Bring home the win: The best TV for sports in 2024

It's game, set and match when you watch all the action on a TV built for sports

Some of the best TV for sports

by Chris Duffill |
Updated on

Whether you’re stoked for Euro 2024, hyped for the Cricket World Cup or going for gold with the Olympics in Paris – if you’re a sports fan, there’s never been a better time to buy one of the latest and greatest TVs. However, not all televisions are quite up to the high-definition crispness and brightness that you’ll need for all of that fast sporting action. Having the best TV for sports will mean you stay fully immersed in every exciting match, inning and race.

And just look what us sports fans have in store. England’s bid for Euro 2024 and Olympic Games aside, this year’s line-up of big events also includes Formula 1, The Open Championship, Tour De France and Wimbledon. But there’s only one thing worse than missing each broadcast, and that’s watching it on an older TV with poor brightness, narrow viewing angles, motion blur and worse. That’s where our expert recommendations come in.

Best TV for sports in 2024 at a glance

• Best overall: Samsung 65-inch QN90C 4K Neo QLED HDR Smart TV - View at Amazon
• Best budget: TCL 65RP630K Roku TV 65-inch Smart 4K LED TV - View at Currys
• Best 55-inch: Samsung S95D - View at AO
• Best 65-inch for immersion: PHILIPS Ambilight PUS8508 65-inch Smart 4K LED TV - View at Amazon

For us, the best TV for sports is a model that does three things very well. Firstly, it has to work with the space you have available – there’s no point in buying a set that’s too small, too large, too dim, or with too narrow a viewing angle. After all, a 65-inch TV only looks its best from more than six feet away. Secondly, it should really be capable of 4K resolution so that any ultra-high definition sporting events have as much detail as possible. Lastly, it should have technology that minimises motion blur and keeps up with the highest frame rates for smoother, more detailed action. Thankfully, despite these being high-end features, we’ve found plenty of great sports-friendly TV deals to fit all budgets and needs.

If you feel like you’re in danger of losing on penalties when it comes to TV jargon, we have a buyer’s guide at the end of the article. So, with this year’s sporting calendar packed to the brim with thrilling world-class events, let’s kick off and score the best TV for sports before the final whistle goes.

Best TV for sports in 2024

All prices are correct at the time of writing. Prices, stock and deals are subject to change without notice.

Best overall

Samsung

We love the Samsung 65-inch QN90C for its 4K QLED beauty. Not only is this a great choice for sports enthusiasts thanks to the super-impressive motion clarity features, it's also quite a looker too. The advanced Motion Xcelerator Turbo+ technology is second to none, providing smooth, lag-free viewing even during the fastest sporting action. And that's bolstered by the impressive 120Hz refresh rate. Even better, gamers and sports fans will all benefit from the FreeSync and G-Sync support for matching the framerate of the big match for slick and detailed visuals.

As for viewability, this model's peak brightness is 2000 nits, making it perfect for bright rooms and ensuring vivid colours and deep contrast on that QLED panel. The anti-glare screen and Samsung's excellent Ultra Viewing Angle technology make for top-image quality even at wide angles​.

However, as with many flatscreen TVs, sound is a little above average. We recommend a soundbar and subwoofer if you're looking for that immersive stadium feel. The QN90C is our top choice for sports and fast-paced action thanks to its cutting-edge picture processing and QLED display.

Pros

  • Stunning Samsung picture quality from the QLED panel
  • Object Tracking Sound is a nice addition to keep you immersed in the sporting action
  • Great high refresh rate for smooth visuals

Cons

  • Sound is good, but if you want serious surround go for a soundbar
  • Screen
    5.0
  • Audio
    4.5
  • Features
    4.5
  • Value
    4.5
Screen size65-inch
Other sizes43, 50, 55, 75, 85 inches
Screen typeQLED
Refresh rate120Hz
HDMIHDMI x 4
HDRNeo Quantum HDR+
AudioDolby Atmos OTS
Smart assistantAlexa
Dimensions828 x 1446 x 25 mm (H x W x D)
Weight27kg

Even the best Budget TVs have stunning features these days, and this one from TCL is no exception. The TCL 65RP630K offers a compelling option for sports enthusiasts thanks to its decent motion clarity features, which make it ideal for casual viewing, gaming, and fast-paced sports.

