January 29, 2018
John Vomhof Jr.Staff Writer
You’re having friends over for the Big Game, and you want to make sure everyone has the best seat in the house.
So, before you start the slow cooker, make sure your living room is ready for action. After all, your TV is sure to be the real MVP of the game.
We talked to Greg Hodur, a Best Buy In-Home Advisor in Philadelphia, to get some tips for creating the perfect football viewing experience.
Is bigger always better?
One of the key factors to consider when choosing a TV is screen size. And when it comes to watching sports, size does matter.
“Bigger is usually better,” Greg said. “The bigger you can go, the more immersive the experience is going to be.”
The good news is that 4K’s crystal-clear picture quality allows you to sit closer to the screen without the picture getting blurry. That means you can go bigger, even in smaller rooms and apartments.
That said, it’s still important to consider the design of your room (something Best Buy’s In-Home Advisors are trained to do). For example, Greg warns of the “reverse Christmas tree effect” that’s created when you put a big-screen TV above a smaller fireplace.
“The fireplace is supposed to be the focal point of the room, but now the 75-inch TV above it becomes the focal point,” he said. “That’s a big no-no these days in terms of design.”
Creating the best seating layout
Most of the latest TVs provide a great view at almost any angle. But the picture will start to get washed out as you get too far to one side or the other.
That’s why Greg recommends starting by determining the location of the TV and your primary seating, then build out from there. The best seating will be within a 90-degree angle from the center of the screen, with 45 degrees on either side.
“You want to develop that sweet spot first,” he said. “Then, fill in everyone else around that.”
That approach also ensures you’ll get the best viewing experience on a day-to-day basis.
“You’re having a lot of people over for the Big Game, but you’re not going to be entertaining all the time,” Greg said. “It’s more important to worry about you and your family.”
Make sure you can hear it
You can’t have the perfect Big Game viewing experience without having audio to go with it. After all, you want to be able to hear the roar of the crowd and action on the field.
Soundbars are a great way to enhance your TV’s sound quality. But if you really want a big-time Big Game experience, Greg recommends going with a component audio system for a surround-sound feel.
“Everybody wants to feel like they’re at the game, and audio is what takes it to the next level,” Greg said.
A good sound system can even help you hear the play-by-play over all the background noise in a houseful of people.
“Having a dedicated center channel just for dialogue is super important, especially when you’re watching the game or want to hear the commercials,” Greg said. “That offers you tremendous clarity and a bigger, fuller sound.”
Add a little flash to the game
Want to take your Big Game party to the next level? Greg recommends trying out some smart home technology, such as a voice assistant and Philips Hue lighting.
You can start getting your guests fired up before kickoff. Just ask Google Home or Amazon Echo to adjust the lights and start your favorite music playlist.
“I love smart home stuff,” said Greg, who has voice assistants in every room of his house. “I try to integrate it into as many designs as I can.”
Then, once the game starts, switch the lighting based on what’s happening on the field. You can change your lights to green when Philadelphia has the ball, switch to red when a team enters the red zone or have them flash when someone scores.
“It feels like you’re part of the game,” Greg said. “When you see it in action and experience it, it’s really awesome. It’s so cool.”
Check out home theater options and deals at BestBuy.com or stop by a nearby store to talk with an expert. Or click here for a tool to help you pick the perfect TV.