Televisions, particularly delicate LCD flat screen TVs, were designed with the indoors in mind, but creating the perfect outdoor home theater is definitely possible, and there is no better time to watch TV outside than during the summer. There is a whole different set of considerations to keep in mind when you are picking a television for outside, however, and forgetting to think about any of these can spell doom for your television. These considerations range from finding a reliable outdoor television cover to finding the right brightness in the screen.
Here are some of the key considerations for outdoor TVs:
- Size: People often prefer a larger television for outside, and there are several 32” or even 46” TVs that have been specifically created and designed to resist temperature damage, humidity, insects, dust buildup, and rain. Most importantly, though, make sure the television fits the space where you are putting it. It is preferable to sacrifice some size and buy a smaller TV, so that it doesn’t dwarf or damage the space where you mount it.
- Brightness: The light is less controlled outside than inside, meaning you often need more brightness to be able to enjoy your viewing experience. Since LEDs use 40 percent less electricity and last twice as long as standard flat panel TV displays, they are a great outdoor option. They have a higher contrast ratio in picture image and more brightness, making these ideal for outdoor use.
- Audio: Just as with brightness, sound is less controlled outside than inside. Many televisions that are designed to be used outside have up to eight times the audio watts of indoor models. Purchasing a TV with weaker audio capabilities will be incredibly frustrating when you can’t hear your movie or game over nearby road traffic, so don’t forget to check the sound on all screens you consider.
- Enclosure: It is vital that you protect your television from the elements and insects outside by purchasing an outdoor TV cover or LCD enclosure. We recommend purchasing a full enclosure — not just a screen protector — for outdoor televisions, as humidity, insects, and dust will come at your machine from all directions. While screen protectors may protect the TV from head-on collisions or rain falling vertically, they will miss a majority of the harmful elements you need to worry about outside.
- Glare: This is a huge consideration outside, both for your enclosure and your TV screen. If the sun is in front of the screen, you won’t be able to see anything. Conversely, if you place the TV so the sun is usually behind it, you will be blinded. Place the screen in a shaded spot, if possible, like under a balcony or canopy, and make sure to get screens and enclosures with extra anti-glare coating to help eliminate this issue.
- Cables: Make sure there is an easy, discreet way to plug in your TV outside, and make sure all cables, fastenings, and cords are protected from weather. Don’t forget this step, or all of your other efforts will have been for naught.