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Updated , Mehdi Azzabi

Best TVs for watching sports - Winter 2017
Reviews

Sports fans need a TV worthy of their teams’ triumphs, something that handles fast movement well and that won’t distract by making the playing surface look patchy. Need a TV to enjoy the big game fully? Here are our recommendations:

Best high-end TVs for watching sports

Usage Rating
8.3Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
55" 65"

The LG OLED B6 is the best 4k TV for watching sports that we reviewed in 2016. You’ll see very little blur, and the uniformity is very good, so playing surfaces are not going to look patchy. The more expensive version, the E6, is not worth it for sports since it has the same picture quality.

As with all OLED TVs (see our article about OLED vs LED), mostly bright images will dim the overall luminosity, which isn’t ideal for sports like hockey. But, if this relatively minor problem doesn’t bother you, the LG OLED B6 will be a really good choice for watching sports, and well worth the money.

See our review

Alternative

49" 55" 60" 65"

If you want something cheaper, get the Samsung KS8000 instead. When sitting directly in front of the TV, it is about just as good as the OLED for watching sports. It can even get brighter, which is great if you have lots of light in your living room during the day. The only downside compared to OLED for sports is the picture quality is not as good at an angle, which is not ideal if you have a lot of friends over.

But even with that flaw, it is the best LED TV we tested for watching sports this year.

See our review

Best mid-range TVs for watching sports

Usage Rating
7.9Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
49" 55"

For a more affordable LED TV suitable for watching sports, get the Sony X700D 4k TV. It has a great viewing angle, small amount of motion blur and gets pretty bright. It works well in a bright living room with a few friends that are going to be watching from the sides.

Note: If you're looking for a larger size, the Sony X750D is essentially the same TV but in a 65 inch format.

See our review

Alternative

50" 55" 60" 65" 70" 80"

The Vizio M 2016 is another alternative for a mid-range TV for sports. The picture quality is actually better than the Sony and it's available in a lot more sizes, but it doesn't have a very good viewing angle. It also reflects a lot more light and doesn't get as bright, so it won't do as well for daytime watching.

Still, it is a good TV that will work at a variety of usage, not only for sports.

See our review

Best budget TVs for watching sports

Usage Rating
7.2Sports
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What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
Score components:
40" 48" 55"

In the budget range, go with the TCL FS3750. It is a 1080p TV and it doesn't offer a stellar picture quality, but considering the price, it does really well. It doesn't have problems with motion on fast movements, which is great for sports.

See our review

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best TVs to watch sports for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't really worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

A few examples of TVs that didn't make the cut:

  • Vizio P Series 2016. Low amount of motion blur, but vertical bands on the screens can be distracting on sports with a lot of panning shots. See our review
  • Sony X850D. Great TV for watching sports. Not as good in the dark, though. See our review
  • Samsung KS9000. Great TV in general, but the cheaper Samsung KS8000 is almost just as good. See our review
  • LG UH8500. Good option if you want to watch it at an angle, but a bit priced too high. See our review
  • Samsung JS9000. Almost out of stock everywhere now, or priced too high. See our review

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs. Be careful to not get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them. 

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Questions & Answers

8 ANSWERED QUESTIONS
26
What's the best option for 50" around $1,000 that's best for sports, games, and movies.
The best option is the Samsung UN50J6300. It has good contrast and uniformity, minimal motion blur, and average input lag, so everything will look good and play well.
15
Looking to spend about $2,000. Main sports watched are football & basketball. Plan to get SONOS for sound, and I just want the best picture quality, mainly for sports. Looking for a 60" - 65", as I will be generally about 10-12 feet away from screen. I have always heard good things about Sony in the past, but I hear good things about Vizio now, too.
Either brand would make a good choice. The Sony X850C has less blur and is better for watching TV (including sports), but it's much more expensive than the best Vizio option, the M-series, and we don't expect the M's blur to be an issue with sports.
Given that the 65" X850C is over your budget, the M-series is the better choice.
7
Vizio M70-C3 for sports? Looking for a TV in the 70-75" range, and the main focus is sports. The price is nice and the reviews seem positive for a budget TV, but the motion blur is making me second guess that decision. This will be to replace a 72" Mitsubishi DLP 1080p set with a burnt-out light bar.
The M-series' blur is really only an issue for gaming. It's a fine TV for sports, so you should go for it if you're looking for a budget TV.
5
I'm torn between your sports runner up JU6500 and the JU7100. My main sport is hockey, and that's a long season, so great hockey viewing is really most important. Football and baseball are secondary.
I will also watch a few non-sport HD channels on my Dish lineup, but almost never DVD/Blu-ray. Which of these two models do you think would be best for me? Oh, did I say great hockey viewing is my top concern? ;-)
Secondly 50" or 55"? My primary seating is split recliner 7-8 feet (depending on degree of recline) from the TV.
Get the JU6500. If you almost never watch DVDs/Blu-rays, there's no reason to pay more for the JU7100. And at that distance, you should get the 55" version.
4
I'm a big football fan and that's my main thought when buying a new TV, but I watch a lot of movies and play games often. I want a 4k and I'm leaning toward the Samsung line, but I'm open to ideas. Question: Are the curved TVs any better in quality when it comes to sports, movies and games than the flat screen? And which TV should I go with?
The curve itself doesn't add anything to the picture, but some curved TVs are a bit better just because of the quality of the panel that is used.
In terms of performance, you won't beat the Samsung JS8500 for picture with sports, so that's what we recommend. Hardly any darker patches on the screen, and very minimal blur.
3
I'm torn between the JU6500 and the JS8500 at 65" -- mostly for hockey. Will I really notice the difference if I pay an extra $1K? I never watch DVDs and don't have a streaming service. Thanks!
Probably not. The main benefit you would see with the JS8500 is that there are fewer dark patches on the screen, which is good for sports. But that's not worth $1,000, and the other benefits (120 hz panel, wide color gamut) aren't so important for you. Get the JU6500.
3
Just looking at the scores, I find myself wondering what prevents the Sony X810C from not even making the honorable mention list for best sports TVs. Can you comment on that?
We reviewed the X810C quite recently, and have not updated the sports TVs article since. We agree that it is a great choice for watching sports, and we'll be keeping it in mind when finalizing that article for the year.
3
Which TV would fit our needs the best? The TV will be outside under an awning. I am concerned about the glare. Size wise I would like a 43 or 48, 4 people will be sitting 5' and 7' away. Sports and TV/cable will be the primary viewing. No need for smart TV since our WiFi is poor here. Price range is $500 more or less pending on the value received or settle for. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you. Ed from Ohio. GO BUCKS!
The LG UH6100 would be a good choice for you and it is available in 43" and 49". It is bright enough for a well light environment and it is pretty good to fight glare with is semi-gloss finish. It has a good rating for sport, has wide viewing angle and is has a good upscaling of lower resolution content like cable TV.
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