Posted Mon Jan 22, 2018 at 02:30 PM PST by Steven Cohen
With the Super Bowl set to kick off on February 4, sports fans all around the country finally have the perfect excuse to upgrade their home theater systems. After all, how are you supposed to pull off an epic viewing party if you're only rocking a 32-inch display with wimpy TV speakers? I mean, can you really impress your guests if they all need binoculars to see the screen?
The solution: a brand new 75-inch 4K HDR display perfect for upconverting the big game in all its glory, along with an immersive audio setup perfect for surrounding your living room with a roaring stadium full of screaming fans.
And though that all might sound a little pricey, Super Bowl Season also tends to spark super sales, as stores need to start phasing out their 2017 inventory to make room for the industry's recently announced 2018 lineups in the spring. But even with sale prices abound, putting together the right AV system to show off every touchdown and sure-to-go viral commercial is no easy task.
Thankfully, we're here to help with a comprehensive list of AV Gear suggestions ideal for Super Bowl parties at several different budget levels. And since we want to make sure to emphasize the "Big" in "Big Game," all of our recommended displays will come in at sizes 65-inches and above, and all of our sound systems include support for overhead audio tech like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
Please note: prices are subject to change, and do not include taxes or shipping.
In our entry-level section, we've put together some great budget-friendly AV configurations for under $2,200, pairing a couple 4K HDR TV or 1080p projector options with a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system.
65" VIZIO M-Series Ultra HD HDR XLED Plus Display ($1,000) - The 2017 VIZIO M-Series is still easily one of the best bang-for-your-buck 65-inch displays on the market. Key features include Dolby Vision and HDR10 support with about 350 nits fullscreen output and around 600 nits peak output, along with full-array local dimming with 32 zones and wide color gamut support. In addition, the set uses the SmartCast TV platform, allowing users to cast supported streaming apps from their mobile devices or launch select services directly from the unit's on-screen interface. With that said, the display does not include an integrated TV tuner, so you will need to buy an external unit if you want to watch the game through an OTA broadcast (several suggestions listed toward the bottom of this guide).
65" Sony XBR65X900E LED Ultra HD TV ($1,498) - At its current sale price, this is one of the most impressive 4K sets in its class, offering a full-array local dimming backlight, wide color gamut support with Triluminos tech, HDR10 support, and a firmware update planned for HLG playback (but sadly not Dolby Vision). Finally, the set uses the Android TV platform for smart TV apps and streaming.
Epson Home Cinema 2150 1080p Home Theater Projector ($749) - Is a conventional screen size just not enough for you? Well then, if you still want to stay on a budget, a 1080p projector will likely remain your best bet. Though this 3LCD Full HD model lacks 4K resolution and HDR capabilities, it makes up for that loss with support for up to a whopping 300-inch image. Likewise, the unit features 2500 lumens of brightness which should offer great performance for the game even in well-lit rooms. And unlike all of the TV models on this list, the Home Cinema 2150 includes 3D playback. You will need a separate tuner for OTA broadcasts, though.
5.1.2 Onkyo HT-S5800 All-In-One Dolby Atmos Home Theater System ($649) - This entry-level home theater package features 5 surround speakers (including 2 with Dolby Atmos-enabled upward-firing drivers), 1 subwoofer, and a 7.2 channel AV receiver to offer support for a complete 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos system. Sadly, however, the receiver that's included is an older model that does not provide DTS:X support or Dolby Vision passthrough.
In our next tier, we're focusing on AV systems that combine a high-performance display with a robust immersive audio experience all for under $6,200, including recommendations for a 75-inch LCD or a 65-inch OLED, along with a 5.1.4 speaker setup.
75" VIZIO M-Series Ultra HD HDR Home Theater Display ($1,850) - Kicking things up to a 75-inch model, this super-sized VIZIO M-Series set offers the same great bang-for-your-buck performance found on its smaller sibling for a current sale price under $2,000. Key features include Dolby Vision and HDR10 support with about 350 nits fullscreen output and around 600 nits peak output, along with full-array local dimming with 32 zones and wide color gamut support. In addition, the set uses the SmartCast TV platform, allowing users to cast supported streaming apps from their mobile devices or launch select services directly from the unit's on-screen interface. With that said, the display does not include an integrated TV tuner so you will need to purchase a separate tuner if you want to watch the Super Bowl through an OTA broadcast.