The TLC also has HDR technology at 4K resolution, which means you'll be watching every event with amazing colour range and detail. This model only has a peak brightness of 350 nits, which is fine for most rooms but not those prone to bright sunlight. This model includes an anti-glare screen that helps with wider viewing angles for viewing from different angles.

However, one downside is the 60Hz refresh rate – it's fine for casual viewers, but serious fans of fast-moving sports like F1 might want better. That said, as a budget option, this really is a lot of TV for the money, and it's 65 inches, too. Overall, the TCL 65RP630K stands out for its solid performance in brightness and colour accuracy, making it a strong choice for sports fans looking for a budget-friendly 4K TV.

Pros

  • 4K HDR provides stunning picture quality
  • Integrated Roku OS for seamless streaming
  • Supports Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa

Cons

  • Refresh rate limited to 60 Hz
  • Screen
    4.0
  • Audio
    4.0
  • Features
    4.5
  • Value
    5.0
Screen size65-inch
Other sizes43, 50, 55 inches
Screen typeLED
Refresh rate60Hz
HDMIHDMI 2.0 X 3
HDRHDR10 Dolby Vision
AudioDolby Audio
Smart assistantGoogle Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Dimensions1446 x 898 x 286 mm (W x H x D) (with stand)
Weight14.3kg

Best 50-inch

PHILIPS
Price: £2,199

ao.com

While 50-inch screens are something of a halfway house between TVs a little too small for comfortable viewing and the more common 55-inch option, this Philips strikes a great balance. This 50-inch Ambilight PUS8909 4K Smart TV is a perfect size for sports fans with a little less room to spare. But that size doesn't stunt the features here, as the 120Hz refresh rate works with its P5 Perfect Picture Engine for motion enhancements and more. The result? Blur-free, fast-paced sporting action. Once again, we also have both FreeSync and G-Sync compatibility to iron out screen tearing and framerate judder – loved by gamers and sports fans alike.

This model boasts a peak brightness of 700 nits, which is much better than average. That means it can serve up vivid images even in fairly well-lit rooms. Viewing angles are an excellent 178 degrees, too – ideal for when your mates come round en masse to watch the game. Also, let's not forget that this is a Phiilips Amiblight set, so the big match will look even bigger with the colour-matched lighting effects on the wall behind.

However, one drawback is its LED panel, which, while good, may not match the contrast and deep black levels offered by others. Despite this, we think the PUS8909 is a stellar option for sports fans looking for 4K immersion in a 50-inch set.

Pros

  • Immersive Ambilight technology enhances the viewing experience
  • Excellent refresh rate and motion clarity
  • Integrated voice assistants for smart home and voice control

Cons

  • LED panel is great, but OLED is better for deep blacks
  • Screen
    4.5
  • Audio
    4.5
  • Features
    4.5
  • Value
    4.5
Screen size50-inch
Other sizes43, 55, 65, 70, 75 inches
Screen typeLED
Refresh rate144Hz
HDMIx4
HDRHDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision
Audio20W speaker output, Dolby Atmos, AI Sound & EQ, Clear Dialogue
Smart assistantAlexa built-in, works with Google Assistant
Dimensions716 x 1116 x 82 mm (H x W x D) (without stand)
Weight13.8kg (without stand)

Best 55-inch

Samsung
Price: £2,199

ao.com

In our top spot for 55-inch TVs that are perfect for sports viewing, the Samsung S95D carries all of the brand's best technological wizardry to deliver a vibrant, 4K experience. Leading the charge is, naturally, the beautiful OLED panel. Purely in terms of quality, contrast and colour range, we think it's the ultimate television experience. AMD Freesync is present, too, ensuring smooth, fast motion in tandem with Samsung's leading picture processing features.

Audio is also top-notch, thanks to Dolby Atmos and DTS – but for sports fans, the star here is OTS+ (Object Tracking Sound+). It works to give extra realism to every match and race by matching the origin of the sound to the action on-screen. There is no Dolby Vision here though, which is a bit of an oversight for movie fans at this price point, but much less of a factor for sports viewing.

There is no Dolby Vision here, though, which is a bit of an oversight for movie fans at this price point but much less of a factor for sports viewing.

