5 questions to ask when buying a TV for watching sport
Find the best TV for football by asking these 5 questions when researching your new telly… from screen size to sound and whether to 4K…?
1. 'Should I buy a bigger TV?’
Our advice here is yes: buy as big a TV as you comfortably have the space for in your room.
You’ll enjoy a ‘more immersive viewing experience’ with a bigger 55 or 60-inch TV, says our large screen TV buyer Daler Bhaker. When watching football on TV, you can often see large swathes of the pitch, with several players on screen at once. With a larger TV there’s more space, so the stars of top teams like Chelsea and Spurs won’t seem as small.
However, you also have to consider the size of your room and how far you’ll be sitting from the TV – don’t buy a TV that’s too big for the space it’s in.
Our viewing distance guide should help:
2. ‘Is it worth investing in 4K Ultra HD?’
In a word, yes. The picture looks much sharper than on a regular HD telly. That’s because 4K UHD TVs upscale regular content. They do this using a powerful processing engine, and the better the TV you purchase, the better quality upscaling you’ll enjoy.
Fortunately, there’ll be plenty of top-flight football to watch in 4K resolution once the 2017-18 season kicks off in August. You can watch all the drama of the new season unfold on Sky Sports as Chelsea attempt to defend their title, with up to 4 times the definition of HD.
Daler says as well as upscaling, ‘4K content is becoming more widely available, for example Netflix, BT Sport Ultra HD and Ultra HD Blu-ray’.
3. ‘Are blacks deep and colours bright?’
One of the most important elements of TV picture quality is the contrast ratio. This determines how dark and bright your TV picture can go. The best TVs can produce deep, inky blacks and bright colours.
Imagine a scene of a funfair at night. The sky would be a deep black, and the rides colourful and punchy on a TV with a high contrast ratio.
TVs with high contrast will create a more realistic experience when watching football too. The pitch will appear as it would in real life, and you’ll see intricate detail.
You can enjoy excellent contrast levels from the latest 4K UHD TVs from Samsung and Sony thanks to developments like quantum dot displays and High Dynamic Range.
LG’s OLED TVs too have superb contrast. They can create deep, true blacks as they don’t need a backlight to illuminate their screen.
4. ‘Do processing rates matter?’
Yes. Processing rates are really important when buying a TV for watching sport. Football is fast-paced - balls are crossed, free kicks are struck.
Your TV needs to be fast to keep up with the action. So having blur-free motion is pretty important. And to get that you need decent processing or refresh rates.
High processing rates ‘reduce motion blur for a clearer picture,’ says Daler. In the features section of our product pages, you’ll see it measured in hertz (Hz) – the higher the number, the more times-per-second the image refreshes on your screen.
Want to know more? Processing rates explained: how they improve watching TV
5. ‘Should I boost my TV’s speakers with a soundbar?’
Modern TVs are very slim. This means they have little room for powerful speakers. Create the big game atmosphere by adding some home cinema tech.
A soundbar is the simplest way of beefing up your TV’s speakers. It’s a single, oblong-shaped box containing several speakers. You can mount it underneath your TV, or pop it on the cabinet. It’s clutter free, easy to set up and sounds great.
Feel as though you’re in the thick of the action, with the roar of the crowd and the thwack of the ball in true stereo sound to the left and right of you and virtual surround sound.
It’s a ‘much more immersive experience, much more like being there,’ says Daler.