LG Electronics OLED65B7A 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV ($2,497) - The B7 is the most affordable 65-inch OLED on the market right now, making it one of the top picture quality performers you can buy ... period. Thanks to its OLED panel, the TV features perfect blacks, infinite contrast, wide color gamut support, and wide viewing angles, making it an ideal choice for a viewing party where guests will be spread out around the room. Likewise, the set includes Active HDR with Dolby Vision, HDR10, and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) support. An HDR Effect feature is included as well, allowing the TVs to simulate HDR with SDR content. In addition, the B7 uses LG's webOS 3.5 smart TV platform and is capable of internally decoding lossless, uncompressed Dolby TrueHD and Dolby Atmos audio.
Optoma UHD60 4K Ultra High Definition Home Theater Projector ($1,732) - The first 4K projector on our guide is the perfect fit for customers who want a bigger picture without sacrificing Ultra HD playback. This entry-level 4K HDR model delivers a UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160 (through special video processing to double the 2716x1528 resolution of the DLP chip). Support for HDR10 is included as well, along with some level of REC.2020 wide color gamut and DCI-P3 coverage (though an exact percent is not listed). Brightness is rated for 3,000 lumens (plenty for brighter rooms) and the unit offers a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1 with Dynamic Black enabled. In addition, the projector features high-quality stereo sound, vertical lens shift, and a 1.6X zoom for easy installation. Sadly, unlike some other projector models, 3D is not supported and you will need a separate tuner for OTA broadcasts.
Epson Home Cinema 5040UB 1080p 3D Home Theater Projector with 4K Enhancement ($2,499) - Though technically only a Full HD 1080p model, this 3LCD 3-chip technology Epson projector includes 4K Enhancement Technology which allows the device to accept a 4K input and then rapidly shift 1080p sensors diagonally by a half-pixel giving viewers something close to a 4MP resolution. In addition, the model offers HDR10 support, 3D support, and P3 color gamut playback in Digital Cinema Mode. Brightness is rated for 2500 lumens, and the contrast ratio is listed for up to 1,000,000:1. With that said, you will need a separate tuner for OTA broadcasts.
5.1.4 Pioneer ELITE Speaker System ($1,646) - Includes (1) SP-EC73 Andrew Jones Center Channel Speaker ($299), (4) SP-EBS73 Dolby Atmos-enabled Andrew Jones Bookshelf Speakers ($499/pair), and (1) Klipsch R-12SW 12-Inch Front-Firing 400W Max Subwoofer ($349).
Onkyo TX-RZ920 9.2 Channel Network A/V Receiver ($1,300) - This 9.2 channel receiver from Onkyo includes support for 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos/DTS:X systems, along with 4K HDR10 and Dolby Vision passthrough, Chromecast built-in, DTS Play-Fi, Fire Connect, Bluetooth, and access to several music services like Pandora and Spotify. In addition, the unit also includes 11.2 multichannel pre-outs for 7.2.4 support with an external stereo amplifier. Rated for 135 W/Ch (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels Driven, FTC); 250 W/Ch (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 10% THD, 1 Channel Driven)
Yamaha RX-A3070 9.2 Channel AVR ($2,000) - This 2017 Yamaha 9.2 channel AV receiver offers built-in support for 5.1.4 or 7.1.2 Dolby Atmos/DTS:X systems, along with 11.2-ch expandability with an additional 2-ch amplifier for 7.1.4 support. Likewise, the receiver offers MusicCast wireless audio tech, and 4K HDR Dolby Vision passthrough. Rated for 150 W (8 ohms, 0.06% THD) MusicCast technology.
In our alternative sub-$6,200 section, we've put together some options for users who want to spend a bit more on their display or projector and a little less on a more affordable and compact Dolby Atmos sound bar system.
65" Samsung QN65Q9 Ultra HD QLED TV ($3,298) - Samsung's flagship 2017 Ultra HD TV uses metal quantum dot technology to deliver some of the market's best color and brightness performance, making it an ideal display for watching the big game in a well-lit viewing environment with windows. The set offers support for a wide color gamut, 100 percent color volume, and a peak luminance between 1,500 and 2,000 nits. Likewise, the TV includes HDR10 support and is among the first displays to include new HDR10+ support (but sadly it does not offer Dolby Vision). In addition, the panel features local dimming, but it uses edge-lit LEDs rather than a superior full-array implementation.
65" Sony XBR65A1E Bravia OLED Ultra HD TV ($3,498) - Though LG's 2017 OLED displays can get a tad brighter, Sony's 2017 OLED Ultra HD TV rivals them in almost every way while offering superior image processing. Key features include HDR10, Dolby Vision (streaming for now, HDMI hopefully soon), HLG (via future firmware update), perfect black levels, wide color gamut playback with Triluminos tech, great viewing angles, and a unique Acoustic Surface sound system that produces audio directly from the screen itself.
