Video and Audio Center Blog

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Madness Means A Big TV

Why go to a sports bar when you can have March Madness at home? Someone might answer that the bar has a high-definition TV to watch. So what! You can get a big HDTV that will compete with the best of them and, no fooling here, you don't have to crane your neck or rely on the barkeep for setting the volume levels. Plus having your own March Madness party means less time getting to where the food and drink is — not to mention that you don't have to put up with strangers screaming in your ear: it can be you and your friends doing the screaming.

But having friends over to watch means you have to consider what a "home theater" really means, because the TV is important, important enough that we should start with it.

Size of the TV

The size of the TV screen dictates how many people can comfortably watch while squeezed together on the couch or while grabbing a drink from the kitchen or peering in from the hall. A small TV means a small picture, and when there's action on the courts, a small TV doesn't cut it. A 55" TV is good and so is a 65", for example there's Sony's 55" W900A and the 65" W850A 1080p 3D Edge LED Backlit HDTV, both of which take high-resolution and mix it in with "Smart TV" extras. These HDTVs display a wider range of colors, combined with the "Motionflow" technology that keeps the players on the court from looking all mushed together. Sport watchers know that when it comes to the view, size is everything. And if you're going to be watching college basketball, you need a lot of TV 'real estate" to capture everything.

Resolution of the TV

It's easy to get lost in what "resolution" means — so let's keep it simple: when there's a lot of objects moving at high speed on the screen, the more resolution the TV has, the better you are able to pick out the individual players: higher resolution means there's more detail separation. Any good 1080p TV can handle this — but if you really want your eyes to delineate between the players and the court and the crowd, you'll be watching a 4K TV. That's because everything looks better at 4K resolution (4 times that of 1080p), and that certainly includes sports. What's being broadcasted doesn't have to be in 4K either, a 4K's up-conversion combined with its superior color and image rendering will make any HD image look splendid. Even cost is no longer an issue, especially since there's been a price drop of $500 for Sony's X900A and X850A 4K Ultra HD 3D LED Smart TVs, like the 55" X900A Ultra HD and the 65" XBR 4K Ultra HD (to see why a 4K picture is so amazing, go to one of the Super Stores). Now put one of these 4K TVs against the wall or on a cabinet and you'll have friends that you didn't even know you had showing up to watch the game.

Sound Off with Loud Sound

Sony's 7.2 channel (1050 watts sounds like a lot? It is!) or a 5.1 channel system that gives you everything: a 4k upscaling Blu-ray player, front and center speakers, wireless rears for surround and 1000 watts accompanied by WiFi). Or you can slim down the setup even further with a 7.1 surround sound system sound bar — providing you with a wireless subwoofer to make the bass pounding. If having to shout to be heard over the game is the only way anyone can hear someone else, then the job's been done right.
To really hear the game, speakers bigger and badder than that of the TV are needed (except in the case of those 4K TVs that come with pretty impressive sound systems built in). An A/V (audio/video) receiver pumps up the volume and sends it to lots of speakers to make the game sound more real and louder. If a 4K TV's working the crowd, then match it with a 4K capable network A/V receiver like


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