Elite Big-Screen Televisions

Courtesy of Sony

A new team of TVs offers high-tech capabilities and winning features.

One could argue that the modern equivalent of gathering around the winter hearth is gathering around the television to watch football. Just as only the best teams make the play-offs, a select number of TVs have risen high in the ranks, providing a stellar entertainment experience—even if football isn’t your game.

As always, size matters. It is a good bet that the number of friends and relatives watching a game increases in proportion to the size of the screen, and televisions like Sharp’s 90-inch LED Smart 3-D monster are almost as wide as an offensive line. But size isn’t everything. High-tech TVs today bring more to the game than just an enormous picture, such as 4K models that offer four times the resolution of existing high-definition sets. (Like star quarterbacks, 4K TVs are still rare and pricey.)

A new technology called OLED (organic light-emitting diode) is also re-writing the playbook when it comes to flat TVs. Imagine a 55-inch screen with vibrant colors that is just 4mm deep and weighs just 22 pounds. Luckily, the first OLED models should be available in time for Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013.

Today’s high-caliber TVs also sport communications skills that would be the envy of any first-round draft pick from Harvard. Samsung’s 75-inch LED ES9000 operate as a media hub, able to access Internet programming while also sharing files, photos and videos—as well as social-media updates—wirelessly among multiple devices.

And if things get a little crowded in the living room, opt for Runco’s large-screen weatherproof TV, which will make viewers on the back deck feel like spectators at the stadium—an experience that could become even more realistic if your team plays in an arena that is exposed to the elements. What better way to get in the game?