10 Tips for Watching the Super Bowl
Our A/V tips prepare you for a day of pigskin gluttony.
10 Tips for Watching the Big Game
January 26, 2009 by EH Staff

Settling in for three-plus hours of championship football—and championship advertising—requires pre-game prep.

Since many of us in the EH offices specialize in such things, we’ve combined our resources to assemble a few nuggets of gametime wisdom.

1. The Super Bowl offers an excellent excuse to buy a new TV, but watch out for irrational exuberance. Select a screen that fits your room, your budget and your future plans. You don’t want to be paying off a TV that’s obsolete by next year’s game.

2. Be careful about hanging your own flat panel. Installing a mount and placing the screen requires a deft hand, so unless you’re 100 percent sure that expensive panel is going to hold, call a professional.

3. You’ll undoubtedly need to get up during the game, but that doesn’t mean the game can’t come with you. Professionally installed multiroom distribution can send audio and video feeds all over your home, so if you’ve already got zones set up, make sure you’re porting the game feed to all your A/V equipment. If a professional installation isn’t in this year’s game budget, you can pony up $150-$250 for a Slingbox and zip the TV feed to any PC in the house (even that laptop in the bathroom—don’t worry, we won’t tell).

4. Every room has a sweet spot where the audio and video converge in perfect harmony. You need to find this spot and anchor yourself to it. Do whatever it takes—bribery, threats, deals with the devil, kung fu, etc.

5. Never, ever watch football in standard definition. If standard def is all that’s available, turn off the TV and listen on the radio. There is absolutely no substitute for HD.

6. Time-shifting a football game is anathema to true fans. You can use the DVR to rewatch fancy commercials and zoom in on wardrobe malfunctions, but make sure the game is always in real-time.

7. Speaking of DVRs ... we love those ingenious time-shifting boxes, but they’ve got a nasty habit of switching to another show just as our team is about to pound it into the endzone for the go-ahead score. Spare yourself the pain by clearing out your DVR’s to-do list before the game.

8. If you’re one of the fortunate few whose team is playing in the game, understand that poor officiating and inexplicable playcalling are par for the course. When the refs hit your team with an idiotic pass interference call, put down the remote and back slowly away from that multi-thousand-dollar television. Two seconds of rage can destroy years of TV enjoyment.

9. The inane game commentary of national TV announcers can cause brain hemorrhaging. If you feel blood dripping from your ear, mute the TV audio and crank up the radio broadcast.

10. And finally ... chicken wings and touchscreens are mortal enemies. Nothing kills an intricate programming macro like an LCD caked in buffalo sauce.

Did we miss something? Post your own gameday tips below.

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