Published: Jul 21, 2021 | Updated: Feb 24, 2023

Do I Really Need an Outdoor TV to Watch TV Outside?

Whether you want to watch the big game or have a movie night, do you need an actual "outdoor TV" to enjoy television viewing outside?

French Country Modern Back Porch With Vaulted Ceiling And Large Masonry Fireplace And White Painted Brick

One of the most common luxury features our clients request is to have an outdoor TV hookup on the screened-in back porch, deck, or patio. This was popular even before COVID, but now with such a huge emphasis on outdoor entertaining spaces, outdoor TVs are more important than ever.

Why do people want to have a TV outside?

  • An outdoor living space with a TV is a fantastic place to watch football games with a big crowd.
  • Meeting outside can be a safer entertaining space for friends and extended family without as many worries about potential transmission of illness.
  • Being outside in nature is relaxing and good for the soul and mental health.
  • Taking living spaces outdoors is increasingly popular as people appreciate the benefits of getting out of the house.
  • The family can enjoy a movie night, telling stories, singing, or sharing s'mores while enjoying the outdoor fireplace or fire pit together.

Let’s answer some of your important questions so you can decide if an outdoor TV is a good option for you.

white painted brick back porch with masonry fireplace and outdoor TV with living space

Can a Regular TV Be Used Outdoors?

A regular TV can be used outside with some stipulations. There are hurdles to overcome because an indoor TV isn’t built to withstand moisture, condensation, dirt, rain, flying baseballs, hail, bugs, or theft.

If you feel you simply must use an indoor television on your screened-in porch, consider these tips.

To use an indoor TV outside

  • An indoor TV must be protected in a weatherproof outdoor TV enclosure to prevent insect or weather-related problems if you plan to leave it outside.
  • Keep the TV under a good roof system for shelter, like in a screened back porch, away from the outer areas.
  • Bring an indoor TV out just for a while if the weather is good, then take it right back inside.
  • Keep the TV bright and contrast high to compete with the light outside during the day.
  • Keep it out of direct rain even if it is in a protected case.
  • Avoid direct sunlight.
  • Consider an outdoor TV cover when the TV is not in use if you don’t use an enclosure (but moisture can still build up in the TV).

Even if you take all of these precautions and use an outdoor TV cabinet, your TV may only last a year or so. Especially if you have extreme weather conditions or temperatures.

Also, keep in mind that it may be more difficult to view an indoor TV outside because the brightness may not be as good and the screen may not be able to handle the glare as well.

Do I Need an Outdoor TV?

Having an outdoor television offers some amazing possibilities without the worry that comes with using indoor TVs outside. The best TVs for the great outdoors are specifically designed to be weatherproof and to withstand temperature extremes and other outdoor hazards.

Pros of outdoor TVs

  • Waterproof, weatherproof
  • Able to handle wide temperature variations
  • Anti-glare features
  • High-quality 4k versions are available
  • Stunning picture quality
  • Much more durable and long-lasting than indoor TVs outside
  • Designed to be secure from theft
  • Choose from versions designed for full shade, partial shade, or full sun
  • Select options from many types of cutting edge technology: smart TVs, media bays for streaming, Google Assistant

Cons of outdoor TVs

  • Cost is generally higher than indoor TVs

Outdoor televisions tend to be more expensive than indoor televisions because they are a lot more durable, bright, and weatherproof/weather resistant. The good news is, prices have come down quite a bit in recent years.

Screened-in back porch with outdoor fire place and outdoor TV

How to Protect an Outdoor TV

Ideally, install your outdoor television in a shaded area under a covered roof where it won’t get a lot of rain or snow. If you want to add an extra layer of protection even with a weatherproof TV, you can use an outdoor TV enclosure or use a TV cover when you are not using it.

For protection from flying balls or rocks, consider a TV shield. Ideally, your TV won’t be exposed to full sunlight, unless you buy a version specifically designed for full sun. For extra protection from glare at certain viewing angles during the day, invest in a sun hood.

How Much Is an Outdoor TV?

Outdoor TVs are available on Amazon for prices generally ranging from $1000 - $4000. Look for 4K UHD. Prices have dropped enough that you can get a very high-quality TV for about $2000 today.

Of course, if you want to get really fancy, you can spend $10,000 - $20,000.

How much is an outdoor TV enclosure

As a comparison, an outdoor TV enclosure will often cost about $400 - $1300 if you want to use an indoor TV outside. You can find enclosures that help protect against moisture, weather, bugs, temperature extremes, and glare.

What About an Outdoor TV Projector? 

Another option, rather than using a flat-screen TV outside, is to use an outdoor TV projector and screen. If you want to have a neighborhood or family movie night on a big patio or in the yard at night, a huge screen is a lot of fun. 

You’ll feel like you are in your own drive-in theater — but even better. With your outdoor patio furniture and coffee tables in place, set out the snacks, put up your feet, and enjoy your movie night in the lap of luxury and comfort. 

Ready to build a home with an outdoor fireplace and TV on your back porch or patio in the Lexington, SC area?

At Blythe Building Company, we build luxury homes in the Greater Columbia area of South Carolina. Lee Blythe is a Certified Master Builder. The homes we build generally start at about $650,000.

If you’re ready to get started building your dream home on your lot, we’d love to help.

Please contact us today.

We build in areas like Forest Acres, Lake Carolina, Lake Murray, Chapin, Lexington, West Columbia, downtown Columbia, Irmo, and more.


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