The Best 4K TVs for Watching Sports on Sale for Cyber Monday – Hollywood Reporter

The Best 4K TVs for Watching Sports on Sale for Cyber Monday – Hollywood Reporter

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Get into the game (and score major deals) with the best big screens that let you keep up on the action.
By Danielle Directo-Meston
E-Commerce Writer
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Some of the best screens are designed to bring your favorite blockbusters to life, but watching fast-paced games is a different story. The best TVs for sports let you keep track of lightning-fast athletes, race cars and more — and while watching sports at home is a different experience than sitting courtside or ringside, today’s state-of-the-art TVs offer features such as wide-screen viewing, Dolby Vision and immersive Dolby Atmos that make you feel as if you’re in the middle of the game or match.
Cord cutter sports fans have no shortage of options for watching NFL, NBA, NCAA, MLB and other games online, including Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+. For sports fans, “it’s an exciting time, but we are only at the beginning of what Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos can bring to the live broadcast world,” John Couling, senior vice president of entertainment at Dolby, tells The Hollywood Reporter.

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Here, Couling sheds more light on the different types of televisions for watching sports, as well as his top tips for setting up your home theater.
Before buying a new TV, it’s important to know the differences among the types of screens, mainly QLED and OLED displays.
“QLED is a variant based on liquid-crystal display (LCD) that extends the display’s color saturation using an LED backlight combined with an advanced color conversion material called ‘Quantum Dots,’ often abbreviated as QD,” says Couling. “LCD features a transparent screen that doesn’t create light on its own. Instead, these screens are combined with a backlight, often comprised of an array of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) used to illuminate the pixels in the panel.”
OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, “can illuminate each pixel at an individual level, making a backlight unnecessary,” adds Couling.
“Each technology has its benefits, and all have improved significantly over the past ten years — especially when paired with features like HDR. Choosing what’s best for you is really about customer preference. There is no right or wrong answer,” he says.
Whether you’re a gamer, a sports fan or a movie buff, knowing the difference between a TV’s refresh rate and the frame rate will also help decide on the best screen.

“Refresh rate refers to how quickly a screen updates (or refreshes) the image it is displaying. This is not to be confused with frame rate, which describes how many frames (individual images) are displayed on the TV by the content, such as a movie or game,” says Couling. “Simply put, the TV’s refresh rate has to align in a meaningful way to the frame rate, but it’s not something consumers should worry too much about as modern displays take care of this process for them.”
He adds that lower frame rates used by filmmakers result in the “cinematic look and feel” seen in many movies and TV shows, “which is a deliberate choice by the creative. … Support for 24 and 60 frames per second (fps) has been available in modern TVs for some time.”
Higher frame rates (about 60 fps) are usually used in sports to make games look smoother. “This is a functional choice to make sure the action looks natural, like a quarterback throwing a pass to an open receiver.” And in gaming, higher frame rates (such as 120 fps) are becoming more commonly supported especially as next-gen gaming consoles are being introduced. “[They] allow players to react within split seconds of what they see on screen. This is huge in the world of competitive gaming. If gaming is important to you, you’ll want to look for this in your next TV purchase.”
“The distance between your couch and TV can have an impact on your viewing experience, but the optimal distance is a balance of what looks best to you, scientific recommendations, and what you plan to watch,” says Couling. Many viewers assume that big-screen TVs of 55 inches or larger require a longer distance between the couch and the TV, but that’s not always the case, he adds.

“As the resolution of modern TVs has also increased over time, it can be the opposite. Generally, for most types of content, images will start to lose detail if the distance between your couch and TV is greater than three times the TV’s vertical picture height (the distance between the top and bottom of your screen),” says Couling. For those who are watching in 4K, “that distance needs to be even closer (about 1.5 picture height to be precise) as our eyes can’t differentiate the fine detail of individual pixels from further away.”
That means a 65-inch TV should be about four feet away from your couch, “but many people likely don’t sit this close while others may not be in the market to purchase a larger TV.”
He adds: “This is why a TV with HDR, or Dolby Vision, should be top of mind when looking for your next purchase. These technologies will produce the biggest improvements in picture quality, and luckily for consumers, viewing distance is less critical with HDR because our eyes can see more colors, higher brightness, and better contrast from farther distances. HDR can even make images feel like they have more detail. Manufactures also bundle 4K and HDR together, so if you purchase an HDR or Dolby Vision TV, it will also support 4K.”
Couling recommends that viewers who want the best audio experience should invest in a soundbar or a home theater audio system. If you’re not ready to buy one or your TV is already equipped with Dolby Atmos, there are a few ways to ensure optimal sound:

