Thinking about purchasing an outdoor TV? Let’s talk outdoor TVs, enclosures, antennas, mounts and more.
My Outdoor TV on the Patio
My outdoor TV dreams started when we moved to our country home last August, one of the perks was a pool with this 1980’s fabulous pool gazebo/outdoor patio. My outdoor TV would be out on the patio, perfect for watching hours of mindless TV while the kids swam. I should say our house is NOT fancy at all – it’s an 80’s dream house – but it’s 2018 – not 1980.
That said, one of the cool features that sold us on the home was this pool gazebo. It’s long and narrow, overlooks the pool. It has an outdoor sink, as well as a half bath. I knew immediately that I had to have an outdoor tv for this area..
I have to say, it’s taken a few years to get our patio to a place that I love. Originally, I wrote this post in 2016. We’ve done so much work, but now I absolutely love our 1980’s pool gazebo now. We still have a ways to go – but I’ve setup my introvert space – complete with my outdoor TV. The television completes the space. If you are on the fence about installing a TV outside, hopefully this post will help.
5 Things to Know Before You Buy an Outdoor TV
Here are a few tips that I learned and for you to think about before installing your outdoor TV. From what tv to buy to outdoor tv reception, to how outdoor tv stands and mounts – let’s look at all the different aspects of having a television outside.
1. Buying a TV for Outside
First, let’s buy a TV. When I started this make my gazebo my introvert space project, I just googled “outdoor television” – and woah. I was in sticker shock by how much outdoor televisions cost. A 32-inch outdoor television from Amazon (which is the cheapest I could find) can run you about $1400.
Outdoor TV Weatherproof – Yes or No
Surely, a outdoor tv waterproof would not set me back over a grand. Or would it? I called my brother. He was a fabulous outdoor kitchen and patio area with a television. “Don’t waste your money, just buy a normal TV, just find a outdoor TV enclosure or a case.” His patio television was 3 years old and hadn’t had an issue. SOLD. I was saving my money.
So for me and my budget: Outdoor TV Waterproof – was a no. So on to finding a normal indoor TV that would work.
Using an Indoor TV as an Outdoor TV
After much research, I’ve decided to stick to a standard LED television. From all that I am hearing – the standard televisions, if setup correctly will work fine for many years outside. Now a days, you can find a 32-inch television for around $250.
I scored a 32-inch smart LG TV for under $200 during a Memorial Day sale. While I’d love a larger tv outside, that patio is long more so than narrow and this was the best size for the area. Keep reading, as I’ll talk about why you will want to purchase a smart TV for best reception.
And if you are still contemplating on if you should spend the money on the more expensive television, here is my rationale:
Let’s say that your standard TV only lasts you a year outdoors. From what I am reading, most people are getting a good 3-4 years of use with a regular TV outside. But even if you replaced a tv every year, it would still be significantly cheaper than purchasing an outdoor tv. While I am sure they are nice and all and could operate in a downpour, personally – I prefer to watch TV INDOORS during the rain. That’s just me though – you do you. I’m just here to give my experience.
2. Getting TV Reception Outside
So once you have your outdoor tv, you now need to think about how you are actually going to watch television. That getting tv reception outside might sound tricky, but it’s actually quite simple and cost effective.
First, I should say that we got rid of cable. This has saved us several hundreds of dollars a year AND all of our streaming television subscriptions work on my outdoor TV!
Get a Smart TV
A smart TV will have apps built-in that will let you stream your favorite streaming networks, such as Netflix, Hulu or Amazon. Here is the 2018 model of the smart TV I use as my outdoor TV. It’s made by LG, you can use your smartphone as a remote (which is awesome so you aren’t losing your TV remote control outside!) Plus, it’s affordable!
