Summertime usually means spending more time outside for most people, whether it’s the backyard, a park, or a campground, but it tends to mean you’re not going to be watching your favorite shows while you’re doing it. You may have to follow a couple of tips when you want to watch tv outside even if you have the best TV available. However, if you want to know how to watch TV outside, there are some fairly simple ways to do it, though all will require a purchase of some sort.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A television designed for outdoor use will always offer more protection and reliability than an indoor use when either is used outside
  • All-weather cables and mounts are essential purchases if you plan on using your indoor TV outside
  • Using your indoor TV outside will void the manufacturer warranty if damaged

You’ll need a few things before you get started, depending on your budget, but it’s very doable even if you’re not a tech-minded person.

Options for Outdoor TVs

While there are options for watching inside televisions outside, it’s important to note that using a television designed for indoor viewing outside will void your warranty. Outdoor TVs, however, tend to be significantly pricier than their inside counterparts, so if you’ve got serious budget constraints, they may not be the best option for you.

Outdoor televisions tend to come in screen sizes no smaller than 36″- which is the minimum you’d probably want regardless since you won’t be viewing from the same distances as you would inside. If you would love a large tv then you can review how wide is a 75 inch tv. Outdoor TVs are specially designed to be resistant to rain, dust, dirt, pests, humidity, extreme temperatures, and other outdoor hazards, but they’re also generally made to fight glare -which can be a major problem when viewing digital screens of any kind outside. Know that if you do decide to set up an indoor tv outside, you’ll have to contend with glare, and it may be difficult to effectively reduce to the same degree that outdoor TVs are capable of.

Manufacturers like Sunbrite make outdoor televisions of a wide variety of sizes and price points, but generally, you’re going to be paying at least $1200 for a basic model with a modest screen size.

Tips and Setups for Watching Inside TV Outside

There are some things that bear repeating if you plan on setting up your inside tv for watching outside. First of all, remember that using your indoor tv outside will almost certainly void the manufacturer warranty, so if it’s damaged during such use, you won’t be covered. Aside from that, always follow these guidelines:

  • All mounts and cables used for outdoor viewing should be made for outside use- indoor mounts, cables, and other setup components will not be weather resistant, and could easily be damaged along with your television
  • There’s a serious risk of electrocution if you don’t use shielded outdoor cables, so again, you’ll have to purchase separate cables that are rated for outdoor use. Sunbrite along with several other manufacturers offers such cables (and mounts).
  • You should strongly consider a wall mounting system that offers a wide range of movement so that viewing angles can always be optimal regardless of where you’re watching from.
  • A system that allows cables to be bunched and protected by an all-weather compartment is a good idea as well- cutting down on clutter and offering a cleaner look for your outdoor tv setup. Items like Prism’s Wireless Set-Top Box is one of several such solutions to this problem
  • If you’re not wall-mounting your television, a sturdy, all-weather stand with heavy-duty caster wheels that’s easy to move and adjust is a must. Some indoor stands can even do the job if they’re designed to be rust and water-resistant.
  • Whether you’ve purchased an outdoor tv or are using your indoor model, a dust cover is highly recommended to offer further protection, especially when not in use

Following these guidelines will help you get the most out of your outdoor viewing experience, and though a television made for outdoor use will always be the better option, using your in-home model is doable, though it will still require some extra purchases to make it all-weather safe. You can also check out how to fix plasma tv burn in the event that you leave your TV on standby for a long period.

F.A.Q.

Are outdoor TVs weatherproof?

While the degree and extent of their protection can vary from model to model and price point to price point, all outdoor televisions are designed to be weatherproof enough for safe, reliable use and storage outside.


Can a regular tv be used for outdoor viewing?

Regardless of where it’s placed outside, an outdoor tv will always be the better choice for outdoor viewing, in terms of safety, reliability, and protection, but if you’re going to use an indoor tv outside, it’s essential to purchase outdoor protection for it. No indoor tv is made to resist rain damage.


How long will an indoor tv last outside?

Though it varies from model to model, you shouldn’t expect an indoor tv kept and used outdoors to last more than a year without burning out or succumbing to the elements- even with an outdoor enclosure and outdoor cables. Obviously, storing it inside and limiting outdoor use will add life to your television, but know that you’re risking damage no matter what when you’re using electronics and media devices outside of their intended purpose.



STAT: Most outdoor televisions are designed with much brighter, glare-proof displays than indoor televisions. (source)

STAT: Outdoor televisions are generally designed to protect against temperatures from 23 to 122 degrees (source)

STAT: Sales of outdoor televisions are expected to surpass $500 million a year within the next five years (source)

Jed Smith

I'm a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

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