When you're shopping for a big screen TV with a great picture to watch your favorite game, the terminology and wide array of choices can be daunting. Fortunately, recent technology trends have made it easier to make your choice. Most large flat screen TVs on the market feature 4k-resolution and other advanced technologies necessary to display high-quality images. This leaves you with relatively simple choices to make when searching for the best big screen TV for watching the game: LED or OLED; affordable or expensive; and big or really big.
4k, OLED, or LED Screen?
Be sure your new big screen TV features 4k-resolution, also known as ultra-high definition. Before 4k or UHD prevailed, each horizontal line on a high-definition flat screen consisted of 1080 pixels. Each horizontal row on a 4k screen consists of about 4,000 pixels to produce sharper, more vibrant images at little or no additional cost.
All modern TVs use backlights that cast light through pixels to project images on screens. In an OLED screen, each pixel has its own backlight, whereas an LED screen uses a limited number of backlights to illuminate entire regions of pixels. When an LED screen displays a lighted Christmas tree against a dark sky, you may see a halo around the tree because the screen's backlights also illuminate pixels surrounding the tree. In an OLED screen, these pixels remain dark, as they should.
In other words, OLED screens produce greater contrast, which is the single most important factor determining the quality of the images your TV produces.
Screen Size Matters Most
For the best viewing experience, choosing the right screen size is more important than splurging for an OLED screen. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, and there's a trade-off involved. You need a screen size of at least 50 inches to appreciate 4k resolution. However, most people prefer to sit 9 to 10 feet from a screen of even this modest size. Determine how far from the screen your guests will sit during the game. If this distance is around 9 to 10 feet, they're likely to be uncomfortable viewing the game on a screen larger than 70 inches.
Avoid any unwelcome surprises when your new TV arrives by taking some measurements ahead of time. If you'll be mounting the TV on a wall, measure the width of the available space. If you'll be setting the TV on top of a stand, check the stand's maximum weight rating. Compare these figures to the size and weight of any TV before you buy it.
It can also be helpful to measure how far away the screen will be from where you are sitting. Try to stand that far away from the screen in the store to help determine if you are comfortable with that size. Once you’ve determined the screen size you want, check out the pricing on a 4k OLED TV and a 4k LED screen of that size.
Look for Smart TV Features, Premium Sound and HDR
Most LED and OLED screens are rich in features, but these vary depending on the model. One feature to look for is surround sound, which can create an immersive experience that makes everyone feel like they’re sitting courtside. Look for a Wi-Fi- or Ethernet-enabled Smart TV feature so you can stream the big game straight to your screen.
Another feature to look for is HDR (high dynamic range) compatibility. This relatively new technology is a step up from OLED in terms of picture quality. Still in its infancy, HDR is rapidly becoming a standard as an increasing number of providers produce and stream HDR content.
Don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed by the technology and terminology when shopping for a big screen. Most of today’s big screens are rich in advanced features and technology that ensure you can watch the game on the best televisions in history.
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