Outdoor TVs are becoming more and more popular as a way to keep guests entertained or simply provide the ultimate outdoor relaxation. Most TVs aren't designed to be exposed to the elements. Some TVs have been engineered for the outdoors, but these are typically expensive and their performance isn't very good. The alternative is to buy an indoor TV and install it in an enclosure designed to protect it from the elements and avoid putting yourself at risk. None of the TVs in this article are designed for outdoor use, so extra care must be taken if you decide to use them outside. It's important when choosing a TV like this to make sure that it has excellent reflection handling to minimize glare and that it can get bright enough to be visible in the bright sun. It should also have wide viewing angles, as an outdoor patio is typically larger than a living room.
We've reviewed more than 200 TVs and below are our recommendations for the best outdoor TVs you can buy. You can also check our recommendations for the best smart TVs, the best 4k TVs, and the best budget TVs.
The best outdoor TV we've tested so far is the LG SM9500. While it isn't designed specifically for outdoor use, it can get very bright, allowing it to easily fight glare and outdoor reflections. It has good picture quality and thanks to its IPS panel, it continues to look good even when viewed from the side, making it great for outdoor use where you may not be sitting directly in front of the TV.
Unfortunately, while the IPS panel helps with viewing angles, it also means this TV has poor contrast ratio, so blacks appear gray when watching in a very dark environment. While the TV does have local dimming, it doesn't work as well as some other models, so while it can help with black levels, it tends to be very aggressive and crushes a lot of highlights. On the bright side, this TV is great for gaming thanks to its very fast response time and low input lag, which is great if you want to have a Super Smash Bros. competition outside.
If you're looking for a TV that you can use outside during the day without needing to sit directly in front of it, this is a great choice; just make sure to take the proper precautions to protect it from the elements, as it isn't necessarily intended for this use.
If you usually watch TV in the dark, check out the LG B9, the best OLED outdoor TV for night use we've tested to date. Just like all OLED TVs, its picture quality is excellent and HDR content pops. It's also an excellent TV for watching sports or playing video games thanks to its nearly-instantaneous response time and the very low input lag. It's very similar to its predecessor, the LG C8 OLED, but it's more future-proof as it supports HDMI 2.1, though this doesn't currently add much functionality.
Unfortunately, just like all OLED TVs, it has the chance of temporary image retention and even permanent burn-in, but this is unlikely to be an issue for most people that watch normal, varied content. On the upside, it has perfect uniform blacks thanks to OLED's ability to switch off individual pixels, which results in an exceptional movie-watching experience when in the dark, making it great for outdoor movie nights.
Overall, this TV delivers outstanding performance in most uses. Unfortunately, it can't get very bright to fight glare from the sun, so it's best for nighttime use. Note that OLEDs, like most TVs, can get damaged from exposure to direct sunlight, so make sure to take precautions to protect the TV and yourself from the risks of using an indoor TV outside.
If you live in a very sunny environment and want a TV that can handle even the brightest of days, the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 is the best outdoor TV for bright settings that we've tested so far. It's one of the brightest TVs we've tested, so it can easily fight glare in the sun and will do a good job at minimizing reflections. The picture quality is great and it does an amazing job with HDR content, though this will look better at night.
Unfortunately, the viewing angles aren't as wide as the LG SM9500, so it's better suited for setups where you'll be more or less directly in front of the TV, or else the image quality will degrade. On the upside, it's great for watching sports thanks to its very fast response time, and its low input lag makes it great for gaming as well.
As with all the other TVs on this list, this TV isn't designed for outdoor use and you'll want to make sure to take precautions to protect it from the elements if you're going to use it for this purpose. That being said, if you live in a very sunny climate and want a bright TV that will help fight glare and reflections, this is an outstanding choice.
The best large outdoor TV we've reviewed so far is the Sony XBR85X900F. This is a great TV for bright environments, as it has an excellent peak brightness that can overcome glare easily and it has impressive reflection handling. Its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio that allows it to produce inky blacks and it has a full-array local dimming that performs decently well. Gray uniformity is good, with only some vignetting around the corners, but sadly, its viewing angles are poor, causing images to degrade when viewed from the side.
Motion handling is truly exceptional on this TV. It has a fast response time that leaves very little blur trail in fast-moving scenes, and it has a black frame insertion feature that can further clear up the image. For gaming, it has a great 120Hz refresh rate and low input lag, although it may be a tad too high for serious gamers and there's no FreeSync support. It has excellent color accuracy out of the box, and its wide color gamut helps deliver HDR content full of vivid, vibrant colors.
With Android TV, there's an abundance of apps available through the Google Play Store. It doesn't always run smoothly, but it's user-friendly and you can also get help from the Google Assistant through voice control. On the whole, this is an impressive TV for every type of content, no matter where you use it.
The best budget outdoor TV we've tested so far is the LG UM7300. It has a decent peak brightness that's more suitable for an averagely-lit room; however, it's its reflection handling that truly stands out, with a semi-gloss finish that diffuses light impressively well. It has an IPS panel with wide viewing angles, which is great for large patios, and the screen has very little dirty screen effect, making it a good choice for watching sports.
The response time on this TV is excellent, delivering a clear picture with minimal motion blur. Its input lag is superbly low if you want to do some gaming as well, but the refresh rate is limited to 60Hz and it doesn't have FreeSync support. Lower resolution content like cable TV or sports is upscaled without any issues or artifacts, and although the TV support HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut and can't get bright enough for a satisfying HDR experience.
If you use streaming services, LG's app store is well-stocked and its WebOS interface is very easy to use. It comes with a remote that has a built-in mic, so you can use voice control to search for content. Overall, if you're looking for a large TV for use outdoors without spending a fortune, you should take a look at this.
05/08/2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
11/08/2019: Replaced the Vizio P Series Quantum 2018 with the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 and the LG C8 with the LG B9.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best outdoor TVs to buy for most people. We factor in the price (a cheaper TV wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no TVs that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our reviews of TVs. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no TV is perfect, most TVs are great enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.