As the big game approaches, you may be looking at your aging TV and thinking to yourself, “It’s time for an upgrade”—and frankly, why not? Just because you’re not at the stadium doesn’t mean you can’t have a larger-than-life experience in the middle of your living room, and have a few friends and family members over while you’re at it. While game tickets may be out of reach, a feature-packed high-definition television doesn’t have to be.
As manufacturers continue to push the envelope on performance, TV choices now cover a wide range of budgets with enough money left over to stock up on game-time snacks. A high-resolution TV delivers all the game action in vivid detail; when matched with a pristine high-definition source, you may even be able to count individual blades of grass, see the facial expressions of your favorite athletes, and hear them grunt as they get walloped by defensive tackles.
In this roundup we’re going to look at a number of models from a few major players in the home entertainment industry. These models comprise a large variety of sizes and are loaded with technology that’s designed to please the casual viewer and discerning videophile alike.
Samsung is a formidable force in the world of consumer electronics. Their UN50EH6000 is a 50-inch LED LCD television with 1920 x 1080 native resolution. Not only does this LED HDTV allow you to watch content in full high definition but, with built-in Clear Motion Rate 240 technology, you can enjoy fast-moving game play with minimal distortion. While Clear Motion Rate 240 doesn’t reflect the TV’s actual refresh rate, this technology works with the TV’s native 120Hz refresh rate to produce clear, fast-motion material. When the game isn’t on, this TV’s dual HDMI inputs allow you to connect additional high-definition sources like high-resolution gaming systems and Blu-ray players. Additionally, there’s a USB port that supports multiple audio and video playback formats; this is a great solution for playing content stored on devices like flash drives or external hard drives.
The Samsung UN55F6300 is a 55-inch LED HDTV. Like the UN50EH6000, this model is also endowed with Clear Motion Rate 240 technology and 1080p resolution, but adds features like Internet connectivity and a dual-core processor. The integrated full web browser allows you to navigate the Internet just as you would on a traditional PC, and Samsung’s Smart Hub gives you the ability to explore app-based multimedia content like Netflix. The TV’s dual-core processor gives you extra power for smooth menu navigation, which further contributes to a computer-like experience. Built-in Wi-Fi gives you the freedom to explore your web-based content without wires, or access files via your home network. If you’re looking for a dynamic audio experience to match the TV’s expansive display, this model incorporates DTS and Dolby Digital surround technology, a great feature if you’re not connecting the TV to a larger multi-channel speaker system. For audio playback, this model features dual down-firing 10-watt speakers.
Samsung’s UN60F6400 steps up to a larger 60-inch display so you can invite more of your game-time buddies, and adds active 3D technology. Two pairs of 3D glasses are included with the TV and you can even convert 2D content into 3D. Like the UN55F6300, this model includes Wi-Fi and Samsung’s Smart Hub for accessing Internet content. The Smart Hub organizes apps into panels so you can easily find the content you’re looking for. For simplified navigation, this LED HDTV includes a smart remote with a built-in microphone. The microphone responds to voice commands, which allows you to find content intuitively. With a display this size, picture quality can’t be sacrificed, and with that in mind, micro dimming technology is also onboard for enhanced contrast, resulting in bright whites and deep black levels. Deep black levels add depth and realism to images, and bright whites help to improve overall image contrast. Four HDMI inputs are built in for connecting multiple video sources.
If you’re looking for an even larger display and greater picture detail, it may be time to step up to a 4K TV. The Samsung UN65F9000 is equipped with a 65-inch display, has 4K 3840 x 2160 native resolution, and includes a quad-core processor for PC-like power and multitasking. Built-in Clear Motion Rate 1200 technology works with the TV’s native 240Hz refresh rate to virtually eliminate motion blur, allowing you to catch all the game-time action without the disturbance of jutter-filled image pans. This TV also allows you to watch 3D content in 1080p resolution and includes four pairs of active 3D glasses.
The UN65F9000 incorporates Samsung’s top-tier picture enhancements like Precision Black Local Dimming, Micro Dimming Ultimate, and Ultra Clear Panel. These technologies help showcase the TV's ability to deliver lifelike picture detail combined with deep black levels. When the game is over and you want to video-chat with some friends, this model includes a pop-up camera that can be used with optional services like Skype. Two built-in down-firing speakers and dual subwoofers add robust audio performance to the TV’s 1.6-inch deep frame.
Sony is also a pioneer in high-definition technology. They offer a variety of LED TVs that incorporate advanced panel backlighting and video processing. The 55-inch Sony KDL55W802A continues their tradition of producing feature-rich, high-resolution TVs. This model has 1920 x 1080 native resolution and incorporates Sony’s Motionflow XR 480 technology for smoothing out fast-paced material. Sony’s Motionflow technology also works in conjunction with the display’s native 120Hz refresh rate. Dynamic Edge LED backlighting is built in for producing dark and light onscreen content. With Sony’s X-Reality PRO Picture Engine, low-resolution images are cleaned and refined for optimal picture quality. Built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections allow you to access Sony’s Entertainment Network for streaming and multimedia content. This model also has built-in passive 3D technology and includes four pairs of 3D glasses.
