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Photo of someone using a remote control and watching a football game on a best TV.

Best TVs for the Super Bowl

The big game deserves a big-screen set that can do it justice


There's no better excuse for splurging on a big-screen TV than the Super Bowl. When the New England Patriots take on the Atlanta Falcons at Houston's NRG Stadium on February 5 (kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET on Fox), the action will be fast and furious. So if you don't plan to be at the game, watching it on a new, top-performing big-screen TV is the next best thing.

If you need more info to rationalize the purchase, consider this: There are tons of retail promotions around the Super Bowl. While we all know that Black Friday is indeed a great time to buy a new set, our research, conducted with Gap Intelligence, shows that the second-best discounts come two weeks before the Super Bowl. In fact, an analysis of two years' worth of pricing data shows that Super Bowl sales pushed down prices by an average of 22 percent.

That said, our selection of best TVs for the Super Bowl isn't confined to budget sets. Among the top TVs we've tested, they tend to be pricier because of features such as 4K UHD resolution, high dynamic range (HDR) technology that offers brighter, more realistic images, and smart-TV capability.  

As a sports fan, you'll want to keep these things in mind as you shop for your Super Bowl TV:

• All the sets featured have excellent picture quality. But be sure to check the viewing angle, especially if you're inviting friends over to watch the game. A set with a wider angle will ensure that everyone gets a great view.

• The fast on-field action can sometimes cause blurred images, and some TVs do a better job tackling this issue.

• Finally, fewer TVs these days have a speaker system that does justice to their great pictures, so unless you'll be using a sound-bar speaker, make sure the set can convey the visceral excitement of a big hit or the roar of the crowd. We judge and rate all these attributes in our TV ratings.

1
LG OLED65G6P

LG OLED65G6P

LG's flagship OLED TV for 2016, this 65-inch model topped our ratings, barely edging out its sibling, the OLED65E6P listed below. In our recent shootout of the best TVs of 2016, it also beat the flagship models from Samsung and Sony. As you might expect, given its status, it delivers excellent high-definition and UHD picture quality, with benchmark-setting black levels. It also has very good built-in sound. And like all OLED TVs, this one has a virtually unlimited viewing angle, so everyone gets a great view of the game.

    2
    LG OLED65E6P

    LG OLED65E6P

    If the price tag on LG's G6P flagship is a bit too steep for your budget, consider the LG OLED65E6P, which delivers almost everything the top model offers, but for about $2,000 less. Like the G6P, the E6P has excellent picture quality, very good built-in sound, and an almost unlimited viewing angle. One difference: Unlike the speaker panel in the G6P, which can rotate for wall mounting, this one is fixed. If you're looking for a smaller set, the 55-inch version of this TV produced similarly sterling results in our tests.

      3
      LG OLED55B6P

      LG OLED55B6P

      It may be hard to call a $2,000 TV a great deal, but when it comes to OLED models, prices are relative. This set is appreciably less expensive than the other OLEDs on this list. And you don't have to give up very much—aside from sound quality—when you purchase it. It offers excellent high-definition picture, excellent UHD performance, and the sweeping viewing angle. If you'd prefer a curved screen, LG's C6-series sets deliver similar performance at a similar price. Both are available in the 65-inch screen size, too.

        4
        Samsung UN65KS9800

        Samsung UN65KS9800

        Who would have thought an LED LCD-based TV could go head-to-head with an OLED? Apparently Samsung, which launched this flagship model in its SUHD line last year. This curved 4K set delivers excellent high-definition picture quality and excellent UHD performance. It also has very good motion-blur reduction and very good sound. And Samsung's KS9800 series TVs use a full-array LED backlight with local dimming to produce very deep black levels for an LCD set.

          5
          Sony XBR-65Z9D

          Sony XBR-65Z9D

          The 65-inch Sony XBR-65Z9D, the company's flagship 4K model for 2016, delivers excellent high-def picture quality and excellent UHD performance. It uses a unique full-array backlight system, called Backlight Master Drive, to turn each LED on or off independently, helping it produce impressive black levels and contrast for an LCD-based set. Our main complaint is the nonintuitive process required to play HDR-enabled 4K content.

            6
            Samsung UN55KS9000

            Samsung UN55KS9000

            If the price on the Samsung KS9800 model above gives you pause, this 55-inch curved-screen 4K set costs about $1,000 less. So what do you give up? Mainly the slightly better blacks produced by the full-array LED backlight with local dimming. This set has an edge LED backlight with local dimming instead. If you think flat screen is where it's at, consider the KS9500-series sets, which perform similarly.

              7
              Samsung UN55KS8000

              Samsung UN55KS8000

              This 55-inch LED LCD-based TV delivers excellent high-definition picture quality and excellent UHD performance. A flat-screen set, it also has very good motion-blur reduction and sound. Costco and Sam's Club shoppers might want to check out the Samsung UN55KS800D, which is very similar. And if curved screens are your thing, consider the KS8500 and KS850D models.

                8
                Samsung UN65KU6500

                Samsung UN65KU6500

                A relative bargain at about $1,300, this 65-inch curved-screen 4K set delivers excellent UHD and high-definition picture quality, and it does a very good job at reducing motion blur on some fast-moving scenes. As a bonus, its sound quality is very good.

                  9
                  LG 65UH9500

                  LG 65UH9500

                  LG isn't just about OLED TVs. As proof, take a look at this 65-inch LED LCD model from the company's flagship line of 4K "Super UHD" TVs. The set delivers excellent HD and UHD picture quality, plus a wider-than-average viewing angle, so those sitting off to the side don't feel like they've been consigned to Super Bowl Siberia. It also has very good sound quality. And, like LG's OLED TVs, it supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) technology.

                    10
                    LG 60UH8500

                    LG 60UH8500

                    This 60-inch "Super UHD" set delivers excellent HD and UHD picture quality, plus a wider-than-average viewing angle for an LCD TV. It does a good job at reducing motion blur on fast-moving scenes. And, like the UH9500-series set above, it supports both HDR10 and Dolby Vision high dynamic range (HDR) technology, but it costs about $1,000 less. It's also worth nothing that it's 3D-capable, since it looks like no 2017 TVs will be offering that option.

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                      James K. Willcox

                      I've been a tech journalist for more years than I'm willing to admit. My specialties at CR are TVs, streaming media, audio, and TV and broadband services. In my spare time I build and play guitars and bass, ride motorcycles, and like to sail—hobbies I've not yet figured out how to safely combine.