Landscape & Hardscape Ideas, Project Planning & Tips

Another way to binge on the patio: An outdoor TV

Football season and binge watching are elevated to another level when you include an outdoor TV in your patio design.

A long weekend filled with snacks and an unwatched season of your favorite TV show. A Sunday with fellow fans watching the game. A movie just released for streaming. These are banner weekend plans! But what if you could enjoy the outdoors without giving up your precious viewing time? An outdoor TV might be just the ticket.

When you want some fresh air but still want to watch your show or your den is piled too-high with friends and food every Sunday, it’s time to move the party outside. An entire line of televisions have been designed specifically to be mounted outdoors. These TVs are sealed against dust and moisture and have internal temperature-control units that allow them to function in very hot or very cold weather. Many different models exist, but be sure to look only at televisions that are made for outdoor use. Here are a few TV-patio ideas to think about while you start your search for an outdoor TV.

Planning the patio for a TV

The optimal place for an outdoor TV is under a roof. Outdoor TVs are self-shielded against the elements, but harboring them helps add to their lifespan. And although outdoor TVs are sealed against water, keep the unit well away from pool splash zones. Chlorinated water may erode the sealing and damage the screen over time.

Direct sunlight on the screen will severely impact the viewing quality. Orient the television screen due north if you can. Avoid facing the screen southeast which gets the most direct sun. Start your patio design with the TV as the centerpiece.

Viewing distance 

The best viewing experiences, according to organizations like the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, are had when the screen fills 30% of a viewer’s field of vision. For example, for 55-inch television, the best distance for sports viewing would be at 7.5 feet away. For a more movie theater experience (i.e. for watching shows and movies, not sports), a viewer would sit at 5.5 feet away from the same 55-inch TV.

There are distance calculators online to help you determine the ideal horizontal space between the TV and seating. If you’ll be watching both sports and movies on the TV, consider furnishings that are easily moved 2-3 feet to accommodate the best viewing distance.

Sound distance

The openness of outdoor spaces allows sound to travel. Unfortunately, those sound waves keep on going when there are no walls to bounce off of. Too much sound can disturb the peace of the neighborhood, but too little can ruin your viewing experience. All-weather outdoor speakers have been adapted from the concert business for use on the patio. Consider boosting the TVs sound with a set of surround sound speakers that can be mounted on posts, set on the pavers, or concealed in greenery.

Use only outdoor-rated accessories and qualified installers

Indoor TV mounts and cables won’t last outdoors and can be dangerous. Look for an outdoor-rated, full-motion TV mount that is compatible with your TV model.

Adding a multimedia element to a patio is standard practice for reliable hardscaping contractors. The electrical volts running through the cables, the wifi, bluetooth, fiber-optics, etc. all should be installed by a qualified electrician. Your hardscaping provider will have licensed electricians on hand to install the needed connections as the patio is being built.

Plan ahead

If you’re thinking about a new patio, plan for a TV even if you do not intend to install one at this time. Having the connections installed and ready to use will save time and money later. Talk to a hardscaping contractor about giving your dream home a dream patio, too.

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