How to choose the best TV for watching sports | digital trends (2023)

I get a lot of questions like "What is the best sports TV?" and "What should I look for when buying a TV if I mostly watch sports?" and "Hey Caleb, I'm in the TV business right now and I want to buy this TV. Am I wrong here?"


  • When sports look bad
  • Motion blur i 120 Hz
  • Bright and beautiful
  • To avoid the dirty screen effect
  • The best color
  • That's what you look like

Let's talk about what makes one TV better than another for watching sports, what to look for and what to ignore when buyingnew television, and why someone who says "buying a TV just for sports is bullshit" probably means well, but is also completely wrong.

When sports look bad

I think we've all been at a sports bar or maybe at a friend's house watching a game and thought, 'You know? That... doesn't look good.” Or maybe you were sitting at home watching the game and thinking the same thing? If you've had this thought before, it's possible the image was blurry, or the image looked washed out or blotchy, or the colors just didn't look right. Of course you don't want that on your new TV.


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(Video) Best TV Settings for Watching Sports | Hint: It Isn’t Sports Mode

You don't have to be a video buff to realize that the screen looks dirty or that your team's colors look wrong. Bad just looks bad!

Let's see how to find a TV that can do thisit is nothaving one of these four bad qualities. Let's start with one of the most obvious and obvious things: blur.

Motion blur i 120 Hz

There are three things that can cause an image to appear blurry or out of focus when watching fast-paced sports events. One is the slow pixel response time, where the pixels simply don't respond quickly enough to the TV's changing instructions. Another reason is the mismatch between the number of frames per second of the content and the refresh rate of the TV - that is, how many times per second the image is drawn on the screen. And the third reason is poor motion processing – the TV's brain just isn't that sharp.

However, often a blurry image is caused by all three things happening at the same time. And the most common reason for this is that the TV is... well, cheap. And by that I don't just mean it's cheap - a very relative concept - I mean it's generally of poor build quality, flimsy and comes with cheaply made parts.

To be clear, you can get a quality TV for a low price. For example, Hisense U6H. It's a pretty solid TV and handles sports well. The 65-inch model costs only $550. For a 65-inch TV, the value for money is extremely good. However, if you're spending less than $400 on a 65-inch TV, it's going to look cheaper, and you probably won't be happy with how it looks while you're working out.

How to choose the best TV for watching sports | digital trends (1)

Let's continue to take the Hisense U6H as an example: it does sports well thanks to good pixel response time and good build. Two out of three, right? While it doesn't have a 120Hz panel, it copes well with the 60Hz panel it does have, thanks to decent build quality.

(Video) How to pick a TV picture mode | Standard, Vivid, Sports, Movie, ISF, Dolby

Which brings me to my next point: you don'thaveI need a TV with a 120Hz refresh rate - which is a common recommendation and I'll repeat it - but having a 120Hz panel as a basic requirement isn't a bad idea.

I put a lot of emphasis on the application because it is one of the biggest problems in following sports.

I don't want to go too deep into the technology here, but I want to let you know that 120 Hz panels are not suitable for cheap TVs. TVs with 120 Hz panels require more expensive hardware to support them. In other words, that 120Hz spec is an indicator of quality and can provide some assurance that the TV it's built into will be pretty good.

But here's the catch: it has to be 120 Hzdomesticplate. I mention this difference because there are TV brands that try to mislead you. If you see a clear 120Hz motion rate or 240Hz motion current or similar nonsense, it's an attempt by the TV manufacturer to find a quick fix. Look at the spec sheet and make sure it says "120Hz panel" because a better panel is an indication that the TV is better. Yes, it's worth looking at the datasheet. If you go up to the clerk upstairs and ask him if the TV you're watching has a native 120hz panel and he'll look at the box to check? That means they don't know and don't rely on the same marketing language as you. So go online and search. It's worth spending about 30 seconds on this.

