Technology has come a long way in recent decades, and that extends to televisions. These days, TVs designed specifically for outdoor use are better than ever, and they’re becoming more and more popular as consumers are learning about the benefits.
That said, quality outdoor TVs cost quite a bit more than their indoor counterparts. So, if you’re designing your outdoor entertainment space and want to add a home theater element to the mix, you have a tough decision to make: Do you use an indoor TV or go with the more expensive outdoor TV?
The good news is Audio Video Charlotte is here to help you with that decision. Whether or not you should splurge on an outdoor, all-weather TV will primarily depend on your budget and where the TV will be stationed in your outdoor space. Here are four things you should know about buying an outdoor TV, as well as some information about a few of our favorite models:
4 Facts About Outdoor TVs
One of the biggest questions we get when we talk to clients about their outdoor project is, “Do I really need to buy an outdoor TV or can I use a regular TV outside?” The short answer is: maybe. Whether you should invest in an outdoor TV depends on your specific outdoor space and your goals for putting in a TV.
1. Outdoor TVs Are Built Differently
A lot of people assume that they can just put their indoor TV on their patio or other outdoor space. But think about this: Just like indoor and outdoor furniture is different, so are indoor and outdoor electronic products.
Outdoor TVs must withstand extreme temperatures, rain, snow, dust, and many other forms of weather. They also must be able to perform despite the sun shining bright and insects flying and crawling around. Whether it’s a cool night or a blistering day, outdoor TVs are built to brave the elements so that you and your household don’t have to miss out on the big game or movie marathon.
If you need a TV in your closed patio or sunroom, you might be able to get away with an extra-bright indoor TV. But if the weather will play any role, you will want to opt for an outdoor model.
2. Outdoor TVs Must Be Brighter
Most indoor TVs will not perform well in direct or indirect sunlight. Consider the times you’ve tried to watch something on your smartphone when it’s sunny outside. Just like you have trouble seeing your phone screen, you will run into the same problem when trying to use an indoor TV in your outdoor space.
Outdoor TVs are designed to be exponentially brighter than their indoor counterparts. Because their screens are rated at many more nits, the sun’s bright light and reflection do not hinder the performance of outdoor TVs. Additionally, many outdoor TVs include an anti-reflective and anti-glare screen, which allows you to enjoy your visual entertainment on a hot, summer day without compromising the vividness of the picture.
3. All the Components Are Weatherproof
Another thing to consider about outdoor TVs is that it’s not just the screens that are built to withstand the elements. Every component of an outdoor TV is weatherproof. If you want to connect your cable box, media player, or soundbar, no problem!
The ports and media compartments of an outdoor TV will not be affected by extreme heat, extreme cold, water, dust, or other common elements. Your outdoor TV and all the media devices you hook up to it will stay safe from damage. So, get ready to immerse yourself in that blockbuster in 4K resolution and bone-shaking sound!
4. Outdoor Speakers Are A Must (but not required)
Speaking of sound, it’s important to remember that some outdoor TVs do not come with built-in speakers. So, you may want to budget for a soundbar or sound system.
Some of our clients go with a soundbar because they are affordable and provide high-quality sound in a compact package. However, if you want a true theater experience, consider investing in a full-on home theater sound system with mixed speakers and an AV receiver. Whether you opt for a soundbar, a top-of-the-line home theater system, or anything in between, Audio Video Charlotte can get you set up!
Outdoor TVs We Install
OK, so now you have an idea of why it might be worth investing in an outdoor TV for your outdoor space. But if you’re like most other consumers, you don’t know much about outdoor TV brands. Which ones are best? Which models will provide the best performance for the money? Let’s discuss some of our options:
Samsung 65” Class The Terrace QLED
Designed from the ground up for outdoor use, the Samsung The Terrace QLED is resistant to both water and dust. You can spray water at the TV with a low-pressure nozzle without causing any problems, and it will also withstand significant amounts of dust. It’s rated to IP 55, which is a little lower than the average smartphone. But let’s be honest—you’re not as likely to drop your outdoor TV into the pool!
The Terrace provides 2,000 nits of brightness, anti-reflective screen technology, and a feature that allows the screen brightness to automatically adapt to the environment. Since your entertainment will be competing with the sun, those are features not to be taken for granted. This model is also compatible with 4K HDR, and it includes Samsung’s Quantum Processor 4K with AI, 120 Hz, and full-array local dimming.
