While you may be the tech junkie with a sharp eye on hands-free wireless earbuds and convenient portable Bluetooth speakers — to upgrade your current repertoire of devices — especially to up the ante on your backyard pool parties — a quality outdoor TV is something to consider.
Much like your finest smart TV, the model you choose for your outdoor space (hey, maybe on a wall mount underneath your gazebo) requires some research. Luckily, we turned to a tech expert to answer what you really need to know about outdoor TVs before adding one to your cart. (Related: Best outdoor projectors).
“A common misconception is that it’s okay to use indoor TVs outside, but that’s not the case,” John Couling, SVP of entertainment at Dolby Laboratories, told the New York Post. “Our homes are controlled environments, which is great for electronics. However, as soon as you bring your TV outdoors, the risk of something going wrong is considerably higher as there are a lot of variables that can pose serious problems or potentially ruin your television.”
Couling explains what to look for in an outdoor TV, how to properly install one and more in our in-depth FAQ section following the best outdoor TVs of 2023 that the New York Post Shopping team rounded up below.
Just think: with your favorite pool floats and stunning outdoor patio furniture to set the scene, you’ll be well-equipped for your next summertime soiree.
- Dimensions: 58 x 4.3 x 34 inches
While New York Post Shopping hand-picked the best outdoor TVs to buy, Couling couldn’t help but mention SunBrite TV’s Verand 3 which has Dolby Vision for superior picture.
“Dolby Vision elevates your HDR experience even further,” he adds. “This TV also support Dolby Atmos, which will add to your sound experience with incredible immersive sound.”
- Dimensions: 49.1 x 2.4 x 28.7 inches
As one of the most popular outdoor TV models on the market, Samsung’s 55″ The Terrace Partial Sun Outdoor Smart TV is an excellent value for the quality. Not only does it come in other size varieties — along with a “full sun” option that’s more of an investment — but it boasts a wide viewing angle, built-in Alexa and weather-resistant durability.
- Dimensions: 57.6 x 3.4 x 33.5 inches
Shop the SYLVOX 65″ Outdoor Smart TV for Partial Sun if you don’t want to compromise quality and are seeking a brand that’s readily accessible on the online market. Specifically, this model features built-in Chromecast, a voice-activated remote control and a fully weatherproof, aluminum-made design.
- Dimensions: 50.7 x 5 x 31 inches
Shop the Element Electronics 55″ Partial Sun Outdoor Roku Smart TV if you’re seeking a model that’s akin to one you use indoors at a fair and relatively affordable price point, compared to some others on this list. With anti-glare glass and a waterproof-rated casing, you’re golden.
- Dimensions: 39.9 x 8.9 x 23.8 inches
Just over $1,000, the Furrion Aurora 43″ Partial Sun Outdoor TV is one to add to your cart. Namely, it comes locked and loaded with auto-brightness control to perform best on sunny and cloudy days in your backyard alike. With built-in speakers and other sizes to shop from, it’s one of your best bets.
- Dimensions: 58.2 x 3.8 x 33.6 inches
The Seura 65″ Full Sun Weatherproof LED Outdoor TV sure is a splurge, but one that’s well worth it if you cherish outdoor entertaining. Why it’s worth the cost? Its corrosion-resistant, waterproof-rated and comes with proprietary Extreme Temperature Protection system that actively heats and cools the TV’s electronic components in temperatures from -40 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
More, it boasts an anti-glare screen and even UV protection, the latter helping your TV to never go dark from exposure to direct sunlight. Impressive.
- Dimensions: 45.5 x 7 x 28.5 inches
For an outdoor TV on a budget, look no further than the DuraPro 43″ LED Partial Sun Outdoor TV. Just shy of $700, it’s weatherproof, made of tempered glass and includes a wall mount for easy installation. With included Bluetooth speakers, too, and a waterproof remote, it’s quite the steal for the price.
An FAQ on Outdoor TVs
Ahead, Couling gives us the 411 on outdoor TVs — including what to look for in a quality model and how to properly install one.
Can a regular TV be used as an outdoor TV?
As mentioned, Couling doesn’t recommend using your typical indoor TV as your next outdoor model because of aforementioned “potential serious problems.”
“This includes damage from water or humidity, which can ruin sensitive internal systems,” Couling tells The Post. “Also, the sun can damage your screen or you may run into problems with dust creeping into unsealed cracks that can damage important components. Many buyers probably don’t realize that using your TV outside, even just once, could also void your warranty.”
What to look for in an outdoor TV, according to a tech expert
Below, Couling outlines the information to keep in your back pocket before buying a newly minted outdoor TV.
Make sure the TV works with the area where you want to put it
Is the space protected from the sun/elements like a pergola or patio cover? Will it be exposed to the sun throughout the day or will it be shaded? These are factors that will impact what TV you choose.
“For example, outdoor TVs have certain ratings for how much sun exposure they can handle; some are only designed for the shade, some can support partial shade, while others can handle full sun exposure,” Couling says. “It’s easier to find a TV that works for your space vs trying to make your space work with your TV.”
Consider what size and features are important to you, and determine what’s best for your budget
“I would prioritize features like HDR, which will make your picture look more vibrant and lifelike, to ensure you are getting the ultimate picture performance out of your TV,” Couling notes. “And don’t fall into the common trap of buying the biggest TV possible; bigger doesn’t always equal the best picture quality.”
Pro tip: If you have a specific budget, it can be worth going with the next size down in order to ensure you are getting the features most important to you.
Make sure it’s a smart TV if you want to stream
While most TVs are, in fact, smart, you’ll want to pay extra attention to this feature to ensure your TV supports your favorite streaming apps.
How do I safely protect my outdoor TV?
First things first — start by buying a TV that is designed to be used outdoors. That will ensure your TV is meant to handle different elements.
Second, it is never a bad idea to put your TV under a covered area. “Not only will it protect you and your guests from the elements — whether that’s rain or the hot sun — it will offer some protection to your TV,” Couling adds. “You’ll also want to consider how much light it will be exposed to and how much sunlight the TV can handle.”
What’s more, consider factors like water; it’s best to keep your TV away from your pool or sprinklers, which could damage your TV or cause potential injury. In addition, an outdoor cover never hurts.
Lastly, consult your manual. “It will provide clear guidance and advice on how to best protect your TV,” Couling adds.
Are outdoor TVs weatherproof?
“If the TV you are considering states it is designed for the outdoors, that’s a good indication that the manufacturer has invested in ensuring the TV can handle outdoor use,” Couling notes. “But if you are going to invest in this purchase, make sure you do your research and read the owner’s manual carefully (which many people are guilty of not doing) to ensure you are following the manufacturer’s advice on how to best protect your TV and this investment.”
Of course, make sure to read the user’s manual for how to best care for your specific model, too.
How to install an outdoor TV, according to a tech expert
Of course, nothing replaces reading your user manual. There are a lot of tips and guidelines provided that can make sure you are setting up your TV properly, though Couling explains some tips for installing your outdoor TV:
- Put your TV under an outdoor structure to further protect it from the elements.
- Face the TV so that it minimizes sun exposure, which will not only protect your TV but also make it easier to see the picture.
- Get a good mount that’s flexible and adjustable.
- Consider the viewing angle. No one wants to look up at their TV for extended periods. It’s not comfortable and your neck will thank you for this.
Check out the New York Post Shopping section for more content.