How to choose the best TV for watching sports | digital trends (2)

The last thing I want to say about motion - and I appreciate motion because it's one of the biggest problems with watching sports - is motion blur, otherwise known as the "soap effect". It's frame interpolation - what the marketers call Motion Flow or Smooth Motion or whatever. If that's okay with you, it's okay. You can use it and you won't get a blurry picture.

Note that some people claim that things look fake or 2D - something like that is almost always on on the TV in your hotel room, and there are waysSoap opera-Opera-Watch dazu.If you're comfortable with that, almost any decent TV, when turned on, can display fast-paced sports events crisply and clearly. But if you hate that look and don't want it, buy a TV with a 120Hz panel just to be safe.

Bright and beautiful

Okay, enough of the exercise, what else do you need to pay attention to? Let's talk visibility. You want the image to be sharp and clear. Buy the most TVs on the market todaybright enough. You should be aware of how reflective the screen can be. If there is a lot of light coming through the windows or if you are watching television with a light source behind you, there is a high probability that your television is reflecting too much and that the bright light is blurring your picture - a nuisance. Again, this is only a problem in certain viewing situations, but I mention it because it's really the only factor that OLED TVs can doit is notbe the best option.

(Video) How to measure a TV and what size TV is right for you

How to choose the best TV for watching sports | digital trends (3)

Now let's get to it. The best TV for watching sports is almost always oneYOU ARE TV. They have instant pixel response times, they all have 120Hz panels and they're all quality TVs, so motion processing and upscaling are about the best you can get from any TV. In sports, OLEDs are the standard. Unless super bright light is entering your room at an angle that makes your OLED TV's shiny screen look like a mirror. Otherwise OLED all day, every day.

For the others, watchLED/LCD- for QLED-tv– There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to television, and then I want to talk about how to watch the game and how it can make a difference.

To avoid the dirty screen effect

The next thing to check is the flatness of the screen. What you don't want is a smudged screen. And unfortunately, you won't know if your screen is smudged until you take the TV home. Yes, sometimes it can be difficult to find the best TV for you and I'm sorry for that. But you bring the TV home, plug it in - you don't want to set everything up or mount it on the wall yet - connect it to the internet so you can stream YouTube and then stream a test clip for screen uniformity.

If you see really bad places? I mean, if it looks like someone spilled grease on your new white or gray t-shirt? Then this TV has big screen uniformity issues and you see those spots when you watch football, golf, hockey, or anything else with big, wide areas with even colors. If you want to know more about the dirty screen effect, you canSee my articleo.

The best color

And finally: color. It's easy to see bad colors on TV when watching sports programs. Fortunately, the only way to correct bad colors on a TV is to not use the Vivid or Sports modes. I know it sounds crazy because I know you want your TV to look vibrant and watch sports - why not use these picture modes?

The answer is that they are hot garbage when it comes to color. They generally sacrifice everything in terms of picture quality to make sure the picture is as clear as possible - and frankly, a big reason brands do this is to stand out from the crowd of TVs that have a lot of fluorescent lights. under the ceiling.

How to choose the best TV for watching sports | digital trends (4)

Choose a standard picture mode if needed, or use something like ISF Bright or the Cinema or Movie presets, then boost the backlight. This will give you a brighter image while maintaining color accuracy and I think you'll be happier in the long run.

(Video) Two TV settings you should change right now

So that's a cheat sheet for finding good sports TV. A 120 Hz board is a good place to start. Make sure the screen has an adequate anti-glare or glare coating when viewing in bright environments. When you bring him homeCheck if the screen is dirtyand replace it if you get a bad picture - which really doesn't happen that often - and if you do set it, avoid Vivid or Sport picture modes.

That's what you look like

Now what about how you follow the game? Are streaming apps better than cable? How about an antenna?

In my experience, one of the most common ways to watch sports is also one of the worst in terms of picture quality: cable or satellite. So if you can only watch TV via cable or satellite, watch it this way. But if you canLive broadcastIf you are broadcasting a game or match over the Internet, you can choose this option for several reasons. If the game is broadcast on a major network such as ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox, you should also try to reach one of your local stations with an antenna. The reason why one of these options probably looks better than cable or satellite depends on a number of factors.

