Manufacturers have focused their efforts on releasing models that will keep sports fans happy. When looking for a sports TV, one must look for brightness, uniformity (to avoid screen shade clouding also known as dirty screen effect), fast motion handling, and wide viewing angles to accommodate your friends when watching the Super Bowl together.
We've tested more than 70 TVs in the last two years, and below are our recommendations for the best TVs for sports to buy in 2019.
The best TV for watching sports is the LG B8. This OLED TV has outstanding wide viewing angles, great for sharing the big game with a bunch of friends. It also has a nearly instantaneous response time, so there is no distracting blur-trail behind the players as they move. It has very good uniformity with very little dirty screen effect.
Unfortunately, this TV can't get extremely bright, so if you have a lot of windows, it might not be ideal for watching a game in the afternoon. As an OLED TV, there is also the risk of experiencing permanent burn-in or temporary image retention, but we don't expect this to be an issue for most people.
If the possibility of burn-in with the LG B8 OLED concerns you or you have a bright room, the Vizio P Series Quantum 2018 is the best, brightest LED alternative. This TV can get extremely bright and has outstanding reflection handling, so you should have no issues even if your living room is surrounded by windows. Like the LG, this TV has an outstanding response time, with very little blur trail and good gray uniformity. Unfortunately, just like most VA panel TVs, the image loses accuracy when viewed from the side. This means it isn't as well-suited for watching the big game with a large group of friends if some people will be watching at an angle.
Overall, if you want the best quality TV for watching sports, get the LG B8; otherwise, if the risk of burn-in concerns you and you want the next best thing, then the Vizio PQ65-F1 is an excellent LED alternative.
The Sony X950G is the best LED TV if you enjoy watching sports on cable. You won't get the brightness or the great local dimming of the Vizio, but you'll be getting a TV with great picture quality and a nearly flicker-free backlight, which is great, and an optional black frame insertion feature to make motion even clearer. Also, most cable sports channels broadcast in 720p, and the Sony does a better job than the Vizio P Series Quantum with lower resolution content. It offers more control over upscaling and motion processing features, so you can enjoy your favorite sports without issue.
Unfortunately, just like most VA panel TVs, the image degrades when viewed from the side, so it isn't the best choice for watching the big game with a large group of people.
Overall, however, the X950G is a great TV for almost any use, and definitely for watching sports.
If you often watch sports with a group of friends and you find the viewing angles on the Sony X950G limiting, then check out the LG SM9000 instead. You won't get the same gray uniformity of the Sony, and its upscaling features don't offer the same level of control, but neither of these are very noticeable. On the upside, this TV delivers a great sports experience, with wide viewing angles, a fast response time, and great peak brightness.
If you sit straight in front of the TV, get the Sony X950G; otherwise, if you're okay with not having the gray uniformity and want better image accuracy from the side, get the LG SM9000.
If you're looking for something less expensive than the Sony X950G, then the best budget sports TV we’ve tested is the Hisense H9F. You won't get the same gray uniformity or the excellent reflection handling as the Sony. On the upside, this is a great TV for mixed use and a good choice for watching sports due to its very fast response time. Thanks to its excellent brightness levels and great reflection handling, you can place in any room as it'll easily fight glare. Also, this TV delivers a great dark room performance if you prefer to watch the big game with the lights out.
Unfortunately, the image loses accuracy when viewed from the side, which might be an issue if you often watch sports while doing house chores.
Overall, this is a good TV for watching sports and will keep you happy in other uses as well.
If you have a wide seating arrangement and the viewing angles on the Hisense H9F don't make you happy, then check out the LG UM7300. You won't get the fast response time or the peak brightness of the Hisense, but you'll be getting a good overall TV that maintains an accurate image when viewed from the side. It has very good sports performance thanks to its fast response time and excellent reflection handling that allows you to place it a room with many light sources without issue. Also, its gray uniformity is good with just minimal dirty screen effect.
If you sit straight in front of the TV, get the Hisense H9F, which will give you better picture quality and overall performance. However, if you need wide viewing angles and don't mind missing out on peak brightness, the LG UM7300 is a good alternative.
If you want a larger TV in the budget category without overspending, consider getting the Vizio E Series 2018. You won't get the excellent response time or of the Hisense H9F, and upscaling to 720p might be more of an issue. On the upside, this is a TV with decent picture quality, low input lag, and good motion that will perform well in most uses, including sports.
If you want the best budget TV for watching sports, get the Hisense H9F; otherwise, if you don't mind compromising on response time, the Vizio E Series is a larger and less expensive alternative with close sports performance.
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 worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs. Be careful not to 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.