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How To Watch TV Outside? — The Ultimate Guide

Is watching TV on your patio included in your upcoming summer plans? Summer is indeed the perfect time to enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies outside.

Not only is it a great way to relax, but it’s also a guaranteed time well-spent with family and friends. Think about all the football games and get-togethers you could host under the string lights.

If you’re wondering how to watch TV outside, stick around. This article will explain the best ways to watch your favourite content outdoors. We’ll also cover some tips on how to protect your TV set from unpredictable weather conditions, as well as how to prevent glare when watching TV outside.

So, sit back, relax, and allow us to help you prepare for outdoor summer movie marathons in your backyard!

Upgrade and Repurpose

If you’re looking for a way to watch TV outside without having to purchase a brand new outdoor set, you can spruce up on a new indoor TV and repurpose your old one for outdoor use. First, however, you need to think about adequately protecting the TV that ends up outside and make sure it doesn’t get broken or damaged. This is where outdoor TV enclosures come in handy.

While shopping for an outdoor enclosure, you’ll want to focus on two things: the level of protection you aim to achieve and whether or not you need to access the screen while it’s protected.

You’ll come across enclosures that are waterproof, totally protected, or not protected at all. Depending on the chosen TV spot, you’ll need to determine the best option for you. Of course, it’s always wise to opt for extra protection. However, keep in mind that higher levels of protection will inevitably lead to a heavier outdoor TV enclosure.

Enclosures designed to protect from theft usually don’t allow for access while the screen is being protected. Others use a thick layer of glass that you can manoeuvre as needed.

You can find an outdoor TV enclosure online or at your local hardware store. Once you have your hands on one of these, simply place the TV inside and screw on the lid. Make sure to get a size that’s big enough for your TV model, as well as any future models you might upgrade to.

Using a regular TV outside might not be the best decision because, in time, it might end up broken. Even if you protect it with an enclosure, the TV will still be exposed to humidity, wind, rain, and so on. Eventually, its components will get damaged, voiding all manufacturer’s warranties.

It is important to consider the climate in your area before making a final decision. If you live in a region with extreme weather conditions, it might be a better idea to purchase an outdoor TV set that’s specifically designed to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Risks of Using Regular TV Outside

Here are the potential risks you may encounter if you end up using a  regular TV outdoors:

  • Direct sunlight damage
  • Variations in temperature (extreme heat, extreme cold, rapid temperature changes)
  • Humidity
  • Voided warranty
  • Internal condensation
  • Mount failure
  • Inclement weather
  • Security threats (theft)

Here are some high-quality outdoor TV enclosures you might want to check out:

  1. Storm Shell Outdoor TV Enclosure — waterproof, impact-resistant, and UV resistant, this enclosure offers a fully removable front cover for unimpeded viewing and sound for the cost of £314.96.
  2. DeerTV Protective Enclosure — offering enclosures for any TV between the sizes of 32 and 75 inches, within the price range of $498 (roughly £407.35) to $1238 (roughly £1012.64).
  3. ProofVision 65inch IP65 Outdoor TV Pod — custom designed and built to UK safety, quality, and durability standards. Get yours for £909.10, including tax.

 

An All-Weather TV

If you opt for buying a new outdoor TV instead of repurposing your indoor one, an all-weather television is the way to go. Such TVs are designed specifically for use in outdoor areas and can withstand a wide range of weather conditions.

All-weather TVs shield against extreme temperatures, humidity, and precipitation. They also use a built-in speaker designed to resist the outdoor environment. In addition, most models come with a built-in heater and air conditioner, which keep them operational in extreme temperatures. They also have specialised ventilation systems that help prevent the formation of condensation on the screen.

All-weather TVs come in various sizes, so rest assured that you will find one that fits your needs. Since they’re designed for outdoor use, they tend to be much more durable than their indoor counterparts.

When selecting your new TV, be sure to get a size that will adequately fit your viewing area. Also, keep in mind that an all-weather TV probably won’t have as good a resolution as a traditional indoor TV. This is simply because all-weather TVs are designed to be viewed from a distance.

All-weather TVs can also be a little more expensive than traditional indoor sets, but they’re well worth the investment. You’ll never have to worry about your TV breaking down due to the weather conditions, and you’ll get a clear picture even when glare can’t be avoided.

When shopping for an all-weather TV, be sure to compare the prices and features of several different models. Keep in mind that some retailers offer package deals that include an outdoor TV and mounting hardware, which is great.

Now that you have your new outdoor TV set up, it’s time to protect it from the weather conditions.

Watch Out for the Weather

You can never be too cautious when protecting your TV from the elements.

If you live in an area with a lot of snow and plan on having your TV out year-round, keeping the screen clear of any accumulation is essential. The problem isn’t the freezing temperatures themselves. The bigger issue is condensation, which occurs as the TV warms up. If it’s thawed too rapidly, moisture can seep into the electronics and short out the components.

On the other hand, in scorching weather, it’s essential that you keep your TV out of direct sunlight. The sun can damage the screen and cause the television to overheat.

Rain and humidity are your outdoor TV’s worst enemies. They can both lead to condensation inside the television, damaging the internal components. So, if you live in an area with a lot of rain, it’s a good idea to invest in a cover for your TV.

A waterproof TV cover will protect your television from the elements and help keep it clean. Purchasing a high-quality TV cover will ensure protection from rain, dust, hot and cold temperatures, moisture, tampering, theft, insects, and more.

Another thing you should avoid is placing your TV near any sources of heat or cold. These can cause the internal components to expand or contract, leading to damage.

