while gaming. Speaking of positioning, it features a tilt and height adjustment function on the monitor stand to get you that perfect angle to gawk at.
Image quality is nothing short of spectacular, as the Acer Predator XB321HK’s aforementioned IPS panel does wonders in terms of color reproduction, providing vivid hues and distinct contrasts between dark and light colors. It doesn’t come with HDR support though, but seeing the unit’s impressive display capabilities in the flesh, it’s probably for the better. This makes it perfect for sandbox games and triple-A titles that sport massive amounts of detail in their in-game environments, giving justice to the tiniest blade of grass or ripple on water with its lifelike level of visual reproduction.
Response time clocks in at an amazing 4 ms, minimizing the occurrence of ghosting, if any, at all. This provides for a more enjoyable and consistent visual experience, which can be ruined by blurring – which is notable during high-speed movements and transitions on monitors with longer response times – and can induce eye strain and even headaches. Get competitive all you want, as the monitor’s extremely low input lag makes it perfect for first-person shooters – so you won’t have to worry about anything but your own reflexes to land that winning headshot.
It has one HDMI port and a DisplayPort for video input, some USB ports for data purposes, and built-in speakers to make up for its lack of multimedia ports, although you’d want to plug in directly to your console or device for the best sound possible. It also hosts G-Sync technology (anti-screen tearing tech), which is advantageous for PC owners who have an Nvidia graphics card in their system.
If you fancy getting a curved monitor – either for an improved field of view, a multiple monitor setup, or you just think that curves are sexy – the Samsung CJG56 Curved Monitor is your best bet. This budget-friendly gaming solution is capable of WQHD 2K resolution. While not up to the power-hungry 4K standard, this monitor can still dish out a great deal of detail without putting much strain on your hardware – and wallet.
Sporting a VA panel, the Samsung CJG56 boasts decent viewing angles for those who want to prop themselves casually on the sofa or bed, while providing an amazing level of color reproduction. Again, no HDR here, but who needs HDR when the high native contrast ratio can already provide vibrant colors, deep blacks, and bright whites effectively? This equates to better color rendering, bringing out obscure details from in-game environments – which is important in battle royale games as it allows you to to spot enemies from afar with ease.
It comes with a 144 Hz refresh rate, which is more than double of the standard 60 Hz setting. If you think 60 Hz gaming is already amazing, wait till you experience the 144 Hz bump. In-game movements are extra fluid and seamless, making it a viable competitive shooting solution as the monitor now acts as an extension of your reflexes, giving you the ability to perform flick shots with ease.
Response time is at 4 ms, which is already fast enough to minimize or completely eliminate any kind of ghosting – making high-speed movements and actions blur-free – so you can say goodbye to eye strain and headaches! Input lag is almost non-existent as well, providing you a competitive edge over your enemies in first-person shooters.
It has 2 HDMI ports and a DisplayPort, along with a lonesome headphone jack, so plugging directly into your console or PC for audio might be the best course of action. It also supports AMD’s Freesync technology (counterpart to Nvidia’s G-sync), which you can utilize to prevent screen tearing if you have an AMD/Radeon graphics card.