Sony’s KDL-60R550A also features 1920 x 1080 resolution and includes 3D technology and four pairs of glasses. This model is equipped with Sony Motionflow XR 240 technology, which is no slouch when it comes to cleaning fast-moving images. Built-in Wi-Fi and Ethernet are present here as well, and so is Sony’s popular Entertainment Network. Built-in Miracast and MHL allow you to connect compatible smartphones and tablets, and mirror their screens on the TV’s 60-inch display. This model is also DLNA compliant for sharing content like photos, music, and videos from networked devices with other DLNA-compatible devices. This is a great feature for those who want to share their stored content on the big screen with family and friends.
Sony isn’t just about 1080p—their 65-inch XBR-65X850A and XBR-65X900A TVs both have 4K 3840 x 2160 native resolution and incorporate Sony’s advanced Motionflow XR 960 technology. Additionally, these models feature Sony’s Triluminos Display technology for life-like color detail; this technology may come in handy when reproducing the wide color spectrum that the big game has to offer. The XBR-65X900A includes passive 3D technology and the XBR-65X850A includes active 3D technology, which allows you to watch 3D content in full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution. Not to be outdone, the Sony XBR-65X900A allows you to watch 3D images at 4K resolution. Both models come with 4 pairs of 3D glasses for enjoying with family and friends.
The XBR-65X900A also features Sony’s 4K X-Reality Pro Chip, which refines and upscales lower-resolution sources to near 4K quality. While the XBR-65X850A packs a respectable 30-watt, 2.1 channel speaker, the XBR-65900A features a 65-watt sound system and side-mounted speaker array. Both of these 4K models include wired and wireless Internet connectivity and allow you to access Sony’s Internet-based multimedia content. You can also connect your smartphone or tablet to your display with wireless NFC pairing when used with other NFC-equipped devices. Want to impress your game-party guests with smartphone control? Sony’s got you covered there, too, with iOS and Android-based apps.
LG is well known for producing feature-packed LED TVs that are equally adept at delivering top-tier picture quality. Their 55-inch 55LN5700 will allow you to watch the game in 1080p resolution and clearly capture every pass with 120Hz technology. LG’s web interface gives you access to popular streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube and the TV incorporates built-in Wi-Fi for connecting you to that content. Not only does this TV offer multiple options for sharing content with portable devices, but you can also connect to LG’s cloud storage for accessing additional multimedia. If you need to get the TV set up quickly before your friends and family arrive, the TV’s Picture Wizard II will walk you through picture-calibration settings. This model also incorporates video processing that upscales lower-resolution sources to near-1080p quality. If you want to connect multiple high-definition sources, this TV is equipped with three HDMI inputs.
The 60-inch LG PN6500 is the only plasma display in this model lineup, but that doesn’t mean it can’t compete with the LED models. In fact it, too, features 1920 x 1080 resolution and includes LG’s Picture Wizard II picture calibration. If you want to take your picture quality to the next level, this model is ISFccc ready, which means that it’s certified for optional professional calibration. With 600Hz subfield technology, you’ll be able to enjoy the game without worrying about blurred moving images. This plasma TV also features LG energy-saving technology, which is designed to keep power consumption to a minimum.
Sharp has become synonymous with large-panel LED TVs. Their LC70LE650 is equipped with a massive 70-inch screen, and edge-lit backlighting for enhanced image contrast. This 1080p model incorporates a 120Hz refresh rate to tame fast-action blur and dual 10-watt speakers for audio playback. Sharp also incorporates their OPC technology in this TV. OPC uses a sensor on the front of the TV to automatically adjust TV picture brightness based on the ambient lighting in your room. Popular top-shelf features like Wi-Fi and a web browser are also included. Sharp’s Smart Central interface allows you to easily find app-based content, and a dual-core processor in the engine enables speedy navigation. If Wi-Fi isn’t available, the TV incorporates an Ethernet interface for wired Internet connections.
Have room for an even larger display? Sharp’s LC90LE657U sports a crowd-pleasing, stadium-like 90” screen size—it’s like having your own Jumbotron. In addition to sporting native 1920 x 1080 resolution, this TV is loaded with active 3D technology and includes 2 pairs of glasses. With an estimated 8,000,000:1 to contrast ratio, this high-definition display is capable of producing inky-black images and ultra-bright whites. The panel has a native 120Hz refresh rate with AquoMotion 240 technology. Sharp’s OPC technology is present in this model as well, but the audio has been bumped up to a total of 35 watts, which includes the addition of a subwoofer for added low-frequency impact. When the crowd roars, this 2.1 channel speaker system will pull you into the action. If you have multiple high-resolution sources, this model has you covered with 4 HDMI Inputs. As is common with other large LED TVs, sharp offers an iOS and Android app for controlling your TV with a smartphone or tablet. This TV also features Bluetooth connectivity for pairing and content-sharing with other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
So the season is coming to an end, and perhaps your team isn’t the one playing for the ultimate prize this year. Well, it’ll be that time of year again before you know it, when and by August, the preseason rolls into the regular season. When that time comes, you’ll be breaking out your favorite team’s t-shirts, dissecting schedules, and marking off rivalries on your calendar. While you’re taking it all in, you can do so with pristine picture quality and life-like image depth. At B&H, we have plenty of TVs on display that are capable of capturing your team’s triumphs in exquisite high-resolution detail.