How I Find The Best TVs
If the above smart TVs didn’t work out, I recommend you read below to help yourself find a good deal. I’ve organized some quick info on how I determine the best televisions for any kind of criteria. I go over features, prices, prices histories, some frequently asked questions and even share the most recent changes to my 5 best 4K TVs for sports.
Response Times 101
Since sports are packed with action they often have many different things all happening at once. This is why a good response time is so ideal for the best TV for sports. A response time allows for the initial pixel of any color to switch quickly to a different color as needed for the content. By responding quickly it helps smooth out the overall picture for a more immersive viewing experience. Some other side effects of a smart TV with a slow response time would be eye tracking or motion trailing. Eye tracking is sort of like driving in a fast car as you watch the trees next to the road pass by. Your eye become attracted to each passing tree in a way that is similar to eye tracking with smart TVs. Your eye becomes attracted to a slow reacting pixel because it sticks out like a sore thumb. A motion blur on the other hand is no different than any other kind of trail. Below is a quick example of a shot taken with, and without motion blur, and then an addition of the two to see how different televisions will work to handle motion.
Another option that works somewhat well for sports is also motion interpolation. Think of it as response time’s distant cousin. These type of feature help to smooth the picture, but rather than actually responding, software is used to smooth the picture. Though, I do not normally recommend these type of feature because the drawbacks are often outweigh the positives. They can lead to artifacts in the picture or screen tears in rare cases, but overall any of the best 4k TVs for sports are likely to have these features at your disposal.
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Viewing Angles of TVs
The second most important feature for the best TVs for sports will be the viewing angle that it offers. This is especially ideal for sharing the TV set with friends and family when the big game is on. I’d recommend anything that is over an average of 30 degrees because they will do the job for the most part and you can often find good deals. Anything over 60 degrees is absolutely perfection, but is often wickedly overpriced for the other features it likely offers. Below is a quick overview on smart TVs and their viewing angles.
Additionally, viewing angles are often broken down into how quickly three different parts of the picture loses quality or ‘washes’ out as you move to the left or right. You’ll want to look at the brightness, black intensity, and color intensity. Each of these play a different part in the overall quality of the content and depending on your ideal viewing scenario could matter more than the other. For instance if you often watch sports at night, the brightness isn’t needed as much as the black intensity because a better black quality will help dark rooming viewing experience whereas the exact opposite is true if you like to watch sports in the morning. I largely take this into consideration when finding the best 4k TVs for sports.
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Resolutions and Reflections
This is a tie for third as most important. Both resolutions and reflections play a huge part in the best TV for sports. Resolutions range from 480p all the way to 8K nowadays and finding the best for the money can become quite the hassle. I personally recommend 4K as it is the most reliable as of right now and most smart TV options upscale 720p content well to this level which is perfect as many sports are broadcast at a 720p resolution. I’ve added a small overview below of common resoltuions and what you should look for when finding the best TV for you.
Another thing to think about will be how well these smart TVs handle reflections. Tons of different sports are on during the daytime and if your windows are open, glare is a usual suspect. That means the best 4k TVs for sports will have to handle reflections well. Most TV sets will have a glossy finish or some sort of anti-reflective material applied to help minimize this side effect, but not every brand is made equally. So be careful what you purchase something you end up not enjoying.
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Lastly, one final thing to look for when finding the best TVs for sports will be if the smart TV is at a serious risk of permanent burn-in, but what exactly is it?
It is the overall risk of developing a static image stuck on screen after being exposed to a static image for a series of time. Think of this as damaged cells in a scar on the body. The pixels have become damaged are left with an image of a previous picture that is no longer there. Granted, most smart TVs are not at risk of this particular issue, but OLED TVs have become notorious for this particular issue after a seriously long period of time watching only news or TV shows. So why is this important for the best TVs for sports?
Well, often sports broadcasts will list the current score at the bottom of the screen in the same fashion for all sporting events. After a prolonged period of time, this could effect a TV that is at risk for burn-in. Though this is a rather small and rare issue, I take it into consideration to help prevent any future issues from happening. This also helps ensure a more immersive experience for years to come.
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I actually have a good article over refurbished smart TVs
with their pros and cons. In short: I do not recommend these types of televisions too often, but they can potentially save you money depending on the situation.
This is actually quite simple once you know what you’re looking for. You should not be looking down towards your smart TV nor be looking more than 15 degrees up towards it either. I cover this topic more thoroughly inside of my TV Viewing Distance
You’ll want to look for a good series of native contrast ratios, low response times, 4K support, and the ability to prevent reflections or glare when hunting for a good television. This is especially true when you have a small budget as with the top smart TVs under 500 dollars.
For video games, you will want a low input lag. This helps the TV actually show the changes in the game you make with your controller inputs. As for sports, the best addition to a good picture is a low response time. This helps the action seem smooth and helps prevent eye-tracking.
I recommend you organize your by price and fortunately for you I have some articles that do exactly that! Check them out here.
Depending on the source you’re viewing sports, it could be because your TV doesn’t have 24p playback support. By having this support, your smart TV attempts to remove judder, but without it the picture is riddled with issues. This is largely related to the refresh rate of your TV set versus the content you’re watching. Often times the source is 24 fps and your TV is only 60 Hz. The math simply just doesn’t divide evenly and leads to frames being left out which translates to the judder you’re seeing.