Today, we’re going to learn about the top features to look for in an HDTV if you’re a sports enthusiast. A new HDTV is going to bring you closer to the sidelines, court side seats, or edges of a half pipe than you could ever imagine– well, with the exception of front row tickets.
First thing to consider – size. The ideal size for your TV depends on the size of your TV room. How far you sit on the TV, or the recommended viewing distance, is about 1.5 to 2 times the size of the screen. So for example, if you have a 42-inch screen, you should position your couch a minimum of feet away. If you enjoy having family and friends over to watch big games, you should definitely consider a 42-inch TV or larger if you’ve got the space for it.
Second important feature– refresh rate. Refresh rate affects the motion’s smoothness. All LCD TVs come basically in three different refresh rates– 240 Hertz, 120 Hertz, and 60 Hertz. This number indicates how frequently a new image is displayed on the screen. Bigger number means more images per second, which results in a smoother picture with less motion blur. 240 Hertz is the fastest refresh rate possible on an LCD panel.
Now, you’re probably thinking, I know that I have seen higher refresh rates advertised. Those higher numbers you’re seeing are for something that refers to motion compensation technology. And every brand has their own technology for this. Don’t get all caught up in the numbers game. Just make sure you take a look for yourself before you buy. Ask your retailer to demonstrate the different motion settings for you. You want every run, pass, and tackle to look real and natural, as if you were right there on the field. And make sure that the motion compensation feature doesn’t compromise brightness.
Third feature is color accuracy. From lush green football and soccer fields to blue skies and deep red or blue jerseys, you want a TV that is capable of producing colors as real to life as possible. And remember, brighter does not necessarily mean better.
A lot of stores will boost the brightness of the TV screen, since people are naturally attracted to bright lights. The downside is you get side effects that impact picture quality. An overly bright set can distort colors tremendously, particularly greens.
Fourth feature – contrast. Now, this is a much debated and misunderstood term, but here’s what’s important to know. Within the same scene, you want your whites to be bright and you want your darks to be dark black. Inky blacks add context and atmosphere to your games, movies, and TV programming, especially in shadows, night time, and other dark scenes.
Now, blacks are driven by the TVs picture engine, not by the panel. The picture engine in this TV delivers dark, rich blacks and true to life color and detail in all scenes. The color accuracy and amazing contrast can really make it feel like you are looking through a glass window at the game.
Fifth feature – apps. As an avid sports fan, it’s important to have the ability to stay current, look up player stats, game scores, and news clips while watching a game. And it’s also fun to engage in some good old trash talk on Facebook and Twitter while the game is live. To do that, you’ll want a smart TV that has made-for-TV apps and the ability to connect to the internet.
Sixth feature – 3D. Watching sports in 3D is the most immersive, at-the-game experience you can get from home. 3D broadcasting is beginning to catch on, and more and more sporting events are being offered in 3D. ESPN has a 24/7 3D channel, and Sony, IMAX, and Discovery have also teamed up for an always on, 3D broadcast channel called 3net. Watching sports in 3D is ideal for those special occasion sporting events that are broadcast in 3D.
OK, there you have it – the top six things to look for in an HDTV for your man cave or your in-home sports bar.
Let’s recap – 42-inch or larger screen size, high refresh rate for smooth motion, color accuracy and contrast for optimal picture quality, made-for-TV internet apps, and 3D capabilities.