Amazon Fire TV Cube
Have you seen the Amazon Fire TV Cube? If you are looking to pimp out your patio without going crazy with the budget, definitely check out the Amazon Fire TV Cube. It has all of the features of a Amazon Fire TV – 4K Ultra HD, etc – but has the added benefit of also having an echo. That’s right! Just like you talk to Alexa on your Echo, you can do the same with the Amazon Fire TV Cube!
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Even if you don’t buy a smart TV, as long as you have an HDMI port, you can use the Amazon Fire Stick. This will essentially make your not smart TV, smart. If you are looking for a more affordable outdoor TV reception option for streaming services – go with the stick.
While the LG TV I have is a smart TV featuring most all of the streaming services that I watch – I do have an Amazon Fire Stick because the user interface is awesome. Plus, I have access to Direct TV Now – which we use for live TV. Football season is here, and many of our games will be watched out on the patio.
Outdoor TV Digital Antenna
If you are wanting to watch network television, and don’t subscribe to a live TV steaming service like Direct TV Now – you will need to buy an outdoor TV digital antenna. This is the antenna we purchase. With an antenna, you can receive free digital broadcast High Definition TV signals.
These are cheap and believe me when your sports team is in the playoffs and you want to watch the game – you will thank me for telling you to purchase an antenna. This digital antenna has a reach of 25 miles. If you live outside of a major city, keep reading!
How to Boost Outdoor TV Antenna Signal
If a cheap digital antenna just isn’t doing it for you – and you want to know how to boost outdoor tv antenna signal strength – you will want to buy a outdoor tv antenna amplifier. This is a digital antenna with an amplified reach. So the above antenna will get you around 25 miles of TV signals – the amplified HDTV antenna will get you around 80 miles of TV signals. This is recommended if you live in a rural area.
3. Outdoor TV Covers – Weatherproof Your Television
Remember what my brother said about buying a tv? While he didn’t recommend the expensive all-weather television – he did say to buy an outdoor tv cover! You can weatherproof your television by purchasing a cover. These are not outrageous, but something you definitely want to invest in to protect your television from unwanted weather! Purchase an all-weather cover for your television. This will set you back around $40 but protect your television from unwanted moisture.
4. Outdoor TV Mounts
Now that we have a TV, know how we are getting TV reception and an outdoor TV cover, let’s look at outdoor TV mounts. Good news, TV mounts have dropped drastically in price. And more good news, a typical mount will work as your outdoor TV mount.
If your patio is like mine, perhaps you want to view your television from a few different angles. A swing tv mount will allow you to see the tv from whichever angle is best! (And thanks to Amazon, you can score an TV mount for under $30!)
Outdoor TV Installation
Looking for outdoor TV installation? Have your television mounted by a professional.
I found out that PULS will bring me a TV mount and install my new patio tv on the same day! And surprisingly it’s affordable! Learn more about TV mounting.
Outdoor TV Carts
Don’t have a place to hang a television outdoors? Or maybe you are just not wanting a bare TV hanging on your patio. No worries – we have you covered.
When doing my research – trying to find the best option for a patio TV – one option that I thought was smart was to just purchase a standard television, but rather than mount it, get an outdoor tv cart! While these are specifically made for outdoors, tehy will work. Also, the thought of outdoor TV carts made me instantly flashback to my elementary school days when they would roll the tv cart into the room and all the kids would get giddy because – TV.
Pricing on outdoor TV carts have dropped since we first posted this in 2016. You can now find a great outdoor tv cart for under $100.
Final Thoughts on a Patio TV
If I were you, just buy the standard TV, a good swing tv mount, an antenna or Fire TV and an all-weather cover for your television. This will get you reception, a good viewing angle and help the longevity of your television in outdoor climates.
HAPPY SUMMER NIGHTS in the hammock, Netflixing for hours and hours under the stars, while sipping on wine and shooing off mosquitos (unless you have one of these!)
Mom to 4 kids, Molly aka Digital Mom is the blogger-in-chief here at digitalmomblog.com. Talking technology and mom life, Molly shares the realities of parents digital kids.