75" Sony XBR75X940E 4K Ultra HD LED TV ($4,298) - As 2017's top-of-line LCD display from Sony, the XBR75X940E comes in at a whopping 75-inches and offers exceptional brightness and HDR10 performance with wide color support. Likewise, Dolby Vision playback for internal streaming apps was recently added, and the set uses full-array local dimming to create superior black levels.
Optoma 4K UHD Laser Projector ($4,499) - This 4K projector uses a powerful laser phosphor light engine to create a resolution of 3840x2160 with 8.3 million pixels via XPR video processing technology with fast switching. In addition, the projector is rated for about 3,000 lumens and a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio with Dynamic Black enabled, making it great for brighter rooms. Likewise, the unit supports high dynamic range with HDR10 capabilities, along with wide color gamut support. HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 is integrated as well, and the device features vertical lens shift and a 1.6x optical zoom. Unfortunately, 3D support does not appear to be included and you will need a separate tuner for OTA broadcasts.
LG SJ9 Dolby Atmos Sound Bar ($847) - One of the most affordable Dolby Atmos sound bars on the market, the SJ9 features multiple speakers, including two powerful up-firing drivers, and a wireless subwoofer to offer a 5.1.2 Dolby Atmos experience in a compact form factor. In addition, the device uses a Hi-Fi DAC with support for High Resolution audio and includes HDMI ARC with HDR passthrough. With that said, the unit does not include support for DTS:X.
Samsung HW-K950/ZA 5.1.4 Channel Soundbar with Dolby Atmos ($1,198) - The 47.6" HW-K950/ZA sound bar takes its Atmos support even further by offering upward-firing drivers in the unit itself along with two separate wireless rear satellite speakers with upward-firing drivers of their own, resulting in a full 5.1.4 system. With that said, while the system can properly decode Atmos tracks, it does not include DTS:X support, resulting in upconverted DTS mixes. Finally, the 500-watt package also includes a wireless subwoofer, Bluetooth connectivity, Wi-Fi, and HDMI with 4K passthrough.
Yamaha YSP-5600 Music Cast Sound Bar with Dolby Atmos & DTS:X ($1,600) - As one of the only sound bar models with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, the YSP-5600 has all of your immersive audio needs covered. Though the system sadly does not include a subwoofer, the unit boasts 7.1.2-channel support with a 32-speaker array for 7-channel sound, two six-speaker arrays for overhead channels, and two woofers. Finally, the system supports Yamaha's robust MusicCast wireless multi-room audio system with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support, along with HDCP 2.2 compliant HDMI inputs with 4K passthrough.
Taking a true "go big or go home" approach, our final section is for sports fans who want the largest and most impressive displays along with the most immersive audio systems for the ultimate Super Bowl experience -- free from any pesky budget limitations. Filled with giant-sized TVs, advanced 4K projectors, top-of-the-line AV Receivers, and several amazing speaker systems, this selection should make for an absolutely killer setup come game-day.
75" Samsung QN75Q9 Ultra HD QLED TV ($6,998) - This 75-inch version of Samsung's flagship 2017 Ultra HD TV brings its impressive metal quantum dot tech, wide color gamut, 100 percent color volume, and high peak luminance to a display the size of a wall. Likewise, the set includes HDR10 support and is among the first displays to include new HDR10+ support (but sadly it does not offer Dolby Vision). In addition, the panel features local dimming, but it uses edge-lit LEDs rather than a superior full-array implementation.
77" Sony XBR77A1E Bravia OLED Ultra HD TV ($10,000) - For those who truly want the best of the best, Sony's OLED Ultra HD TV is also available in a 77-inch model. Key features include HDR10, Dolby Vision (streaming now, HDMI hopefully coming soon), HLG (via future firmware update), perfect black levels, wide color gamut playback with Triluminos tech, great viewing angles, and a unique Acoustic Surface sound system that produces audio directly from the screen itself.
77" LG SIGNATURE G7 OLED Ultra HD TV ($10,000) - With a few key design and audio perks not found on LG's step-down models, the 77-inch G7 is one of the fanciest displays on the market when it comes to looks and performance. Key features include Dolby Vision and HDR10 support (with an HLG firmware upgrade coming soon), industry-leading black levels, great viewing angles, wide color gamut playback, a Picture-on-Glass design, and a sound bar stand with Dolby Atmos support.