If you want to connect devices from inside your home to your outdoor TV, The Terrace makes it easy with a built-in HDBaseT receiver. The receiver can pair with an optional transmitter to provide video from your game console, cable box, or other types of devices in your home using only an Ethernet cable. Of course, you can store your gear in your outdoor space if you prefer, since The Terrace comes with a media bay that is specifically designed to seal and protect connected devices.
Let’s not forget the standard smart features that make Samsung one of the world’s leading TV manufacturers. Investing in The Terrace means that you will also get Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support, and loads of built-in apps. Plus, it’s a pretty sharp-looking TV; the 10-millimeter bezel and 59mm cabinet depth of the black matte frame will blend in seamlessly with any outdoor setting.
SunBriteTV Weatherproof Outdoor 55” Veranda
SunBriteTV specializes in outdoor TVs, and it has consistently been manufacturing some of the world’s highest-performing and most reliable outdoor models. The newest Weatherproof Outdoor Veranda is no exception.
This model is not the brightest outdoor TV on the market, as it is primarily designed to perform in fully shaded areas like a shaded deck or a covered cabana. In such settings, the Veranda offers exceptional color reproduction and accuracy, as well as top-notch overall visibility. It also supports 4K gaming and a wide range of frame rates, which is ideal for the dedicated gamers out there.
Though it performs well, perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Veranda is its design. In short, it’s built like a fortress. The TV cabinet consists of powder-coated aluminum in lieu of the lightweight plastics and sleek finishes found on many indoor TVs. The front half of the cabinet is bolted to the second half and sealed to block out dirt and moisture. And there are no vents; the entire TV is enclosed, which means that no salty air, dust, bugs, or water will be getting through.
The Veranda measures 49.4 x 28.7 x 3.5 inches and weighs 47 pounds. Hefty as it may be, this TV is still much slimmer and lighter weight than most outdoor models. And extreme cold or heat will probably not be an issue when using your Veranda considering that it will perform in temperatures from -24 to 104 degrees.
This TV also offers a full port selection of sealed inputs and outputs. A heavy metal door locks in the connector panel so that you can insert cables without worrying about the elements damaging your gear. The Veranda is not a smart TV, but there is enough room in the port compartment to put a streaming stick, which will give you most of the benefits of a smart TV.
TCL Roku Models
Finally, any TCL TV with built-in Roku can serve as a respectable outdoor TV, as long as the space is at least partially shaded. Here are a few of our TCL picks:
Best Overall: The 6 Series/R635 2020 QLED is one of the most versatile models manufactured by TCL. It offers easy-to-use smart features and it’s well-built. It also handles reflection remarkably well and fights glare by getting exceptionally bright. In HDR, the R635 can surpass 1,000 cd/m² in brightness. Moreover, this model covers a wide color gamut, quick response time, and respectable color accuracy.
This model is best suited for smaller spaces, given that it provides narrower viewing angles than some other models. But if you have an entertainment space on your shaded patio or covered deck, this could be the perfect TV.
Best Budget: The TCL 5 Series/S535 2020 QLED shares some similarities with the higher-end 6 Series R635. It too uses a QLED panel and provides a wide color gamut in HDR. The catch is that it can’t match the R635 in brightness nor can it handle reflection quite as well. That said, it comes at a better price, and it is built better than most other TVs in its price range. It also offers an exceptional contrast ratio, which can benefit those who are watching movies in a shaded or dark space.
Best Compact: If your outdoor space is on the smaller side, you might appreciate the compact size of the TCL 43S435. It won’t give you some of the features or performance of the 6 Series/R635 or 5 Series/S535, but it still has the built-in Roku for your smart viewing enjoyment.
One area in which the 43S435 excels is its color accuracy, which is top-notch out of the box. And it will upscale lower-resolution content without a fuss while performing great on native 4K content. This model is the best small TV you can get for the money. Consider it if you have a small, fully shaded outdoor space.
Now that you have some more information about the differences between outdoor and indoor TVs, you may have a better idea of whether or not an investment in an all-weather TV is necessary. When you’re ready to buy a new TV, Audio Video Charlotte can help you get what you need. We sell all of the tech necessary for you to take your project from idea to reality.
When you hire a professional home theater company to take care of the installation, you won’t have to worry about protecting the components from the weather. We will determine the best location for your outdoor entertainment system, and we’ll hide all the wires. In no time, you’ll be sipping on your favorite drink, enjoying theater-grade entertainment in your outdoor living space!