How to get your TV game-ready for the Super Bowl


Get ready for the Super Bowl this Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs at Allegiant Stadium on the Las Vegas strip.

You don’t want to settle for a mediocre TV experience.

So, it’s time to learn how to improve your current TV setup or upgrade to a new one before game day.

CHIEFS’ TRAVIS KELCE FOCUSED ON ONLY 1 RING HEADING INTO SUPER BOWL

Remote in hand in front of a flat screen (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

5 ways to enhance your current TV setup

If you’re already content with your current TV and setup and just want to gear up for the game, below are the top five ways to enhance your viewing experience:

1) Check your connection

Services like Paramount+ offer the ability to stream the Super Bowl this year. You’ll want to make sure you don’t lose the game in two ways:

Make sure you’re using a wired connection to the internet if possible. That way, you’re not depending on a Wi-Fi signal, which may be impacted by how many people are over at your home for the game and using your Wi-FI for their devices or who else is streaming elsewhere in your home. On that note, make sure you’re maximizing bandwidth by making sure your kids or spouse isn’t streaming in higher resolutions while the game is on.

MORE: BEST WI-FI RANGE EXTENDERS

A Paramount TV promo

Paramount+ promotion (Paramount)

2) Backup connection

The game is the most popular thing to watch that Sunday, so if you’ve got spotty coverage and are concerned about drops in service, you should have a way to broadcast the game traditionally (aka “over the air”), so keep an antenna ready.

3) Adjust the sound

While the picture quality often steals the show when it comes to watching the Super Bowl, sound quality can enhance or diminish the experience. Most TVs these days have audio settings, which, if adjusted, can really enhance the game experience in your home. If you’re more interested in the commentary, then you can adjust the sound to boost the dialogue.

In most TVs, you can usually find the audio presets and adjustments under “Setting,” then “Audio” or “Sound.”

There, you can play around with the treble, bass and equalizer. Some of the presets, such as “movie,” enhance dialogue or “standard” to level out the commentary. Sometimes, it is worth checking to make sure the bass is at optimal levels, as having it too high can cause distortion. On the other hand, if you prefer to hear every impact of every play, you can turn on the bass ‘just so’ to add to the drama.

Image of a TV

TV showing setting adjustments for sound (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: TOP 10 SOUNDBARS TO ENHANCE YOUR TV AUDIO EXPERIENCE

4) Brighten the picture

To make sure that friends behind those huddled in front of the TV can enjoy the game just as much, check the picture quality of your set.

For LEDs, if it seems too dark or dim, turn up the backlight control, which can increase the brightness behind the LCD screen.

For OLEDs, instead of just turning up the brightness, turn up the OLED light setting. Additionally, make sure you turn off the energy saver or auto-brightness control settings before game day, as it can impact screen brightness.

TV settings

TV showing settings for the picture quality (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

5) Keep the motion real

Some TVs come with smoothing or dejudder settings, sometimes referred to as the “Soap Opera effect.” It can be helpful to adjust this setting or turn it off or on, depending on your preference, before the game. On one hand, it could smooth out motions made on the field or create too much distraction by creating graphical trails from fast motions.

TV settings 2

Auto Motion Plus Settings on a TV (Samsung)

Upgrade your current setup

If you were just waiting for an excuse to upgrade your TV setup for game day, delay no more. Here are five things to look for in a new TV

1) Screen size and resolution: You want a TV that can display the game in high definition and has a large enough screen to enjoy the action from any angle. Look for TVs that have at least 4K resolution (3840 x 2160 pixels) and a screen size of 55 inches or more. Some TVs also offer 8K resolution (7680 x 4320 pixels) for even more detail, but they are more expensive and not widely available.

2) Refresh rate and motion handling: You want a TV that can handle fast-moving scenes without blurring or stuttering. Look for TVs that have a high refresh rate (the number of times the screen updates per second) and a low input lag (the time it takes for the TV to respond to your commands). A refresh rate of 120 Hz or more and an input lag of 15 ms or less are ideal for gaming and sports. Some TVs also have features like variable refresh rate (VRR) and auto low latency mode (ALLM) that can adjust the refresh rate and input lag dynamically according to the content.

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3) HDR and color performance: You want a TV that can deliver vivid and realistic colors and contrast. Look for TVs that support high dynamic range (HDR) formats like HDR10, Dolby Vision, or HDR10+. These formats can enhance the brightness, contrast, and color range of the image. Also, look for TVs that have a wide color gamut (the range of colors the TV can produce) and high color accuracy (how close the colors are to the original source).

4) Sound quality and features: You want a TV that can produce clear and immersive sound. Look for TVs that have a good sound system with multiple speakers and a subwoofer. Some TVs also have features like Dolby Atmos or DTS:X that can create a surround sound effect with overhead and directional audio. Alternatively, you can also connect your TV to a soundbar or a home theater system for a better audio experience.

5) Smart features and connectivity: You want a TV that can stream your favorite apps and services and connect to your other devices. Look for TVs that have a smart platform like Android TV, Roku TV, Fire TV, or webOS. These platforms can offer a variety of apps and services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Paramount+, Max, Disney+, YouTube and more.

Also, look for TVs that have multiple HDMI ports and USB ports to connect your gaming consoles, streaming devices, soundbars, and other peripherals. Some TVs also have features like voice control, AirPlay, Chromecast or Miracast that can let you control your TV or cast content from your smartphone or tablet. 

Check out how to score a great deal on a TV before the Super Bowl.

Kurt’s key takeaways

There is really no bad way to enjoy the big game this year, but if you want to maximize your game viewing experience, there are many ways to enhance your current setup. And, of course, if you need an excuse to splurge, there are some top contenders that fit the bill. If you are splurging, do remember that the cost of these units doesn’t include the cost of installation. Some of these TVs need to be mounted for best viewing, which might incur additional costs.

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Do you pay attention to all these details before game day, or do you just turn on the set and get lost in the game no matter what? What are your plans for this year’s Super Bowl game? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

For more of my tech tips & security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter.

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