The main problem is compression. Cable and satellite operators have to run a lot of signals through a fairly small tube. Even if you have high-bandwidth fiber optic cable, cable operators usually still send the same aggregated signal along that line. It's heavily compressed to fit, and the lower bitrate and bit depth means less pixel and color information. Don't get me wrong, cable/satellite can look really good. But streaming can look even better if you have a strong connection and good bandwidth.

How to choose the best TV for watching sports | digital trends (5)

As for streaming, if you want to use a live TV streaming app, here's my experienceYouTube-TVreliably proved to be solid in terms of image quality. However, it would be better to use the broadcaster's own streaming app, such as the Fox Sports app. In fact, sometimes you get an HDR signal this way. ButDon't expect 4K- and if you get 4K, know that it's upscaled to 1080p at best. It's honestly better than the 720p or 1080i signal you usually get.

ImmediatelyAntenna, as old-fashioned as it sounds, can also be a good move to achieve better image quality. It's also less compressed than cable - and it's free! Additionally, if you happen to live in a market whereATSC 3.0 broadcastsit can look even better live. I haven't experienced it here in Portland, Oregon, but your market may be different.

I pray! That's my advice on what's most important to you when watching sports. And the bonus is that a TV that's great for sports is usually great for pretty much anything you like to watch.

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How to choose a TV for sports? ›

When looking for the best 4k TV for sports, you'll want to look for great motion handling and good gray uniformity. If you tend to watch games in a bright room, peak brightness and reflection handling are important, and you'll want a TV with a wide viewing angle if you watch in a wide seating area.

What is the best TV resolution for sports? ›

Our recommendation is for the best TV for sports with a minimum 4K, or Ultra HD range, which offers a wide color gamut and contrasts. OLED, QLED, and 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels) offer superior image quality over standard 1080p HD televisions (1920 x 1080 pixels).

What size TV is best for watching football? ›

The Best 4K TVs for Watching Sports

We've recommended screens of at least 65 inches (though other sizes are available), and that feature refresh rates of 60Hz and 120Hz so that they can accommodate the motion of fast-paced games.

What type of TV has the best picture? ›

Buy an OLED TV if:

You want the best possible picture quality, regardless of price: OLED TVs produce the best HDR picture quality, the best motion, and the widest viewing angles of any TV currently available. Learn more about OLED technology in this article.

What to look out for when choosing TV? ›

5 things you must know when buying a TV
  • Picture Quality. It's still the most important factor to consider when purchasing a new TV and includes essential performance factors such as display resolution, HDR and colour expression.
  • TV Size. Choosing the right size of TV is also very important. ...
  • TV Design. ...
  • Smart TV. ...
  • TV Sound.

What is the best color mode for sports? ›

Bottom line: Use Movie mode for an accurate image

If you're used to your TV in Vivid or Sports mode, Cinema or Movie is going to look soft and red. This is your mind playing tricks, because the reality is Sports/Vivid/Dynamic modes are hyper-edge-enhanced and blue.

What is a good TV refresh rate for sports? ›

When it comes to sports, the refresh rate can keep up with the fast-paced, action-packed nature of the movement. Therefore watching sports on a TV with 120Hz is best. Another advantage of buying a display with 120Hz is that it can play video recorded at many frame rates (such as 30Hz, 60Hz, and 120Hz) without issues.

What screen resolution is best for performance? ›

1080p is especially great for gaming as it means that you are more likely to be able to max out your games graphics settings or at least run high settings should you have a decent gaming computer.

What motion rate is best for sports? ›

Regarding sports and gaming, a 240Hz motion rate is the best option because it will give a brighter and sharper image view than a 120Hz motion rate. For gaming, the higher the rate, the more smooth your game runs.

Does NFL stream in 4K? ›

For the first time NFL fans will be able to watch all Fox Sports NFL Playoff Games in 4K HDR.

