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The best and worst rated TVs for watching sport

Our experts sort the winners from the losers in our latest lab test. 

best tvs for watching sport
Last updated: 05 June 2024

With a jam-packed few months of sport ahead of us – the Paris Olympics (including the first Matildas match vs Germany in July), the UEFA Euros and the Aussie footy finals to mention just a few highlights – you may be in search of a screen that's going to deliver all the live sport action in its full vibrant glory. 

When it comes to how well TVs perform in particular for watching sport, CHOICE experts have found there are some star players you can rely on, as well as others you probably want to leave on the bench. 

Factors such as picture clarity, processor speed and colour balance all play a big role, and can mean the difference between feeling like you're in the front row, or stuck up the back trying to figure out who's got the ball.

Picture clarity, processor speed and colour balance all play a big role

The upcoming End of Financial Year (EOFY) sales can be a great time to pick up a bargain, but how do you tell the winners from the losers?

Our lab experts test models specifically for sport as part of their comprehensive TV reviews, so we asked them to reveal the top performers and the ones that belong in the sin bin.

Our tests for sports viewing quality

Choice lab expert Scott tests a TV

CHOICE test coordinator Scott in our TV labs.

In our extensive TV lab testing, our lead tester Scott O'Keefe and his team of experts score every model for sports in both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) as part of our assessment of various content, which also includes DVD and Blu-ray movies and broadcast SD and HD TV series.

Usually, each model's sports scores are factored into their CHOICE Expert Rating. But as a special treat for sports lovers, we're revealing these dedicated scores so you can see the players that truly give 110% (or closest to it).

Remember, sports viewing is just one criteria to consider when choosing a TV. Join CHOICE to see our full TV reviews, which assess picture quality, energy consumption, user interface, remote controls, key features and more.

Top rated TVs for sport


This large-screen LG rates highly for sports fans.

Large-screen TV

Best scoring for sport: LG OLED65C4PSA

  • SD viewing score for sport: 80%
  • HD viewing score for sport: 90%
  • Price: $3799

This 64-inch LG TV rated 'very good' for SD sport and excellent for HD sport. Our testers say the sound quality is also very good with "a nice warm balanced sound overall and a strong bass response".

One of the viewing panel comments for 4K video viewing was that it appeared too bright at times in the standard picture settings. This increased brightness in OLED TVs became evident across other brands as well, with new processes enabling TV makers to deliver more luminance to the OLED panel. While this can sometimes be considered an issue when watching a dark and moody drama, it's a great feature for watching sport in all its bright colourful glory.

At $3799, the LG OLED 65C4PSA is cheaper than the equivalent 2023 LG model when it was released, and there are similar reductions in price for many 2024 TVs from other brands as well, compared to 2023 models.

This is great news for consumers wanting to squeeze every dollar out of their entertainment budget. Check out more options in our TV reviews

Medium-screen TV

Best scoring for sport: LG OLED55B4PSA

  • SD viewing score for sport: 80%
  • HD viewing score for sport: 90%
  • Price: $2499

Just because you want great sport viewing doesn't mean you always have the room to accommodate a large TV.

The OLED55B4PSA display at 55-inches is diminutive by 2024 standards but delivers a very good sports viewing experience. It performs very well for all video content and best of all, it's also delivers good video bang for your buck, considering it is LGs entry-level OLED. 

It doesn't have as fast a processor as the C or G series of LG OLED TVs and the speaker is not as powerful, but unless you are a gaming enthusiast, our testers feel this TV delivers on both performance and price.  

Medium-screen TV

Matte screen option for sport: Samsung QA55LS03DAWXXY

  • SD viewing score for sport: 75%
  • HD viewing score for sport: 80%
  • Price: $1995

While the Samsung QA55LS03DAWXXY didn't earn a CHOICE  recommendation, it was still a good performer overall and very good for watching HD sport.

It also presents an interesting option if you want something a little different in your TV room. Unlike most TVs that have a semi-gloss glass screen, the Samsung QA55LS03DAWXXY has a matte-screen finish which presents a unique picture-watching experience that would suit watching sport in a bright environment as there will be no glare or reflected light issues.

It is also designed to be hung up on the wall, doubling as a virtual picture frame when you aren't enjoying your favourite team play.

Small-screen TV

Best scoring for sport: Samsung UA32T5300

  • SD viewing score for sport: 85%
  • HD viewing score for sport: 75%
  • Price: $545

Our viewing panellists found the detail for sport on this TV to be good for both SD and HD sport. But the most surprising thing about this TV is that you can still purchase it everywhere. The Samsung UA32T5300 would have to be one of the oldest brand-name TVs out there but it remains popular because it's one of the best small TVs for SD and HD video, including sport.

