For a sports fan, it doesn’t get any better than kicking back with friends and family, enjoying good food and cold beverages and watching the Super Bowl or NCAA finals on a big screen television. Though the TV is only one part of this equation, it is an important part. Think about it—don’t you generally gather at the person’s home who has the latest, clearest, biggest television set? If you want to host the next big game at your home, here are some important considerations when choosing a TV for sports.

Like athletes, not all televisions are created equal and different types of television technologies do different things well. Additionally, size and budget are important considerations.

LCD, DLP, Plasma or CRT?

If you’re like most sportsaholics, you’re not concerned with the ABCs of LCDs, DLPs and CRTs. You want the cut and dry version—the good, the bad and which technology will play the game best for you. So here it is.

LCDs – LCD TVs are the latest technology and though a bit pricey, are well worth the investment. LCD televisions have clear, HD pictures and a wide viewing angle, so all your friends can gather around and have good seats. LCDs are also burn-in resistant; this is necessary for sports because of the stationary score board and clock that are often displayed at the top of the screen. Additionally, their thin size makes these TVs wall-mountable.

LCD TVs have two major downsides. The first is the ghosting that may be caused by a slower response time. Make sure you get an LCD TV with a fast response time to prevent blurring during quick action. An associate at your local electronics store can help with this. The second, is LCDs are typically not available in the in the larger sizes you’ll find in plasma TVs.

DLPs – DLP televisions offer a crystal clear HD picture, come in large sizes, are burn-in resistant and will keep up with the fastest sports—no blurring. Though they are thicker than LCD and Plasma screens, they are more affordable than these flat panels and much thinner than CRT televisions. DLPs are a great option for a sports enthusiast that doesn’t need an ultra thin TV to mount on a wall.

Plasma – Plasma TVs have been the flat panel leaders during the last decade. In the past, they were susceptible to burn-in, but new technology can help prevent this. Bottom line—if you get a plasma for sports, make sure it’s burn-in resistant. Plasmas are available in large sizes, offer a superior picture and are generally less money than their LCD counterparts. These TVs have a tendency to glare so if you have a room with bright lights or large windows, a plasma TV might not be the best option.

CRTs – CRT televisions are an old technology, but still offer vivid pictures. The good, CRT televisions are the least expensive. The bad, CRT televisions have a large footprint and are heavy. Most entertainment centers will not accommodate a big screen CRT; these TVs generally take up a lot of space on the floor and in a room.


Is There Such Thing as a TV That’s Too Big for a Sports Fan?

The impulse answer is “no” but the practical answer is “yes.” Before you choose a TV, measure your entertainment center or where your TV will be mounted to see what size of TV your home can accommodate. Another variable that factors into size is price. The price difference between a 40” and 46” television may be more than you want to pay.

Considering Your TV Budget

Remember when buying a TV, the cost of the TV is not your final price. When considering your budget, be sure to include hidden costs like cables, insurance, installation and maybe an increase in your cable bill. An HD TV doesn’t do any good if you don’t have HD ESPN and other HD sports networks.

One more thing, are you ready to host your friends and family? Because certainly after getting your new TV, you’ll often here the question, “next game at your house?”

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