This advice will help you find a new TV that will enhance your NFL-watching experience.
Go bigger if you can, especially if you’ll be cheering on your gridiron favorites with a group of friends. There are now plenty of LCD and plasma TVs in screen sizes 55 inches and larger. And some manufacturers, including Sharp, are going even bigger with LCD TVs in the 70- and 80-inch range.
Don’t get blurry
Sports can really test a TV’s ability to display fast-moving scenes without blurring. Plasma TVs usually handle motion without much blurring, if any, so almost any model will do. Some 60Hz LCD TVs fall prey to that shortcoming, but we’ve found that many models with faster 120Hz and 240Hz frame rates can help minimize blur to the point where it’s hardly noticeable. We recommend TVs that let you adjust the antiblur circuitry separately from judder reduction, which can give film a video-like look.
Play the angles
Plasma TVs have virtually unlimited viewing angles that allow everyone in the room to get a great picture, but the narrower viewing angle on many LCD sets may mean only those directly in front of the set get a great picture. That’s why we measure viewing angles for all the TVs in our TV Ratings. We've found that some LCD TVs—including sets from LG, Panasonic, and Vizio—have wider-than-average viewing angles for that type of set. Don’t pay attention to any of the manufacturers’ specs—almost all claim they have 178- to 180-degree viewing angles. Most don't.
A model that lets you connect to the Web can give you content that can supplement the actual game. Built-in Wi-Fi makes connecting to your home network easier, especially in rooms where you might not have a wired Ethernet connection. Many TVs can now access downloadable apps, too, and you can stream online games.
If you want to hear all the bone-crunching, muscle-straining action, you’ll need a TV with decent sound. But one consequence of ever-thinner TV sets is that sound quality has become a 98-pound weakling on many models. To get the full visceral impact of a pad-jarring tackle, consider adding a sound bar speaker system or home-theater-in-a-box sound system to supplement your TV’s sound.
Go big and high-res
Ultra HD TVs, which have very high-resolution screens (four times the number of pixels as 1080p sets), let you get a bigger screen without having to change your seating distance. They're more expensive, but Ultra HD TVs are coming down in price.