If you’re a sports fanatic, then it is highly likely that you already are aware that the type of TV on which you watch your game makes a huge difference to your viewing experience. You need a television that’s worthy of your team’s triumphs, so I’m going to give you some handy tips to help you choose the best TV for watching sports.
Sports on TV: Size Does Matter
Before going into all the specs and features you’ll need to look at when buying a new TV for watching sports, you’ll definitely want to consider buying the biggest TV you can afford. More than any other feature, a bigger screen size will give you much more bang for your buck. Make sure you choose a screen that fits your wall space, and budget, of course, but believe me, your big game will never be bigger than with a huge screen mounted on the wall. I would recommend something in the 55-inch range – minimum!
Choose Fast Refresh Rate
Nobody wants to watch a blurry quarterback on television, so your television’s refresh rate is a really big deal when it comes to the fast action of sports. This spec refers to the number of times per second that a video screen is updated, with a higher number yielding a smoother, more natural-looking motion.
You’ve likely seen televisions advertised with 60, 120 or 240Hz mentioned in the marketing material. Those numbers refer to how many times per second that particular TV can update an image. So, as you can imagine, you will want to pick up a TV with the highest refresh rate.
4K is the newest TV format, and it totally rocks. 4K (also called UHD or Ultra HD) offers millions more pixels (the little itty bitty things on the TV screen that produce the picture), and therefore lots more sharpness, colour and HD, than the next best TV tech, which is 1080p. Erin wrote a great article explaining the technology, but for right now, all you need to know is that in total, a 4K TV has about 8 million pixels on the screen, or about four times as many as the next guy. So, if you are looking for the ultimate in image quality, then 4K is the way to go.
HDR for Sports
HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Basically, it means better contrast, greater brightness levels and a wider colour palette for you to experience when watching sports at home. And, contrast is one of the most important factors in how good a TV picture looks and it’s a key part of what makes an HDR TV. It refers to the difference between light and dark. The greater the difference, the greater the contrast.
Okay, so you have OLED TVs and LED TVs, and the difference is actually a lot more complicated than just an extra letter in the name. Traditional LCD TVs use florescent backlights to light a screen, LED TVs use smaller, more energy-efficient LEDs. While LED screens produce great color, the brightness of the lights can also wash out blacks on the screen.
OLED TVs have elements that generate their own light and don’t require an extra lighting source. Their screens can produce vibrant colors by drawing on electrical current, and don’t need active current at all to produce a true black color. This means thinner sets, better blacks, and lower energy consumption.
So what TV to choose for Sports?
If I could have any TV I wanted for watching sports, I would definitely look for a 4K OLED HDR television (55 inches minimum!) that fits into my budget. And, as 4K is now pretty much becoming the standard, you will find prices coming down a lot. Just have a look at the 4K TVs Best Buy has to offer, and after you find the perfect set, then cook up some nachos, invite some buddies over, and really enjoy the game the way it was meant to be enjoyed. Cheers!