If you’re looking to upgrade your home theater ahead of the Super Bowl, we’ve rounded up the best 4K TVs for watching sports based on Couling’s advice. Now that many cable networks are broadcasting sports in 4K quality (which is four times the resolution of 1080 HD), fans can follow their favorite teams on a big screen with crisp details and no blurring.
We’ve recommended screens of at least 55 inches (though other sizes are available), and that feature refresh rates of 60Hz and 120Hz so that they can accommodate the motion of fast-paced games. These TVs also have high-dynamic range (HDR), which gives images a more life-like quality with a wide color gamut, stunning contrast, deeper hues and brighter highlights.
Check out our top picks for the top-rated televisions for sports below.
Buy LG C2 55″ OLED Evo TV (reg. $1,800): LG ($1,300) | Amazon ($1,297) | Best Buy ($1,300) | Crutchfield ($1,297)

You’ll never miss a game with LG’s C2 Series OLED TV (the next generation of the company’s C1 series TVs), which has a convenient Sports Alert mode that notifies you of start times, scores and updates on your favorite NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and Premier League teams, even if you’re tuned to another channel. 
The OLED display’s eight million pixels deliver perfect blacks, over a billion colors and stunning contrast, while the Filmmaker Mode combines to let you watch movies exactly as directors intended. Rounding out the movie night-ready features are Dolby Vision IQ (which automatically adjusts the TV for different lighting conditions), Cinema HDR and Dolby Atmos for room-filling audio.
The TV’s α9 Gen5 AI processor 4K automatically adjusts the picture and sound to deliver the best entertainment experience, while gamers will appreciate the Auto Lo-Latency Mode and Game Optimizer that brings easy access to settings.
LG’s ThinQ AI lets you use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa to control your TV. And if you’re a Star Wars superfan, there’s even a Darth Vader-inspired edition available for $3,000 for a limited time.


LG OLED C1 TV (reg. $1,500) $3,996.99 on

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Buy Samsung Neo 55″ QN85B QLED TV (reg. $1,400): Samsung ($1,000)Amazon ($1,000) | Best Buy ($1,100)
The best QLED TV for watching sports, Samsung’s QN85B Neo QLED TV delivers smooth motion in up to 4K with Motion Xcelerator Turbo+ and a high refresh rate of 120Hz. The Neo Quantum processor 4K uses AI-based deep-learning analysis to optimize quality no matter the source, signal and content type. Quantum HDR 24X gives sports, movies and TV shows realistic quality, and viewers can expect to see brilliant detailing in the dark thanks to Mini LED technology. (The equally excellent previous model, the QN85A, is on sale for up to 35 percent off on Amazon.)
For sports, the QN85B TV lets you track every movement on its anti-glare screen, and the MultiView feature lets you simultaneously watch your phone screen, allowing you to see live sports stats and the game side-by-side, depending on your mobile device. The TV has built-in speakers on all sides, and Object Tracking Sound Pro projects 3D audio to make you feel like you’re in the center of it all. What’s also great is that the wide viewing angle looks accurate from wherever you’re sitting, making it ideal for viewing parties.

Gamers can enjoy Samsung’s Super UltraWide GameView (21:9 and 32:9 screen ratios) and Game Bar, an on-screen menu that lets you adjust input lag check, frame rate, wireless headset settings, screen ratio and more. Audiophiles can listen with Q-Symphony, a feature that works with compatible soundbars for immersive synchronized sound.
Samsung’s Tizen-powered smart TV lets you use voice control assistants (including Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant), and it supports many streaming services including Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and more. The brand’s Samsung TV Plus platform also gives access to 150 channels and subscription-free movies, sports and TV shows.