Is Big TV better for eyes? ›

A larger TV, or sitting closer to your current TV, will fill a greater percentage of your field of view. With more of your eye filled with light, your irises will contract, so less light overall is hitting your retinas. Generally this will mean less eye fatigue.

Which brand TV is best? ›

5 best TV brands in 2023, according to tech experts. Samsung, Sony, LG, Vizio, TLC: These leading TV brands typically dominate, but there's more to consider than just size and resolution.

Is Samsung TV better than LG? ›

Samsung vs LG

Samsung TVs generally have better picture quality than the average LG LED-backlit LCD TV. Samsung TVs usually get a fair bit brighter and have better contrast, while LG TVs generally have much wider viewing angles and better smart features.

Do more expensive TVs have better picture quality? ›

High-end TVs deliver the best picture quality, but they're also expensive, so if you want something cheaper, you'll have to sacrifice some features, but most 4k TVs are good enough for most content.

What matters the most when buying a TV? ›

Resolution: HD vs 4K vs 8K

One of the most important things to consider when buying a TV is its resolution. This refers to how many pixels (or points of light) a screen has. Basically, the higher the resolution, the more details you will be able to see.

Which TV screen is best for eyes? ›

If you worry about you and your family's eyes, LG OLED TVs provide a more comfortable way to watch for longer. They've been certified as low-blue light, flicker-free, and discomfort glare-free displays by international agencies TÜV Rheinland (TUV) and Underwriter Laboratories (UL).

What to avoid when buying a TV? ›

  • Never Buy a TV That is Too Small.
  • Avoid Buying a New TV That is Too Big.
  • Not Thinking About The Future.
  • Not Paying Attention to The Sound.
  • Never Bring the Wrong Car to Pick Your TV.
  • Avoid Solely Relying On a Sales Person.
  • Never Forget to Set a Budget For a Soundbar.
Jan 15, 2023

Should I watch more sports on TV? ›

It sounds too good to be true: instead of exercising, we can get fit by watching sport on television. A new study in Frontiers in Neuroscience says watching sport doesn't equate to a workout, but does raise your heart and breathing rates and increases blood flow to the skin – just like the real thing.

How can I watch professional sports? ›

Big names like ESPN and FS1 are on the list along with national channels such as CBS. That means you can watch live games from the NBA, NHL, MLB, and more. Regional sports networks like YES Network are available in certain areas, but Hulu + Live TV does offer widespread local coverage from ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC.

What sport is the most watching? ›

The World's Most Watched Sports
  • NFL. Fans: 400 million. Outside of the U.S., this sport has limited following. ...
  • Basketball. Fans: 400 million. ...
  • Golf. Fans: 450 million. ...
  • Baseball. Fans: 500 million. ...
  • Table Tennis. Fans: 850 million. ...
  • Volleyball. Fans: 900 million. ...
  • Tennis. Fans: 1 billion. ...
  • Field Hockey. Fans: 2.2 billion.

What mode should I use for sports? ›

Use Burst Mode

By definition, action and sports move quickly, and it can be difficult to keep up. Use your camera's continuous shooting mode (often called burst mode) to take 4 or 6 shots at a time, giving you a much better chance of capturing a good image. Use burst mode to capture the definitive moment.

What color mode is best for screens? ›

We recommend a 6500k color temperature, which is the standard for most screen calibrations and is equivalent to midday light (also called Illuminant D65). It's generally on the warmer side of most monitors' scales. Some people find it too yellow, so feel free to adjust it to your preference.

What color is best for performance? ›

Countless studies have shown that the color red has aided performance with its dominating aspect. Symbolic of increased physical energy, stamina, passion, and boosted testosterone, the color red has given an advantage to those wearing this color in events.

Which is better OLED or Qled? ›

In terms of picture quality, OLED TVs are generally considered to be the better option due to their perfect blacks and infinite contrast. However, QLED TVs can still produce very high levels of brightness and colour accuracy, and they are often more affordable than OLED TVs.

