Having an exterior TV can be a great addition to your home, providing a modern touch and a place to hang out with loved ones. However, if you’re familiar with electronics, you know they don’t mix well with the weather. So, can you use a regular TV outside, or do you need specialized hardware?
Unfortunately, using a regular TV outside will damage it over time. Even with an overhang, the TV will still be exposed to weather and humidity, causing harm to the internal components and voiding most manufacturers’ warranties.
But don’t worry, there are steps you can take to use an indoor TV outside. You can even use your speakers with it. Just make sure to keep an eye out for potential hazards when installing it outdoors. Alternatively, you can consider buying a TV that’s specifically manufactured for outdoor use.
Whether you choose to modify an indoor TV or buy a specialized outdoor TV, you’ll have a fantastic addition to your home. Your outdoor TV will provide a great place to relax with friends and family while enjoying the beautiful weather.
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How to Use a Regular TV Outside
Protecting your exterior TV from the elements can be challenging, but there are options to extend the life of a regular TV outside. These choices can be free or vary in cost, depending on how many you combine and the quality of the products you choose. Additionally, attempting to make these modifications yourself can also save you money.
However, it’s important to note that utilizing any combination of these options may still void your warranty. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of your warranty details and take all necessary steps to maintain it.
If you’re in the market for a new outdoor TV, it’s essential to check the weather rating of the product before making a purchase. This information is typically available based on the make, model, and size of the TV.
By paying attention to the weather rating, you can ensure that the TV is suitable for the climate in which you live. For example, if you live in a hotter climate, you may want to consider a TV with a rating for higher operating temperatures.
When you’re considering mounting your TV outside (Our guide on how to mount a Tv), it’s important to think about where you’ll place it. The placement of your TV will affect how long it lasts, so it’s essential to get it right. The most important thing is to hang it in a spot that’s completely shaded throughout the day. This will help to prevent glare, keep the temperature consistent, and protect the TV from direct sunlight.
If you can’t find a spot with complete shade coverage, try facing the TV north or south. This can help to reduce the damage caused by sunlight, especially if the TV is facing east or west. Another thing to consider is the wind, which can blow dust and debris around and damage the internal components of your TV. To avoid this, try to find a location that’s as protected from the wind as possible.
However, it’s not just about protecting your TV from the elements. You also want to make sure that it’s in a good location for everyone to enjoy. So, when you’re looking for a spot, consider sightlines as well. There’s no point in having a TV in a corner where only a few people can see it.Consider the Location
Buy the Right Mount
When it comes to your outdoor TV, the mounting hardware is just as important as the placement. The hardware holding up your TV is exposed to the elements, and this can cause it to fail. To prevent this, you need to choose something that’s thick and resistant to extreme temperatures.
If the mounting hardware can’t handle temperature changes, it may expand and contract, which can cause it to weaken or break over time. This is especially true in areas with drastic temperature changes between seasons.
Choosing the right hardware for your outdoor TV will help ensure that your TV doesn’t end up on the ground. So, be sure to invest in high-quality, weather-resistant hardware that can stand up to the elements and keep your TV securely mounted for years to come.
Consider a Cover
Another important way to protect your outdoor TV is to use a cover when it’s not in use. A well-fitting cover can protect your TV from the dangers we’ve already mentioned, such as dust, temperature cycling, and direct sun damage. In fact, our guide on how to protect outside TVs recommends covers, especially for those living in colder or desert-like climates where temperatures can swing drastically between day and night.
Fortunately, TV covers are relatively inexpensive and can last a long time. You can easily find a great outdoor TV cover (on Amazon) or at your local electronics store. By using a cover, you can extend the life of your outdoor TV and protect your investment for years to come.
Consider an Enclosure/Shell
In addition to covers, full enclosures can also provide protection for your outdoor TV while it’s in use. Depending on your budget and protection needs, the right enclosure can do wonders to safeguard your investment, and there are many options available.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that you get what you pay for with enclosures. A poorly built enclosure can actually make problems like extreme heat worse if it doesn’t have proper ventilation to dissipate that heat.
There are some solid options available on the market. The Storm Shell Outdoor TV Hard Cover (on Amazon), for example, is a great choice that can provide reliable protection for your TV for years to come. With the right enclosure, you can enjoy your outdoor TV without worrying about the elements damaging your investment.
