NFL Sunday streaming setup
There's no feeling as great as sitting down for another NFL Sunday. And for those who play fantasy football religiously, and have their mood on Monday dictated by how their team did on Sunday, you have to have the best watching setup as possible.
I've spent years perfecting my setup, and I'd like to share all of the key parts with you so you can use however much you need to have the ultimate viewing experience.
It took me a while, adding part by part. And there are always tweaks and additions you can make. But if you build out your system using these products that we love, we know you'll enjoy your Sundays even more.
Start with the obvious. I prefer Samsung's more basic model of 4K UHD TVs, because they work within my budget and offer all of the high-performance features that have become standard in the television market.
If you want something more at the top of the line, I recommend this model by LG, which has stunning visuals and some of the best technology available, meaning it won't be obsolete as soon as a more inexpensive model will.
But if you're happy with your current TV, and think you can get a few more years of use out of it, it might be worth waiting for 8K technology to mature. It is just starting to be sold to the general public, but if you prefer to save money, it's better to wait for it to become more mainstream.
Whatever you get, don't forget to grab a wall mount for it. If you don't know how to install it, or you're intimidated by the prospect of learning, TaskRabbit and other similar apps make it easy to find a qualified person who can take care of it for you.
I cut the cord in 2016, and haven't missed a game due to streaming issues in at least two seasons. If you own a Macbook or an iPad, I recommend buying an Apple TV. The AirPlay feature allows you to quickly throw a game from your computer or tablet onto the big screen when the moment calls for it. You can also use your iPhone as a remote control.
Pro tip: Keep your router close to your streaming device, at a minimum. It's even better if you can hard-wire them together with an ethernet cable.
Cord cutting has become so prevalent that there are services that essentially replicate the experience of having cable. You'll get the same commercials, a similar menu, and most of the same channels. So, you should sign up for one of these if you love your hometown team, and are content with the experience you get watching football with a basic cable package. You'll get the day games on Fox and CBS as well as the primetime games on Sunday and Monday nights. If this is all you're looking for, we recommend Hulu with Live TV for $44.99 a month, which is less than YouTube TV.
Now, there are some limitations to these services. Namely, you won't get RedZone channel on Hulu or YouTube TV. If having that is imperative, SlingTV is your best bet.
Some people are content with a soundbar, which can be a great option if the sounds of the game aren't that important to you -- or if you don't want to go through the hassle of installing something more complex. But, I went from a 2.1 Samsung soundbar to a 5.1 surround-sound setup before last season, and I can't imagine going back.
(And, really, I can't stress enough, if you don't care to learn about setting up a big system, go with this model from Sonos -- the leader in this kind of technology. The way it seamlessly allows you to play the TV audio from several rooms you won't be behind when you have to run to the bathroom.)
You're going to need a receiver/amplifier to power the collection of speakers. For a modestly sized room (150-200 square feet), these options will be perfectly powerful and built to last for years.
For the best, start with this Yamaha 4K receiver -- it supports HDR for when you're watching movies and it's reasonably priced. But, as a general note: You don't want to overspend on these parts, because they can add up quickly. I found this model from Denon on sale, and it has proven itself to be better than adequate.
I've used this center channel speaker for a couple years and stand by how much it contributes to the sound profile. This matching left/right speaker combo with speaker wire will complete a basic surround-set up setup. For rear-channel speakers, you can't miss with these models from Polk Audio, but if you really want to go for the ultimate setup, I haven't been disappointed by going the extra mile and putting in in-ceiling speakers. You can upgrade any time with the matching subwoofer.
I found pursuing this plan to be a fun project where I learned a lot about electronics and how sound systems work -- in that, you won't want to forget banana plugs.
As a bonus, with this setup, you can connect your phone via Bluetooth.
Jacob Palmer is an editor for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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