Whether you’re looking to throw a socially-distanced outdoor Grammys watch party, or you just want to watch the latest episode of The Bachelor with a breeze on your face, outdoor TVs are a great way to entertain and get some fresh air at the same time.
Most standard TVs aren’t built to withstand the elements, and not all outdoor TVs offer the same level of protection and versatility. Some are built to live on covered patios and decks, while others can handle full exposure to rain and snow. How much sunlight is shining on the screen will also make a difference, and most TVs will fall under one of three categories: those that need to be used in the shade, those that can handle partial exposure to the sun, and those that will offer great picture quality no matter what the conditions are. Other factors to consider when shopping for an outdoor TV are size, sound quality, and price.
With so many options out there, choosing the right one can be a little confusing, but we’re here to help you find the best outdoor TV for all your viewing needs.
- Best overall: Samsung 55 in. Class QLED The Terrace Outdoor TV
- Best large outdoor TV: Peerless-AV 86″ Class LED Outdoor Full Sun 4K UHD TV
- Best with a soundbar: SunBriteTV SE 43-Inch Weatherproof Outdoor Television
- Best for shaded areas: SunBriteTV Weatherproof Outdoor 55-Inch Veranda
- Best for partial sun: Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 43-Inch Outdoor TV
- Best budget outdoor TV: SunBriteTV 43-Inch Outdoor Television for Shade
Features to consider when looking for the best outdoor TV
Before you bust out the snacks at your next shindig, there are a couple of things you’ll need to think about when choosing the best outdoor TV for your space. For example, if you plan on watching your new set under your porch, you probably won’t need a model that offers the same level of waterproofing and anti-glare technology as one that will be directly exposed to rain, snow, and sun. Check out these six features to consider when buying an outdoor TV.
When it comes to outdoor TVs, placement matters most
The main thing to consider when you’re choosing an outdoor TV is how much sunlight it’s going to be exposed to. Glare will be a problem for some models even if they’re just exposed to partial sun, and some will only deliver a great picture if they’re in the shade.
However, the picture might not be the only thing that suffers if you aren’t choosy about your new outdoor TV. Models that are designed to be enjoyed under a covered porch may not be as resilient to extreme weather conditions as ones that are meant to live in a backyard. In some cases, it may be wise to invest in a cover, just as you would for your grill or ping pong table.
Best Outdoor TV Overall: Samsung 55 in. Class QLED The Terrace Outdoor TV
Sleek and Resilient
Rain or shine, this outdoor TV delivers exceptional performance. Amazon
With a 55-inch screen utilizing QLED technology, this Samsung TV is our pick for best outdoor TV overall. Equipped with smart TV technology, this TV lets you easily stream your favorite sports and movies without having to buy a separate device. Although its anti-glare technology and exceptional brightness levels mean that it works well on sunny days, if you have very wide seating you may notice a decrease in quality at the outer angles. Overall though, it’s no surprise that Oprah named The Terrace one of her favorite things in 2020.
Avoid crowding with a large outdoor TV
If you want to keep everyone six feet apart, but don’t want your guests squinting to see the game, a huge outdoor TV will keep everyone entertained and safe at the same time.
Plus, if you’re a movie buff, a large outdoor TV is terrific for simulating the fun of a drive-in without leaving your home. Just remember, the bigger the TV, the bigger the price tag.
Best large outdoor TV: Peerless-AV 86″ Class LED Outdoor Full Sun 4K UHD TV
This huge TV is capable of handling full exposure to the sun. Amazon
With a huge 86-inch LED screen, this large outdoor TV for Peerless is one of the largest on the market. The screen has 4k (2160p) resolution to deliver an exceptionally crisp picture, and the 178-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles allow everyone to see the action.
Not every outdoor TV offers the same audio quality
When you’re shopping, make sure you pay attention to audio quality. Some models don’t come with built-in speakers, meaning you’ll have to connect them to something else unless you just plan on watching old, silent movies. Other models do come with speakers, but the quality they deliver may leave something to be desired.
One way to make sure that you don’t end up straining your ears is to find an outdoor TV that comes equipped with a soundbar. A soundbar (also known as a media bar), is a speaker that is wider than it is tall, and delivers superior audio quality when mounted above or below the TV.
