What to Look For in an Outdoor TV
Outdoor TV Shopping Guide
Thinking about buying an outdoor TV to enjoy more time outside? Determining where your TV will be placed and how you’d like to use it will help you find the best one for your needs. These days, outdoor TVs come with a wide range of options – sunlight recommendations, IP ratings, even anti-glare technology.
An outdoor television will give you a much better viewing experience than taking your indoor TV outside. Here are some of the most important things to consider when shopping for an outdoor television:
If you plan on leaving your TV outside year-round, you’ll need to consider the climate. Most outdoor TVs offer a wide operating temperature range. For example, Element’s 55” Outdoor TV can operate at temperatures as low as -4°F all the way up to 104°F (if you really want to watch TV outside at either of those extremes). The storage temperatures when not in use are even greater.
Look for an outdoor TV with automatic cooling fans to protect its internal components from humidity and extreme temperatures. Compare your climate to the outdoor TV’s storage temperature range to make sure it can handle harsh winters or steamy summers. Note that wind chill index and heat index do not affect inanimate objects, so air temperature is what you should consider.
Where you place your outdoor TV will determine what level of sun exposure it gets. There are many options for brightness levels – full shade, partial shade, partial sun, and full sun. Matching the TV you get to its sun exposure rating is important for optimal viewing. Make sure you look at the level of sunlight throughout the day, as trees and other objects may block it at times.
Outdoor televisions that are rated for partial sun or full sun typically have some sort of anti-glare protection, which will make the screen more visible at all times of the day. Full sun models cost substantially more than partial sun, so it’s best to find a lightly shaded area for your TV if you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg.
Nits are the measurement of luminance (how much light the screen emits) for the display, so look for a TV with a greater number of nits for better outdoor visibility. Element’s Patio Series TVs offer a screen brightness of 700 nits, over two times brighter than our standard 4K UHD televisions, which is perfect for outdoor viewing in partial sun environments. Plus, it's one of the cheapest outdoor TVs, with a retail price tag of $1,299.
Outdoor televisions have an ingress protection rating, known as an IP rating. This rating shows how well the enclosure is protected from water and dust. The first digit indicates dust protection and goes from zero to six, with six being 100% dust tight. The second digit indicates moisture protection and goes from zero to nine, with nine representing full protection from high-temperature, high-pressure jet sprays/steams and full water submersion.
An IP55 rating is plenty of protection from rainstorms, snow, sprinklers, humidity, insects, dust, and so on. Check out the IP rating when shopping for an outdoor TV to make sure it’s built to handle the elements and suited to your needs.
Also, some outdoor TVs have tempered safety glass to further protect their screens. Element’s tempered safety glass is four times stronger than standard glass for maximum protection against inclement weather or the unexpected.
While shopping for an outdoor TV, don’t forget to look for additional features that might be useful to you. Some outdoor TVs don’t come with built-in speakers – you must purchase an external sound bar. This is an added expense, so it may be better to look for outdoor TVs with built-in outdoor speakers that can handle outdoor environments, such as Element’s.
Many outdoor televisions have no smart TV platform built in. You can only watch your favorite movies and shows by connecting another streaming device to your TV. Luckily, Element’s Smart Outdoor TV has a built-in Roku platform, with over 500,000 shows and movies available on thousands of streaming apps. Plus, it offers a 4K UHD picture quality with HDR10 for the best viewing experience in your outdoor space.
When shopping for an outdoor TV, remember to look at the extra features that are important for your viewing experience.