Unlike the Buffalo Bills, we’re not relying on a coin toss for Super Bowl LVI. We’re still a tad bitter about losing in overtime to Kansas City but that’s not going to stop us from watching on Super Bowl Sunday.
This year we celebrate the 56th edition of the NFL Championship and while we’re hoping that the Bengals or Rams win at this point — we are already getting our plans in order to enjoy the game.
Here are the essential details.
- Date: Sunday, February 13, 2022
- Location: SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
- Kickoff Time: 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT
- Teams: Cincinnati Bengals vs Los Angeles Rams
- Halftime Show Performance: Dr. Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and Snoop Dogg.
- Commercials: Who knows, but this is the only event where watching the commercials is almost as good as the game.
- TV Broadcast Network: NBC
- Streaming Access: Several options are discussed in this article.
The Bad News – No 4K!
As anticipated as the Super Bowl is every year, for TV viewers this year the news isn’t all good as the game will not be broadcast or streamed in 4K UHD.
This means that NBC will be broadcasting the game over the air in 1080i resolution. Even those that have TVs with ATSC 3.0/NexGen TV tuners and have access to NBC broadcast stations that transmit in that system, will still only receive the game in 1080i as that is the signal that NBC will be providing.
In addition, since NBC broadcast network supplies its feeds to cable and satellite systems, viewers subscribing to cable or satellite will be limited to a 1080i signal feed as well.
The news isn’t better for the streaming viewer who will also not have access to a 4K stream.
The problem for NBC appears to be a combination of COVID, cost, and logistics. Broadcasting live TV in 4K requires a large temporary infrastructure and with its plans to provide 4K content for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics on February 04, 2022), they are devoting more resources to that effort.
Super Bowl Viewing Access
Cable/Satellite: If you subscribe to cable or satellite they all carry the NBC TV network which carries the Super Bowl. However, check with your local cable provider to see if they offer additional channels that will carry the game if desired.
Streaming viewers have several options. Here is a list of streaming outlets that will provide access to the big game:
Peacock TV: This is Comcast’s Universal/NBC streaming service which provides access to live NBC TV sports programming provided you subscribe to one of their pay tiers (the free tier does not provide access to live content, only delayed content).
Hulu+ Live TV: NBC is one of the services offered with the Hulu+ Live TV package. The Hulu+ Live TV subscription price is $69.99 per month.
Sling TV: Similar to Hulu+ Live TV, Sling TV also offers access to NBC. Sling TV subscription prices start at $35.00 per month.
Fubo TV: NBC and NFL apps are offered by Fubo TV, as well as a Fubo TV free trial. However, it isn’t known if the Free Trial will provide you access to the Super Bowl. The current Fubo TV subscription price starts at $69.99 per month.
DirecTV Stream: This is the streaming version of the DirecTV satellite service, which includes access to the NBC TV network. The current DirecTV Stream subscription price is $69.99 per month.
YouTube TV: NBC is offered as one of the channels available to watch on YouTube TV, which would include the Super Bowl. The current YouTube TV subscription price starts at $64.99 per month.
Tip: You can stream any of the above options on most smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.
If you will be watching on a smartphone or tablet (and not a TV), then you can also access the Super Bowl via the Yahoo! Sports App.
What TV Should I Get?
With both the Super Bowl and the Olympics coming in February this year, if you are a sports fan this is a great time to buy a nice big TV.
The 2022 TV models aren’t out yet: Although a lot of TVs were announced at the recent 2022 CES, very few of these sets will be available in time for the Super Bowl or the Olympics. This means your selection will be mostly 2021 models. However, this is not a bad thing as prices will be lower than usual as retailers want to sell as much 2021 stock now to make room for the 2022 models that will be arriving throughout the Spring and Summer months.
Here are some core tips when shopping for a TV:
4K UHD TV: Although the game will not be broadcast in 4K, a 4K Ultra HD TV will still enhance your viewing experience. These sets provide good upscaling, adding more perceived detail from HD broadcasts. Also, keep in mind that almost all TVs 43-inches and larger are 4K UHD Smart TVs.
8K TV: The highest resolution televisions on the market are 8K TVs. However, there is very little programming to watch at 8K resolution. Find out if an 8K TV is a good choice to future-proof your next television purchase.
TV Tech: There are two basic types of TVs available, LCD (includes LED/LCD, minLED, QLED, Neo QLED), and OLED TVs. If you are going to be watching the Super Bowl in a brightly lit room, an LCD-based TV would be the better option over OLED.
TV Size: It’s your decision as to how large a TV you want to buy, but make sure it will fit in your room. Use a tape measure to see what size will fit. There is a wide selection of 65 to 85-inch and a small number of screen sizes ranging up to 98-inches. In addition to screen size, consider optimal viewing distance.
To dig deeper into TV tech and how to buy a TV in today’s consumer environment, check out our companion article: Buying a New TV: Everything You Need Know
Bonus: Best 4K TVs of 2022
TV Sound: If want to fill the room with all those stadium cheers and physical player bumps and grinds, since TVs are so thin, they don’t really have really good sound quality. If you don’t already have a home theater audio system, getting a soundbar will really help to improve your Super Bowl listing experience. Check out our suggestions for Best Soundbars.
UST Projector Option
Another option that you can take advantage of is an Ultra Short Throw (UST) projector. This option has become increasingly popular for consumers as it offers a larger screen viewing experience than a flat panel TV and can be less expensive.
Unlike a traditional video projector, a UST projector (Hisense refers to theirs as Laser TVs) sits almost directly under the screen and can project an image as large as 100 to 130-inches. All you need is the wall space to hang a screen.
Note: You can project directly onto a wall, but you won’t get the optimum brightness, contrast, or color saturation as you would with a good screen. Some of these projectors come packaged with a special ALR (Ambient Light Rejecting) screen, so you don’t have to figure out which one to buy on your own.
Check out our suggestions for Best UST Projectors for Super Bowl viewing (or any sporting or movie event for that matter).
The only additional thing you need to have on hand to enjoy the Super Bowl are family and friends, and a lot of tasty snacks. May your favorite team win!
Tip: If your TV and home theater system is set up for the Super Bowl, you should be all set for the Beijing Winter Olympics as well, which runs from February 4th through February 20, 2022, and includes some events streaming in 4K on YouTube TV and Fubo TV (depending on location).