The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, bar none. It’s only fitting that a Super Bowl party is equally epic, and for a soiree like that, you need a quality television.
There are several factors that optimize a TV for sports—size, display type, display clarity, and brightness. These are important for every TV, sure, but sports are typically viewed in bright rooms, the action is fast-moving, and you’ll often have large groups of people watching at once. All these things deem a “Super Bowl TV” unique, and we’ve scoured the market to find the best ones available. Here’s to shopping smart and winning big.
Size: Put simply, Super Bowl parties need supersized TVs. These events often host a dozen or more people at once, which means screen size is paramount to keep all your guests happy. It’s not just the size, though—the viewing angle is also an important consideration if you have multiple people spread out across a room. Viewing angle refers to the maximum angle at which a display can be viewed with a clear picture and true colors.
Display type: Nearly every new television you can buy today will have one of three display types: LED, OLED, or QLED. LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, and refers to a traditional LCD panel backlit with LEDs. OLEDs, or Organic Light Emitting Diodes, take it a step further by adjusting the brightness of each pixel individually, resulting in high contrast levels, deep blacks, and quick response time. QLED is mostly a marketing term used by Samsung to describe their newer LED products; however, QLED TVs stand out with high brightness levels, color volume, and HDR clarity.
Display clarity: American football can be incredibly fast-paced, and because of that, display clarity is essential. You’ll want to seek out TVs with low levels of motion blur, quick response times (i.e. the refresh rate), and consistent uniformity to avoid screen shading or clouding. This way, every frame of the action is sharp and properly saturated.
Brightness: Unlike movies, which are usually enjoyed in dark rooms, sports are typically viewed in bright rooms with groups. This means peak brightness (or maximum luminosity) should be a key factor when choosing a TV for a Super Bowl social. HDR TVs generally offer the best peak brightness levels available.
The best Super Bowl TV for your budget
As we described above, there are several crucial elements to ponder when shopping for a Super Bowl TV. Let’s simplify things by choosing quality TVs by price point.
$250 and under: You might think you have to spend $1,000 or more for a high quality TV, but there are excellent deals to be found this time of year. This 43-inch LED unit from Insignia offers 4K resolution and built-in Fire TV streaming for the price of a mid-range mobile phone. Sure, it might not be the best choice to satisfy a group of 20 football fans, but for a smaller event, it has everything you need. It also includes a smart voice-controlled remote with Alexa.
$251-$500: TCL products have some of the highest bang-for-your-buck ratings in the television industry, and this 55-inch rig is no different. Recently updated, this 4K TV bundles built-in Roku streaming with Dolby HDR and “edge LED” backlighting to display deeper blacks and more vibrant colors. It comes with three HDMI ports and one USB port, and is overall a very simple plug and play product.
$500-$1,000: For this price, you can’t find a better television than this 55-inch smart LED TV from Samsung. Boasting stunning 4K resolution, uniform LED light distribution, and a sports-friendly claimed 240Hz refresh rate, this unit is perfect for Super Bowl parties, gaming, and everything in between. In addition, it features a slim design with Samsung’s “clean cable” storage solution for a tidy look.
$1,000-$2,500: Moving up in price, you not only see increases in screen size, but also in picture quality and integrated convenience features. Samsung’s 75-inch 6 Series TV ticks all those boxes and more with its ultra-bright QLED display and exceptional viewing angles—all of which owners can’t stop raving about. That’s not all—it also offers exceptional contrast, a near bezel-free design, and smart streaming voice remote.
$2,501 and up: For those looking for an exceptional television with the bragging rights to match, feast your eyes on Sony’s 75-inch 4K smart LED TV. The picture quality here is simply outstanding, with truly vibrant colors, high contrast, vivid brightness, and Sony’s “X-Motion” technology to keep fast-moving action clean and clear. It’s voice compatible, too, with Amazon Alexa and Google Home integration for hands-free operation and smart home connectivity. It even projects impressive sound from its built-in speakers—a rarity for most new televisions—so even if your team loses the game, with this TV, you’ll still be a winner.
The Super Bowl TV shopping list
Outside of the televisions themselves, here are a few choice items to round out your setup.
Streaming box: Mainstream sports used to be relegated to network television alone, but the prevalence of streaming apps have more and more fans cutting the cord completely. If you’re considering doing the same, we recommend the Amazon Fire Stick for one simple reason—it’s the best value for your money on the market, period.
HD antenna: HD antennas are quickly being overshadowed by cable services and streaming boxes, but they still allow viewers to enjoy live high-definition broadcasts completely free. We like the ClearStream Eclipse TV antenna due to its 35-mile range, clean design, and easy installation.
Sound bar: While new TVs provide spectacular picture quality, their built-in speakers usually leave something to be desired. Because of this, we recommend purchasing an external soundbar for your new TV. It’ll make it easier to hear the action over your raucous Super Bowl fiesta, and the bigger, fuller sound will enhance your TV and movie-watching experience for the rest of the year. Our pick is the Sonos Playbar for its crisp, well-engineered sound and convenient Sonos app.