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Nvidia BFGD hands-on: Nvidia’s 65in gaming monitors are here to take over your living room

Nvidia’s new Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD) combine the best of 4K TVs and gaming monitors in one

This year’s CES technology show has been busy, but one of the big early announcements came from Nvidia, when it announced it was partnering with Acer, Asus and HP to create the world’s biggest gaming screens.

That might not sound much on its own, but Nvidia’s amusingly named Big Format Gaming Displays (BFGD) are no ordinary monitors. And while they might have nothing to do with Roald Dahl’s dream catcher, they are designed to do something out of the ordinary: Nvidia wants them to be your living room TV as well.

Thus far, this is a job gaming monitors have not been particularly well suited to, partly because they haven’t been big enough, but also because they haven’t supported the same range of standards as TVs; likewise, most TVs haven’t been that great for gamers.

The BFGD aims to change all that, offering the best features of TVs and gaming monitors in one huge 65in 4K package.

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Nvidia BFGD hands-on: UK price and release date

Sadly, pricing is yet to be confirmed when it comes to Nvidia’s large-sized PC gaming screens. Given the lofty credentials, I expect the BFGD to cost a pretty penny but I will update this article as soon as I hear more official details.

Nvidia BFGD UK release date: When’s it coming out?

Likewise, there’s no word on a firm release date. A rather vague “summer” release has been pencilled in, but there’s nothing official just yet. At Nvidia’s CES booth the monitors were engineering samples, with the OSD (On-screen Display), rear panels and the full array of display inputs all missing.

Nvidia BFGD features: What’s so special?

At the heart of Nvidia’s BFGD sits G-SYNC HDR. That’s G-SYNC – which synchronises the frame frate of the graphics card you outputting from to the BFGD’s 120Hz refresh rate for tear-free, butter smooth gameplay – combined with a bevvy of other things to ensure the monitor is just as good for watching movies on as it is for gaming.

So that means support for 4K plus HDR10 and the DCI-P3 colour space. It also means high peak brightnesses of up to 1,000cd/m2 and support for a wide-range of frame-rates, including the film- and TV-specific 23.976fps, 24fps and 25fps. That’s important for judder-free video across multiple formats.

BFGD owners will also be able to take advantage of built-in Nvidia Shield features, which allow users to play games game and watch streaming video services such as BBC iPlayer without having to buy an extra box. Every BFGD is set to arrive with a Shield remote and controller, too.

And as with the standalone Nvidia Shield, Google Assistant and Cast are built-in as standard. Soon you’ll be barking orders at Google’s AI-powered voice assistant, just like with Sony’s recent crop of smart TVs.

Nvidia BFGD hands-on: Performance

I briefly tried HP’s panel at Nvidia’s CES booth and I was impressed. Playing Destiny 2, the game responded well and didn’t suffer from any screen tearing or from any noticeable ghosting. The most noticeable difference over a “gaming TV”, however, was the low input lag and fast response time. In terms of colour accuracy, the panel looked stunning, too, with the BFGD’s VA panel producing, in particular, a very high contrast ratio.

Its only potential downfall is that there’s no TV tuner built-in, but that’s not a huge problem. Nvidia felt the feature would be redundant for gamers who have a PC hooked up to the panel and with the Shield functions built in, the BFGD bases does have most of your TV and movie-watching needs covered. Plus, assuming it works exactly like thie Shield TV, users should be able to add terrestrial TV by plugging in a USB TV stick if they really want to.

Nvidia BFGD hands-on: Early verdict

Nvidia’s BFGD gaming TV cooks up an enticing proposition for PC gamers. Up until now, if you were after a decent G-SYNC-equipped display, you’d be stuck at around the 27in mark, so to offer a 65in screen for the living room is a smart move indeed.

Not only that, but the BFGD is feature-packed, with Google Assistant and Shield functionalities as standard. At the risk of jumping the gun, 2018 is already shaping up to be an exciting year for PC gamers. Be sure to check out our full review as soon as the BFGD arrives in the office later this year.

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