Choosing the right outdoor TV

Direct Sun SunbriteTV
Direct Sun SunbriteTV

Like everything else, there are desirable and undesirable ways to set up an outdoor living space for TV viewing. This article, based on an interview with Lindsay, is the first of a series on outdoor living options. This one is a brief overview of classes of outdoor television options.

Lindsay: Some people just take a regular indoor TV, stick it outside in the summer, take it inside in the fall, and hope for the best. In particular, you’d hope it doesn’t get too wet.

This  is obviously the least desirable “solution” and something we do not recommend. The TV will corrode inside, and after a season or two, you’ll have problems with it.

If you’re having a single movie night, or you do it once a month on a schedule, it may make sense to do something like this. It’s not an outdoor living solution however, and it is a waste of electronics to leave an indoor TV outdoors for an extended period of time without protection.

In Canada, if you put a TV outdoors, the big question is: Are you planning to leave it out there? If you are planning to leave it out there and it is exposed to the elements, how exposed to the elements is it?

If your budget doesn’t allow for a purpose-driven outdoor TV, there are some very inexpensive approaches where you buy an enclosure that fits your regular TV.

It’s not a custom made thing, the sizes are approximate, and it doesn’t make the TV fully weatherproof. It does however, allow you to put an ordinary TV outdoors. Especially if it’s on a porch or a veranda, under a roof or an awning. Something where it doesn’t get too much exposure to the elements.

There are some outdoor TVs that have come out in a weatherproof case, but without all the heating and cooling. It’s designed for uses that are not fully exposed to the elements. These are purpose-driven TVs with a weatherproof enclosure, but without a heating and cooling system built in. It might be under a porch, or close to the house, where it gets limited exposure to sun or rain. These are normally about twice the price of a comparable indoor TV.

The #1 best way of doing an outdoor TV, if it’s permanent installation exposed to the elements, is to use a purpose-driven, outdoor TV, which is a common, modern TV. It may be 4K, or 1080p, but, that TV has been integrated into an enclosure that makes the TV operable in wide ranging temperatures from very cold to very hot.

This class of outdoor TV is in a fully weatherproof enclosure, with a heating and cooling system built in. So, when it’s cold outside, it automatically heats up to an operating temperature where it doesn’t get damaged, when it’s hot outside, it cools it down so it doesn’t overheat, and when the TV is not in use, it maintains the temperature of the environment in the box.

That’s your #1 choice. Best, and obviously, most pricey. A TV like that will cost anywhere from 2-4 times the price of a comparable indoor TV. If someone is on a tight budget, this is not the way to go, but it is objectively the best way to go for both quality and overall value. It’s the ideal setup for outdoor living, but you’re looking at three to four thousand and up for this kind of TV.

Remember, if you are going to use this TV to play games and movies from digital sources, you’ll want to make sure that your network supports this.

Regardless of which choice you make, Liptons is the place to come to for expert advice and custom installation to create your outdoor entertainment experience. Drop by to see us in person at 130 Davis Drive, Newmarket, phone us at 905-898-7133.

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