When not in use, it’s a good idea to unplug your TV. This way, you’ll protect it from power surges and lightning strikes.

Although more expensive, a waterproof TV will help keep your mind at ease. It is better equipped to withstand all of the weather conditions mentioned above.

What About Glare?

If you want to watch TV outside but you’re worried about glare (which you probably are), there are a few things you can do to reduce it.

First, try to position your TV, so it’s not in direct sunlight. If this isn’t possible, you can purchase a special anti-glare screen protector.

You can always adjust the settings on your TV to reduce the amount of glare. Most TVs have an ambient light sensor that will automatically adjust the screen brightness based on the amount of light in the room.

Finally, if you still have trouble with glare, you can purchase a set of polarised sunglasses. These will help to reduce the amount of light that reflects off the screen.

Cable Management

One final thing you’ll need to worry about is cable management. Cables can be a big nuisance when watching TV outside, as the weather can easily damage them.

You have two options for your outdoor cable setup — it can be wired or wireless. A wired connection is typically more dependable, but wireless cable alternatives make setting up your outdoor TV easier and less cluttered.

A cable provider’s wireless service will often include a small cable box that fits neatly below a TV. However, if you want to utilise a wired cable connection, keep the following in mind:

  • Any loose wires should be protected by outdoor-rated conduit or pipe coverings to safeguard against the different weather conditions. Such coverings will keep the wires from becoming thin or cracking due to drying out in harsh weather.
  • Cables with a UV light-protective layer are also available and can come in handy.
  • Finally, make sure you use a GFCI outlet for safety’s sake.

Sound

Your outdoor TV watching experience won’t be complete without a good sound system.

If you decide to buy an outdoor TV, it will likely come with built-in speakers if it’s a newer model. However, their quality might be debatable due to the material they’re made of.

As mentioned previously, an all-weather TV is designed to withstand different weather conditions, so it has to be made with more outdoor-friendly materials, which will come at the cost of high-quality sound.

You can amplify the sound coming out of your TV with a soundbar specifically designed to increase the sound coming from the TV to its fullest.

Best Outdoor TVs

I’ve come up with a list of the best outdoor TVs based on three criteria — brightness, sound, and media player.

Brightness is crucial when it comes to outdoor TVs, and it very much depends on where you plan to put your TV. For example, direct sunlight will require a much brighter display panel. On the other hand, shaded places will be suitable with a TV with a lower brightness level.

Don’t be surprised if your expensive TV ends up disappointing you in the sound department. Many outdoor TVs will require a sound upgrade. What’s more, some of them don’t even have speakers.

Make sure to check the size of the TV’s media compartment before purchasing it. Some brands can only accommodate compact players like an Amazon Fire TV or a Roku Streaming Stick.

Without further ado, here are my outdoor TV suggestions:

 

  1. Samsung The Terrace Smart Outdoor TV — designed for outside viewing. It’s IP55 water and dust resistant, and the screen can crank up to a brightness of 2000 nits to help you see everything even when the sun’s out. Get it on Amazon for £2,680.
  2. Séura Shade Series 2 Outdoor TV — best for shaded areas. This outdoor TV is fully waterproof and made to endure extreme outdoor temperatures. It comes with an onboard soundbar, so you won’t have to worry about expensive audio upgrades. This TV can be all yours for $2,399 (roughly £1962.29).
  3. Veranda Outdoor LED HDR TV — offers a premium 4K UHD HDR screen with direct LED backlight and is up to 50% brighter than indoor TVs. The aluminium case protects against rain, snow, extreme temperatures, dust, salt, and insects. This option will cost you $1,618.95 (roughly £1324.24).

Don’t Forget To Decorate

Now that we got all the technical stuff out of the way, it’s time to put your interior design skills to the test and make your outdoor TV area more comfortable.

One of the best ways to do this is to add some cushions to your furniture. This will make it more comfortable to sit in for long periods of time, plus it gives off that cosy vibe we can’t seem to escape on Pinterest.

You can also shop for a rug or some throw pillows to add a touch of personality to your outdoor space and make it more welcoming at the same time.

Finally, don’t forget about the lighting. Hanging up a few string lights or lanterns can set the mood and make your outdoor TV area feel like a true extension of your home.

Wrap Up

As our lives are slowly coming back to normal after two years of lockdowns and government restrictions, hopefully, we can all take a breather and spend some time with our loved ones this summer.

What better way to do so than enjoying warm summer nights watching a good movie on your patio or in your backyard, sitting under the string lights with a delicious cocktail in your hand.

Start putting together your own outdoor cinema now, following our guide on how to watch TV outside and welcome summer prepared.

FAQ

What is the best way to watch TV outside?

The best way to watch TV outside is to use an outdoor TV. Outdoor TVs are specifically designed to withstand any weather conditions and ensure a clear picture, even in direct sunlight.

Can a regular TV be used outdoors?

You can use your regular TV outside, but that’s not recommended. Regular TVs are not designed to withstand rain, wind, and direct sunlight. Therefore, they are likely to get broken sooner or later. Plus, they may not provide a clear picture.

How long will a TV last outside?

The lifespan of an outdoor TV varies depending on the weather conditions it is exposed to. For example, if you live in a region with harsh weather conditions, your outdoor TV may only last a few months. However, your outdoor TV may last for a few years if you live in a milder climate.

How do I keep my TV safe outside?

Place your TV in a direction that doesn’t get hit by direct sunlight. Make sure to cover all the cables, and use some kind of a TV enclosure to protect your TV from weather conditions and theft.