Do I need a high refresh rate TV? ›

Although 120Hz refresh rates on most midrange and high-end TVs work well, don't expect to see any real performance improvement from refresh rates of 240Hz and above. These higher-than-most-content refresh rates have rapidly diminishing returns, and you aren't likely to see much of a benefit unless you're an avid gamer.

Is it worth buying 120Hz TV? ›

All in all, if you have or plan on getting a gaming PC or a console that supports 120Hz, you should definitely get a 120Hz TV as it makes for a more responsive and immersive gaming experience. Keep in mind that to get the most out of 120Hz, you should also be able to maintain around 120FPS (Frames Per Second).

What screen size is best for 4K resolution? ›

32-inch screen: a resolution of 3840 × 2160 pixels (UHD 4K) and aspect ratio of 16:9 offers you the most space and an optimal display size for your contents and for dividing up your screen area.

What screen size is 4K good for? ›

The ideal size for a monitor mainly depends on its resolution and how far you're sitting from the screen. Overall, most people find that 1920×1080 shouldn't be used on anything larger than 25-inch; 1440p is ideal for 27-inch, and 4K is great for 27-inch to 43-inch, depending on preference.

What resolution is best for high quality video? ›

1080 resolution (full HD)

Often referred to as “full HD,” 1080 (1920 x 1080 pixels) has become the industry standard for a crisp HD digital video that doesn't break your storage space.

What is more important refresh rate or motion rate? ›

The higher the Motion Rate, the better. As Motion Rate is measured as twice the refresh rate, a 240Hz Motion Rate would include a 120Hz true refresh rate. That's double the performance of 120Hz Motion Rate which only has a 60Hz true refresh rate.

Does 60Hz vs 120Hz really matter for TV? ›

In theory, a higher refresh rate should equal a better quality picture because it cuts down on blurriness. A 120Hz display decreases the appearance of "film judder" or blurring that might be noticeable to some on a 60Hz screen. Improvements beyond a 120Hz refresh rate are unnoticeable.

Does 60Hz vs 120Hz really matter? ›

The higher the number, the smoother the screen will appear to the human eye. This means that a 120Hz display – which updates itself 120 times a second – will look noticeable slicker and more natural than your average 60Hz screen which only updates itself 60 times a second.

Does NBC broadcast NFL in 4K? ›

That's what the network has also done throughout the NFL postseason, making this the first year that every NFL playoff game, as well as the Super Bowl, is being broadcast in 4K by one network. The technology is returning to the Super Bowl after a two-year hiatus, when CBS and NBC broadcast the game.

Is Fox Sports in 4K? ›

Instead, the games are being produced in 1080p/HDR, and effectively "upscaled" or "upconverted" to 4K, much as Fox Sports has done with similar broadcasts billed as being in 4K. That upscaled signal doesn't have any more detail than what can be seen in the native 1080p signal.

How far away should you sit from a 60 inch TV? ›

7.55 feet

How far away should you be from 70 TV? ›

A 70'' TV– You should sit between 6 and 9 feet away from the screen. A 75'' TV– You should sit between 6.5 and 9.5 feet away from the screen. An 80'' TV– You should sit between 6.5 and 10 feet away from the screen.

How far away should you sit from a 65 inch TV? ›

Recommended viewing distance for your TV
Screen SizeViewing Distance
55-inch TV1.7 m (5.5 ft)
65-inch TV2.0 m (6.5 ft)
75-inch TV2.3 m (7.5 ft)
85-inch TV2.6 m (8.5 ft)

Is 60Hz or 120Hz better for sports viewing? ›

120Hz is for fast-paced, action-packed sports. So, watching golf on a TV with 60Hz is probably a good idea. However, it's not a good idea to watch it on a TV with 120Hz. On the flip side, American football is best viewed at 120Hz TV because it can keep up with all the movement and fast-paced action happening on screen.

Is 60Hz better than 120Hz for sports? ›

A refresh rate of 60Hz means that the TV screen is refreshed 60 times per second, while a refresh rate of 120Hz means that the screen is refreshed 120 times per second. The higher refresh rate can result in smoother and more fluid motion, particularly for fast-moving images like sports or action movies.


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