If you’re working on a home with a covered patio or screen porch, you might wonder if you can get away with putting an indoor TV in the space, even thought it’s technically outside. Especially if the home is in a warmer climate where you don’t expect too much precipitation.
Here are seven reasons you should never even think about putting an indoor TV anywhere outside.
Open the first page of any TV manual, and you’ll see a section warning you about the dangers of putting an indoor TV outside. Besides the risk of electrocution, one small short, and your cheap TV can cause some pretty expensive damage.
“Indoor TVs are not designed for exposure to the elements like rain, snow, and extreme temperatures,” explains JD Fulks, Senior Product Manager at Snap One.
“In fact, most indoor TV manuals warn against using an indoor TV outdoors, which can void the warranty and lead to dangerous consequences like electrical shock or fire. For this reason, outdoor TV certification for all-weather use by an independent lab (like UL) is essential to verify the product can be used safely outdoors. SunBrite Outdoor TVs are UL-Certified for outdoor use.
If you think that indoor TV is safe under your patio, think again. Humidity, dust, and sunlight can all compromise the inner workings of your device.
“Most indoor TVs have plastic cases, which typically include openings for ventilation. They are designed for climate-controlled indoor areas. Exposure to rain, snow, high humidity, extreme temperatures, and insects can easily ruin internal electronics.
“Quality, built-for-purpose outdoor TVs are sealed from the elements, have durable cases (in many cases powder-coated aluminum), and have high-spec components for long life in extreme temperatures. Several commercial-grade models also have protective tempered glass shields to help prevent impact damage to screens.”
Outdoor TVs with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of IP54 or above mean the TV will be adequately sealed from water spray or dust from any angle, which would not be present in the design of indoor TVs, says Earl Naegele, Director of Commercial Sales at Peerless-AV.
“The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) sets standards for electrical equipment that will be exposed to the elements. A NEMA 6 rating is a widely accepted industry standard for outdoor TVs as this protects against dirt, ice, and contact with water, while an indoor TV would not be protected.
“Placing indoor TVs outside will result in temporary black spots on the screen (referred to as isotropic blackout) and potential of permanent damage to the LCD panel. Even for outdoor TVs, it’s important to confirm the level of direct sunlight the TV is engineered for before purchasing and installing in a direct sunlight location. Placement is key for any outdoor-rated product.”
No one wants to watch a picture with obtrusive glare or black spots, but that’s what you’ll be faced with when your TV isn’t equipped for the outdoors.
Matthew Barber, Hisense Product Marketing Manager, indoor TVs don’t use the same housing materials or cooling technology as outdoor televisions which make them more susceptible to dramatic temperature swings and glare.
“Generally, I wouldn’t recommend using an indoor TV outside, but I know plenty of people that do. The biggest risk they take is having to replace the TV more frequently to maintain a functional unit in that outdoor location.”
Outdoor spaces have higher ambient light levels than most indoor areas. Outdoor TVs are not only built to be brighter than many indoor TVs, but many feature anti-glare screen technologies and can resist extreme temperatures.
“Additionally, indoor TVs often experience a condition called isotropic blackout from the heat generated from direct sunlight exposure,” Fulks explains.
“This temporarily causes portions of the screen to go black and display no picture at all. Technologies such as SunBrite’s EST (Extended Solar Tolerance) combine heat-resistant screens, anti-heat screen filters, and active heat dissipation with ventilation that moves cool air across the screen and components and exhausts it externally.”
The initial purchase price for indoor TVs is often lower, but the total cost of ownership may be significantly more than an outdoor TV. A true outdoor TV should produce years of enjoyable viewing, while an indoor TV may need to be replaced multiple times and require multiple installations.
The SunBriteTV Veranda Series starts at just $1,499 MSRP, in direct competition with regular 4K TVs on the market.
The difference? Veranda models can stand up to harsh weather and deliver a clear picture for years to come.
5. Warranty Issues
It’s simple: If you install an indoor TV outside, you’re voiding the warranty. So if your picture goes out on the very first day, you’re out of luck (and some serious cash).
True outdoor TVs are warrantied for outdoor use. This means if they develop performance issues within the warranty period even with exposure to the elements the TV was designed for, defects will be covered by the Manufacturer’s Warranty. Indoor TVs are only warrantied for indoor use.
6. Compromised Devices
A TV shock or short due to moisture can cause damage to other connected devices, which means more equipment you may have to replace.
Outdoor TVs like those from SunBrite feature a large weatherproof media bay in the back of the TV. This feature allows for installation and protection of components that are not weatherproof themselves – like cable boxes, HDBaseT and MoIP receivers.
There is nothing better than a job done right the first time. No one wants to research and shop for TVs over and over for the same application and Pros certainly do not want to return to the same job multiple times to simply rehang a TV.
Don’t bother rolling out and setting up a TV every time you want to be outside. With SunBriteTVs, they’re installed once, and last for years.