Photo of someone using a remote cotrol 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 new big-screen TV than the Super Bowl. When the Carolina Panthers take on the New England Patriots at Levi's Stadium on February 7 (kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS), the action will be fast and furious. So if you don't plan to be at the game, watching it on a top-performing new 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. That means you have a great chance of scoring a great deal. And if you're thinking you could have gotten a better deal on Black Friday, here's what you need to know: Research firm Market Track claims 42 percent of the nearly 300 TVs it has tracked are either the same price or cheaper this week than they were on Black Friday. And those that were cheaper were less expensive by an average of 10 percent.

That said, our selection for best TVs for the Super Bowl isn't a list of budget sets. Among the top TVs we've tested, they tend to be pricier because of features such as 4K UHD resolution and smart-TV capability. Several OLED TVs from LG also make the cut.

(Budget-minded shoppers: Check out the best bargains for a Super Bowl TV.)

As a sports fan, you'll want to keep these things in mind about the best TVs for the Super Bowl:

• All the sets featured have excellent or very good 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, few 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 65EF9500

LG 65EF9500

The 65-inch LG 65EF9500 OLED TV topped our list in 2015, barely edging out the Samsung UN65JS9500. As one of the best TVs for the Super Bowl, it delivers excellent high-definition picture quality, with benchmark-setting black levels, and excellent UHD performance. (The Super Bowl isn't being broadcast in 4K this year.) And like all OLED TVs, this one has a virtually unlimited viewing angle. Right now the set is actually more expensive than it was in December, but we're hoping it comes back down to $5,000. We also recommend the 55-inch version, which costs about $3,000. The 65-inch model has a flat screen. If you prefer a curved one, consider the EG9600 sets, which are the same price and scored almost exactly the same.

    2
    Samsung UN65JS9500

    Samsung UN65JS9500

    Who ever thought an LED LCD-based TV could go head-to-head with an OLED? The Samsung UN65JS9500, a pricier 65-inch flagship LED LCD UHD TV in Samsung's SUHD lineup, more than stands up to the competition, with excellent high-definition picture quality, excellent UHD performance, and excellent sound, too. Like other SUHD TVs, it uses quantum dots for extended colors, sports a curved screen, a full-array LED backlight with local dimming. And like the LG OLED above, it can display the high dynamic range (HDR) content that will be coming out later this year.

      3
      Sony Bravia XBR-65X930C

      Sony Bravia XBR-65X930C

      Based on its looks, we would have been supremely bummed if the sound from the 65-inch Sony Bravia XBR-65X930C UHD TV was disappointing, but, thankfully, that's not the case. The oversized speakers flanking the panel have a decidedly love-it-or-leave it flare, but they deliver the best out-of-the-box sound we heard from a TV this year. (If you need more sonic oomph, you can even add an external subwoofer.) Throw in excellent high-definition picture quality and excellent UHD performance, and this TV definitely belongs on list of the best TVs for the Super Bowl.

        4
        LG 55EG9100

        LG 55EG9100

        If you're willing to exchange 4K resolution for a slightly smaller, less expensive 1080p OLED TV, then the LG 55EG9100 might be just the ticket. Proving that resolution is only one of the key elements needed for a great picture, this TV rated among the best we tested. It's got excellent high-definition picture quality, a virtually unlimited viewing angle, and, maybe best of all, a price under $2,000. Like all OLED TVs we've tested, it also has benchmark-setting black levels.

          5
          LG 65UF9500

          LG 65UF9500

          Yes, there were a few TVs with higher overall scores than this 65-inch LG 65UF9500 LED LCD-based UHD, but here's why we picked it: Not only does it have excellent high-def picture quality and UHD performance, but it also has a wider-than-average viewing angle for an LCD set. Added bonus: Unlike most models we tested, it has very good sound. If 3D is your thing, you might want a different model, as that was this TV's weak spot. But, hey, the game isn't being broadcast in 3D.

            6
            Samsung UN65JS9000

            Samsung UN65JS9000

            The 65-inch Samsung UN65JS9000 UHD LCD TV gives you almost every benefit we cited above about the flagship UN65JS9500 UHD model, but for about $1,000 less. What do you give up? Mainly the full-array LED backlight—the set has an edge LED backlight with local dimming instead—and the excellent sound. You'll have to make do with very good. The TV also has slightly different—and, we presume, slightly less impressive—high dynamic range technology. (For the record, we didn't test that.) Still, this is among the best TVs for the Super Bowl and is close to the top of our Ratings.

              7
              Samsung UN65JS850D

              Samsung UN65JS850D

              Warehouse-club shoppers might recognize the 65-inch Samsung UN65JS850D LED LCD UHD TV, which is very similar to the more common UN65JS8500, also to be considered based on our Ratings. As you'd expect from a top pick, this set delivers excellent high-definition picture quality, plus excellent UHD performance, but it also has very good sound. If you aren't so enamored with curved-screens, the sets in the JS850D- and JS8500-series sets all have a flat screen, and we've seen them selling for around $2,500 lately.

                8
                Samsung UN55JU7500

                Samsung UN55JU7500

                The curved-screen 55-inch Samsung UN55JU7500 Ultra HD LCD TV serves up excellent high-definition picture quality, plus excellent UHD performance. It's the top-of-the-line model in the series just below Samsung's top-tier SUHD TV sets. That means it has fewer features, but also a lower price.

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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.