This TV delivers breathtaking visuals, making it one of the best 55-inch TVs. This model is packed with features too, like Samsung's Ultra Viewing Angle and anti-reflection technology to increase visibility and reduce onscreen reflections, even in bright rooms. And that's only made better by the staggering brightness levels of up to 1500 nits.

Pros

  • Breathtaking OLED technology for even deeper colour accuracy and contrast
  • Fantastic motion performance thanks to AMD FreeSync
  • Brilliant for realistic sound with Object Tracking Sound, DTS-X and Dolby Atmos

Cons

  • Only a real concern for sports fans who love movies - but there's no Dolby Vision for superior HDR
  • Screen
    4.5
  • Audio
    5.0
  • Features
    5.0
  • Value
    4.0
Screen size55-inch
Other sizes inches
Screen typeOLED
Refresh rate144Hz
HDMIHDMI 2.1 x 4
HDRHDR10+
AudioDolby Atmos
Smart assistantBixby, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa
Dimensions1225 x 705 x 40 mm (W x H x D) (without stand)
Weight21.3kg (without stand)

Best with voice assistant

If you're a sports fan who loves Amazon's voice control and smart assistant tech, the LG OLED65C34LA 65-inch Smart 4K OLED TV has you covered. An excellent choice for enjoying all sporting events via the stunning 4K OLED display, unlike many TVs that only offer 'Alexa compatibility', this has Alexa built into it for total control over your home and more.

Let's not forget the inky blacks and vivid colours of that OLED panel. Combined with a 120Hz refresh rate and advanced motion processing, you'll experience a ton of detail and smooth fast motion without blurring. That refresh rate is variable too, thanks to FreeSync and G-Sync support – again of benefit to gamers and sports fans alike. This model boasts a peak brightness of 800 nits, which is well above average. You'll find brighter, but remember – this TV's OLED screen with its self-lit pixels makes this much more viewable than most thanks to its perfect blacks and infinite contrast ratio. The screen doesn't have any special anti-glare properties, but that's mitigated by its super-wide 178-degree viewing angles.

One downside is the sound – it's average, as is the case with most flat-screen TVs, so we recommend a soundbar if you want a more surround-like audio experience for your sports. Nevertheless, the LG OLED65C34LA has all the features to give you a premium sports-watching experience.

Pros

  • Exceptional 4K HDR viewing quality
  • Immersive Dolby Atmos sound
  • Excellent motion handling

Cons

  • If you want better bass, go for a soundbar with a subwoofer
  • Screen
    4.5
  • Audio
    4.5
  • Features
    4.5
  • Value
    4.5
Screen size65-inch
Other sizes55 inches
Screen typeOLED
Refresh rate120Hz
HDMI4 (HDMI 2.1)
HDRDolby Vision
AudioDolby Atmos, AI Sound Pro
Smart assistantBuilt-in Alexa
Dimensions826 x 1441 x 45 mm (H x W x D) (without stand)
Weight25.9kg

Best 65-inch for immersion

PHILIPS

If total sports immersion is your thing, we think that the Ambilight feature of this 65-inch TV from Philips is unmatched. The Philips Ambilight PUS8508 is a 4k LED model with a range of excellent picture processing features that make it ideal for fast-paced sports. But, of course, the star feature here is the TV's Ambilight technology. It projects light from the sides and top of the TV to match the colours on the screen, giving the illusion of a much larger experience. If you want to feel like you're right there in the crowd, this is it.

In terms of smoothing out fast sporting motion, here we have both FreeSync Premium and a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz. That's good in and of itself, but it's Philips' Ultra Motion Clarity feature that will make short work of smoothing out high-speed action and eliminating screen tear. The PUS8508 offers peak brightness levels of around 500 nits, which is about average so it should handle rooms that are reasonably but not overly bright. We particularly like its Global Dimming and Micro Dimming Pro technology – together, they enhance contrast and brightness and control ghosting, which is much needed, considering this is an LED screen rather than an OLED or QLED.

One downside, though, is the 60Hz refresh rate. It's not a deal-breaker as most casual sports fans won't notice the lack of higher refresh rates, but for anyone who wants more precision with those sports that are super-fast moving, you'll find higher elsewhere. That said, the Philips PUS8508 delivers a dynamic and immersive viewing experience on a large scale.

