What You Need to Know About Hanging a TV Outside

Get tips for installing an outdoor TV on your porch, by the patio or near your swimming pool.

May 02, 2022

If you’re designing an outdoor entertaining space, no doubt your wishlist is full of items that would take your space from ordinary to extraordinary. A great outdoor living room functions best when it has a variety of seating options and media integrations, including an outdoor TV.

Deck With TV

Deck With Fireplace and TV

The goal for this newly-expanded deck was to give the homeowners an indoor outdoor living area and space for larger gatherings. Now it's a luxe spot indeed with a fireplace, shade, a kitchenette and a tv.

Photo by: Spacecrafting Photography

Spacecrafting Photography

Installing an outdoor television isn’t hard, but there are many things to consider. It’s not just a matter of relocating an indoor TV to the back patio. Make a plan, commit to and be sure to use the right technology.

Some of the biggest factors you’ll need to consider include:

  • Which outdoor products to choose
  • Where the television is installed and how it is sheltered
  • Your geography’s climate
  • Mother nature

Let’s dive deeper.

Cottage Covered Patio With Fireplace

Cottage Covered Patio With Limestone Fireplace

This outdoor sitting area is easily as comfortable as any indoor living room with its huge limestone fireplace and cushy armchairs and sofa. There's even a tv for cozying up in front of a movie or show.

Photo by: Grace Laird Photography

Grace Laird Photography

Choosing an Outdoor TV

Before you transfer your living room TV onto the back deck, think again. While it might be tempting to buy a less expensive TV, know that TVs in covered outdoor spaces or in enclosures can quickly be damaged by wind, moisture and temperature extremes.

Outdoor televisions are produced to be tough. They include:

  • Rust and erosion-resistant materials that will keep dust and moisture away from internal components and keep the exterior frame looking good.
  • Watertight seals to prevent seepage around cables, which can lead to condensation inside the TV.
  • Outdoor TVs are well-enclosed to prevent damage from bugs and insects that may want to take refuge inside them.
  • Better temperature control, including built-in fans, heaters and other temperature dispersion systems that help protect the internal components on both hot and cold days.
  • Brighter screens to combat the sun’s glare. With luminance measured in nits, your typical indoor TV might measure around 400 nits. Outdoor televisions can get way brighter so they’re easier to view on a bright day, up to 700 nits or more.
  • Warranties to ensure that the components on a new outdoor TV live up to expectations. Indoor television warranties are usually voided if the screen is installed in an outdoor environment.
Screened Outdoor Living Space with Seating and Fireplace

Pergolas, Planters Define This Deck Into Multiple Entertainment Zones

Planters with seasonal flowers and separate pergolas help define the different areas of this well-appointed, entertaining friendly deck. A seating area with ceiling fans, a fireplace and a flat-screen TV offer a spot for entertaining through multiple seasons.

Photo by: Margaret Najarian

Margaret Najarian

Placement of an Outdoor Television

Once you understand the benefits of choosing an outdoor TV, consider media integrations and whether you need a full-shade or partial-sun television.

Just like many “outdoor” products, direct sunlight and exposure to elements will break down a product faster than one that is sheltered or enclosed. Where you install your outdoor technology matters just as much as what types of outdoor technology you choose for your home.

ELMHURST, IL, USA - JULY 20, 2021: A beautiful patio at sunset on a red brick home with a black spiral staircase, composite decking, furniture, and a mounted television.

ELMHURST, IL, USA - JULY 20, 2021: A beautiful patio at sunset on a red brick home with a black spiral staircase, composite decking, furniture, and a mounted television.

Photo by: Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Choosing outdoor mounting hardware that angles and swivels can make it easier to retract and conceal your TV when not in use. It also makes it a little easier to choose a sheltered spot for your television without compromising viewability. The rotations and angles allowed by the mounting hardware may also influence how the surrounding seating is oriented in your space.

