Q. I still have a Panasonic Plasma TV which I bought about 10 years ago and it still has a nice picture after all these years. But I was thinking of getting a 4K TV to watch the Super Bowl. Is that a good idea? Will I get a better price if I buy it before the Super Bowl? Will the picture be better if I get a 4K TV to watch the game in 4K? — Garry, Pontiac, Michigan.
Garry, buying a new 4K TV for the specific purpose of watching Super Bowl 2021 in 4K is not necessary if you already have a good High-Definition TV. The chief reason: The game will not be in 4K. That’s right. CBS announced last week that it will not broadcast the world’s biggest sporting event in 4K, although Fox did so last year for the first time ever.
In the next two weeks, you may see retailers promoting ‘Super Bowl 4K TVs,’ but that is misleading. The Super Bowl will not be in 4K so you don’t need a 4K TV to watch it in that format. It will be regular old HDTV, which will still look very good on your Panasonic Plasma set.
Am I telling you not to buy a 4K TV before the game? Not at all. Retailers traditionally offer good deals on certain TVs before the Super Bowl. (The lower prices are usually reserved for models that both retailers and TV makers are trying to get rid of because either there is a large inventory and/or they are older sets no longer in demand. But that doesn’t mean they are not top quality; sometimes the difference between a new model and one manufactured a year earlier is minimal.)
So if you were in the market for a new TV, this could be a good time to pull the trigger. Just be sure that the price is truly a discount. Retailers sometimes say they are slashing prices when the prices are actually what they were charging previously. Do your homework and see what the TV’s price was a few weeks or months ago. (You can usually do this by searching for the set at sites such as CNET and Consumer Reports; their set reviews normally say what the price was at the time of the review. You can also read their reviews to determine if the TV is right for you.)
And there’s another reason why you might want to buy a new 4K TV for the Super Bowl. If it’s a top-rated 4K TV, you will get a very good picture for the game. Today’s top-quality 4K TVs feature the best picture you’ll ever see, even better than your Panasonic Plasma. While the game isn’t in 4K, it will look better in high-def on a very good 4K TV than it does on your HDTV.
Garry, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
Note: Tampa Bay will play Kansas City in the Super Bowl on February 7 on CBS.
Have a question about new TV technologies? Send it to The TV Answer Man at email@example.com. Please include your first name and hometown in your message.
— Phillip Swann