The biggest broadcast in the sporting world is just over two weeks away, giving you a bit of time to prepare for the ultimate game day viewing experience. If you held out on buying a new TV and any A/V equipment during the holiday shopping season, there’s no better time than now to do just that. We know that the world of electronics can be tricky to navigate, so here are some of our top gear picks to get you set up for a super Sunday of partying.
The television is, of course, the most important aspect of a viewing party, so if you’re serious about sports, you’ll want to get a set that’s optimized for that purpose. These are the key features found in all of the best TVs for sports:
A wide viewing angle, so everyone in the room—even the people sitting way off to the side—gets a great picture.
Color accuracy, so the turf, uniforms, and everything else on screen looks realistic, and not some neon version of reality.
A fast refresh rate, for smooth-moving action without any of the blurring often seen on low-cost TVs.
These are a few of our suggestions for the best big game TV, ranging from entry level to “spared no expense.”
The affordable option: LG 65UM7300PUA 65″ 4K HDR TV
At 65 inches, this UHD TV is a great size for most households. Big enough to see from across a packed family room, but not so big that it overpowers the space. But more important to the game-viewing experience than pure size is this LG TV’s refresh rate—its ability to play fast-moving motion is among the best of any budget TV. You won’t get high-end video features like support for HDR10+ or Dolby Vision, but you will get a really good picture in a big size for a not-so-big price, thanks to an instant rebate that runs through the end of the month.
Middle of the road: Samsung 65″ Q70R 4K HDR QLED TV
Living between LED and OLED TVs is Samsung’s lineup of QLED TVs. These displays are based on LED TVs, with an added technology that improves the brightness and color accuracy of the screen—giving you most of the benefits of each technology. The Samsung Q70R lives in the middle of their QLED lineup, so you’ll get a stellar picture—thanks to the full array backlight, 100% color volume, and 240 Motion Rate—at a manageable price.
The high-end option: Sony 77″ A9G 4K OLED TV
Looking for the absolute best picture, with no budgetary restrictions? OLED is the answer. And the best of the OLEDs is the Sony A9G. With vibrant colors and remarkable contrast levels, OLED picture looks as good as real life. Plus there’s virtually no motion lag, so action always looks crisp. At 77 inches, this massive display will make it feel like you’re really in the stadium, and with extra-wide viewing angles, it looks good from every seat in the house.
It’s no secret that the audio on most flat panel TVs is notoriously bad—there’s only so much speaker you can fit into a space so small. So an auxiliary audio solution is a must-have if you want to hear every bone-crunching hit in the big game. A full surround sound system is ideal, but if budget or room restrictions don’t allow, a good soundbar is the next best thing. Here are a few of our favorites:
If you’re on a pretty tight budget, and all you’re looking for is sound a bit better than what comes out of your TV, you can’t go wrong with this Sony soundbar. Diminutive in both stature and price (just under $150) it’s not going to wake the neighbors. But with a pair of respectable drivers and a built-in subwoofer, it will sound better and get louder than the average TV speakers. Bonus: its small size (just 2.4 inches tall) means the Sony HT-S200F will likely fit nicely under just about any flat-panel TV.
For the price of a decent A/V receiver, the Yamaha BAR 400 offers an all-inclusive audio option that will be a definite upgrade over your TV’s integrated audio. The soundbar is pretty low-profile, so it should fit in with any modern TV, and the wireless sub is easy to hide behind a couch. But the combo puts out some serious sound, including some convincing height effects—thanks to the DTS Virtual:X technology.
The Samsung Q90R clocks in at around $1700, which is well into the budget of a full-blown surround sound system. But if you’re committed to the idea of a soundbar for one reason or another (they’re way easier to set up and don’t require many wires), the Samsung Q90R is one of the best possible options. In fact, the Q90R soundbar essentially is a true surround sound system, thanks to the included wireless rear channel speakers. Combined with the multi-driver soundbar—which produces the left, right, and center channels—you’ll get five discrete channels of audio and not just a virtualized surround experience. The main benefit of the Samsung Q90R soundbar when compared to a full surround sound system is that this plugs directly into your TV for a quick setup—no A/V receiver or amplifier needed.
If you’re still stuck trying to decide, or want to learn about more options, we’re always happy to talk tech. Give us a call at 888-228-5800, visit us in store, or contact us via chat. And if you’ve got your gear sorted out, but need help planning your party, stay tuned! Next week we’ll revisit some of our favorite game day recipes.