Hisense 100" 4K Laser TV ($10,000) - Blending much of the simplicity of a standard smart TV set with the immersion of a projector system, the Hisense 4K Laser TV presents an enticing option for users who want a more enveloping viewing experience without sacrificing ease of installation. The "TV" system is actually comprised of an Ultra-short throw projector unit powered by a Texas Instruments DLP 4K UHD DMD chip and Hisense’s proprietary light source technology with a super-thin, lightweight, 100-inch Screen Innovations Anti-Glare Screen. The device includes support for HDR10, up to 300 nits and 3,000 lumens of brightness, Rec. 709 color gamut coverage, and Hisense's smart TV platform. Likewise, unlike most other projector units, the system also includes a TV tuner for over-the-air content.
Sony VPLVW385ES 4K HDR Home Theater Video Projector ($7,998) - Sony's mid-range SXRD (3 chip) projector model offers full 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution, 1,500 Lumens of brightness, a 200,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, HDR10 support, TRILUMINOS Color, and 3D support. You will need a separate tuner for OTA broadcasts, though.
Sony VPLVW675ES Native 4K HDR 3D SXRD Home Theater Projector ($14,998) - Sony's premium SXRD (3 chip) projector model offers full 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution, 1,800 Lumens of brightness, a 350,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, HDR10 support, TRILUMINOS Color, and 3D support. You will need a separate tuner for OTA broadcasts, though.
Sony VPLVZ1000ES Ultra-Short Throw 4K HDR Home Theatre Projector ($24,998) - This top-of-the-line SXRD (3 chip) projector model includes ultra-short throw support for full 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution images at an 80" screen size from just 2 inches away from the wall or up to a 120" screen size from just 10 inches. In addition, the unit offers 2,500 Lumens of brightness, Infinite Dynamic Contrast using real-time laser light level control, HDR10 support, TRILUMINOS Color, and 3D support. You will need a separate tuner for OTA broadcasts, though.
Denon AVR-X6300H 11.2 Channel A/V Receiver ($1,499) - This 2016 11.2 channel A/V Receiver is currently available at a fantastic sale price of $1,499. The device features support for 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos/DTS:X systems, and also includes 4K HDR10 and Dolby Vision passthrough, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Denon HEOS tech, and Amazon Alexa compatibility. Rated for 140W per channel (8 ohms, 20 Hz~20 kHz, 0.08% THD). A new 2017 AVRX6400H model with very similar specs is also available but for a more expensive $2,199 price tag.
Onkyo TX-RZ3100 11.2 Channel Network A/V Receiver ($2,183) - This is an 11.2 channel A/V Receiver with Dolby Atmos/DTS:X support for 7.1.4 systems, along with Bluetooth, WiFi, FireConnect, and Chromecast built-in. Likewise, the unit includes 4K HDR10 and Dolby Vision passthrough. The device is rated for 140 W/Ch. (8 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.08% THD, 2 channels Driven, FTC) and 200 W/Ch. (6 ohms, 1 kHz, 0.9% THD, 1 Channel Driven, FTC).
7.2.4 Klipsch Reference Premiere System ($5,990) - Includes (2) RP-280FA floorstanding speakers ($799 each), (1) RP-450CA Center Channel ($599), (2) RP-140SA Dolby Atmos speakers ($499/pair), (4) RP-260F floorstanding speakers ($499 each), and (2) R-112SW subwoofers ($649 each). Or go in-ceiling with the Klipsch CDT-5800-C II ($399 each) switching to the RP-280F towers ($599 each).
7.2.4 KEF Q Series ($6,150) - Includes (2) Q950 towers ($900 each), (1) Q650c center ($650), (4) Q350 bookshelf speakers ($650/pair), (4) Q50a Dolby Atmos speakers ($500/pair), (2) Kube 12b subwoofers ($700 each).
7.2.4 KEF R Series ($14,500) - Includes (2) R700 floorstanding speakers ($3,600/pair), (4) R300 bookshelf speakers ($1,800/pair), (1) R600c Center Channel ($1,500), (2) R400b subwoofers ($1,700 each), and (4) R50 Dolby Atmos speakers ($1,200/pair).
In addition to size, scope, and surround sound, buyers should also consider building redundancies into their Super Bowl Party system to avoid any unwanted mishaps (and very unhappy guests). If satellite/cable are not an option, a streaming media player with the NBC Sports App is also a great way to catch the game. Likewise, your internet, cable, or satellite service could go down at any time, so it's a smart idea to add an HDTV antenna and a backup power supply.
Further, it's important to remember many projectors, as well as VIZIO Ultra HD Home Theater Displays, do NOT include an internal OTA HDTV tuner. Meaning, you can't just add an antenna to the mix, but instead need an external tuner. The great news is that there are a TON of options for this, including no-feature budget external tuners, to full DVR-equipped boxes.
