Super Bowl TV Deathmatch: What 4K HDR TV Should You Buy for the Big Game?

January 28, 2020 Topic: Technology Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: SamsungSonyLGTCLRokuSuper BowlHD4K4K HDR

Super Bowl TV Deathmatch: What 4K HDR TV Should You Buy for the Big Game?

Lots of choices and options. Here is what I would do. 


OK, so the sporting event of the year won’t really be in 4K HDR, but putting that aside for a moment, you might just be itching to buy a new TV to watch what will surely be the best football game of the year when the Chiefs take on the 49ers. And if you have an older set, and with prices dropping fast, now is the time to make that big purchase.

The good news is you will have choices—lots of choices.


What to buy, how much to spend and what technology to embrace are all really tough questions. There are many different makes, models, configurations and preferences that can make a tech novice or even a pro go in different directions—many times the wrong direction.

The best way to breakdown what TV to purchase, at least for me, is to look at the decision from three possible vantage points: the best picture technology, the most reliable technology and the best tech at the best price. If you use these criteria, and again, these are my own personal preferences only, the decision becomes pretty easy.

With all of that being said, here is what I would recommend when considering a new TV for Sunday’s big NFL matchup:

1. If You Want the Best Picture, Period: Then there is only one word you need to know—OLED. These TVs have the most amazing picture I have ever seen, and I can vouch for it as I own one myself—but beware that the operating systems on many of these TVs are not exactly user-friendly, so make sure you add on a Roku player for the best overall experience. That being said, the blacks are a true black, the colors are vivid and the experience is simply amazing. There is nothing better.

There are, however, some serious downsides you need to consider. If you tend to watch something that stays on screen for long periods of time, like say cable news where a banner will stay in the same spot, there is a chance of burn-in. There is also the cost factor—these TVs are not cheap—but the prices are getting better with each passing day.

2. If You Want an Amazing Picture, But A Lower Cost and No Burn-in: QLED TVs might be the way to go. While not as amazing as a QLED, there are no issues with burn-in at all, and the picture is also quite breathtaking while being incredibly bright. The prices are also much better.

Two specific models to consider are the new 6 and 8 series TCL TVs that now include QLED technology. They are much cheaper than similar models from Samsung, with the 8 series—according to some commentators—now delivering the best picture quality before you get to a QLED.

3. If You Want the Best Picture at the Best Price: TCL, which as I mentioned above makes high-end QLED TVs, is a TV manufacturer that was first known for making amazing sets at affordable prices. If you want a TV that has a great picture, but can’t afford a QLED, go with this year’s—or even last year’s—TCL 6 series. Powered by Roku and offering an amazing picture, the value these TVs deliver is second to none. However, just know who you are giving your money to.

4. What to Avoid: 8K TVs. They are pricey and there is little to no content for them. Sure, they look amazing, but you would be throwing your money away. Don’t do that.

Harry J. Kazianis is a Senior Director at the Center for the National Interest. His work and ideas have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, USA Today, The Week, The Hill, the American Conservative and many other outlets across the political spectrum. Harry enjoys writing about technology issues and products from a real-world perspective. You can follow him (or yell at him) on Twitter: @Grecianformula.

Image: Reuters.