The outdoor lifestyle and outdoor living spaces continue to grow in popularity. Adding an outdoor television is the icing on the outdoor entertaining cake.
Summer kitchens, covered patios, pools and fire places beckon us to the back yard for fun-filled days and nights. Entertaining friends and family poolside or sharing conversation around the fire pit makes memories for you and your guests that will last a lifetime. Many Emerald Homes offer outdoor televisions as an upgrade option, but what do you do if you already own a home and want this upgrade for your outdoor space?
Outdoor Television Selection
Not all TVs are created equal. More than likely, prepare to hear a similar sentiment on sites and blogs: Your television design is for outdoor use. Outdoor televisions are designed to stand up to the exposure they’ll face year round. Sun exposure, moisture, heat, cold and dust can wreak havoc on electronics but televisions manufactured for outdoor use resist the elements. A regular television’s warranty will be void in the event of failure if you’ve used it in a manner inconsistent with the manual, such as for outdoor use. You can find enclosures for indoor televisions designed to protect them from the elements but your best bet is to invest a little bit more in your peace of mind by purchasing a machine designed for the job.
A tough hide isn’t the only difference between indoor televisions and their outdoor relatives. A brighter picture and glare resistant screens provide an optimal viewing experience in most conditions. The down side of weatherproofing and upgraded components is the end cost. Most dedicated outdoor televisions cost about twice as much as their indoor equivalents.
Outdoor Television Mounts and Cabinets
With the higher cost of entry, you’ll want to protect your equipment from criminals as well. Securing your purchase from bandits will be a contributing factor to the placement of your new screen, luckily you have a few options. Most of the dedicated outdoor television manufacturers sell outdoor mounting equipment. Their mounting hardware is similar to their televisions. Designed for outdoor use. The last thing you’ll want is for your mount to fail from rust or wind because it’s not designed for the environment that you’re using it in. Outdoor A/V manufacturers provide hardware options for mounting to ceilings, walls, tables and standalone pole mounts. Wall and ceiling mounts may provide an easier option for cabling. If you plan on mounting your new TV farther away from your house, be sure to take into account the logistics of where your power and content will come from.
A media cabinet will give you an all-in-one solution that can accommodate viewing accoutrements such as cable boxes, remote controls, game consoles, Blu-ray players, and other media and streaming devices. The other advantage is that you can lock up your cabinet when it’s not in use, keeping your investment out of sight from ne’er-do-wells.
Outdoor Television Media and Cabling
Next, you’ll need a dedicated power supply and a connection to content. The easiest option is to mount your television on an exterior wall or patio ceiling, with a nearby power supply already available. If you’re set on a location farther from your home, you might need to hire an electrician. They can run your power and ensure it’s up to code. Also consider how you’ll get content to your screen. Do you plan on running voice, data or coax cable? If so, be sure to consider distance limitations and interference that can be caused by power lines.
Dropping a data or coax cable to your line may not be necessary though. Once again, outdoor A/V manufacturers have a solution to fill in the duties of a wired connection – wireless transceivers. Just be sure you have a direct line of site to the content source. Also be ready to spend some more money for this specialized product.
Another option for content is to use an existing Wi-Fi connection combined with a streaming service and connected device. You should test your signal strength ahead of time to make sure your connected device receives an adequate signal and that the provided bandwidth is enough for the amount of data you intend to stream.
Outdoor Television Final Thoughts
Installing an outdoor TV the right way will have a much higher cost than installing one indoors. It also takes thoughtful planning in all aspects. From choosing the appropriate equipment for your location to getting content to your screen. If you have the technical expertise and are up for the challenge, this is perfect for you. For most of us though, anything more than a simple patio install is better left to the professionals. The added benefit of a pro installation is that whether you’re watching the game with friends, or if the kids are having a movie night by the pool, your set up will be rock solid.
Do you have an outdoor living space? How do you plan to bring your outdoor entertainment space to the next level? Share with us below.