Manufacturers have focused their efforts to release 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 for your friends when watching the Superbowl together.
We've tested 80 TVs and below are our recommendations for the best TVs for sports to buy in 2018. See also our recommendations for the best TVs on the market.
Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the end of the year and especially after Black Friday.
The best TV for sports is the LG B8. The LG B8 (and the equally good but more expensive LG C8) has an excellent picture quality. Its emissive OLED technology allows it to display true blacks that make the image look remarkable when viewed in a dark room. It can also get bright enough for most rooms but not for the brightest ones. It has an almost instantaneous response time and thus there is almost no motion blur when watching a hockey game. It has wide viewing angles so you can invite a group of friends to watch the Stanley Cup finals without worrying who will be sitting on the side. It also performs well in HDR as it has a wide color gamut and can display rich and saturated colors. It has excellent reflections handling so it will not be an issue if your room has a few spotlights. Finally, the good gray uniformity ensures an image, free from dirty screen effect so you can keep your focus on the game.
Just like all OLEDs, the B8 has the risk of temporary image retention and can develop permanent burn-in if you display static images over prolonged periods of time. However, we don't expect most people to experience that with normal, varied use.
Overall, the B8 (or the C8) is an excellent choice for all those sports fans out there.
If you want a TV for a very bright room and find that the brightness of the LG B8 is not enough, then get the Vizio P Series Quantum. It is currently very difficult to find and it is unknown if/when this will change. You will not get the wide viewing angles or the great upscaling of cable content of the LG. On the upside, the P series Quantum is one of the brightest TVs we have tested so far and has an excellent reflection handling, so you will have no issues placing it in a room full of large windows. It has excellent motion handling and good uniformity so it delivers an impressive performance in sports.
If you find the LG B8 expensive, the best TV we’ve tested in the mid-range category is the Sony X900F. You will not get the excellent picture quality of the LG B8 or its perfect blacks, and for those who plan to place it in a wide room, you will lack the good viewing angles the OLEDs have.
On the upside, the Sony X900F, just like its predecessor the X900E (get that one if you can still find it) is a great TV with an excellent brightness that can be placed in well-lit rooms. It has good gray uniformity and thus it is unlikely that you will notice any dirty screen effect. This TV has a remarkable response time and excellent motion handling, better than more expensive models like the Samsung Q7FN, and you will enjoy every moment of your favorite sport. Finally, since the Sony has a VA panel, you do not have to worry about burn-in.
Overall, the Sony X900F is a great choice if you are a sports fan and want good quality at a reasonable price.
If you often watch sports with a group of friends and you find the Sony X900F does not have the good viewing angles you want, then get the LG SK9500. The LG does not have the Sony’s excellent response time, so you might see a longer blur trail, but on the upside, the SK9500 is a great TV that you can place in a large bright room and enjoy your favorite sport. The picture quality is good, and the motion handling will not let you down.
If you think that the Sony X900F is expensive, the best budget sports TV we’ve tested is the LG UK7700. The UK7700 does not have the great picture quality or the excellent motion handling of the Sony X900F.
The UK7700 is a good TV for mixed usage but also a good choice for sports watching due to its fast response time and good gray uniformity. It has excellent reflection handling so placing it in a room with many lights should not be a problem. Also because of its IPS panel, watching from the side is ok since the viewing angles are better even when compared to more expensive models that have VA panels, like the Samsung Q6FN.
Overall the UK7700 is a good TV for watching sports and can be placed in a variety of rooms with different lighting conditions.
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative than the LG UK7700, then get the TCL 6 Series R617. You will not get the wide viewing angles of the UK7700 and you might spot some dirty screen effect depending on your panel. However, the TCL R617 is a TV with very good picture quality, good reflection, and motion handling, that will keep you happy for almost any usage and certainly for sports.
If you would like a TV in the budget category that is available in bigger sizes than the LG UK7700, then get the Vizio E Series 2018. You will not get the wide viewing angles or the excellent reflection handling of the UK7700. On the upside, the E Series 2018 is a TV with decent picture quality, low input lag and good motion that will perform well in most usages including sports, and is only found in larger sizes.
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.