What's Better? Outdoor TV Cabinets vs Outdoor TVs
Why Outdoor TV Cabinets are Better than Outdoor TVs
Creating a relaxing outdoor living space at home with features like outdoor TVs, pools, hot tubs, outdoor kitchens, lounges, and more is becoming extremely popular. Bringing the indoors out and getting a weatherproof TV allows anyone to enjoy the outdoors all year round. Of course, electronics and outdoor elements don’t mix. The main two options for solving this problem if you want to watch TV outside are choosing an outdoor TV or an outdoor TV cabinet. The first is an all-in-one weather resistant TV that can be installed outside. The second, outdoor TV cabinets, allow you to watch, protect and secure any TV (regular off the shelf non-weatherproof TV) in any environment at a fraction of the cost.
Threats and Concerns for Putting TVs Outside
It doesn’t matter where you’re located, you have a weather problem when it comes to having a TV outside. In addition, there are several other TV predators lurking in the outdoors such as pests, people, or even potentially saltwater air that could cause corrosion. Since decent TVs aren’t cheap, you really don’t want to be mixing a regular TV and accompanying media boxes or Roku sticks with these outdoor threats. Otherwise, you’ll be replacing that TV annually if not faster. Below is a list of outdoor threats to consider.
- Weather and extreme temperatures (hot and cold)
- Water (rain, pool splashes, sprinklers, wash downs)
- Moisture (condensation, dew, steam, humidity, dampness)
- Saltwater air and corrosion
- Dust (grime build up)
- Security and tampering (burglary, theft, vandalism, attempted destruction of product)
- Pests (Bugs, insects)
- High impact (storms, branches, baseballs, flying objects)
Outdoor TV Cabinet and Outdoor TV Solutions
To solve these concerns, outdoor TVs and outdoor TV cabinets have different solutions.
Outdoor TVs –
Due to the nature of and design of outdoor TVs, they are able to address some but not all of the concerns for putting a TV outside. An outdoor TV is typically a basic bare-bones TV (without bells and whistles) in an integral casing to ensure it is waterproof. Essentially this means consumers end up usually investing in expensive low-tech TVs and miss out on the newest features. They usually allow for insulation against the cold and allow airflow to reduce humidity. Unfortunately, the quality of the TV and the picture is often compromised. In addition, if things go wrong which they might especially since these TVs are outdoors - it’s very hard to fix electronics which are inside an integral casing and still ensure it is waterproof.
Outdoor TVs do tend to stand up well against theft since they can be difficult to remove from the wall. However, they typically won’t fare so well against high impact such as pool toys soaring through the air, baseballs, flying objects during storms, vandalism and the like because the TV screen is breakable glass and not protected behind an enclosure.
Another important consideration is that outdoor TVs do tend to cost considerably more for less features and benefits. Weatherproof TVs come with an eye-watering price tag for TVs that don’t offer full impact resistance.
The Best Outdoor TVs
If you want to buy an outdoor TV to binge-watch your favorite TV shows or catch the game out in the fresh air, but don’t know where to start, then you’ll want to keep reading. We're sharing our top picks of outdoor TVs this year.
What to Consider When Buying an Outdoor TV
As we now know, most standard TVs can't withstand the elements without an outdoor TV enclosure, but, not all outdoor TVs offer the same protection and versatility. Some may be suitable for covered patios and decks. Typically, only very high cost outdoor TVs withstand harsh impact, rain, snow, etc.. Even then, high quality outdoor TV enclosures are the most reliable outdoor TV solution to withstand rough conditions. There are many factors to consider when buying an outdoor TV, such as size, sound quality, and price.
One thing to consider when buying an outdoor TV is your home network. If you have a great WiFi network with strong outdoor coverage, then products like the Samsung Terrace Smart Outdoor TV could be a good option if you want to upgrade the TV and use the built-in TV apps like YouTubeTV, Netflix, Hulu, etc. A strong network and built-in apps mean you do not have to run a separate cable or another line to the TV to watch content. Depending on how you set up your outdoor audio, a stable Wi-Fi connection is also important for controlling volume and other audio streams.
Just because you are watching TV outside does not mean you cannot enjoy crisp ultra-high-definition content. These 4K TVs also support High Dynamic Range (HDR) for enhanced contrast and color. You can find all the details in our articles about 4K and HDR.
Many outdoor TVs do not include speakers. If you plan to host movie nights or parties outdoors, upgrade the sound so that your outdoor viewing experience is comparable to that in your media room. Think about how much you need to turn up the volume on your indoor TV when listening through the TV's built-in speakers versus a soundbar or stereo. Now imagine that the TV is outdoors and not only that, competing with outside noise. Unless it's in a reasonably enclosed area like a covered porch and you are sitting in close proximity, you'll want a soundbar or other powered speakers to enhance your viewing experience.
Top Outdoor TVs to Buy in 2022
Here’s our list of outdoor televisions that made the cut:
- Samsung QN65LST9T "The Terrace"
- Sony BRAVIA MASTER Series XR-85Z9K
- SEURA STM3-86 ULTRA BRIGHT OUTDOOR TELEVISION
Looking for an Alternative to Purchasing an Outdoor TV?
Outdoor TV Cabinets –
The best outdoor TV cabinets on the other hand, address all outdoor TV threats by creating a fit-for-purpose enclosure. These cabinets are weatherproof and durable. They prevent water entry, ensure airflow to reduce moisture intrusion and insulate against extreme temperatures. You can put any TV you like in it or even add and protect additional media players like Apple TV, Roku, or Amazon Fire Sticks (which outdoor TVs cannot protect). The materials used to produce quality outdoor TV cabinets such as The TV Shield offer 20+ year durability. They are designed to be opened and closed. This means you can access the TV or media players inside with ease.
The TV Shield PRO:
The best engineered outdoor TV cabinets are shatterproof - making them tough against flying objects and wildlife. They have two metal-chambered and keyed locks to stop a would-be thief. And, when it comes to watching the TV, you can watch it with the clear front panel closed or prop the screen’s front panel up, if you want.
Be aware that not all outdoor TV enclosures are created equal. Some aren’t constructed using as durable of materials as others or don’t offer the same features that make enclosures like the extremely affordable The TV Shield and top-of-the-line The TV Shield PRO so popular. For example, other models may not offer clear front screens for protection even when viewing. They may offer non-clear covers that must be removed to use the TV, which leaves the TV vulnerable say to kids throwing around a ball in the yard or other threats.
So, what’s your verdict? An outdoor TV cabinet seems like the clear winner.
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