A person playing an Xbox Series X console on a TV.
Arto Tahvanainen/Shutterstock.com

If you have looked for a gaming TV in the last couple of years, there is a good chance you have come across Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM). It is one of many features that enhance your gaming experience.

What Does Auto Low Latency Mode Do?

ALLM is a feature found in many modern TVs, gaming consoles, and other devices that enables a source (e.g., a gaming console) to send a signal to the compatible connected devices (e.g., a television) to automatically activate their lowest latency setting. This ensures the TV disables any graphics post-processing and displays the game content with the least possible delay.

Pretty much all modern televisions use image post-processing to enhance the visuals displayed on your screen. But this processing takes time, although just a few milliseconds. While these extra milliseconds don’t impact your movie or TV show experience, they can hamper gaming or other interactive content consumption by adding lag. So when this processing is disabled, you get a lag-free and responsive gaming experience.

The lowest latency setting on most TVs is typically a part of its game Mmde. So, essentially, ALLM automatically activates your TV’s game mode when necessary. It’s as simple as that.

For ALLM to work correctly, both your TV and the gaming console have to support the feature. In addition, if you have connected your console to an AV Receiver, then it also needs to have Auto Low Latency Mode.

Is ALLM the Same as Game Mode?

Game mode on a Samsung TV
Samsung

ALLM is sometimes confused with “game mode” itself. While the Auto Low Latency Mode activates game mode, it is an entirely different feature.

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Game mode has existed in televisions and monitors for years. However, you would traditionally need to manually go through menus and settings to enable it when you were about to play a game. And, once you were done, you would have to go back and disable it. If you didn’t, you would lose out on any processing your TV is doing to make movies or TV shows look better.

Very simply, ALLM adds convenience to your gaming experience. That said, ALLM doesn’t just detect a console and enable the game mode. It also knows the difference between watching a movie on your console and playing a game. So only when you are playing a game, it asks the TV to enable the low latency setting, and once you are done, the TV reverts to the previous picture mode.

In other words, you’ll be able to watch Netflix and play games on a console, and game mode would automatically turn itself on and off as you switch between streaming and gaming.

Which TVs Come With Auto Low Latency Mode?

Gaming on LG TV with ALLM
LG

ALLM is a part of the HDMI 2.1 specification. So, if you are buying a TV with HDMI 2.1 ports, the feature should be included.

Unfortunately, while most TV manufacturers follow the HDMI 2.1 spec to the letter and include ALLM, others like Sony have released several TVs on the market that have HDMI 2.1 ports but don’t include ALLM support at launch. Instead, Sony says it will push the feature as a part of a software update. So if you want to be entirely sure about Auto Low Latency Mode’s presence on a TV, it’s better to confirm the same from the manufacturer rather than assuming it because of the included HDMI 2.1 ports.

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While ALLM is mainly limited to HDMI 2.1-capable televisions, some HDMI 2.0 TVs on the market, like Samsung TU8000 and Panasonic GX800, also have the ALLM feature.

Which Game Consoles or Other Devices Support ALLM?

Microsoft’s Xbox One, Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox Series S, and Xbox Series X are the only major gaming consoles to support ALLM. There is a possibility that PlayStation 5 will add ALLM via a future software update, but Sony hasn’t officially confirmed anything.

Several AV receivers from Denon, Marantz, Onkyo, and Yamaha also come with built-in support for ALLM. In addition, Google has included ALLM compatibility in the Android TV 11. Android TV developers can bake commands in their games to direct the television to trigger the game mode.

What’s the Alternative to Auto Low Latency Mode?

If your TV or gaming console doesn’t support ALLM, the alternative is manually enabling game mode. You can also keep it permanently enabled if you play games a lot and don’t care much for your TV’s image processing.

There is also a possibility that your TV has a similar feature as ALLM. Such a feature is often called Auto Game Mode or Auto Picture. Many Samsung and Sony TVs have such a feature. However, while Samsung’s Auto Game Mode works with both Xbox and PlayStation consoles, Sony’s Auto Picture setting is limited to PlayStation.

Profile Photo for Gaurav Shukla Gaurav Shukla
Gaurav Shukla is a technology journalist with over a decade’s experience reporting and writing about consumer technology. His work has appeared in XDA Developers and NDTV Gadgets 360.
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