Samsung QN85A Neo QLED TV

Samsung Neo QLED QN85B 4K UHD Smart TV (reg. $1,398) $1,297.99 on

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Buy Amazon Fire Omni Series 55″ 4K UHD TV for $450 (reg. $560): Amazon | Best Buy
Amazon’s foray into the smart television world promises one of the best 4K UHD TVs for those who want cinematic quality on a budget. Equipped with Dolby Vision and HDR 10, the Fire Omni Series 4K UHD Smart TV offers vibrant color, brightness, contrast and clarity in one thin profile with an ultra-slim bezel.

The TV supports the NBC Sports and NFL apps, and you can also stream the Super Bowl and other games with a subscription to a live TV streaming service (such as Hulu with Live TV, Sling or YouTube TV).
If you’re already living in an Amazon-powered household, you’ll appreciate the automatic integration for the e-comm giant’s smart home devices (such as the Ring video doorbell and thermostat) and Alexa voice controls. The Alexa Home Theater lets you wirelessly pair Echo speakers with the TV, or you can connect a soundbar or an AV receiver via Bluetooth or the eARC port.
You can also ask Alexa to help you stay updated your favorite teams, sports scores, event schedules and more.

Amazon Fire Omni Series 4K UHD Smart TV

Amazon Fire TV Omni Series 4K UHD Smart TV (reg. $560) $469.99 on

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Buy Sony Bravia XR A95K HDR OLED Google TV (reg. $3,000): Amazon ($2,498) | Best Buy ($2,500) | B&H Photo ($2,498)
Ideal for Playstation gamers, Sony’s latest Bravia XR A95K HDR OLED Google TV delivers high-contrast picture with a wide viewing angle and impressive reflection handling, making it great for watching sports, too. Its Cognitive Processor XR gives life-like picture quality with natural colors and detailed blacks, while the XR Triluminos Max and XR OLED Contrast Pro combine to offer Sony’s widest palette of natural-looking hues and realistic brightness.
The 120Hz refresh rate and Auto Genre Picture Switch help to set the right mode and cut out the digital noise and blurring that comes with fast-moving on-screen objects (say, basketballs, footballs and Formula 1 cars).
Rounding out the perks for movie fans are Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos to bring the cinematic experience to your living room. For the gamers (especially those on Sony’s Playstation 5), the 4K variable refresh rate (VRR), low input lag and G-Sync compatibility offer realistic and responsive gameplay.
The Bravia XR A85K TV uses Google’s interface, which we’ve found to be very user-friendly.

Sony Bravia XR A95K HDR OLED Google TV

Sony Bravia XR A95K HDR OLED Google TV (reg. $3,000) $2,798.00 on

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Buy TCL 6-Series 4K UHD 55″ QLED TV (reg. $700): Amazon | Best Buy ($600)
TCL’s 6-series mini-LED smart television is one of the best QLED TVs for sports fans who want to see every detail of the game and a true-to-broadcast quality. Equipped with Dolby Vision HDR, the TV is also an excellent option for movie watchers seeking life-like picture and impressive depth. 
The mini-LED backlight and quantum dot technologies combine to bring uniform brightness and contrast and a wider and brighter color range, and contrast control zones individually optimize 240 areas so you get crisp images with distinct bright and dark areas. The AiPQ Engine uses machine-learning technology to optimize clarity, colors and contrast, and viewers can enjoy lag-free motion and smooth gameplay across a wide field of vision, which is great for watching football and soccer.
The THX Certified Game and Auto Game modes are particularly great for gamers who want an optimal big-screen gaming experience with speedy responsiveness and smooth images.
TCL’s Roku interface and mobile app work with Alexa and Google for voice commands, so you can easily ask to change channels, switch inputs and find movies and TV shows.

TCL 6-Series 4K UHD QLED Roku Smart TV

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