Outdoor TVs are becoming more and more popular to keep guests entertained or provide the ultimate outdoor relaxation experience. Most TVs aren't designed to be exposed to the elements, and those engineered for the outdoors are typically expensive. The alternative is to buy an indoor TV and install it in an enclosure designed to protect it from the elements. Most of the TVs in this article aren't designed for outdoor use, so we suggest placing them in a protected area away from direct sunlight and any potential rain. It's important when choosing a TV like this to make sure that it has excellent reflection handling and can get bright enough to combat glare.
We've tested more than 90 TVs under the latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best outdoor TVs you can buy. You can also check our picks for the best smart TVs, the best 4k TVs, and the best budget TVs.
The Samsung The Terrace is the best outdoor TV we've tested with an LED panel. Unlike most TVs we test, this one is designed for use outdoors, so it has better build quality and more outdoor-specific features. It has an exceptionally sturdy build with the entire frame made of metal, and it has a cover for the inputs to protect it from the elements. It's even rated IP55 to be water-resistant from rain.
As it's made for outdoor use, it's extremely bright and, combined with its outstanding reflection handling, glare shouldn't be an issue even if the sun is facing it. If you want to watch movies at night, its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks, the black uniformity is exceptional, and it has a decent full-array local dimming feature. You shouldn't need to connect any streaming boxes because the Tizen OS is user-friendly, and it has a ton of apps available to download. The TV doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content either.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not a good choice for wide seating arrangements because the image looks inaccurate from the side. It also has some uniformity issues with large areas of solid colors as the edges look darker, but it's not that big of an issue and varies between units. Regardless, this is the best outdoor TV we've tested.
If you don't want something that expensive, then look into the Samsung QN90A QLED. It's not built for the outdoors like the Samsung The Terrace, so you may need to place it in a dedicated enclosure, depending on what your setup is like. However, it still gets bright enough to fight glare, and the reflection handling is fantastic. It also has fairly wide viewing angles, thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, making it a better choice for wide seating areas. Our unit has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated, but this can also vary between units. If you also want to use it for gaming, it has HDMI 2.1 inputs, low input lag, and a quick response time.
If you want the best outdoor TV we've tested with an LED panel, The Terrace is a fantastic choice, but if you want to spend less on an indoor TV, look into the QN90A.
The best TV for outside nighttime viewing that we've tested is the LG C1 OLED. It delivers stunning picture quality that should please most people thanks to its ability to turn off individual pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast for perfect blacks. It's well-built, but since it's not specifically designed for outdoor use, it's best to place it in a proper enclosure.
It's better to use this TV at night instead of during the day because OLEDs don't get very bright, and direct sunlight can damage individual pixels. Still, if you want to use it in a seating environment with a few outdoor lights, it has fantastic reflection handling. As mentioned, blacks look deep and inky, and there's no blooming around bright objects either. If you don't want to connect any extra streaming devices, the built-in webOS has a ton of apps available to download, and the Magic Remote offers voice-controlled features.
Sadly, OLEDs risk permanent burn-in, which could happen with constant exposure to static elements. However, we only expect this to be an issue if you're going to use it as a PC monitor, and we don't expect there to be any burn-in for those who watch varied content. Also, its HDR brightness is just okay, and there's banding in gradients. If that doesn't bother you, then this is the best outdoor TV with an OLED panel.
If you don't mind spending more on something with better HDR performance for movie lovers, then check out the Sony A90J OLED. It lacks the gaming features that the LG C1 OLED has, but if you're using it for streaming HDR content outdoors, that shouldn't make a difference. Instead, the Sony likely uses the new evo panel, allowing it to get brighter in HDR, so highlights pop more. It also has much better out-of-the-box accuracy, and it has better image processing in terms of gradient handling, so you won't notice much banding, if at all. It still delivers the same fantastic picture quality in dark scenes thanks to the near-infinite contrast ratio, and the Google TV interface is great overall.
If you want the best TV for outdoor use with an OLED panel, you can't go wrong with the LG, but if you don't have a price budget and pure movie performance is important to you, look into the Sony.
The best outdoor TV for watching sports that we've tested is the Samsung QN85A QLED. It's a step down from the Samsung QN90A QLED, but it's a better choice for watching sports because it has an IPS-like panel with wider angles, great for wide seating areas. However, like the QN90A, it's not designed for outdoor use, so keep it away from the elements.
It also uses Mini LED backlighting, so it gets extremely bright, and combined with its outstanding reflection handling, glare shouldn't be an issue even in the brightest of environments. Our unit has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest, but this can vary between units. It doesn't have issues upscaling lower-resolution content if you want to use a cable box, and if you tend to stream your sports, the built-in Tizen OS has a great selection of apps available through the app store.
Sadly, our unit has some dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting during sports, but can also vary between units. Since it has an IPS-like panel, it has a low native contrast ratio, and even though it has a local dimming feature, there's still blooming around bright objects. This shouldn't be an issue for watching sports, so this TV is still one of the best outdoor TVs we've tested.
The best TV for outside in the budget category that we've tested is the Hisense U6G. It delivers great overall performance, competing with higher-end models, and it's an impressive choice if you're going to use it outside during the day or at night. Like most TVs in this recommendation, it's designed for indoor use, and the build quality is decent, so it's best to use an enclosure for it.
Visibility shouldn't be an issue even in the brightest conditions because it has excellent reflection handling and easily gets bright enough to combat glare, which is great for a budget TV. If you want to use it at night, it has an excellent native contrast ratio with remarkable black uniformity and a decent full-array local dimming feature that improves the picture quality in dark scenes. It doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, like cable TV or some streaming programs, and you can cast anything you want from your phone.
Unfortunately, it has a VA panel with narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate if you watch it from the side. Also, its speakers don't produce much bass, so you won't get the best sound experience possible if you don't use a soundbar, but at least they get loud. Overall, this is the best outdoor TV that you can get at a low cost.
Oct 12, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the TCL R745, LG QNED90, Vizio P Series Quantum 2021, and Sony X95J to Notable Mentions.
Aug 16, 2021: Added the Sony A90J as 'HDR Alternative' and replaced the Hisense H8G with the Hisense U6G; added the Sony X85J and LG G1 to Notable Mentions.
Jun 21, 2021: Replaced the LG CX with the newer C1; moved the Samsung QN90A to 'Cheaper Alternative' to Samsung The Terrace, removed the Vizio Quantum X, and added the Samsung QN85A for consistency with other recommendations; updated Notable Mentions.
Apr 22, 2021: Replaced the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED with the Samsung QN90A QLED because it gets brighter and has a faster response time. Added the Q90T and the Samsung QN85A QLED to Notable Mentions.
Feb 23, 2021: Moved the Sony X950H to Notable Mentions from 'Best Large TV' because the other TVs in the recommendation are also available in large sizes.
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.