Outdoor TVs allow you to combine being outside while enjoying your favorite shows. If you’re a sports fan, having the game on while you’re gathered around the BBQ can feel like heaven. Watching a scary movie outside at night makes the experience more terrifying!
No matter the reason you want an outdoor TV and which outdoor TV you pick, there’s always the job of installing it. In most cases, outdoor TVs are more expensive than regular TVs, so you want to ensure you get things right. In this article, we help guide you through how to install your outdoor TV. We also look at the five most popular methods for mounting and why you might choose one over the other.
There are a few safety considerations you may want to consider when installing your outdoor TV—the first concerns the actual mounting position, especially regarding sheetrock.
If you’re installing the mount on a sheetrock wall, distribute the bracket evenly between the studs. The manufacturer will usually include instructions for dimensions and spacing. You must follow these guidelines for sheetrock walls to ensure the TV does not fall and break or injure someone.
When it comes to electricity, make sure to use weatherproof power outlets. Even if the installation is completely covered, moisture from dew and condensation can be an issue.
Cabling is another point to consider when planning a safe installation. If you are installing your TV in the yard, it’s best to dig a trench to install the cabling. You might want to use a PVC conduit or pipe to run the cables through for added protection. This will ensure the cables don’t become brittle over time.
It is not recommended to run cables through the air from the roof to a pole or tree. This could be dangerous if the cable falls or breaks. Under the ground or along a wall is always the safest option for cable runs. Another precaution is to use wires and connectors with UV protection.
Outdoor TV Mount
An outdoor wall mount is the most popular way to install an outdoor TV. Outdoor wall mounts are identical to indoor mounts, except they typically provide better anti-rust and anti-corrosion protection. Outdoor mounts should only be used with fully protected outdoor TVs. These TVs are manufactured with all-weather protection and don’t need an enclosure for protection.
It would be best to have a wall mount with a pivot or swivel to change the viewing position depending on your outdoor activity. The swivel will let you angle the TV away from harsh light on sunny days.
Outdoor TV Stand
If you don’t have a wall to mount your outdoor TV, the next best thing is an outdoor TV stand. If you are concerned about theft, using an outdoor TV stand allows you to move the TV indoors when not in use. Outdoor TV stands also give you more options for TV placement. You are no longer confined to the wall, but you can position the TV anywhere on your patio or even in the garden.
Outdoor TV Cabinet
Outdoor TV cabinets are popular for those who want an outdoor TV but don’t want it hidden or protected when not in use. If you plan to install a TV in a garden entertainment area with no cover, a TV cabinet is the way to go. When not used, the TV can be stowed inside the cabinet, protected from the elements. Some cabinets even come with automatic lift mechanisms so you can open and stow the TV with the touch of a button.
Outdoor TV Covers
Whichever method you choose to install your outdoor TV, when it’s not in use, you want to ensure you provide the best protection for your investment. Outdoor TV covers are inexpensive and are designed to offer superior protection against the elements. These covers usually wrap around the TV completely, offering maximum protection from rain and snow.
Getting an outdoor TV cover is crucial, as indoor TV covers do not provide adequate weatherproof properties.
Pro tip: if you are using a TV cover near the ocean, wipe down the entire TV with a soft, slightly damp rag or chamois cloth. This will ensure you remove the salt condensation from the TV before covering it.
Outdoor TV Enclosure
Another wall mount option is an outdoor TV enclosure. These enclosures are a great option if your TV is not fully weatherproof or you want to mount your outdoor TV where it’s exposed to direct rain or sunlight. Outdoor TV enclosures are usually airtight and temperature controlled to provide maximum protection. If you experience extreme heat or cold conditions, installing your TV in an enclosure may be a good idea, even if it is fully weatherproofed.
TV enclosures are simple to install; however, they require you to follow instructions carefully to protect your TV.
Sound for Your Outdoor TV
Sound is something many people forget to consider when installing an outdoor TV. The audio might be an issue if you install your TV in an enclosure or cabinet. Even if you’re using a wall mount bracket, you’ll find hearing a TV outdoors more challenging. This is because the sound is not contained, and there is more noise to contend with.
Installing some outdoor speakers is a good solution. The sound can be directed toward your desired viewing position, allowing you to hear better. A soundbar often compliments a TV set up well, and quite a few of our TVs on the list are sold with their own soundbars. There are, of course, many good soundbars for you to choose from on the market. You may think installing speakers might create more noise for your neighbors; however, you’ll find the opposite true. With better-quality sound, you can hear the TV at lower levels.
Most people use streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others to watch TV. When choosing a position to install your outdoor TV, make sure you can pick up your home WiFi. For streaming services, you’ll need a stable WiFi connection, so installing a WiFi range extender to cover the backyard might be an idea. If you extend your WiFi range, use a strong password so people in and around the neighborhood don’t access your connection.
As you can see, installing an outdoor television requires a lot to consider. Take time to decide on the right solution and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. I know this seems obvious, but with outdoor TV installations, you’re dealing with expensive equipment and electricity.
Invest in a cover No matter how you install your TV. This inexpensive item could save you thousands of dollars in time and equipment. A cover is especially important for installations near the ocean.
Don’t forget things like WiFi connectivity and cable TV. WiFi is tricky, especially when the TV is inside an enclosure. If you have connectivity issues, use a WiFi extender or run an ethernet cable directly from your router to the TV.