It's that time of year again. Clearly the results from last year's football season weren't correct, so we've got to go through the whole thing again to identify the team that's best at kicking a ball into a net. While we TV reviewers don't always understand what the appeal of football is, we can at least tell you what sort of TV you should be watching it on.
For sports viewing in general, you're more than likely going to want a TV that has a very fast response time. Response time is the length of time (measured in milliseconds) that it takes a pixel on the display to go from black (off) to white, and back to black. Generally, anything below around 5ms is a pretty good figure. A decent response time means you'll see much less image blur than you would on a TV with a poor response time. Because football involves plenty of movement, you'll need a responsive TV for maximum viewing pleasure.
The response time of plasma TVs is generally much better than that of LCD sets. In fact, most plasma TVs have a response time that's well under 1ms, making them ideal for watching sport. Even the fastest LCD TV response time is significantly slower than that of a plasma set.
LCD TVs offer their own, very distinct, advantages, however. For a start, they're generally much brighter than plasma TVs. That's a big plus if you're watching in a bright environment. They can also be slightly sharper, which might suit sports shown in high definition.
Whichever display technology you choose, though, we'd suggest you opt for a 1080p set. Most of the UK's TV broadcasters are using 1080i as their chosen transmission system for HD. While the debate about 1080i versus 720p for sport is still raging, making sure your TV has a 1080p resolution means that you'll get the best resolution out of 1080i HD, and get an impressive and very detailed image. All of this should help you avoid arguments about whether one player actually smacked another player in the groin with his hand or if it was just a trick of the light.
There are other things to remember about choosing a TV for football viewing as well, not least of which is making sure you can get freesat, which in turn gives you access to any HD sport broadcast on ITV HD. BBC HD is available on both Sky's HD platform and Virgin's cable system, but freesat is also a good way to watch it with subscription-free equipment.