Best Input Lag Solution for Tournament Organizer

Hey everybody,

I’m a tournament organizer and was hoping to get some feedback from the community regarding an idea that’s been floating around in my head. Unless you’re EVO it’s simply impossible to go out and buy/get sponsored by an HDTV provider that has no input lag.

As such we are always asking members of the community to let us borrow their televisions and xboxes for any event we run. Unfortunately as a result some members of the community complain about input lag during the event. It’s extremely frustrating and we’re trying to explore what solutions are possible when you are forced to borrow tvs because we simply don’t have the funding to purchase 20+ “lagless” televisions.

One thing that I saw was the mention of connecting the XBox to the VGA input on the HDTV and that this would reduce/eliminate the input lag. A quick search found the cables for around $10 each - buying 20 of these while expensive is a hell of a lot cheaper and more reasonable than 20 TVs.

I also was looking for the best and quickest option to test the lag on a TV. In the same thread it was mentioned that Rock Band 2 had an auto-calibration test that required no input from the user and immediately told you how much lag the TV had.

Have any of you tried either of the above and if so how effective are they? Any other suggestions for a tournament organizer would be great.

Have you considered using non-HD TV’s?

$6 each for 20 units saves some monies at least.

That fix is assuming none of the TVs have post-processing on VGA, obviously.

Be incredibly careful with 3rd party VGA cables for the 360. most of them are not properly shielded and have horrendous ghosting. Buy one of those cables to test before you go buying 20.

Part of the problem here is you get what you paid for.

Also don’t go for HDTVs, go for Computer monitors that accept HDMI input as they lack the post image processing a HDTV has. Even Monitors that have DVI input or VGA input will work. (there are plenty of DVI to HDMI adapters).
Issue is that most HDTVs are made for over the air, cable or DVD/Bluray viewing where such lag is not noticeable, video games was not factored in many HDTV designs.

As for Evo, Sony provided the PS3 units and I am sure one of the big corporate sponsors paid for the ASUS VH236Hmonitors that Evo uses.

You might want to look into getting more funds, or even some sponsors, even smaller time retail shops have them sponsor the tournament, in exchange they get advertisement and good PR.[URL=‘’]

Unfortunately this doesn’t really work well either. We use the ones we have but that’s only about 5 total. AKA: Not enough. I’m not going to lie either… there’s a 32" CRT TV sitting in my living room (on its way to the trash) that I don’t use for tournaments… you need 2 people MINIMUM to lift the thing and even then you better pray you don’t have to move it very far and have an SUV on hand to actually transport it. The only CRT TVs that we use for the tournaments are small ones that aren’t too much of a hassle… and I threw my back out for a week moving one of those during the last tournament. :frowning: Of course then you have the problem of spectators not being able to see the match when they’re crowded around a tiny TV. (Yup - complaints when it’s a nice big HDTV and complaints when it’s a lagless small CRT. I guess we should bring a 47" CRT TV? lol)

Compared to my super slim LED 32" HDTV that I can carry with one hand… Going 100% CRT is easy to say… but not so easy to actually get the TVs… and believe me - you stop caring about the players complaining about input lag REAL FAST when you have to actually carry the thing yourself.

Darksakul - Getting more funds to buy 20 TVs isn’t a solution sorry. :frowning: We’ve got our small group of sponsors (Managed to give away amazing custom made sticks in addition to the prize money to the winners) but currently are lacking a TV/Monitor provider. Don’t get me wrong we’ll keep looking but getting one would be like winning the lottery. Most of our funds go towards renting the place for 2 days in order to host the event along with the 8 million other minor expenses. (Renting chairs, tables, getting internet installed/setup, printing out various signs/posters/flyers, getting paper bracelets made to track the people who’ve paid etc, etc) We’re really happy in that the last event we ran we broke even. We never make any money doing this and we have to put up all the capital for it ourselves assuming all the risk with no reward. Suffice it to say that money is tight and the budget for dealing with input lag is… limited.

Is the general consensus though that “official” Xbox 360 VGA cables would at least help? I may order one and do some tests. If Rock Band 2 isn’t an acceptable way to test input lag could somebody link me to a thread that shows the next easiest way to do it?

Depends on the monitor. Some monitors do not apply post processing on a VGA signal, some do.

  1. Evo monitors go on sale for about $120 or less fairly often. Use tournament fees to help pay for this (equipment fees).
  2. CRTs can be found on craigslist for free/cheap easily.

FWIW, the Evo monitors aren’t lagless, and people love to complain about stuff (even stuff that isn’t true.) Also, CRTs
are pretty great as space heaters. Depending on where you are, that can be a benefit or drawback.

Regardless, you’re never going to have perfect set-ups for everyone. Instead, specify what kind of platform(s)
the tourney will have, and let the players cope.


I got one and can confirm that there is ghosting

I wouldn’t waste my time with the vga cables try to keep the monitors small and rotate everyone so no one is supposedly only playing on a monitor that is less lag than the other. The only true way to keep everything even is to have all the same monitor brand/size either bite the bullet if you’re going to be doing a lot of these or just make sure the monitors that are brought are on the less than 1 frame list.

You might have to raise tournament fees or figure out something. Sell merchandise or something there to make up the difference.

People forget CRT TVs are heavy, and when you are doing all the set up, you stop caring about players and input lag.

I also disagree with the Official Xbox 360 VGA cable route. They cost as much a $50 a cable. Personally I wouldn’t run a tournament on Xbox 360s knowing their non-slim consoles failure rates. But if you have to use the Xbox 360s use Component video.