How To Install An Outdoor TV


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 a piece of heaven. Watching a scary movie outside at night makes the experience that much 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.

Safety First

There are a few safety considerations you may want to take into account when installing your outdoor TV. The first has to do with the actual mounting position, especially when it comes to sheetrock.

If you’re installing the mount on a sheetrock wall, make sure you distribute the bracket evenly between the studs. The manufacturer will usually include instructions for dimensions and spacing. It’s essential you follow these guidelines for sheetrock walls to ensure the TV does not fall and break or worse, 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 out in the yard, it’s best to dig a trench to install the cabling. For added protection, you might want to use a PVC conduit or pipe to run the cables through. This will ensure the cables don’t become brittle over time.

It is not recommended to run cables through the air from, say, 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

The most popular way to install an outdoor TV is using an outdoor wall mount. 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’s recommended you get a wall mount with a pivot or swivel so you can change the viewing position depending on your outdoor activity. The swivel will also enable you to 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. No longer are you confined to the wall but can position the TV anywhere on your patio or even out in the garden.

Outdoor TV Cabinet

Outdoor TV cabinets are popular for those who want an outdoor TV but don’t want it to be hidden or protected when not in use. If you’re planning to install a TV out in a garden entertainment area with no cover, a TV cabinet is definitely the way to go. When not in use, 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 make sure 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, make sure you wipe down the entire TV with a soft, slightly damp rag or chamois cloth. This will ensure you get all the salt condensation off 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, it may be a good idea to install your TV in an enclosure, even if it is fully weatherproofed.

TV enclosures are simple to install; however, they require you to follow instructions carefully to ensure your TV is adequately protected.

Sound for Your Outdoor TV

Sound is something many people forget to consider when installing an outdoor TV. If you are choosing to install your TV in an enclosure or cabinet, the audio might be an issue. Even if you’re using a wall mount bracket, you’ll find it’s more challenging to hear a TV outdoors. 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 towards your desired viewing position, allowing you to hear better. A soundbar often compliments a TV setup 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 to be true. With better quality sound you’ll be able to hear the TV at lower levels.

WiFi Connectivity

Most people use streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and others to watch TV these days. When choosing a position to install your outdoor TV, make sure you’re able to pick up your home WiFi. For streaming services, you’ll need a stable WiFi connection so it might be an idea to install a WiFi range extender to cover the backyard. If you extend your WiFi range, make sure you use a strong password, so people in and around the neighborhood don’t access your connection.

Installation Conclusion

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when installing an outdoor television. 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.

No matter how you choose to install your TV, invest in a cover. This inexpensive item could end up saving 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 are having issues with connectivity, use a WiFi extender, or better, run an ethernet cable directly from your router to the TV.

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Author: Matt Hallowes

Matt has worked as a sound engineer and tour manager since 2003. His work as a sound engineer includes both live production and venue installations. With a passion for the industry, Matt shares his knowledge and expertise with us.

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