Surround Receivers

I’m a Gamer – Will Using an AV Receiver Increase Input Lag?

To a gamer, milliseconds are huge. When pressing the button, you want to see an immediate response on the screen. Any delay can be the difference between winning and losing. They won’t be using wireless headphones. They will be investing in the latest displays to take advantage of the newest gaming features. But one question remains: Can they use an AV receiver? If you are a gamer, and you want a full surround sound system, can you use an AV receiver or will it increase input lag? Let’s discuss!

An AV Receiver Doesn’t Have to Increase Input Lag

To start with, HDTV Test did a video that demonstrated that adding an AV receiver into the input chain doesn’t increase or even add any input lag. If you are a gamer who wants all the latest HDMI frame rate and low latency goodies, then you can use an AV receiver. But there are some caveats:

No Video Processing

If you want to game with an AV receiver, you can’t enable any video processing. The only way your AV receiver will add lag will be if you enable the video processing. You might be thinking that you weren’t planning on doing that anyhow.

You will not be able to see menus like this on your display.

Well, how do you feel about seeing the onscreen menu on your TV or a display of your volume? Many AV receivers require that you enable video processing to see that information on your display. Otherwise, you are forced to use the little display on the front of the receiver.

You may be thinking that you’ve outsmarted your AV receiver. See, your AV receiver will allow you to enable video processing without actually asking it to process anything. Many people do this simply to get the onscreen menus and displays to work. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to work if you are a gamer. Even if all you are doing is using the video processing to enable the onscreen readout, it will add lag.

Take Away

For a serious gamer, giving up an AV receiver’s onscreen menus and displays is a small price to pay for full surround sound and no increase in input lag. If you have other people in your life who want those displays and menus, you can disable video processing before each gaming session. If you are looking for an AV receiver to use for gaming, getting one with the latest HDMI 2.1 connections will be just fine for you.

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