When you’re having friends and family over for the big game, you want the best possible viewing experience to enjoy all the action, and for everyone to have a great seat.
Here’s how to maximize game time while still having a TV the whole family can enjoy on movie night.
Big game TV: Go big or go home
When it comes to sports on TV, size matters. If you’ll be watching games a lot on your home TV, it’s a good idea to get the biggest (and best quality) screen you can afford. It goes without saying that your new TV should be 4K to give you the clearest, sharpest and most realistic video picture possible.
But to create a truly immersive experience, you want something that fills your viewing area. A TV with a 65″ screen, or larger, is great for sports viewing. This 65” Sony 4K Android smart TV is one of our picks which will wow the whole crew. You get a top quality, razor sharp picture and streaming all in one sleek set.
If you space is smaller, you will enjoy this LG 55” 4K TV. It packs a lot of resolution and streaming smarts into a smaller package, but it’ll still deliver big time on game day.
The idea behind a bigger set is that you won’t have to strain your eyes to see the ball, whether you’re watching golf, football, or soccer, and that you can take in a game that will feel more like you’re there if you have a truly edge-to-edge experience in front of you
Best big game viewing: Consider seating positions
Having the best seat in the house is a given when it’s just you enjoying a movie night, but on game day you need to ensure everyone has a great seat! If you’re going to have friends over for a big game or playoff match, you want them to be able to enjoy the action just as much as you will. Again, that’s where a bigger TV will come into play, but you also need to factor in viewing angles and distance.
Today’s flat screen TVs provide great views from almost any angle. But there are some TVs where the video will start to get washed out if you’re over too far to the sidelines (to borrow a sports analogy).
Experts at Best Buy recommend picking a potential location for your new TV and then working out if the seating arrangements will be ideal; the best seating will be 90-degrees from the center of the screen, with 45 degrees on either side. At the very least, make sure there’s enough “good” seating for the members of the family (so you can all enjoy Netflix night in the off season).
If you’re building a dedicated home theatre, you can also give thought to specialized home theatre seating. Consider investing in reclining chairs with cupholders and even tablet stands for controlling streaming TV. The Starship power leather recliner set can take your home theatre from just average to gold medal-winning.
Don’t just see it, hear everything
Seeing your favourite sport is only half the fun. To truly enjoy a big game experience you need to fill your room with the sounds of the stadium too.
Reserve money in your home theatre budget for a sound bar, like this one from Sony (Check out the excellent owner reviews at the bottom of that page, with an average of 4.4/5 after 850 reviews!), or choose a dedicated speaker system for more control of the overall sound. If you have space, consider a sound base, like the PLAYBASE from Sonos. (I reviewed the PLAYBASE recently, read more about it here.) From the crack of the ball hitting a bat, the DING! of the puck off the crossbar, to the screech of the crowd after an missed call from the referee, hear it all.
Many audio speakers and soundbars today also come with streaming connectivity built in, so after the big game, you can put on some music in the background as you and your friends rehash all the exciting plays.
Big game lighting will set the winning mood
A killer home theatre is all about the ambiance. How the game looks and sounds is crucial, but give some thought too, to adding ambient lighting. With systems like LIFX and Philips Hue, you can add coloured light to the room, whether you want the green of the field, or the colours of your favourite team—it’s easy to adjust and control colour and brightness with your smartphone. You can even set automatic timers. Some smart lights also have add-on apps that will change the colour of the smart lighting, based on what’s happening on screen, further putting you right into the action.
Lose the clutter (make room for snacks)
The final touch for your big game viewing experience should be to make your viewing party as simple and seamless as possible. Fussing with one remote for the sound, another for the TV and a third for peripherals like your streaming device is a pain. Upgrade to an all-in-one remote, like one in the Logitech Harmony line, so you can make quick adjustments, without upending the sofa cushions looking for the one remote that’s slipped into oblivion. Harmony has universal remotes from inexpensive to luxurious, so there’s likely something that will fit your needs and budget.
With all your hardware in place, you can focus on the other important big game questions: what kind of beer is everyone bringing, and who’s making nachos?