Pros

  • Ambilight for an immersive viewing experience
  • Supports multiple HDR formats
  • Google Assistant and Alexa built-in

Cons

  • Refresh rate limited to 60Hz
  • Screen
    4.0
  • Audio
    4.5
  • Features
    4.5
  • Value
    4.0
Screen size65-inch
Other sizes43, 50, 55 inches
Screen typeLED
Refresh rateUltra Motion Clarity function up to 120Hz
HDMI4 (HDMI 2.0)
HDRHDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, HLG
AudioDolby Atmos, DTS
Smart assistantGoogle Assistant, Alexa compatibility
Dimensions1448.7 x 866.0 x 88.5 mm (W x H x D) (without stand)
Weight21.4kg

Best 75-inch

There aren't that many Mini LED TVs on the market that we think will beat an OLED or QLED, but this Sony BRAVIA XR-75X95L is a 75-inch model that really outclasses the competition. And a lot of that is down to the sheer scale of the display. Imagine watching your favourite match or race on a 4K screen as good as this. This model boasts a 120Hz refresh rate, which, coupled with Sony's XR Motion Clarity technology, ensures smooth, blur-free action. Another standout Sony feature is the Cognitive Processor XR which works to ensure sharp and vibrant images no matter what you're watching.

With a super-impressive peak brightness of 2000 nits, the XR-75X95L will outshine any brightly sunlit room. Even better is the X-Anti Reflection technology, which minimizes glare, and X-Wide Angle technology, which maintains picture quality from various viewing angles. With this TV you'll be enjoying vivid colours and deep contrast no matter where you sit.

Once again, this is a TV with FreeSync and G-Sync support for smooth, tear-free, sports and gaming content. One of the issues with other Mini LED sets has been the lack of precise dimming zones, so we're happy to see that this one has Sony's XR Backlight Master Drive to enhance contrast and deliver deep blacks without halo effects around bright objects. As good as this is, though, it won't compete with OLED panels when it comes to perfect blacks. That said, we love the Sony BRAVIA XR-75X95L for its whopping 75 inches of 4K detail, motion clarity and class-leading brightness levels.

Pros

  • Excellent HDR support, including Dolby Vision
  • Amazing motion clarity features
  • Wide viewing angle, 178-degree horizontal and vertical

Cons

  • You'll find better dimming zones elsewhere
  • Screen
    4.5
  • Audio
    4.5
  • Features
    4.5
  • Value
    4.0
Screen size75-inch
Other sizes65, 85 inches
Screen typeMini LED
Refresh rate120Hz
HDMI2 x HDMI 2.0, 2 x HDMI 2.1
HDRHDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision
AudioDolby Atmos, DTS Digital Surround
Smart assistantGoogle Assistant, Alexa
Dimensions1670 x 960 x 60 mm (W x H x D) (without stand)
Weight37.2kg (without stand)

Best enormous

HISENSE

Enormous. There's no other way to describe this Hisense 85-inch 144Hz ULED Mini-LED Smart TV. You won't get much closer to making your living room a part of the stadium when watching live sports events. Its super-fast 144Hz refresh rate will make for slick yet detailed fast sports motion, alongside Hisense's Motion Rate technology, Freesync and G-Sync. Your sporting and gaming experiences will be smooth, lag-free and tear-free.

The 85U7KQTUK has an impressive peak brightness of 1000 nits too, so you won't be struggling to see this in an averagely bright room. Vivid and lifelike colours come courtesy of those tightly-packed Mini LEDs, and we love the anti-glare screen – an often missing feature of TVs at this price point. Even better for hassle-free watching is the Total Ambient Adaptive technology which monitors the brightness of a room and optimises the picture settings on the fly.

However, one downside is its viewing angle performance. Although rated up to 178 degrees, some users viewing from extreme angles say there's a slight degradation. So, anyone who needs to pack a large crowd into their living room or sports lounge might want to look elsewhere for those sitting at the edges. Overall though, the Hisense 85U7KQTUK excels with its enormity, twinned with top picture features like advanced motion handling, and adaptive brightness.