The sound is pretty ordinary but nothing a small soundbar won't fix, and this is an ideal TV for use with a HD streaming device like an Apple TV or Google HD TV, where you can simply plug it into an available HDMI connection and enjoy your favourite streaming sporting event. 

There are cheaper TVs for this size but you will be hard-pressed to find one delivering better video quality.

Worst rated TVs for sport

Large-screen TV

Lowest scoring for sport: Samsung QA65Q60DAWXXY

  • SD viewing score for sport: 60%
  • HD viewing score for sport: 60%
  • Price: $1899

This Samsung QLED TV is the entry priced model for the Samsung 2024 range and but our testers were underwhelmed with its performance for SD and HD sports footage. In particular there is a lack of detail in SD sports footage and HD footage didn't have the detail expected in fast motion scenes. This TV will deliver better results for movies when using the Filmmaker mode setting but this may lead to extra judder in the image if used for watching sports.

Medium-screen TV 

Lowest scoring for sport: Sony KD55X77L

  • SD viewing score for sport: 60%
  • HD viewing score for sport: 60%
  • Price: $1095

This Sony TV was released in 2023 and is still readily available. Our CHOICE testers suggest that if you are a fan of this brand and a fan of sport you may want to wait until we look at their 2024 range due out soon to see if they perform any better for showing SD and HD sport footage. If you want to take advantage of the discounted pricing for this model, take note that it performed just OK for HD and for SD for sport in our tests. 

Small-screen TV

Lowest scoring for sport: TCL 43P8M

  • SD viewing score for sport: 65% 
  • HD viewing score for sport: 55%
  • Price: $545

If you're looking for a smaller TV for the shed or man cave, be wary of this wooden spooner from TCL. 

Not only does it do a pretty average job for SD sport viewing, it drops the ball even more when you switch to HD. That's a foul in our books.

A sports-lover's guide to buying a TV

1. Know your source

Before buying a new box, you need to know the broadcast quality of your favourite sports. Are they shown in SD (720 x 576 pixels), HD (1920 x 1080) or ultra high definition (UHD), aka 4K (3860 x 2160)? The answer will vary depending on the sport, the channel and the state you live in (for example, free-to-air AFL games are often shown in HD in Victoria and SD in NSW).

Before buying a new box, you need to know the broadcast quality of your favourite sports

If you're watching an SD broadcast on an HD TV, it needs to upscale the video to display at the higher resolution. How well it bridges this gap depends heavily on the quality of the unit and its internal processors. This can vary notably between models and definitions, which is why we score separately for SD and HD sources above.

2. OLED or LCD – which is better?

According to our experts, OLED is definitely the MVP (i.e. the best choice) here, particularly if you can control the ambient light in your TV room. But OLED TVs are usually more expensive, so it will depend on your budget.

What's the difference? Well, LCD (liquid-crystal display) TVs require a light source behind their screen panel, meaning they can go very dark grey but never full black. By comparison, OLED (organic light emitting diode) screens have lights integrated within each diode and they can simply turn off when required, giving you true blacks.

3. What size TV do you need?

Bigger is always better, right? Not always with TVs, because it also depends on your room size and how close you like to be to the TV when you watch. If you sit too close to a massive screen, you may be able to see the pixels – and that's not pretty.

As listed in our TV buying guide, there are three important factors you need to consider for the best viewing experience:

  1. Your TV's screen resolution (HD or 4K)
  2. The size of your room
  3. How far you sit from the screen.

What is the best screen size for a high-definition (HD) TV?


What is the best screen size for an ultra high-definition TV (UHD aka 4K)

4. Testing a TV instore

Retailers usually play animated movies on instore TVs because they look amazing. Sport is a completely different ball game, so switch to a match or race to truly test their mettle. If that's not possible, you could take in your own sports DVD to test.

Evaluate key specs such as picture clarity (are the numbers on jerseys sharp?), motion, and colour balance (do skin tones look right?). Cycle through picture modes and note nasties such as judder (lack of smooth panning), motion blur (trailing elements behind fast-moving objects) and odd saturation.

Retailers usually play animated movies on instore TVs, so switch to a match or race to truly test their mettle

Store TVs are often muted too, so turn the volume up if you can and study the sound. Is it rich or tinny? How do commentators' voices sound? If it's ordinary, you might need to buy an accompanying soundbar too – check out our soundbar reviews.

5. Suss out the screen angle

Got friends coming round regularly for the footy? Then you'll want to test the screen angle and ensure they'll all be able to see well.

As you move sideways from the centre of the screen, most TVs will lose some colour and contrast. Stand in the middle of the screen at your normal viewing distance and then take a few steps sideways. If the picture degrades too much, keep moving till you find a screen that does a better job. Your friends will thank you.

We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE.

Stock images: Getty, unless otherwise stated.