Most TVs aren't meant to live outside. That is, they weren't designed or manufactured to be anywhere but inside your home. That doesn't mean you can't pick up a relatively inexpensive outdoor TV, mount it in a covered space and get a few years of use out of it. In fact, that's exactly what we've done for quite some time. These are our favorite picks for outdoor TVs — including a couple that are actually meant to be outdoors. You'll notice the difference in your wallet.
- 40 inches of Roku: Roku 40S325
- 39 inches of Amazon: Insignia FireTV Edition
- Super-expensive: SunBrite 55-inch Signature
- 49 inches of Roku: Roku 49S325
- 50 inches of Amazon: Insignia FireTV Edition
- Made for outside: SunBrite 43-inch
It's inexpensive. It's super easy to use. It's not awful to replace should nature do its thing. And it'll stream everything, or take an OTA antenna. This 40-inch model gets you in the door — feel free to increase the size if space allows. And don't worry too much about it topping out at 1080p resolution. It's a secondary screen, and most live streaming content isn't 4K anyway.
Insignia FireTV Edition
If you're more of a FireTV fan, Amazon gets you into the game at a ridiculously good price. There are larger options as well, and all include the same FireTV experience. Bumping things up to 43 inches or more will also add support for 4K resolution, which is great for Amazon's own content. But remember that most live streaming TV isn't served up in 4K just yet.
SunBrite 55-inch Signature
You want the good stuff? This is it. It's meant to live outdoors, with a display that'll shine through the sun and ambient light you'll find in the out-of-doors. The electronics also are intended not to live inside, meaning it should last a long time. And it better — because it'll cost you. It's also platform-agnostic, so you may want to invest in a dongle.
If you can handle a little bigger of a set, Roku's 49-incher gets the job done, and still doesn't break the bank. Just make sure it fits your outdoor space, and that you've got a proper wall mount to handle it. Otherwise, it's the same experience you'll find on smaller models.
Insignia FireTV Edition
Not only do you get a bigger screen with FireTV built-in — but it also handles 4K resolution, if you've gotta have it. And you're not paying too much for all the extra screen size. Just remember that while shows from the likes of Amazon and Netflix may stream in 4K, most live streaming TV does not.
Like its (way more expensive) bigger brother, the internals are made to withstand being outside. The display is made to be seen in sunlight. And the price is still going to hurt your wallet — maybe just not quite as much. But if you're really serious about outdoor TVs and don't want to use something that's meant to be inside, look here first.
The great outdoors
With outdoor TVs being a big deal for outdoor parties and fun, you'll want to make sure you choose the best of the best. With options like the Roku 40S325 (opens in new tab) to help save some money or the SunBrite 43-inch (opens in new tab) that was truly created for the outdoors, you can't do wrong with amping up your outdoor space. From the big game to some fun comedies, you'll be able to entertain the whole crowd with an outdoor TV — just try to hide the remote.
If you're more of a go-big or go-home person, then the best option for a large outdoor TV would be the Insignia FireTV Edition (opens in new tab) . You can see everything on that thing, even while hanging out in your hot tub. Outdoor TVs add a lot to your outdoor area and make it a good place for friends and families alike. If you're interested in spending some money to add a little something extra to your outdoor space, make sure to pick up one of these kicking TV options.
What's important in an outdoor TV
There are a few things to consider when you're going to keep a television outdoors. The first should be the price. I'd rather spend a couple hundred bucks every few years on a decent set that's not supposed to be left outside than I would spend more than a grand on that's designed for the elements. Why? First is that this is a secondary TV we're talking about. If I'm going to spend a lot of money on a display, it's going to be the one I use the most. Second is that this TV is going to be outside most of the time — the less I spend on it, the less I'll lose should the worst happen.
Then there's the matter of space, as in, where you'll be putting your TV. That affects how big a TV you're going to get, of course. But it also affects how you'll be watching things. Chances are electrical outlets will be at a premium. The same goes for the traditional sort of space you'd need for an Apple TV or Android TV box. Best in this situation is something built-in. If you're a Roku person, consider a Roku TV. If you're a Fire TV person, consider a Fire TV Edition. Small dongles are fine, too. But full boxes like Apple TV an NVIDIA Shield with Android TV can be cumbersome — and it's one more thing that would be living outside, where it's not really supposed to be.
Also important to consider is the use of an over-the-air antenna. You can run one straight into your outdoor TV, but that's one more wire to deal with in an already limited amount of space. It'd be worth considering an OTA streaming box like HDHomerun or Tablo TV, which takes a single antenna feed and lets you watch it on multiple devices on your network.
You'll almost certainly be using some sort of mount, too. Those are a dime a dozen these days, but we're fans of mounts that extend the television from the wall a bit, let you turn it to the left and the right, *and let you pivot it upwards and downwards. Viewing angles are essential when it comes to watching TV outside, because the sun is brighter than your display, and the more inexpensive TVs out there aren't designed with that in mind.
And, finally, consider some cover for your outdoor TV. Even if your TV is under a covered patio, a little extra protection from the elements won't hurt — especially if you live in a more humid part of the country.
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