The world’s 32 best international football teams are set to assemble in Russia from June 14 to July 15 to take part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Expect cheers, joy, tears and England going out on penalties.
As ever, the World Cup is expected to provide an excuse for households across the world to kick out the old and score with a brand new TV. Great idea, but every TV brand is working harder than ever to take your money. That means trying to figure out which TV to buy is tough.
As a special gift from us, if you buy one of our recommended World Cup TVs, we’ll give you £15 to spend at Tesco on anything you like.
Related: World Cup VAR
What makes the perfect TV for watching Football?
When looking for a TV that’s good for footy, and other sports, there are a number of factors to consider. For starters, with more and more sport appearing in ultra-high resolution 4K (including the World Cup via the BBC iPlayer), you should really be looking for a TV that delivers the clarity that only 4K can.
Good support for high dynamic range (HDR) technology is also highly recommended. HDR delivers a much wider brightness range and much bolder colours than old standard dynamic range pictures, and can have a transformative a impact on the bright, colourful world of football matches. And handily, the BBC has confirmed that its 4K iPlayer World Cup streams will also support HDR.
Producing a good HDR picture isn’t easy, so the TVs that do it well aren’t cheap. But trust us: the investment is worth it, especially in the long term.
Also important to a convincing picture in football is motion. You don’t want all that fast action blurring. So try and pick a set with a recommended motion processing system, or which handles motion in store without causing smearing and juddering.
If you’re into hosting ‘big game’ parties you might also want to think about a TV with a wide viewing angle to support lots of viewers wherever they sit. OLED TVs have a unique advantage in this respect.
Brightness and sharpness are all both key factors in a grandstanding World Cup 2018 experience, too, as is a sound system potent enough to recreate a stadium atmosphere.
Finally, of course, any serious couch-based sports fan knows that nothing immerses you in action more than a screen that’s big. As in, really, really big.
To help you refine your buying list even more we’ve picked the best TVs for watching the World Cup on that money can buy. All these TVs have won the coveted Trusted Reviews recommended seal of approval.
Free Tesco £15 gift card
As a special gift from us, if you buy one of our recommended World Cup TVs using a link below before July 16 2018, we’ll give you £15 to spend at Tesco on anything you like.
- OLED screen
- Native 4K resolution
- P5 processing
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The first screen on our best TVs for the World Cup list is an OLED model. At 55 inches, its screen isn’t as big as that of the LG OLED65C8. However, it makes every bit as much impact.
For starters, its design extends way beyond the confines of its screen courtesy of Philips’ unique Ambilight technology. This sees pools of coloured light cast from the screen’s top, left and right sides, delivering a visual experience far more immersive and dynamic than anything possible from TVs that just show you a picture. The immersive qualities of Ambilight are enhanced by the way the light it casts out from the TV’s edges can match, with startling tonal and locational accuracy, the colours being shown in the picture.
Ambilight works particularly well with football, with its combination of richly coloured pitches, bright lighting and bold team strips.
The 55POS9002 also delivers on OLED’s wide viewing angle support for big football parties, and its picture quality is outstanding thanks to Philips’ powerful ‘P5’ picture processor. This includes unusually potent motion processing that ensures you never lose track of the ball or feel unsure of which player just gave away a penalty.
Buy now: Philips 55POS9002 for £1,499 from AO
LG OLED 55/65C8
- OLED screen
- Native 4K Resolution
- Alpha 9 processor
- Dolby Vision HDR support
OLED TVs have always been good. LG’s new OLED65C8, though, is truly awesome.
The way each pixel in an OLED screen produces its own light has long helped the technology to deliver dark scenes better than any LCD TV can. With the OLED65C8, though, LCD has managed to combine OLED’s peerless black levels with new levels of OLED brightness. The result is pictures dynamic and vibrant enough to look as rewarding when showing a World Cup football match as they are when showing a 4K Blu-ray movie.
LG’s new Alpha 9 processor also helps the 65-inch OLED65C8 (and it’s smaller brother, the 55-inch OLED55C8) produce more detailed, precise 4K images than any LG OLED TV before – perfect for seeing every ripple of the net as England stick five past Belgium.
Don’t forget, either, that one of OLED technology’s biggest benefits is that you can watch an OLED screen from almost any angle without the picture quality deteriorating. This makes the OLED65C8 or OLED55C8 the perfect centrepiece for World Cup parties.
