Outdoor TVs are becoming more and more popular as a way to keep guests entertained or provide the ultimate outdoor relaxation experience. Most TVs aren't designed to be exposed to the elements. Some TVs have been engineered for the outdoors, but these 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 take extra care 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 sun. It should also have wide viewing angles, as an outdoor patio is typically larger than a living room.
We've tested more than 80 TVs in the past two years, 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 with an LED panel that we've tested is the Samsung The Terrace. This is a unique TV specifically designed for outdoor use, and because of its special features, it delivers exceptional performance in bright environments. It's an extremely well-built TV that's made to battle the elements, and it's certified to have IP55 water resistance, but this isn't something we test for.
Due to its specific design and usage, it's one of the brightest TVs we've tested. It easily gets bright enough to combat glare, and if that isn't enough for you, it also has outstanding reflection handling. You can easily put it on your outdoor patio, and visibility shouldn't be an issue in most cases. Samsung's Tizen interface is easy to use and has an excellent selection of apps available to download, so you should be able to find all your favorite streaming services directly on it. Also, the TV has an ambient mode that makes it look like a piece of art when enabled.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, which is disappointing for an outdoor TV because you quickly lose image accuracy when viewing off-center. It's also advertised to have HDMI 2.1 support, but it doesn't currently work and skips frames. However, this shouldn't be much of an issue unless you plan on gaming outside. All things considered, this is the best outdoor TV that we've tested.
If you want to save some money and are fine with a standard TV that isn't specially designed for outdoor use, check out the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020. While it isn't water-resistant like the Samsung The Terrace and doesn't reach the same exceptional peak brightness, it's still among the brightest LED TVs we've tested, with enough brightness to combat glare and excellent reflection handling. It also has a fantastic contrast ratio, so blacks look deep and inky, making it well-suited to nighttime viewing as well. Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not the best for wide seating arrangements.
Go with the Samsung if you want the best outdoor TV that's specifically designed for outdoor use, but if you want something cheaper, the Vizio is a great alternative.
The best outdoor TV for night use that we've tested is the LG CX. It's a well-built entry-level OLED that can individually turn off pixels, resulting in a nearly infinite contrast ratio and perfect black uniformity. This means blacks appear deep and inky when viewed in the dark, and there are no uniformity issues like backlit bleed or blooming around bright objects in dark scenes.
It delivers stunning picture quality that most people should be happy with. It has an excellent color gamut for HDR content, and it gets decently bright to bring out highlights. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, upscales lower-resolution content without any problems, and can remove judder from all sources. It has very wide viewing angles, so images remain accurate when viewed from the side. It also has outstanding reflection handling, but it doesn't get very bright, which is why it's recommended for nighttime use.
Unfortunately, like any OLED, it isn't immune to permanent burn-in. This should only be a real problem if you constantly watch content with static elements, like the news. However, if you're using it to watch movies or shows for a few hours every night, it shouldn't be an issue. All in all, it's packed with features and looks great in the dark, making it the best outdoor TV for nighttime watching that we've tested.
The best outdoor TV we've tested for watching sports is the Samsung QN90A QLED. It's not designed specifically for outdoor use like the Samsung The Terrace, but it manages to achieve the same exceptionally high peak brightness, making it ideal for overcoming glare in even the brightest conditions. To top it off, it handles reflections incredibly well and is just a sleek, well-built TV.
It's a great choice for sports thanks to its viewing angles which, thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer, are wider than a typical VA panel. That means you can accommodate more people in a wider seating arrangement than you would otherwise. It also has an excellent response time, resulting in clear motion in fast-moving sports, and it has both a Black Frame Insertion feature and motion interpolation to reduce blur even further.
Unfortunately, our unit has a bit of dirty screen effect, which can be a little distracting during content with large areas of uniform color, like a hockey rink or football field. However, screen uniformity can vary a bit between individual units. On the upside, the TV gets quite loud, so volume shouldn't be an issue in busier outdoor settings if you don't have dedicated speakers, and there's not much distortion either. All in all, this is the best TV for outdoor use when it comes to watching sports.
The best outdoor TV in the budget category that we've tested is the Hisense H8G. It's a simple, inexpensive model that should please most people. The built-in Android TV offers a ton of apps available to download, so you won't need to buy an external box, keeping your outdoor setup clean. It has built-in Android TV, which offers a ton of apps available to download and is compatible with Google Assistant for voice control.
It has great peak brightness in SDR, enough to combat some glare, but like any TV, it may be best to place it in a shaded area instead of having direct sunlight on it. It has a VA panel, producing deep blacks, and it has a decent full-array local dimming feature, so it's a good choice for nighttime viewing. It supports HDR10+ and Dolby Vision, and it displays a wide color gamut for HDR content, but it doesn't get very bright in that mode.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not suggested for a wide seating arrangement outside. It has decent reflection handling, but the reflections may be too distracting if there's direct sunlight on it. Fortunately, it upscales lower-resolution content without any issues, which is also great for watching cable sports. All in all, if you're on a budget, this is one of the best outdoor TVs we've tested.
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.
Jan 04, 2021: Minor text and structure changes. No change in recommendations.
Nov 03, 2020: Removed the Samsung Q80T, Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019, and LG UN7300; added the Samsung The Terrace, Vizio P Series Quantum X, and Samsung Q90T.
Sep 04, 2020: Replaced the LG B9 OLED with the CX OLED; replaced the LG UM7300 with the Hisense H8G; added the LG UN7300.
Jul 07, 2020: Replaced the LG SM9500 with the Samsung Q80T; replaced the Sony X900F with the X950H; updated Notable Mentions.
May 08, 2020: Only minor updates to the text and verification for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
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.