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

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - Words Jen­nifer Veer­huis More

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”

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