Tips For Streaming The NBA And Buying The Best TVs For Sports

streaming the NBA
Courtesy of SportsNet Now.

If you haven’t shopped for a TV in a while, be prepared to be blown away by today’s screen sizes, quality and features.

Sports lovers, in particular, have no shortage of stunning 4K TVs to choose from, which offer up four times the resolution of a 1080p high-definition television. The result is a picture that’s jaw-droppingly clear. Add 4K content, like a Toronto Raptors broadcast, and it might just feel like you’re at the big game.

If you’re a sports lover and in the market for a new TV, here’s what you should look for…

Screen Size

While there are many schools of thought on how to choose the size of your TV, some experts say that unless you’re restricted by a tight space or a confined TV cabinet, you’re probably safe getting the biggest TV your budget will allow.

To decide on screen size, factor in the distance you’ll be sitting from the TV. For a conventional high-definition television (HDTV), a general rule of thumb is to sit back twice the length of the television. Therefore, you’d sit back 10 feet from a 60-inch (5-foot) screen, measured diagonally.

With 4K TVs, you can comfortably sit much closer, as you won’t see much pixilation by being too close.

READ: How Far Back Should You Sit From Your TV? And Other Viewing Tips

If you want a wider range of brightness levels, colours and contrast for a picture that is truer to how the content producers intended it, look for a 4K TV that supports HDR, or high dynamic range.

As for flat versus curved, it really boils down to personal taste. Some believe the picture is more immersive when it’s slightly concave, like your local movie theatre screen, but others don’t see it. Personally, I think it looks odd to mount a curved TV against a wall — but looks great on a stand.

LED vs. OLED vs. QLED

Most 4K TV screens have backlighting technology courtesy of LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which results in better contrast, richer colour and crisper clarity over the fluorescent-tube-based LCD TVs.

However, those built with OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panels offer even better quality, greater energy efficiency and a thinner frame, as each pixel is its own light source. Typically, OLED TVs are still more expensive than their LED cousins, but prices are coming down, as the technology continues to gain popularity. LG and Sony have embraced OLED.

Best TVs for Sports
Photo courtesy of Samsung.

Samsung, however, has gone all-in on TVs powered by “quantum dot” technology, which are teeny “nano” crystals that, like OLED, can produce a better-looking picture. Many experts believe quantum dot TVs can’t match the “infinite” contrast of OLED (offering deeper blacks and whiter whites), but they boast a wider, more true-to-life colour palette – especially when it comes to reds, greens, and cyans – and are generally less expensive than OLED TVs. Samsung’s latest quantum dot televisions are marketed as “QLED” TVs.

Refresh Rate

Especially important for sports lovers, you’ll want to look for a TV that can smoothly render fast-moving on-screen action.

Usually measured in Hertz, the higher the number the smoother motion will be – important for fast-action content like team sports, video games and blockbuster movies. For example, a 120Hz TV will handle motion better than a 60Hz television, by essentially doubling the typical 60 frames-per-second refresh rate (to eliminate blurry video). Some TVs have 240Hz technology, which is better than a 120Hz model, and so on.

Streaming The Big Game?

What’s that? You’ve cut the cord and now want to watch the NBA Finals?

You’ve got options, thankfully, and I don’t mean going to a buddy’s house or local sports bar.

READ: Where To Watch The Raptors Vs. Warriors NBA Finals In The GTA

Many Torontonians will be looking to stream the games against San Francisco’s Golden State Warriors in this unprecedented faceoff, and so your choices down to two app options: Sportsnet and TSN.

  • Sportsnet’s SN NOW costs $19.99 for the month or $9.99 for a week. You can live stream sports events. Sportsnet will air games three, five, and seven on June 5th, 10th and 16th, respectively. SN Now can be viewed on Chromecast, Apple TV, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Amazon Fire TV and on mobile devices via the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.
  • TSN’s TSN Direct offers a day pass for $4.99 or monthly access for $19.99. The network will air games four and six on June 7th and 13th, respectively. You can access TSM on a PC, Apple TV, Samsung SmartTV, Xbox One, and both the iOS and Google Play stores for phones and tablets.
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