Pros

  • You won't find a better size or spec for enjoying sport in immense detail
  • Dolby Vision IQ for HDR – that's over a billion colours
  • A super-fast 144Hz refresh rate and motion clarity features

Cons

  • The stated viewing angle of 178 degrees is reasonable, but some users say this starts to degrade at the more extreme end of the scale
  • Screen
    5.0
  • Audio
    4.0
  • Features
    4.0
  • Value
    5.0
Screen size85-inch
Other sizes 55, 65, 75 inches
Screen typeMini-LED
Refresh rate144Hz
HDMI2 HDMI 2.1, 2 HDMI 2.0
HDRDolby Vision IQ, HDR10+, HDR10, HLG
AudioDolby Atmos, DTS Virtual X
Smart assistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Dimensions1892 x 1220 x 460 mm (W x H x D) (with stand)
Weight38.8kg

Best for wall mounting

Not all modern TVs look their best when wall-mounted instead of placed on a stand. But this LG OLED65G36LA 65-inch OLED TV is super-thin and looks great on the wall. It's ideal for any sports enthusiast who doesn't have the floor space to spare. Even better, LG give you the wall-mount to go with it. Keep in mind though that they don't also include a stand mount – so if you're looking to place this on a unit you'll need to buy that separately. Elsewhere, this set boasts top-of-the-line features for motion clarity and smooth viewing.

It comes packing a 120Hz refresh rate and advanced motion handling capabilities, such as Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and support for both FreeSync and G-Sync. Fast-paced sports and gaming action will never look better. And that's also down to the staggeringly good peak brightness of up to 2000 nits. LG's Brightness Booster Max, Ultra Viewing Angle, and Micro Lens Array (MLA) technologies also bring a lot to bear here, helping the OLED panel deliver vivid, more accurate colours and deep contrast into the bargain. We're happy to report that the OLED65G36LA features an anti-glare screen too, ideal for watching sport from any seat in the room. Altogether, that's quite a collection of features that contribute to its very wide viewing angle.

As we mentioned, the only real downside here is that it doesn't come with a stand mount, but other than that the TV's combination of high peak brightness, advanced motion clarity and other extensive picture enhancement features make it an outstanding choice for sports fans who want to turn their wall into a window to the stadium.

Pros

  • A lovely thin TV that looks great on the wall
  • Excellent picture quality with deep blacks
  • High refresh rate for smooth motion

Cons

  • No stand mount is included
  • Screen
    4.5
  • Audio
    4.5
  • Features
    4.5
  • Value
    4.5
Screen size65-inch
Other sizes55, 77 inches
Screen typeOLED
Refresh rate120Hz
HDMI4
HDRHDR10, Dolby Vision
AudioDolby Atmos
Smart assistantAmazon Alexa, Google Assistant
Dimensions1447 x 830 x 23 (W x H x D) (without stand)
Weight25.8kg (without stand)

Best 43-inch

Samsung

Coming from the same range as its 65-inch cousin (also our pick for the best overall TV for sports), the Samsung 43-inch QN90C 4K TV is again a QLED HDR model that has a vast array of market-leading Samsung technologies inside. Best of all, at 43 inches, it'll fit into smaller rooms perfectly. Sports fans will love the motion clarity on offer here, driven by a 144Hz refresh rate and Motion Xcelerator Turbo Pro technologies. If you've ever been bothered by juddery motion when watching athletics or F1, this will ensure smooth yet detailed fast sporting action. Once again, this model also supports FreeSync and G-Sync, making it ideal for both gamers and sports who want slick, accurate framerate performance.

With a peak brightness of 2000 nits, this TV is perfect for bright rooms too. And let's not forget that this is another Samsung QLED panel – you'll be hard-pushed, outside of expensive OLED models, to find a better picture when it comes to delivering vivid colours and deep contrast at this brightness level. The anti-glare screen and Ultra Viewing Angle technologies support very wide viewing angles, too.

We do, however, think that the lack of Dolby Vision HDR support is a bit of an oversight given the price of this Samsung and the range of other features it comes with. But that's only likely to bother serious movie fans looking for the widest colour palette known to man, so we'll let that slide. Other than that, we think that the QN90C's advanced features, many coming from the flagship Neural Quantum Processor, make it a highly capable 43-inch option for sports fans who need a more compact set.

