Choosing the best TV for watching your favourite sport
Enjoy a premium experience in your own living room when your favourite team takes to the field
Q I’m a keen sports fan and this year I want to watch the NRL grand final in style. What features should I look for in a new television to get the best viewing experience?
A It’s a great time of year for sports fans, with the much-anticipated NRL and AFL grand finals next weekend and the Melbourne Cup in early November, followed by a summer of top notch cricket.
If you haven’t got tickets to one of these events, watching at home is the next best thing — provided you have the right television. Hisense product specialist and TV expert Chris Mayer (pictured) says technology is making the at-home television viewing experience better than ever before. He says televisions in Australia are getting larger, with popular sizes for watching sport now 65 and 75 inches wide.
“Not that long ago, a 55-inch set became the most popular television size in Australia but we are moving towards bigger sizes,” he says. “If you like watching sport and you’ve got a bigger living room, there’s no reason you can’t get a 75 inch in there.”
Of course, such a large television won’t suit every living room.
“It depends on the distance (to the screen),” Chris says. “People often do buy a television that’s too large for their space. If you are going to be putting a 75 inch in your home, you need to sit four to five metres back, which (is space) not everybody has.”
What to look out for
Chris recommends sports fans look for a good “smooth motion rate”, which allows the viewer to see the ball moving across the screen really well. “Hisense also has sports mode,” he says. “It will preference the television to focus more of its speed on making sure that motion works really well. Televisions refresh from the top to the bottom so when the ball’s going up and down that’s not a problem, but when the ball starts going left and right you need to focus the television on that because they traditionally handle that pretty badly. If you’re watching tennis or rugby league, it’s going to track whatever is on the screen, left and right and up and down, which sounds really obvious but there aren’t a lot of televisions that do that very well.”
Chris also advises looking for good contrast or the difference between the black levels on the television and the brightness. He says local dimming will help deliver a deep pitch black and increase brightness.
For those buying at the premium end, Chris suggests looking for a television that is Ultra HD premium (UHD) certified. The certification applies to televisions that meet or exceed performance specs.
Much excitement at this end of the market also focuses on 4K technology.
“It’s a display resolution consisting of many more pixels than a full HD resolution — four times as many,” Chris says. “As the pixels are smaller and closer together Australians can benefit from larger televisions without having to sacrifice image quality. You can purchase hundreds of movies on 4K discs and with a compatible internet connection Aussies can also access 4K content on services such as Netflix, Stan and YouTube.”
Next month Foxtel launches a dedicated 4K channel (444) which will offer cricket lovers with a compatible television and settop box all this summer’s action like they have never seen it before.
“People often buy a television that’s too large for their space”