Today's HDTVs are packed with Smart TV suites, fancy picture processing, and other extras that add functionality and/or affect picture quality. For a serious gamer, none of that matters compared to the responsiveness of the TV, and often the extras just get in the way.
The culprit is input lag. That's the term for the delay, in milliseconds, between a TV receiving a signal and the results of that signal appearing on the screen. Those milliseconds are irrelevant for TV shows and movies, and they don't even matter for most games -- the majority of gamers probably wouldn't even notice if their TV was laggy. But if you're an attentive, skilled gamer, especially one who plays "twitch" games like Call of Duty, Halo, or fighting games, especially in online multiplayer environments, input lag can mean the difference between virtual life and death.
CNET just started testing for input lag, and so far we've corralled a handful of 2013 TVs. Here are five of our favorites so far, in ascending order of lag in Game mode -- or the least laggy picture mode, if Game isn't an option. For reference, we grade under 40ms of lag as Good, 40 to 70 as Average, and more than 70 as Poor.