Best TVs for the Big Game 1/30/15

A sports bar is a great place to watch the big game. But if you’re buying a TV for your Super Bowl party at home, Consumer Reports has complete buying advice. Its testers say a screen that’s at least 50 inches or larger is a good size for a crowd.

Testers in Consumer Reports’ labs size up hundreds of TVs every year. Also important is a set that delivers a wide viewing angle. When you’re watching a big game with a crowd of friends, not everyone is going to get that great seat front and center. One of the concerns with some LCD and LED TVs is that the picture can start to look washed out when you view it from an angle.

Another consideration—how well the TV can handle fast action. Sports is one of the types of content that can really stress a TV’s ability to present fast-moving scenes without the image blurring. So Consumer Reports tests for that.

And the engineers evaluate whether the TV’s sound is clear and loud enough, without distortion. The 55-inch Sony Bravia XBR-55X900B delivers excellent sound, and it gets top marks for ultra high-definition 4K picture quality. It costs $2,800. This year’s Super Bowl is not being broadcast in 4K, but it’s still going to look great on the set. And the TV will have you future-proofed for when more 4K content becomes available.

If you don’t care about ultra high-definition, Consumer Reports recommends the 55-inch Panasonic Viera TC-55AS530U for $700 and the LG 55LB6300 for about $800, and the 50-inch Samsung UN50H5203 for about $700.

Though you’ll see big sales of televisions leading up to the Super Bowl, Consumer Reports says that you’ll get even better deals in late February and early March, when retailers clear out older sets to make way for the new.

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