Pros

  • Ultra-smooth 144Hz 4K for excellent detail and motion
  • Amazing brightness levels - watch this in any room
  • Object Tracking Sound Lite enhances audio for more immersion

Cons

  • No support for Dolby Vision (but that's really only a must for movie fans)
  • Screen
    5.0
  • Audio
    4.0
  • Features
    4.0
  • Value
    4.5
Screen size43-inch
Other sizes50, 55, 65, 75, 85 inches
Screen typeQLED
Refresh rate144Hz
HDMI4 (HDMI 2.1)
HDRHDR10+
AudioDolby Atmos, Object Tracking Sound Lite
Smart assistantAlexa
Dimensions966.4 x 558.9 x 26.9 mm (W x H x D) (without stand)
Weight9.3kg

How to choose the best TV for sports

With most sports, particularly football, rugby and other team events, the TV coverage demands a high-resolution screen to pick out all of that detail. If you’ve ever squinted to see the number on a player’s shirt or where that tennis ball went, you could really do with upping your TV game. Here are some of the main things to look out for.

Screen size

As with all TVs for any purpose, size is everything. The main question to consider here isn’t ‘Can it fit’ but ‘Can I view it comfortably’. Some buyers have been seduced by a 70-inch monster of a set that absolutely does fit into their living room – only to find they can’t sit a comfortable distance from it. So, measure up first. If you want more help here, check out our guide to choosing the right size TV for you.

That aside, we think that the optimal screen size for most people is going to be a 55-inch TV or 65-inch TV. A TV of either size is going to make all sports very viewable, but of course, we also think that bigger is always better. That’s especially true of 4K broadcasts that can deliver a mind-blowing level of detail – even in the widest shots of pitches, stadiums and crowds. You’ll never lose track of that ball, athlete or F1 car again.

Brightness and viewing angles

The brightness of any TV is important, but more so with a summer of sporting events. It’s likely that you’ll be watching with the curtains closed and so on, but if you get the best TV for sports it’s going to be easier to see thanks to a higher brightness rating. Measured in Nits, the average TV can be 450 nits or lower, so we’ve looked for models that are higher than that – also making them some of the best TVs for darker rooms in general.

As for viewing angles, again it depends on the room your TV is in and the seating arrangements, but given that sports fans tend to gather in one place to watch all at once, the wider the angle the better. Many TVs advertise a 178-degree viewing angle, which means it’s almost flawlessly viewable from any direction.

Panel types

OLED and QLED - We have a guide to QLED technology, as well as a guide to OLED displays if you’d like to dive into the tech details. But, simply put, these are the two panel technologies that often come with the best colour, contrast and black levels. That will of course benefit everyone, not just sports fans; but, for the latter, it’s going to massively help with ghosting effects – common with fast motion in high-contrast pictures.

For instance, if you’re watching a bright object such as a football kicked high by a goalkeeper under stadium lights, the ball might leave a ghost-like trail behind it as it traverses the night sky. This is caused by TVs with panels that have a backlight with ‘dimming zones’. On an OLED TV, each pixel is self-illuminated and can be turned on, off, or dimmed individually. But, with QLED, Mini LED and others, the pixels are largely backlit using a separate lighting panel. Depending on the type of panel, it may have fewer or greater local dimming zones built into it. Some high-end QLED TVs are getting very good at detailed dimming zones, catching up with OLEDs in many cases.

LCD panels - TVs with LCD panels are the cheaper option, and they can come with various levels of local dimming. But, Full Array Local Dimming is the only kind we’d go for here, given that LCD panels are already lower down in the contrast and colour vibrancy stakes. A Full Array of LEDs in the backlight on these TVs is basically more densely packed and divided into more zones than a standard LCD TV – allowing for good black levels and better contrast.

Sports-friendly features

As mentioned in the intro, there are a number of technical features that make up the best TV for sports. Lots of them cross over to benefit in other areas too, like those seen in the best TVs for gaming that also demand superior framerates and anti-motion-blur tech; And for movies where blur-free fast-moving action is concerned.

Depending on the set you’re looking at, you’ll find various names for these features but they all basically achieve the same thing. Here’s a quick look at the common ones that are great for sports fans:

Refresh rate - At a minimum, most TVs have a 60Hz refresh rate. That’s the number of times per second, measured in Hertz, that the picture is refreshed. This is closely linked to frame rate too. So, if you’re looking at watching content filmed at very high frame rates like 120fps (or games at 144fps) a TV that can support a variable refresh rate (VRR – also known as FreeSync or G-Sync) is going to make for a better experience free from motion judder or screen tearing.

