How To Take the Home Entertainment Experience Out to the Backyard

updated Jul 16, 2020
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

As warmer weather emerges, the backyard becomes the destination where many of us go to enjoy entertaining, grilling, and even escape to enjoy music. Some homeowners are bringing the full home entertainment experience outside, with television sets situated in backyard “living rooms”. But weather is no friend of your standard television set…we’ll show you how to set yourself up with a TV outdoors safely!

Outdoor TVs
If you have the budget, why not spring for a specialized outdoor TV such as these 32″ or 46″ models from Sunbrite. Specialty outdoor televisions are designed to resist rain, dust, insects, humidity, temperature, and all the other nasty outdoor elements. Bring out a regular TV outside and you’re not only risking watching a compromised picture, but also damaging your set. We’d also recommend a dust cover for outdoor televisions, even if it is designed for the outdoors.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Outdoor Enclosures
If you already have a TV set you want to use, you can buy a weatherproof outdoor television enclosure case such as The TV Shield, available in 30-42″ or a smaller 19-26″ sizes for around $500 on the low end. There are more expensive models and brands, so research carefully, read reviews, and buy where you are comfortable spending.

Glare is the biggest enemy of TVs, and even more so outdoors, since there’s going to be a whole lot more sunlight than in your living room. If the sun is in front of the TV, you’ll be fighting glare, and you’ll be greatly reducing the quality of your image. But if position a TV with the sun behind it, you’re going to be staring into the sun, and will be equally uncomfortable watching. We recommend setting the TV in a shaded area such as under an awning or covered porch (maybe make your own?).  You’ll be much more comfortable sitting under the shade and your TV won’t be completely exposed to the worst of the elements.

Here’s how to weatherproof coax cables from the elements.

Power & Cables
Now that you have a television outside, how to bring content from a source to your set. Chances are it’ll be difficult to bring a coax, HDMI, or other cable out to your yard.  Hopefully you’ve planned in advance, installing an easy to reach video connection outdoors. Otherwise you can use wireless HDMI to bring a signal to your outdoor TV, or stream TV over wireless internet using a media box, like those offered by Apple TV or Roku. Be sure that your equipment is plugged into tamper and weather resistent outlets designed for the outdoors.

Now Sit Back & Enjoy
Think of all the fun to be had.  Put the game on while you barbecue outside with friends. Throw on some music videos while you play with the dog.  Keep up with the news as you garden.  Or just plain old sit back and relax on the couch, veg out and watch some TV.  Our parents always told us to get out of the house when it was nice out.  They just never thought we could watch TV outside too.

(Images: SunBriteTV, as linked above)