Outdoor TV Vs. Indoor TV

Nathan Rizzuti Profile image

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Updated February 8, 2023

When searching for the best TVs, it’s always good to think about the location you’ll be using them. If you plan on using your TV outdoors, it’s crucial to think about outdoor TVs vs indoor TVs. Many don’t understand what makes them different and their accompanying strengths and weaknesses. To be frank, the top differences between an outdoor TV and indoor TV are durability, brightness, viewing angle, power requirements, and price. Outdoor TVs are designed to withstand harsh conditions, be visible in bright light, and can be powered with a battery or solar. Indoor TVs are made to abuse in a controlled environment, which means they’re aren’t weather-resistant; they’re also best used in darker rooms and always use a power outlet.

And suppose you’re looking into your outdoor viewing options and are considering a projector. In that case, it’s also good to know the difference in projector vs TV power consumption.


  • An outdoor television comes with strong weatherproofing to withstand brutal climate conditions.
  • Outdoor TVs are made to be seen even in settings with great deals of ambient light.
  • You can purchase an outdoor TV cover or an outdoor TV enclosure to protect an indoor TV used outside.

Differences Between Outdoor TVs and Indoor TVs

One of the most commonly asked questions is, “Can I use indoor televisions for outdoor viewing?” Of course, this makes sense, given that viewers do the bulk of their watching inside and want to know if they can switch between the two settings. But for those with an outdoor patio area, even if it’s a covered patio or sunroom, you should know the risks of using an indoor TV in an exposed environment. Something to note is that if you live far away–15+ miles–from the nearest broadcast tower, you may have to purchase an outdoor antenna. An indoor TV antenna is purposed for areas with strong signals, and an outdoor TV antenna is built with stronger signal strength.

Insider Tip

Whether used indoors or outdoors, Matte displays are superior to glossy displays when standing up to sun glare.

Temperature Extremes and Bad Weather

Most electronics aren’t built to fight back against the elements, but this isn’t the case with Outdoor TVs. These weather-resistant features are the primary reason anyone with an outdoor viewing space should consider dropping the extra money to buy one. Like postal workers, outdoor televisions are built to deal with a wide temperature range and constant exposure to the sun, water, and humidity. These conditions wear down an indoor television and quickly ruin the intricate electronics. But with outdoor TVs, extreme temperatures and cold climates rarely affect performance.

Glares and Sun Exposure

Outdoor TVs are designed to retain good visuals even in the presence of full sunlight. The reality is you may not get the deepest blacks as you would with an indoor TV in a controlled setting. But there are good outdoor televisions with impressive picture quality that work both for daytime and nighttime viewing. Additionally, if you or others will be viewing the screen from an extreme angle, it might be good to know the difference between VA panels vs IPS panel TVs.

Outdoor televisions also tend to come with anti-glare features that mean stunning quality even in the presence of most blistering, high-noon rays. Now that outdoor TVs are made in all displays, it’s worthwhile checking out OLED vs LED LCD screens.


Typically, the top outdoor TVs will be more expensive due to their weatherproof treatment and additional features that help block reflections and glares. However, suppose you buy an indoor TV for outdoor purposes. In that case, you should factor in the cost of protecting it with a cover or enclosure. If that’s the route you want to take, your next step will be deciding on aluminum vs plastic for the enclosure.


Remember that outdoor TVs don’t come with speakers and that you’ll have to purchase a soundbar to go with them.


Can I protect an indoor TV outside?

There are cabinets and covers specifically designed to protect indoor TVs from harsh weather, water ingress, and humidity.

Is it wise to get an outdoor TV, even for a covered patio?

Yes. Many potential hazards, like bugs, humidity, rain, and cold temperature, make outdoor televisions a good idea even for enclosed or covered areas.

Will a regular TV last outside?

While it’s uncertain how long a regular TV will last, it’s almost guaranteed that leaving an indoor TV exposed to the elements will significantly reduce the lifespan of the electronics.

STAT: When humidity rises above 80%, that’s when moisture begins to collect on TV components. (source)

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