Motion control - The name for features that allow a TV processor to overcome motion blur and colour smearing varies from brand to brand. The best TV brands have excellent ways of keeping all of that fast on-screen action detailed and smooth, such as Sony’s Motionflow and Samsung’s Auto Motion Plus technologies. Some work better than others, but we think it’s an absolutely essential feature for any TV for sports viewing.

a TV for sport with sports channel apps
Check to see if your TV has a good range of sports apps if you need them ©Chris Duffill/What's The Best

Top tips

Know your channels

Before you buy, it's worth considering which sporting events you'll be watching as not all of them will be available on all platforms. For instance, some events may be exclusive to a particular satellite or streaming channel. Although Freeview and FreeSat share many of the same digital terrestrial stations, and others, you'll still need to double-check that the app you need is available on your chosen TV. Likewise, if you're a satellite dish user, you'll want a TV that has a dish input and tuner built-in.

That said, don't forget that you can get your hands on affordable streaming devices for on-demand and live TV that just plug into your TV HDMI ports; so, even if you have a TV that doesn't support your app of choice, you'll be able to get a streaming stick that does.

Don’t forget sound

Although cinematic TV sound isn’t often top of the list of features for hardcore sports fans, it’s still worth considering upgrading from your TV's internal speakers if they’re not up to scratch.

While it’s true that many high-end sets have some impressive internal speaker setups with Dolby Atmos and so on, there are plenty that sound underwhelming simply because modern TVs are so thin and light. So, consider some of the best soundbars for your TV for a real boost that won’t empty your bank account.

a 50-inch TV with football on it
A 4K TV allows you to spot lots of detail from a comfortable distance ©Chris Duffill/What's The Best

FAQs

What type of TV is best for sports?

As we’ve covered above, we think that the best TV for sports fans is the one that will fit into your space while still being comfortable to watch. As long as you consider 4K resolution, motion control, brightness and viewing angle as part of the overall comfort value of a TV for sports, you’ll be all set to enjoy all of those matches and events at home.

Do I need a 120Hz TV for sports?

Ideally, yes. 120Hz or greater will give your TV maximum flexibility when it comes to watching broadcasts (and other content, like movies and games) for smooth detailed motion and higher framerates.

Why is the TV blurry when watching sports?

If your current TV is uncomfortable to watch, particularly with sports, it could be for several reasons. The most likely one is that your set has poor or no motion control features. A model like the Samsung 65 Inch QN90C above has Motion Xcelerator Turbo+ technology that will continually analyse the motion and compensate for blurring, making a more detailed yet smooth viewing experience. One other reason could be a lack of or not enough local dimming zones to prevent ghosting and other halo-like effects around bright objects.

Lastly, it could simply be that your current set is only working at HD (1280x720 pixels) or Full HD (1920x1080 pixels) resolution. The former, often known as Half-HD or HD-Ready, will make spotting a high-speed tennis ball something of a fuzzy challenge. Full-HD is less likely to produce as much fuzziness when it comes to detail, but it’s way below the current standard for sports broadcasts. If you want nice, sharp scoreboard graphics and the ability to spot which card the ref has pulled out of his pocket from the stands, you’ll need 4K. If you want to know more about this, check out our guide to TV resolutions.

How we chose these products

We selected the best TV for sports based on reliable and trusted brands, average user reviews, price, and suitability for each use case. We look carefully at the technical specifications of all products before we recommend them to ensure that they will meet buyers' needs without requiring modifications or costly additions to function as intended. With TVs for sports, our main focus is on resolution, panel type, viewing angles, motion control features and overall picture quality. Our writers also choose products based on hands-on experience where we own or have reviewed them ourselves. Retailers are selected based on price, availability and reputation as reliable and trusted sellers.

Chris Duffillis a Senior Tech Writer and Reviewer for What's The Best. His background includes writing, editorial, marketing, design, video production and photography.

He specialises in home entertainment and audiovisual tech, including speakers, amplifiers, turntables, streaming media players, and TVs. He is also one of our resident experts in computing (PCs, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches), DSLR photography and all kinds of digital cameras. He also writes about retro gaming, game consoles and various electronic gadgets. If it plugs in, lights up or makes a noise, he’ll write about it.

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