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Expert TV Tips For the Big Game!

Enhance your big-game experience with TV tips from the experts at Abt.

No other day puts more focus on watching TV than Super Sunday, so before the big game airs, it’s a good idea to make sure your television is operating to its full potential.

  • First things first. Let’s make sure you’re getting the best picture possible. The first step is to verify that you’re actually receiving HD service. HDTV picture quality is dramatically better than Standard Definition, and with more than double the resolution it will give a more lifelike game experience. However, just having an HDTV doesn’t guarantee you’re getting an HD signal. You’ll need to make sure you’re receiving an HD signal and have an HD capable receiver from your cable or satellite provider. Some cable/satellite boxes will say “HD” or “High Definition” somewhere on the front. If there’s no designation, one surefire way to tell if your box is HD-capable is the presence of an HDMI port.
hdmi port

An HDMI port signifies an HD-capable TV and cable box.

  • To find out what kind of signal you’re receiving, select an HD channel from your on-screen guide and see if it works. Or simply call your provider and ask if your package includes HD channels.
  • If you’ve determined that cable or satellite box is indeed HD-capable, the next step is to ensure it’s putting out the best signal it can. Receiver boxes can often put out the video at varying resolutions, from 480p to 1080i/1080p. You’ll want your box set to the highest resolution. This will usually be selected through an on-screen menu from the receiver box, often called HD Settings. Check the manual for your receiver box for more help, or feel free to give us a call at 847-544-2261 and ask our tech experts for assistance.
  • Next, be sure you’re actually watching the network’s HD channel. Most cable services offer both standard and high-definition versions of the same channel, even when you have a premium HD package.  Let’s take FOX, for example, since they’ll be broadcasting the game. For Glenview, IL, Comcast Xfinity Digital subscribers, FOX standard-definition is channel 12, while high-definition is 190. Both channels will work, but the HD channel will have a drastically superior picture. HD channels will usually have a “-HD” after the network name: FOX vs FOX-HD. Channel numbers will vary based on your provider and location, but here are some links for the more popular services:

Comcast Xfinity



Time Warner Cable Spectrum

AT&T Cable

  • After that’s all that sorted out, make sure you connect your cable/satellite box to your TV with an HDMI cable.  HDMI cables provide the best quality picture and sound and have a single plug on either end. Use a quality HDMI cable. Better construction with high-quality materials ensures the best possible picture and sound. Make sure it’s a “High Speed” cable so it can handle 1080P. If your TV doesn’t have an HDMI port, you can still feed it a high-definition signal by using the component video connections (red, green, blue, RCA connectors).
  • Lastly, when you’ve checked through all of the previous tips, make sure your TV is set to Sports Mode. This is an optional tip because it might not be available on all TVs. But if your TV does have Sports Mode, selecting it will apply a color correction for common sport colors(like the green of the grass) and bumps up the white level for a brighter picture. These modes are designed to handle the fast-motion of sporting events. If you’re considering buying a new TV for the big game, choose one with a dedicated Sports Mode and the highest refresh rate possible. Higher refresh rates keep fast movements looking great by reducing blur as the picture changes.

For assistance with any of these steps, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 888-228-5800 and ask for an Electronics Service expert. We’ll be glad to offer help getting your TV set up just right for the big game. Happy Watching!

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