Best outdoor TV with soundbar: SunBriteTV SE 43-Inch Weatherproof Outdoor Television
Excellent Sound Quality
Comes with a weatherproof soundbar. Amazon
In addition to its 43-inch weatherproof screen, this SunBrite TV has the advantage of also coming with a weatherproof 20w sound bar. Equipped with anti-glare technology, this TV delivers a great picture in locations that are only partially sunny. This is a solid option if you don’t want to make separate purchases to get high-quality picture and sound.
Don’t overpay if you’re watching in the shade!
If you plan on enjoying your TV in a screened-in porch or covered gazebo, there may not be a reason to shell out extra money on the latest anti-glare technology. The best outdoor TV is the one that’s suited for where you’re watching, and there are great options that work in the shade while still offering protection from temperature shifts, rain, insects, and dust.
Best outdoor TV for shaded areas: SunBriteTV Weatherproof Outdoor 55-Inch Veranda
4K UHD LED screen offers a dazzling picture. Amazon
This model from SunBriteTV is durable enough to live in a shaded area like a covered porch, but won’t get damaged when the wind blows in rain, dust, and stray insects. The 55-inch screen is up to 50 percent brighter than your typical indoor TV and comes with excellent built-in speakers. Unlike some of its more expensive rivals, this outdoor screen isn’t a smart TV, but it’s easy to connect multiple media sources to it through its three HDMI ports and single USB port.
Split the difference if your viewing area gets partial sun
If you have a covered porch that receives some amount of light, but isn’t directly exposed to the sun, you should consider a TV specifically designed for those conditions. These models will have screens that are brighter than ones designed to be used in the shade and will offer more protection against glare.
Best outdoor TV for partial sun: Furrion Aurora Partial Sun Series 43-Inch Outdoor TV
Waterproof and Durable
Four built-in fans help keep this outdoor TV cool on even the hottest of days. Amazon
This Furrion outdoor TV is a terrific choice if you’re watching in an area that gets partial sun. In fact, the screen will even adjust itself according to how much light it’s getting, so there’s no need to constantly fiddle with the brightness settings. One downside to this choice is that it is not a smart TV, so you’ll have to stream with a compatible device.
Best cheap TV: What you can get for under $1,500
Although outdoor TVs have come down in price considerably over the past couple of years, they’re still relatively expensive compared to standard models. And remember that the cheapest outdoor designs are not designed to truly live outside. In fact, some won’t work at all if they aren’t in the shade because the glare from the sun will make it impossible to see what’s on the screen.
However, if you’re just looking for a TV to watch on your covered deck or screened-in porch, there are still some great options out that are durable enough to be (partially) exposed to the elements.
Best on a budget: SunBriteTV 43-Inch Outdoor Television for Shade
Aluminum exterior prevents rust. Amazon
The smallest and least expensive option in the SunBriteTV Veranda line, this unit is designed to be enjoyed in the shade but can withstand rain, snow, dust, insects, and whatever else Mother Nature decides to throw at it. The Ultra 4K HDR LED screen delivers a crisp picture that’s 50 percent brighter than a standard TV and is perfect for patios, screened-in porches, and covered decks. This SunBrite TV comes with a large weatherproof media bay so whatever you plug into it will be protected as well.
Outdoor TV FAQ:
What is the best outdoor television?
The best outdoor television depends on where you’re going to watch it. The most important thing to consider is how much sun the television will be exposed to because glare can be a major issue if the TV is designed to only work in the shade.
What is the best outdoor TV for a large viewing party?
The best outdoor TV for a viewing party depends on where and how many people are watching it. The most important consideration is sunlight, but if you’re trying to keep your friends and family socially distant, then you’ll need to consider the size of the screen. Another thing to keep in mind is what angle people will be watching it from, as some outdoor models lose quality if they’re not watched head-on.
Do I need an outdoor TV enclosure?
Outdoor TV enclosures are usually designed to keep an indoor model safe when it’s used outside. Most outdoor TVs are built to be weatherproof and can withstand extreme temperatures. That being said, investing in a cover for your outdoor TV is still a good idea.
A final word on shopping for an outdoor TV
Enjoying your television in the great outdoors can be a wonderful change of pace, especially after a year of being cooped up inside so much. The most important thing to consider when shopping for the best outdoor TV is where you’re going to watch it because different models can handle different conditions. A TV that’s built for the shade won’t look good with the sun beating down on it, and likewise, one that is meant to be watched in the sun will probably be wasted sitting under a covered porch.