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Super Bowl 2019: How to Prepare Your TV



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Sarah Tew / CNET

Are you and your TV ready for Super Bowl 53 on Sunday, February 3rd?

If you're not one of the lucky fans to personally see the game at the Mercedez-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, I'll probably be one of over 1

00 million people watching it on a TV.

Yes, the Super Bowl is a great excuse for buying a new TV – and we have some suggestions, both regularly – and oversized . But maybe your current set is perfect, you just need a big game. Or maybe you just got the new set home and want to make sure it's ready for the game. Here is how.

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Go big

Football is a complicated visual experience with many wide-angle views, where large areas of the field are visible at the same time and are often occupied by too small players. Even more than most television programs, it is especially suitable for larger screens. You'll have a better experience if you watch a big screen TV that you have, especially for a party.

If your TV is smaller, you can get a similar effect when you sit closer. High-resolution images often look good from a short distance. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to move the game closer to the TV. That is, if it does not obscure the screen for your friends.

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Check Setup: HDMI, High-Def, and Wi-Fi

First, make sure the TV is set correctly . If you have a high definition cable or a satellite box, make sure it is connected via HDMI . You should also make sure that you are tuned to the high-resolution version of the program that is available on CBS (note that CNET belongs to CBS). Most cable and satellite providers in the US have both HD and standard definition channels, and HD will look much better.

This year, the Super Bowl is also available online live for free through CBSSports.com or with a subscription through CBS All Access, the NFL App, or a live TV streaming service CBS supports.

When you stream the game, you need a lot of bandwidth. If you detect an interruption or buffering, make sure that other devices in your home are not using Wi-Fi at the same time. You can also try to move things, set up a wired Ethernet connection, or, if everything else fails, increase Internet speed. For more information, see for Improving TV Streaming .

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Sound matters

You should definitely worry about your audio set properly. If you are using the TV speakers for audio, set the box or device to output stereo instead of 5.1 surround sound (Dolby Digital). But hopefully you're using an external audio system or soundbar that can deliver not only true or simulated surround sound – perfect for Atlanta noise – but also much better dialogues.

Maybe you're the kind of person who prefers to listen to the crowd and reject the announcers. If this is the case, try playing around with the sound controls. Many televisions and external sound systems have a multiband equalizer, which allows you to reduce certain frequencies independently of others to dampen the sounds you do not want to hear. If your device does not have an equalizer, experiment with a sound mode or even the basic bass and treble controls.

If you are listening to the surround sound broadcast on a surround system, you can decrease the volume of the center channel to minimize the announcer's dialogue. If you prefer listening to the crowd, turn down the other speakers (left, right and surround) and turn the middle up.

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If the most accurate picture mode is not bright enough, try some user settings.


Sarah Tew / CNET

Picture Settings: Bright Ideas

At CNET, we calibrate the picture settings of each TV set we reviewed to get the best picture quality. If you have one of the TVs we've tested, you can try our calibrated settings yourself. Browse our Picture Settings forum for your TV to see if we or any other reader has made any adjustments.

Our calibrations take place in a dark room, but with a kick-off time of 15:30. PT, West Coast Watchers get the start of the game during the day – which often requires a brighter picture. If the image appears too weak, increase the backlight, which increases the illuminance (usually LEDs) behind the LCD screen. If you have an OLED TV, increase OLED Light instead. Also deactivate all room light sensors, automatic brightness or energy saving functions.

Depending on the TV, you may also have an image mode for bright rooms. Look for something like "lighter" or "calibrated bright" to get a brightness boost without the dreadful colors of a dynamic or dynamic mode. Speaking of color …

It's not easy to be green

In our calibrations we try to get the most accurate color possible. For football, the most common color is the green of the field, and if it's not accurate, it's pretty easy to spot. The human eye is very sensitive to green, and you can usually tell if it looks too brownish or dull or too yellowish or alive. Like most NFL fields, Mercedez-Benz Stadium uses an artificial surface called FieldTurf, which is the same color as healthy grass.

If you do not have access to our image settings, one of the best ways to ensure accurate colors is to use them. Including green, the movie or cinema preset is enabled. Yes, that does not sound intuitive, but Movie usually delivers a more accurate color than sports or other image modes. These are often tamped and oversaturated, with greens that are much more intense than in real life. However, if you like the expressive look, you may prefer one of these modes to a more specific one.

For some TVs, Movie looks too dark, even if you turn the backlight all the way up. If so, choose a different image mode and look for a control called Color Space or something similar. There you should choose the setting "HD" or "Auto" or "Rec 709", not the setting "Native". You may also be able to make the grass look more natural by decreasing color control. For more information, see to set up a television by eye .

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Sarah Tew / CNET

If you own a TV with Smoothing or Dejudder (aka Soap Opera effect) you may also want to experiment with these settings. Look for a setting called Auto Motion Plus for Samsung, TruMotion for LG, Smooth Motion Effect for Vizio, and MotionFlow for Sony TVs. Football can sometimes benefit from the blur reduction effects of these settings, but you can also see artifacts, such as tracks behind fast-moving objects like a ball during a quick pass or a kick. If you notice these effects, turn off the setting completely.

Concluding step: Sit back and enjoy

If you're not traveling to Atlanta or buying a new TV, here are some ideas to help you get your TV and home cinema in shape. Feel free to reshape your man cave in Patriots or Rams Glory, invite your friends and scream on the screen.

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Here's how to watch the Super Bowl: watch the game for free in the US on TV or online


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