Home Theater System for a High Definition Super Bowl

The annual Super Bowl is not only football’s big day, it is also one of the best excuses to have a viewing party.

For 2017, the Big Game will be held on Sunday, February 5th and broadcast on Fox and Fox Deportes TV. The broadcast of the game is scheduled to begin at 3:30pm PST/6:30pm EST on Sunday, February 5th, from NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. However, there will be several hours of pre-game TV programming.

Check your local TV, cable, or satellite provider for the programming available in your area. For 2017, the Super Bowl will be broadcast in 720p resolution.

In order to fully appreciate the Super Bowl, you need an HDTV and Home Theater System.To prepare for the best home-bound Super Bowl viewing experience, check out the following three setup tips:

Receiving the Game

Make sure your antenna, cable, or satellite box is functioning properly and that you will be able to receive the channel in your area that is broadcasting the Super Bowl. If you will be receiving the Super Bowl via an antenna and need to get one, check out our suggestions. For questions regarding Cable or Satellite, contact your local cable provider or satellite provider.

Watching the Game

If you want to get the best possible picture, an HDTV is your best viewing option. If you already have an HDTV, then you are all set, provided your HDTV has either an ATSC tuner, which is required for receiving over-the-air high definition television broadcast signals, or that you subscribe to HD-Cable or HD-Satellite service.

Also, make sure your cable and satellite service will provide access to the channel broadcasting the Super Bowl in high definition.

If you don’t own an HDTV and want to buy one in time for the Super Bowl, an LCD (or LED/LCD) flat panel set is the most affordable option available.

Sorry Plasma TV fans, these sets were discontinued back in 2014, but you may find one available on clearance or used from third parties.

If you have the opportunity to grab one, Plasma TVs do provide better natural motion response that LCD or LED/LCD TVs, which is great for sports viewing.

On the other hand, LCD TVs are available in screen sizes as large as 75-inches and perform well in a brightly-lit room. Check out our suggestions for 1080p LCD and LED/LCD Televisions 40-inches and Larger.

Also, although the Super Bowl may not be broadcast in 4K, your Super Bowl TV viewing experience may still be further enhanced on a 4K Ultra HD TV. These newer LED/LCD technology-based sets provide 4K upscaling capability, which will add more perceived detail from the HD broadcast signal, especially if you spring for one that is 65-inches or larger. Check out our suggestions for 4K Ultra HD TVs.

Another TV option that is available is OLED TV. So far, LG is your only brand source for these high-end sets. OLED TVs are offered in screen sizes ranging from 55 to 77-inches. The 55-inch sets come in both 1080p and 4K options. Also, while some have a traditional flat screen design, some feature a curved screen design.

However, be wary of Curved Screen TVs – They do look great but keep in mind that if you have a large group, the people sitting off to sides may not have a complete view of all the action.

Hearing the Game

To get the best sound experience for the Super Bowl, there are several ways to go, depending on your setup.

Option 1: If you are planning to receive the Super Bowl using an over-the-air antenna, which is connected to an HDTV with an ATSC tuner, then check to see if your HDTV has a Digital Optical Audio Output Connection. Also, if you have a surround sound system in your home theater setup, check to see if the receiver in your system also has a corresponding Digital Optical Audio Input connection. If so, then simply connect the digital audio output of the HDTV to the digital audio input of the home theater system, and you will experience the surround sound feed for the Super Bowl.

Option 2: On the other hand, if your HDTV does not have a Digital Optical Audio Output, but has a set of analog stereo outputs, then connect those outputs from your HDTV to your home theater system. If using this connection option, check to see if your home theater system a Dolby Prologic II or IIx setting option. If so, then you will still be able to extract a surround sound signal from the stereo input signal, although it is not as effective as the surround sound signal accessed by the Digital Optical Audio connection option.

Option 3: Another way to access audio that you may be able to take advantage of is Audio Return Channel. The feature utilizes the HDMI connection that you may already have between your TV and a home theater receiver (or HDMI-equipped sound bar) and can transfer the audio signal originating from the TV back to the home theater receiver without having to make a separate digital or analog audio connection from the TV to the home theater receiver. However, in order to take advantage of this option, both your TV and Home Theater Receiver/System or Sound Bar have to incorporate this feature. For more details, read my article on Audio Return Channel.

Option 4: If you subscribe to HD-Cable or HD-Satellite, then your cable or satellite box should have a Digital Optical Audio Output connection. If this is the case, then connect directly from the box to the Digital Audio Input Connection of your home theater system. You will now be able to access the surround sound signal from the high definition cable or satellite feed.

Option 5: If you have a home theater receiver that has HDMI audio access, and if your HD-Cable box or HD-Satellite Box has an HDMI output, then the best option would be to simply connect the HDMI output from your Cable or Satellite box to your home theater receiver and then connect the output of your home theater receiver to your HDTV. This simplifies the number of connections; you will be able to access both audio and video using a single connection from the cable or satellite box to the home theater receiver, and then to the HDTV.

If you don’t have a home theater system to complement your HDTV, consider an all-in-one home theater system. To find out what you need to know about these systems, check out my article: Home Theater – The Easy and Inexpensive Way. Then, check out some affordable all-in-one home theater packages that may provide the perfect option for hearing those Super Bowl bumps and grinds: Top Picks For Home Theater-in-a-Box Systems.

Also, if you aren’t interested in having extra speaker clutter – you can also take advantage of the more modest Sound Bar Option – check our suggestions in this audio product category.

The Video Projector Option

Another TV/Home Theater viewing option for the Super Bowl is to use a video projector. This option can deliver a huge screen size, which is great for a large group, but the setup requirements are different than that of a TV.

First, you need either a large screen or blank white wall.

Next, you need a video projector – However, if you are planning to use it in a room with that has some ambient light present (such as daylight viewing with just the drapes, blinds, or curtains drawn), you need a projector that can put out a lot of light. Fortunately, you may be in luck as a growing number of projectors these days can put out enough light for such conditions.

In terms of light output for use in a room that is not dark, consider a projector with a rated light output of 2,000 lumens or more – refer to a handy guide provided by Projector People.

For some inexpensive video projector suggestions, also check out my listing of Best Cheap Video Projectors.

TV Reception and Audio Considerations When Using a Video Projector

In addition to light output, you also have to consider how you are going to get the TV broadcast/cable/satellite signal to the projector. Since projectors don’t typically have built-in TV tuners, you need to connect a cable or satellite box to the projector using an HDMI connection.

Also, since most projectors do not have built-in speakers, and the ones that do are not that great, you need to connect either an analog or digital optical/coaxial audio output connection from your cable/satellite box to a home theater system, sound bar, or under-TV audio system.

More Game-watching Tips

If you are starting completely from scratch, and need to purchase and set up an HDTV (or video projector) and home theater system in time for the Super Bowl, be sure to check out Planning A Home Theater System.

Once you have your system all set-up and ready to go check out the useful THX Home Theater Tune-Up App for IOS and Android devices.

The Streaming Option

For those that will not be home, or are working, on the big game day, you will need to check streaming options. For 2017, the game is being broadcast by FOX. Check for their live streaming options at FOXSportsGo.com

There is no requirement that you also be cable or satellite subscriber in order get access to the stream – anyone with an internet connection will be able to watch the same (that means PCs, laptops, tablet, and smartphones, if it is available.