Winegard FlatWave FL-5000 Indoor HDTV Antenna ($37) - 35 Mile Long Range, extra long coaxial cable (15') included.
Winegard FlatWave Amped FL5500A Amplified Indoor HDTV Antenna ($57) - 50 Mile Long Range, embedded ultra low noise amplifier with Clear Circuit Technology, energy saving USB power supply with LED power indicator.
ViewTV AT-263 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box and HDMI Cable ($38) - Watch OTA HDTV with separate antenna, USB Multimedia Player: Plays Divx, AVI, MKV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VOB, MOV, FLV, and VC-1, USB recording
ViewTV AT-163 ATSC Digital TV Converter Box and Media Player ($35) - Watch OTA HDTV with separate antenna, USB Multimedia Player: Plays Divx, AVI, MKV, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, VOB, MOV, FLV, and VC-1, USB recording
Mediasonic Homeworx HW180STB HDTV Digital Converter Box with Recording and Media Player($28) - Watch OTA HDTV with separate antenna, USB Multimedia Player Function, built-in recording function.
Tablo 4-Tuner DVR for Over-The-Air HDTV with Wi-Fi ($250) - Watch, Record, Pause, and Stream Free Broadcast [OTA] HDTV Channels with separate antenna, four Tuners allow you to record and watch four different programs on up to (6) devices in your home.
TiVo Roamio OTA 1 TB DVR & Streaming ($389) - Compatible only with HDTV Antennas, no monthly TiVo service fee required, record four shows at once and up to 150 hours of HD programming; pause, rewind and record free HD programming, access to streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more.
TiVo BOLT VOX 500 GB DVR & Streaming ($170) - Compatible with HDTV Antennas and cable, TiVo service subscription is required, record four shows at once and up to 75 hours of HD programming, voice remote, 4K Ultra HD playback, access to streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and more.
AirTV Player + AirTV Adapter ($129) - 4K Ultra HD streaming, can also play free local OTA (over-the-air) channels through AirTV adapter and OTA antenna (sold separately).
Roku Ultra ($99) - 4K Ultra HD streaming, HDR10, USB input, Optical Digital Out, Dolby Atmos bitstreaming, enhanced point anywhere remote with voice search, premium headphones for private listening, and gaming buttons.
Rou Streaming Stick+ ($60) - Compact HDMI stick design, advanced wireless range, voice remote, along with HD and up to 60 FPS 4K HDR10 playback.
Apple TV 4K ($179) - Utilizes the A10X Fusion chip and offers 4K playback capabilities at up to 60 frames per second with support for HDR10 and Dolby Vision content. In addition, the device includes 4K scaling for HD sources, Siri voice search, iCloud support for media sharing, standard AirPlay capabilities, and the ability to serve as a smart home hub for HomeKit accessories with remote access and automated control. AirPlay 2 support will be added later this year as well, enabling the unit to control multiple AirPlay 2-compatible speakers. Unfortunately, the unit does not currently offer Dolby Atmos playback.
Belkin BE112230-08 12-Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector ($22) - 12-outlet surge protector with 8-foot cord, 3940 joule energy rating, Continuous duty electrical rating: 15A/125V/1875W.
Belkin 12-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector with 8-Foot Power Cord ($31) - 8 rotating and 4 stationary surge-protected outlets, 1-in, 2-out RJ11 telephone/fax surge protection and coaxial protection, 4320 joule energy rating, 8' cord.
Tripp Lite Isobar 10 Outlet HT10DBS A/V Surge Protector ($77) - 10 Outlet Audio/Video Surge Protector, Tel/Modem/Coax/Network, 8ft Cord.
APC Back-UPS 550VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector ($109) - 550VA / 330W Battery Backup UPS Power Supply, 4 Outlets provide Battery Backup and Surge Protection; 4 Outlets offer Power Surge Protection Only.
APC J25B 8-Outlet J-Type Power Conditioner with Battery Backup ($229) - Surge & Spike Protection, Telephone & Coaxial Surge Protection, 8 outlets: 6 UPS, 2 surge, 894 Joules, 1500VA outlet capacity.
Panamax MX5102 Home Theater Power Management with Battery Backup ($580) - 10 Outlets; 4 Switched, 2 Battery Backup, 2 Switched High Current, 2 Always On, 600VA UPS 2 Outlets.
So, there you have it. Those are our top home theater gear suggestions for the big game. We hope this guide helps out in your Super Bowl shopping endeavors. For now, though, what do you think about our choices? Do you have any other gear suggestions? Let us know in the forums! And be sure to check out High-Def Digest for more Super Bowl deals!
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