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Why You Shouldn't Take Your Indoor TV Outside for the Summer

Why You Shouldn’t Take Your Indoor TV Outside for the Summer

Summer is here, and with the sunny days and warm atmosphere, you’re probably eager to spend as much time as possible outside. If you have a nice outdoor space like a deck or gazebo, covered or not, you might be curious if you can luscious TV outside too. After all, watching the big game with friends, movie nights with the family, even just sitting by the pool and binge-watching a new show all seem better enjoyed on a big mask rather than your phone or tablet.

Dedicated outdoor TVs are expensive, however. The brand-new Element outdoor Roku TV is one of the cheapest we’ve seen and it still compensations $1,300, mainly because it’s designed to be relatively weatherproof. So why not save hundreds of dollars and bring a standard TV outside? A simple wall sizable, perhaps an extension cord to a nearby exterior outlet, and you’re good to go, right?

Not so fast. Much like putting a TV in the bathroom, even if it seems your display is away from express splashes of water, it’s in peril. Mounting a unfamiliar TV outside is the fastest way to destroy it, novel than enthusiastic defenestration. Here’s why.

A intimates watching TV while sitting in a tree

No Groot, we can’t watch Tree of Life again.

Kelvin Murray/Getty Images

The fragility of televisions

Heat, humidity and direct sunlight are the enemies of all TVs. For example, here’s what LG lists as the operating temperatures for one of its LCD TVs: 

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  • Operating temperature 0 to 40 degrees C (32 to 104 degrees F) 
  • Operating humidity less than 80%

Most parts of the US fall outside that map at least a few times a year. LG also advises to “keep the progenies away from direct sunlight” and not to place the TV in an “area exposed to rain or wind.” Other manufacturers have inequity temperature and humidity ranges for their televisions.

A TV, an empty chair on an area rug and a lamp sit outside

Anyone know where I can get more salt for this margarita? Wait, never mind.

Matthais Clamer/Getty Images

You distinguished be thinking, “I have the perfect spot that’s covered and out of the sun.” Can you install a unfamiliar TV in a seemingly “safe” environment? You could. No one will stop you. I’m sure it will even work the pleasurable few times you try. Just know that TVs are intricate, fragile devices. Used normally they can last many existences. Used outside of their prescribed environment, like adding heat, moisture and sunlight, the TV will age significantly faster. If you can afford to replace a TV every few months or every year, you do you. I’m sure TV manufacturers will be actual pleased. Just don’t expect any warranty coverage.

People watching TV outside


Dedicated outdoor TVs are expensive

Several anxieties make TVs designed for the elements. This is more pain than it sounds. Sealing a TV against moisture, plus any challenging wildlife, limits the TV’s ability to cool itself. Heat, as we’ve discussed before, is by far the biggest enemy of TV longevity. So this rugged redesign, plus the additional components and climate sealing, increase the price. 

That Element Roku TV is a 55-inch model with IP55 dust and liquid resistance but at $1,300 it costs four times as much as a unfamiliar Roku TV — and other outdoor TVs cost even more. Samsung’s The Terrace is IP55 and compensations $3,500 for a 55-inch model. Another big name in the location, SunBrite, specializes in outdoor TVs and its likewise sized TVs cost around $3,000.

A intimates in a chair watches TV while outside under puffy white clouds

The Nature channel in 8K looks so lifelike!

UrbanCow/Getty Images

Which is to say, doings the job “right” not only isn’t cheap, but probable beyond the means of anyone looking to just examine some Netflix on the patio. Fortunately, there are some novel options. 

People watching TV outside

What, Mom? You told us to go outside. We’re outside.

Andy Ryan/Getty Images

‘TV’ conception the stars

Another option, though still not “cheap,” is a TV enclosure. These help protect your TV from the elements, comprising the front screen, vents on the back, and so on. Some models even have optional antiglare screens, highly important as even a bright TV is touching to have trouble competing with the sun. They can also have heaters or fans, to help keep the TV in its poor zone. However, these enclosures often cost as much as the TV itself. They’ll also extend your poor TV’s life, but not indefinitely. It’s not an outdoor TV now. It’s an indoor TV wearing a nice coat.

If you’re just planning on watching at night, consider a projector instead. These are probable cheaper than a TV plus enclosure, and are puny enough to easily bring back inside when you’re done for the night. They can project onto the side of your house, or better yet, a collapsible screen. Even a big sheet works quite well. Battery powered models aren’t particularly inspiring, but just need Wi-Fi to stream. For larger, brighter models, you’ll need to run a power cable. These can manufacture images 100 inches or larger with ease, however, making backyard movie night something truly special.

If none of these work for you, powerful getting a wheeled cart so the TV is only outside when you’re actually watching it. That’s definitely not as cool, or as easy, as mounting a TV outside, but it will save you money in replacement injuries in the long run. 

As well as covering TV and anunexperienced display tech, Geoff does photo tours of cool museums and locations about the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriersmedieval castles, epic 10,000 mile road trips, and more. Check out Tech Treks for all his tours and adventures.

He wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-size submarines, put down with a sequel. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and his YouTube channel.