The “Ins and Outs” of Outdoor TVs
Written by Custom Audio Video
or many of the low country residents, outdoor living is what it’s all about: Expansive porches and four-seasons rooms; disappearing edge pools; and scenic waterways. Amenities such as fireplaces and comfortable cushioned seating are now become commonplace, and have turned that plain patio into an outdoor living space. It’s only natural that people who like to spend so much time out of doors would also want to be able to watch TV and movies there as well. So how does one do it? What does it take to have a TV outdoors and watch it too?
100% humidity, heat index 105 degrees, isolated thunderstorms; these are the things a television exposed to the elements may have to contend with. The odds are decidedly not in the TVs favor. In the past, the idea has always been to but the cheapest TV possible from the local big box store, hook it up out on the porch, and see how long it will last before salt corrosion and condensation put the kibosh on it. Sometimes these doomed TVs last a year, other times scarcely a few months.
Fortunately, some manufactures of specialty video products have recognized peoples’ desire for a quality TV set that can survive in the elements. One company, Chief Manufacturing, offers a line of wall mount enclosures that will accept a variety of different flat-panel LCD and Plasma displays. The weatherproof enclosures ensure the expensive TV contained within is adequately protected from harsh environmental conditions. Another manufacturer, Sunbrite TV LLC, has been building flat-panel LCD TV that are self-contained weatherproof units. Sunbrite’s TVs are often demonstrated at trade shows by having a garden hose turned on them. Like the weather proof enclosures, these televisions are capable of standing up to quite a bit of meteorological punishment.
The only other issue to consider is a very practical one: cabling. If a home has not been wired with power and video signal cabling to your porch or patio, call a professional AV Integrator. An experienced technician can often find a way to get the right cabling to a potential TV location without leaving a mess of wires dangling in front of that scenic low country waterway.