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 Samsung Q80T QLED. It's a really well-built TV with a sleek and modern style. It delivers impressive overall performance and it's a great choice for any type of use. It also has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you won't need to pay extra to get the TV calibrated.
This TV has remarkable reflection handling, so even glare from direct sunlight isn't distracting, and it has great brightness. It has a VA panel, so it naturally displays deep blacks and it has a full-array local dimming feature to help further deepen any blacks. Its native contrast isn't as good as other VA panels because it has an 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer added on the panel, greatly improving the viewing angles. This is ideal for an outdoor TV as you won't notice the lower contrast ratio if you're watching during the day and you can watch TV in a wide seating arrangement.
Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues as the edges of the screen are darker. On the upside, Samsung's Tizen interface is easy to use and the app store has a large selection of apps available to download, so you likely won't need to get an external setup to watch your favorite content. Overall, this is the best outdoor TV we've tested so far.
The best OLED outdoor TV for night use we've tested to date is the LG B9. 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.
Overall, this TV delivers outstanding performance in most uses. It has amazing reflection handling but unfortunately, it can't get very bright to fight glare from the sun, so it's best for nighttime use. This TV is future-proof as it supports HDMI 2.1, though this doesn't currently add much functionality. 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.
Unfortunately, just like all OLED TVs, it has the chance of 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.
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. 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.
Unfortunately, the viewing angles aren't as wide as the Samsung Q80T QLED, 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. That being said, if you live in a very sunny climate and want a bright TV that helps fight glare and reflections, this is an outstanding choice.
The best outdoor TV available in large sizes is the Sony XBR85X950H. This TV is available in either 75 inch and 85 inch models and it delivers great overall picture quality. It's well-built and it's equipped with Android TV, which has an excellent selection of apps available to download, so you won't need to get an external media device for your outdoor setup.
This is the flagship 4k TV in Sony's 2020 lineup and it has the performance associated with a high-end TV. It has superb reflection handling and sunlight on this TV won't be distracting. It has excellent peak brightness in both SDR and HDR, so it combats glare and brings out highlights in HDR the way they're supposed to. This TV comes with Sony's 'X-Wide Angle' layer, which slightly improves the viewing angles for a VA panel TV at the cost of its contrast. Still, it has a full-array local dimming feature to improve the contrast.
Unfortunately, it's not the most ideal for gaming. It has a great response time but it doesn't support any variable refresh rate technology and its input lag isn't as low as other TVs. Regardless, if you're just going to use it to watch TV or movies outside, it's a great choice.
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, its impressive reflection handling 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 good, 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. If you use streaming services, LG's app store is well-stocked and its WebOS interface is very easy to use.
Lower-resolution content like cable TV or sports is upscaled without any issues or artifacts, and although the TV supports HDR, it can't display a wide color gamut and can't get bright enough for a satisfying HDR experience. Overall, if you're looking for a large TV for use outdoors without spending a fortune, you should take a look at this.
07/07/2020: Replaced the LG SM9500 with the Samsung Q80T; replaced the Sony X900F with the X950H; updated notable mentions.
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.