Competition: Win a 55″ LG C8 OLED TV
- Direct LED lighting with local dimming
- Advanced motion control
- Sport mode
Sony’s 65XF9005 has many features that make it a stand out TV for watching football. There’s one, though, that stands out above the rest: it’s motion handling. Sony’s MotionFlow processing has been the best in the business for at least a couple of TV generations now, but with the 65XF9005 it gets taken to a whole new level thanks to X-Motion clarity technology.
Currently exclusive to the XF9005 range, this technology can use the set’s direct lighting with local dimming technology to boost bright parts of the image when using black frame insertion technology. This means you can get the ultra natural look to motion associated with Black Frame Insertion without having to suffer the usual accompanying dimness. That’s just what you want when you’re watching football.
The 65XF9005 also delivers beautifully nuanced and bold colours thanks to Sony’s Triluminos technology, and does a class-leading job of upscaling ITV’s HD World Cup games to 4K resolution.
There’s also a well judged sports mode to optimise the way matches look and sound.
- QLED screen technology
- Direct lighting with hundreds of dimming zones
- Auto Game Mode
- Sports mode with sound and picture elements
The QE65Q9FN is a dazzling TV for sport. Literally. Its peak brightness is more than 2,000 nits – the highest such number in the TV world. This translates into football matches that look almost as bright and intense as if you were sitting right in the stadium.
Samsung’s QLED technology, meanwhile, lets the screen deliver a vast volume of colour. Bright tones in particular come with a richness no other screen can currently match. This, again, fits brilliantly with the often stark and extreme colours associated with football broadcasts, especially when those broadcasts are in HDR.
Night games will shine forth against truly inky black skies too, thanks to the remarkable light control delivered by Samsung’s powerful new ‘direct lighting with local dimming’ backlight system.
Finally, Samsung’s latest flagship TV carries both a Sports mode which both boosts colour, contrast and sharpness, and an intelligent sound mode that automatically introduces an effective Stadium-style sound when it detects that you’re watching a football match.
- OLED screen
- Native 4K resolution
- Great value
- Dolby Vision support
The OLED65B7 launched in 2017, and so doesn’t carry the new Alpha 9 processor you get with LG’s 2018 C, E, G and W OLED series. This means it won’t be quite as bright with its handling of the BBC’s HDR World Cup streams, and its 4K pictures won’t look quite as precise. However…
It still produces a gorgeous contrast- and colour-rich picture that’s essentially identical to that of all other more expensive OLED TVs LG released in 2017. So you still get such football-friendly features as an ultra-wide viewing angle and beautifully saturated shots of all the World Cup stadia and pitches.
Even better, its price has now dropped to just £2,389 – a whole £1,100 less than you’ll need to find for the 2018 OLED65C8 found elsewhere on this best sport TV list. This makes it the perfect choice for any football fans who want a 65-inch OLED TV but can’t stretch the budget to LG’s new C8.
Buy now: LG OLED65B7 for £2,399 from Currys
- Direct lighting with hundreds of dimming zones
- Sony X1 Extreme processing
- Sony Triluminos colour
- Dolby Vision Support
The 75ZD9 has made this list of sporting greats for two brilliantly simple reasons. First, it’s huge to the tune of 75-inches from corner of its screen to the other. And so it makes the big game, well, bigger. Second, its performance is so cutting edge that its pictures still look sensational two years after it first went on sale.
Its sustained brilliance is down to two main factors. First it uses a direct LED lighting system driven by more local dimming zones than any other TV released so far. This helps it deliver HDR pictures with levels of contrast, dynamism and precision that would previously have been unthinkable from an LCD TV, delivering the light and shade of an HDR football stadium with gorgeous punch and realism. Night games, in particular, look out of this world on the 75ZD9.
The other thing that ensures the 75ZD9 gets the maximum picture impact from its massive screen is its Sony X1 Extreme processor. This delivers beautifully crisp but natural motion handling, beautifully rich, but also subtle, colours, and incredible sharpness from both native 4K and upscaled HD football feeds.
The 75ZD9’s BBC iPlayer app is ready, willing and able to cope with the BBC’s 4K streams, and last but not least, its relative vintage means that it’s now available for £5,499 versus a launch price of £6,999.99. That’s a lot of TV for the price.
These are the six best TVs we recommend you buy to make the most out of the 2018 World Cup. Of course these are all brilliant TVs in their own right, and are just as accomplished for watching movies and TV.