The TV you choose should take into account how much ambient lighting from the sun you’ll be competing with when watching the TV.

  • Full-shade outdoor TVs are best suited for shady and sheltered areas, such as a screened porch, covered patio or inside a garage.
  • Partial-sun televisions are designed for spaces with more sunlight, such as on an open porch, beneath an extended awning or under a pergola.
Outdoor Bar with Stainless Steel Appliances and Wall-Mounted TV

Full-Service Rooftop Bar

The full-service kitchen makes it easy to pull off parties on this Chicago rooftop. It features a sink, refrigerator, commercial grill, ice maker and self-serve beverage center. A TV centered on the wall allows the homeowners and their guests to catch their favorite sports without leaving the roof, says designer Vanessa Slivinski of Chicago Roof Deck and Garden.

Photo by: Chicago Roof Deck and Garden

Chicago Roof Deck and Garden

Integrating for Electrical, Audio and Video Sources

Once you’ve chosen where to hang your outdoor TV, make sure you account for power and sources. All cords and connections need to be rated for outdoor use to be safe. If you’re planning to connect indoor-only components such as a cable box, satellite receiver, Blu-Ray player or other types of media service, dedicate an indoor space nearby that will keep them dry. You may need to run cables through your walls to make this happen, but an electrician can help. A licensed electrician will make sure that all cables are rated for in-wall use and also ensure that any outdoor plugs are up to code, grounded and covered.

Audio connections should also be considered as you’re planning the placement of outdoor television.

Outdoor soundbars are a simple, effective way to boost the sound from your outdoor television. Depending on where you need to direct the sound, you can also install scattered outdoor audio elements throughout the area to help amplify audio. Additionally, outdoor Bluetooth speakers make it much easier to connect your outdoor television to different devices to create a surround-sound experience. Some Bluetooth speakers also offer integrated path lighting to add ambiance.

Invest in Weatherproof Elements

Just as you weatherproof your deck boards and cover your outdoor furniture, it’s important to invest in products and accessories that will help your outdoor television stand up to the elements.

To start, always purchase a wall-mounting kit that’s designed for outdoor use. These products will hold up better to weather and resist rust, especially in areas with saltwater. Consider upgrading to lockable, anti-theft mounting hardware if the outdoor television is in a highly visible area.

Next, purchase a seasonal screen cover that wraps around your outdoor TV. This reduces any direct moisture, such as from those gusts of sideways rain, and shields the screen from direct sun. It also blocks dust and pollen. Most products even have a pocket to keep the remote control clean.

White outdoor speaker at the pole.

White outdoor speaker at the pole.

Photo by: Shutterstock

Shutterstock

All-weather speakers are also a must for amplifying sound in your entertaining area. We already mentioned soundbars and Bluetooth options, but it’s important to always choose outdoor-rated audio accessories.

Environmental speakers are good at transferring sound in big backyards. There’s also something to be said for choosing outdoor speakers that integrate with your indoor audio systems, so if you already have Bose or Sonos, start exploring your outdoor integration options from those brands.

A rock-molded outdoor speaker is a great option if you’d like to disguise your speakers within your landscape — it comes in both granite and sandstone.

Anti-glare panels are available to help improve any reflections that affect your viewing experience on an outdoor television. However, it’s still best if you purchase a partial-sun television that is built with a brighter screen if you want to get the best picture quality.

Stone Outdoor Yard Speaker

Stone Outdoor Yard Speaker

Photo by: Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Provide Seasonal Protection

Outdoor TVs are engineered to withstand extreme temperatures, so disconnecting and bringing them indoors isn’t usually necessary. That said, pay attention to the guidelines provided by your television’s manufacturer. They may recommend otherwise based on your model, placement and temperature ranges in your area.

If nothing else, the best protection you can provide is a full TV wrap such as a hard-covered shell. This added layer of protection will cover the front screen, back and the mounting hardware to protect it from extreme wind, snow and other aggressive elements.

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