For maximum protection against debris, temperature variation, and moisture, a full cabinet sealed properly with caulk and weather stripping can be an excellent first line of defense. One of the best features of these cabinets is that they can also house your mounting equipment, making it easy to keep everything in one place.
In addition to providing protection, these cabinets can also be sleek accent pieces that add to the aesthetics of your outdoor space. They can also serve as an extra layer of security by hiding and protecting your TV from potential thieves.
It’s worth noting that full protective cabinets can be difficult to find and quite expensive. They’re not typically available at your regular electronics retailers, so you may need to do some searching to find one that meets your needs and preferences. Nonetheless, investing in a full cabinet can be worth it for added protection and peace of mind.
Dangers of Using a Normal TV Outside
As we’ve mentioned earlier, using a regular TV outside comes with several potential dangers that could cause damage to either the interior or exterior components of the device. Some of these risks include dust and debris, direct sun damage, temperature variations, inclement weather, humidity, mount failure, and security issues like theft.
To elaborate further, extreme heat or cold can cause expansion and contraction in the device, leading to failure or damage. Rapid temperature changes can also be harmful, as they can cause condensation to build up inside the TV. Improper ventilation of enclosure heat can exacerbate these issues.
Weather-related risks like rain, sleet, snow, and hail can damage the device directly or blow debris and moisture into it. Humidity can cause internal condensation, which can damage internal components.
To avoid these risks, it’s important to be aware of them and take proper precautions, such as using protective covers or enclosures, ensuring proper ventilation, and mounting the TV securely. Some A/V installation companies even recommend using an older TV outside while keeping the newer one indoors to avoid voiding the warranty and to alleviate some of the stress of placing expensive electronics outside.
TVs Made Specifically for Outside Use
t’s important to note that while there are exterior-specific TVs, they tend to come at a higher cost than indoor models of similar sizes. However, it’s still the recommended choice for anyone creating an outdoor living or viewing area. These TVs are designed to withstand outdoor conditions and perform better than their indoor counterparts, with less need for additional measures to maintain a clear and sharp picture.
Although it’s still recommended to consider some of the aforementioned suggestions for indoor TVs, an exterior TV takes these factors into account during the manufacturing process, making the setup process more efficient.
One such popular outdoor TV is Samsung’s The Terrace (available on Amazon), which incorporates modern TV technologies not commonly found in other outdoor televisions.
In addition to protecting your TV and considering sightlines and glare, it’s important to think about sound when planning your outdoor viewing space. Even if you have a clear picture, it won’t matter if you can’t hear what’s happening on screen. Check our guide for further knowledge: (Outdoor TV vs Outdoor TV Cabinet) And (The Best Option for Outdoor Viewing: TV or Projector? )
To enhance your outdoor movie night experience, consider investing in professionally mounted directional speakers. These types of speakers can help drown out any distracting noises and allow you to fully immerse yourself in the movie.
How can I extend the life of a regular TV outside?
Check the weather rating, choose the location wisely, use the right mount, and consider a cover or enclosure.
What should I consider when choosing a location for my exterior TV?
Hang the TV in complete shade throughout the day and choose a location with as much protection from the wind as possible.
Why should I consider using a cover for my exterior TV?
Covers can protect the TV from dust, temperature cycling, and direct sun damage, and are relatively inexpensive.
Are TV cabinets a good option for exterior TVs?
Yes, TV cabinets can be a great first defense to debris, temperature variation, and moisture, but they can be expensive and difficult to find.
What are some dangers of using a normal TV outside?
Dangers include dust and debris, direct sun damage, temperature variations, humidity, and mount failure, among others.
Can direct sunlight damage my exterior TV?
Yes, direct sunlight can damage the TV’s internal components and void most manufacturers’ warranties.
Is it important to choose the right mount for my exterior TV?
Yes, choosing the right mount is crucial to prevent the TV from falling and getting damaged.
Can a cover protect my exterior TV from temperature cycling?
Yes, a cover can help protect the TV from temperature cycling and other weather-related damage.
What should I do to prevent debris from entering my exterior TV?
Choose a location with as much protection from the wind as possible to avoid dirt and other particles from entering your device.
What is the most critical decision when mounting a TV outside?
The most critical decision is your placement (our guide on TV placement), which can make all the difference in the longevity of your device.