Future-proof your TV by opting for 4K HDR
Looking for a new TV to watch the footie this summer? Don’t choose one without first checking out Currys top 5 questions to ask – from justifying a huge screen and the upgrade to 4K UHD to the nitty gritty of picture quality and handling fast-moving action…
1. ‘How big a TV should I buy?’You want to buy as big a TV as your room will allow. By that we mean weigh up the screen size options in relation to the size of your room. Use our viewing distances guide and apply some common sense – you’re not going to want a 77-inch screen in the living room of a small terraced house, for example.
But with a bigger screen (think 55 or 60-inch) we think you’ll enjoy a more immersive viewing experience. With a larger screen you can see more of the pitch, for example. Being able to see a larger area of the playing surface also gives you a better understanding of what’s going on in the match. The players too will seem bigger.
2. ‘Is it worth investing in 4K Ultra HD?’Yes. You can enjoy top-flight domestic and European football in super-sharp 4K resolution already through BT Sport Ultra HD (with the right set-top box and subscription).
The international European football this summer may not be being shown in 4K, but if you watch it on BBC HD or ITV HD on your 4K TV it will look better. That’s because 4K UHD TVs upscale regular content. They do this using their powerful processing engines. More expensive televisions tend to be better at upscaling.
3. ‘Does it have a good contrast ratio?’When you’re talking about the features that most affect picture quality, a TV’s contrast ratio is right up there. The contrast ratio is the difference between how bright and how dark a picture your TV can create. The better the TV, the deeper black colours and brighter whites it can produce.
Imagine watching a football match with a nighttime kick-off. The sky would be a deep black when the camera panned over the stadium at half time, while the floodlights would shine brightly with a TV with a high contrast ratio.
Cutting-edge TV tech such as quantum dot, local dimming and HDR (high dynamic range) deliver excellent contrast to the latest 4K TVs such as Samsung’s SUHD line. As well as providing deep black colours they can reach incredible levels of brightness – much brighter than OLED TVs. When it comes to black colours, OLED TVs can go darker.
4. ‘Are processing rates important?'Yes. If you’re buying a TV for watching sport it’s important to understand processing rates. Why? Because they govern how well a TV can handle fast-moving action. It doesn’t come much faster than football – free-kicks soar bullet-like towards the net. Tiki-taka teams leave you spellbound with intricate, lightning-quick passes.
A TV picture works like a flick-book – created by a series of images shown at high speed. The faster the action you’re watching, the more likely it is to blur or lag.
This is where the processing rate comes in.
The number of times the screen refreshes each second in measured in hertz (Hz). The faster it refreshes the less likely you are to suffer motion blur – making a higher processing rate perfect for footie.
5. ‘Do I need a soundbar’Modern TVs are becoming thinner and thinner. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that trying to get beefy speakers into one would be like trying to get an elephant into a Mini. But sound is important in creating the big-game atmosphere – so give your TV the audio its picture quality deserves.
Isn’t home cinema a hassle to set up though? Not if you opt for a soundbar – a slim, single-enclosure audio solution. Speakers placed side by side deliver true stereo sound, while clever technology creates a virtual surround sound effect.
A soundbar won’t give you true surround sound, but it’s much more compact than a set of 5:1 home cinema speakers. You can mount it underneath your TV, or pop it on the cabinet. It’s clutter free, easy to set up and sounds great.
Find the perfect TV for your summer of football
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