We generally think of TVs as situated inside the home, with the family huddled around its warming glow. However, with summer upon us, many folks are heading outdoors and soaking up the vitamin D. Thankfully, we don’t have to choose between the latest binge-able series and fresh air. Outdoor TVs are exactly what their name would suggest: TVs made specifically for the outdoors.
Also helpful: many people use projectors in their backyard. Learn how to use a projector as a TV for the same purpose.
1. Best Overall: Samsung the Terrace
Price: $3,599 and up
As the name would suggest, Samsung’s the Terrace is made to be watched out on the terrace. Thankfully, Samsung opted for a phenomenal QLED screen. Thanks to its impressive brightness capabilities, the screen looks great, even in direct sunlight.
At this point, you may be worried that the picture on the Terrace would be too washed out with its incredibly bright panel. Fear not, as the QLED screen boasts full-array local dimming, so certain LEDs can be dimmed to ensure accurate color reproduction. In addition, the Samsung Terrace has an anti-reflection filter that minimizes unwanted reflections in the display that result from sunny conditions.
The Terrace outdoor TV also boasts an IP55 rating. It is essentially waterproof and can keep 99 percent of solid particles out. Therefore, it is great in sunny conditions and can take a fair amount of abuse without fear of damage.
- QLED screen produces vivid colors and deep blacks
- 120 Hz refresh rate
- 2,000 nits of brightness
- Weatherproof remote with voice control
- Protective slip cover included
- Samsung Tizen OS isn’t as robust as other platforms
- Quite expensive
2. Best Audio: Sylvox Garden Series Outdoor TV
Price: $1,699 and up
The option to watch TV outside is great, but it’s all moot if you can’t hear it because of the horseplay in the pool. The audio quality of TVs can be hit or miss, but the Sylvox Garden Series Outdoor TV features a six-speaker sound system to deliver an immersive audio experience.
In addition to powerful front-facing speakers, the Sylvox Garden series has Android TV smart functionality. Android TV can supercharge your streaming experience, as it is compatible with various entertainment apps. To top it all off, Android TV is one of the most polished TV interfaces.
Finally, the Sylvox Garden Series boasts an IP55 rating. It is virtually waterproof and can withstand continuous water jets from any direction. If watching a movie in the rain is a bucket list item, the Sylvox Garden series is for you. Just make sure you head inside if you spot any lightning!
- Android TV OS
- Voice assistant for hands-free navigation
- Chromecast screen mirroring
- Made to handle temperatures between -22° to 122°F
- 4K UHD
- Panel is not as bright as competitors (1000 nits)
Good to know: you can also buy waterproof Bluetooth speakers that are rated well for regular outdoor use.
3. Best for Extreme Temperatures: Peerless AV Neptune Shade Series
Price: $2,499 and up
Do you reside in the polar ice caps and want to watch TV with the penguins that waddle across your yard? The Neptune Shade Outdoor TV by Peerless-AV is for you. While all of the outdoor TVs on this list can withstand both high and low temperatures, the Neptune Shade can handle blistering heat and frigid sub-zero conditions. This is thanks to an operating temperature of -22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 to 50 C).
The Neptune Shade is also weather resistant, constructed with a metal frame that allows it to have an IP54 rating. You won’t want to leave it out in a downpour, but it can handle water splashes here and there. To further protect the TV from moisture and dust, the Neptune Shade is designed with sealed connection ports.
Unfortunately, the Neptune Shade does not feature any built-in smart functionality. That said, you can use a third-party device, like an Apple TV or Amazon Fire Stick, for your streaming needs. Thankfully, Peerless constructed a composite compartment to protect these third-party devices from the elements while ensuring proper Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Incredible temperature ratings
- 4K resolution
- Supports HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2
- Tilting wall mount included
- Composite compartment cover for smart devices to ensure Wi-Fi connectivity
- Three sizes available, including a 75-inch model
- No smart functionality
- Designed for shaded areas
4. Best for Streaming: Element Electronics 55″ 4K UHD Partial Sun
Many outdoor TVs on the market do not have smart functionality, as the aluminum bodies most of these TVs are made from interfere with wireless signals. Fortunately, the Element Electronics Partial Sun Outdoor TV has integrated smart functionality, opting for the more user-friendly Roku platform.
The Element Electronics Partial Sun features a tempered anti-glare screen. This, along with the HDR10 technology, provides vivid colors, infinite contrast, and quality viewing indoors and out. Also, its IP55 rating means it is made to withstand the elements year-round.
As the name would suggest, the Element Electronics Partial Sun is best if used in partially sunny areas, as the panel only reaches 700 nits of brightness. In most conditions, this level of brightness will be fine. However, it will most likely struggle in direct sunlight.
- Compatible with Apple Home, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa
- 4K UHD
- Use the Roku mobile app as a remote with voice controls and private listening
- Supports HEVC (x265) video playback
- IP55 rating
- Can withstand temperatures between -4°F and 104°F
- Cannot be used in direct sunlight
- Heavy, at over 70 pounds
- Only one size available (55″)
- Not available on Amazon
Tip: if you plan to keep a television and other high-ticket items outside, you may want to invest in quality outdoor security cameras.
5. Best Budget Option: Furrion Aurora
Price: $799 and up
If you’re on a tight budget but still want to enjoy your patio, the Furrion Aurora has you covered. Starting at only $799 for the 43-inch model, it is a very affordable outdoor TV with attractive specs, like a 4K display with HDR10.
The Furrion Aurora features an IP54 rating to ensure protection against rain and humidity. Furthermore, all of the connectors are zinc plated to prevent corrosion. However, the Aurora is designed specifically for fully shaded outdoor living areas. This includes places like screened-in and covered porches.
Despite some drawbacks, the Furrion Aurora is an excellent value, provided you have a shady area to place it in. However, be aware that what you are paying for is weatherproofing.
- Smaller 43-inch model is available
- IP67 remote control
- Poor audio quality
- Very heavy
Frequently Asked Questions
What's so special about outdoor TVs?
Outdoor TVs usually command a bit more money than standard TVs designed for the indoors for two reasons. The first is that the displays used in outdoor TVs are significantly brighter than their indoor counterparts.
The second thing that sets outdoor TVs apart is the level of weatherproofing that they employ. Outdoor TVs are subjected to rain, moisture, dust, dirt, and even insects. As a result, outdoor TVs boast high IP ratings to properly protect them against wind, sun, rain, and snow.
What do IP ratings mean?
IP stands for ingress protection. It is a standard defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). IP ratings aim to provide users with more detailed information regarding a particular device’s protection against intrusions, like water and dust. It achieves this by assigning numbers that indicate how well the device is protected. The first digit relates to solid particles like dirt and dust. The rating ranges from 0 (no protection) to 6 (dust-tight). The second number refers to liquids. The liquid rating ranges from 0 (no protection) to 9 (protection against powerful, high-temperature water jets). The letter X denotes a device that has not undergone testing.
What is local dimming?
A TV panel uses LEDs (light-emitting diodes) to backlight the picture. The problem with this is that if the light behind the screen is too bright, it can wash out the picture. Inversely, if the LED backlight is not bright enough, it can make the picture virtually impossible to see.
A TV with local dimming can mitigate these issues by dividing the LED backlighting into zones. That way, the TV can automatically adjust the brightness of each zone depending on the picture.
Image credit: Pxfuel
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