Super Bowl LIV is coming up this Sunday, February 2nd on Fox, between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. As if that matchup wasn’t reason enough to watch, this year’s Super Bowl will broadcast in 4K HDR. If you want to watch it in 4K HDR, we’re going to tell you how. But bear with us — this is more confusing to walk through than it should be.
It goes without saying that you’ll need a 4K HDR TV to view the game at the highest fidelity. You’ll also need a fast internet connection that supports at least 25MB/s download speeds. Last, you’ll need a streaming device that can support 4K HDR — but not just any one will do.
Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube are confirmed to get the 4K HDR (HDR10, specifically) feed via Fox Sports’ app. At the time of publishing, Fox Sports’ website says the Roku Premiere, Roku Premiere+, Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Ultra, and all 4K HDR TVs with Roku’s operating system built-in will get it, too. However, a Fox Sports spokesperson told The Verge that those Roku devices aren’t yet working with the high fidelity stream. If you have a Roku device, or you were planning to buy one for the game, the lack of assurance that you’ll get 4K HDR is worrying, though the broadcaster is pushing for them to work by kickoff time.
And while you may have heard (including in an earlier version of this post) that Roku would be removing the Fox apps you’ll need to stream the Super Bowl, you should know that’s no longer the case — the companies reached an agreement late Friday to get things working.
The Apple TV 4K will get a 4K stream via the Fox Sports app, though due to some platform issues, it will not be in HDR. If you own the Nvidia Shield TV or Google Chromecast Ultra, you will presumably get the 1080p stream through Fox Sports’ app, though these devices aren’t listed on its site as being supported at all.
But there’s another route to take to get a 4K stream. Live TV streaming service fuboTV claims it will offer Fox’s 4K feed of the Super Bowl to a large range of devices, including those listed above, and it offers a free seven-day trial. It will broadcast in the HLG HDR format, and to have that come through, you’ll need a few things: a TV that supports HLG HDR (most new Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio, and TCL Smart TV models support it, and fuboTV’s app is available on some of them), and an HLG-ready box to get HDR colors. Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K and Fire TV Cube are the easiest, and most affordable, option.
If you’re missing any of those ingredients, your device will likely just display SDR colors. And should there be any complications (it can happen!) with fuboTV’s handling of the 4K feed, you’ll probably be stuck with the same 1080p feed you’d get through the Fox Sports app.
As of right now, there are no options to watch the Super Bowl in 4K HDR if you have a Roku device, though it’s possible that a deal will be inked just before the game is aired. We’ll update this article if anything changes.
A listing of the available Amazon devices follows, along with a few TV recommendations to suit different needs and budgets.
If you already own a 4K HDR TV
Got a TV and looking for deals on an Amazon Fire TV device? All of Amazon’s options that support 4K HDR are currently discounted, and if you’re a Prime member, you can get them delivered before the game. If you’re buying on a real last-minute basis, you’ll likely find them at your local Whole Foods Market, though the price might not match.
A few quick TV recommendations
For just a few hundred dollars, you can find an affordable TV with the software necessary to watch the 4K HDR stream, like the Fire TV Edition televisions that essentially have Amazon’s 4K set-top box inside of them. And if you have the money to spend, there are plenty of more expensive models that warrant their costs, like QLED and OLED televisions.
Starting with the most value-packed TV for this particular occasion, Toshiba’s 55-inch 4K HDR Fire TV Edition television with Dolby Vision costs $329.99 (usually $449.99) at Best Buy, and comes with a free third-gen Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker. With this model, you won’t need to buy a Fire TV streaming device as well, as it already has one built in. The same model costs $379.99 at Amazon. For the 65-inch version of this model, you’ll pay $429.99 at Best Buy.
TCL’s 6-series TV with Roku software built in has been easy to recommend in the past. My colleague Chris Welch called the 2018 version the best 4K HDR television available for less than $1,000. The 2019 version starts at $549.99 (the 55-inch version) and appears to be even better, with slimmer bezels and quantum dot technology to improve the color accuracy and contrast, making the LED panel look more like an OLED. If you want the 65-inch TV, it’ll cost you $699 at Amazon.
While there are plenty of other TVs to recommend around the $600-$1000 price range, our next one goes beyond that — but for good reason. LG’s B9 OLED 4K HDR television can be recommended for its picture quality and design. Compared to LED and LCD panels, OLED is unmatched when it comes to contrast and color accuracy. This model also supports Apple HomeKit and AirPlay 2, as well as Nvidia G-Sync, with variable refresh rates up to 120Hz.
If you want to invest in a TV that you’ll probably get a lot of enjoyment out of, LG’s OLEDs are worth looking into. Right now, the 55-inch LG B9 is $1,296.99 at B&H Photo and Amazon, and $1,299.99 at Best Buy. The 65-inch version is $1,796.99 at B&H Photo and Amazon, and $1,799.99 at Best Buy. Both prices match the lowest that we’ve seen so far.
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Update, February 1st at 2:23AM ET: Updated to reflect that Fox’s apps will stay on Roku after all. Just a few hours after we initially published this guide, Roku notified its users that it would pull all seven of its Fox apps from its platform, including Fox Sports. Roku told The Verge that the reason for the channel removal was due to a carriage dispute between it and Fox. However, the companies reached an agreement late Friday and they will stay after all.