Q. I’m thinking of buying a 4K TV to watch this year’s Super Bowl. Is this a good time to buy one? I really want to watch the game with the best picture possible. — Penelope, Owings, Maryland.
Every year, scores of millions watch pro football’s championship game, better known as the Super Bowl, and they like to view it on the best set possible. In addition, retailers are heavily promoting 4K TVs now so shoppers are being bombarded with attractive-sounding 4K offers when they go into stores, or peruse their favorite web site.
However, buying a 4K TV for the specific purpose of watching Super Bowl 2019 is not necessary if you already have a good High-Definition TV.
Why do I say that?
For starters, next month’s Super Bowl, which will air Sunday, February 3 on CBS, will not be broadcast in 4K. The game will air in 1080i High-Definition. So if you buy a 4K TV, you won’t be able to actually watch the Super Bowl in 4K.
Second, while there will be some good deals on new sets in the two weeks leading up to the game, this is not actually the best time to buy a new TV. That would be the spring when TV makers introduce new models, and retailers sharply reduce prices on numerous older TVs, not just a few designed to attract Super Bowl shoppers. If you wait until spring, which is less than two months away, you might get a much better deal, and a better TV.
Third, while a top-quality 4K TV may improve your high-def picture as well, depending upon your current set, the improvement may be marginal at best for the Super Bowl itself. For example, I own a Panasonic Plasma HDTV in addition to two 4K TVs and I would put the Panasonic’s high-def picture up against the two 4K sets anytime.
Now that I’ve said all that, there is one reason why you might want to buy a 4K TV before the big game begins. If you were thinking seriously about buying a 4K set anyway, well, go ahead and buy it now. If it’s a top-rated 4K TV, you will get a very good picture for the game — and you will be ready for the future when more programming is available in 4K, including the Super Bowl.
But if you’re a budget-conscious consumer who simply wants a great TV for football’s most exciting game of the year, your current High-Definition TV may be good enough.
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— Phillip Swann
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