Outdoor TVs are becoming more and more popular as a way to keep guests entertained or simply for the ultimate outdoor relaxation. Most TVs aren't designed to be exposed to the elements. There are TVs that have been engineered for the outdoors, but these are typically prohibitively expensive and not very good. The alternative is to buy an indoor TV and install it in an enclosure designed to protect it from the elements. It is important when choosing such a TV that it has excellent reflection handling to minimize glare and that it can get bright enough to be clearly visible in the bright sun. It should also have wide viewing angles, as an outdoor patio is typically larger than a living room.
Not many TVs meet the requirements for a good outdoor TV; below are our recommendations for the best outdoor TVs you can get in 2019.
Note: Prices and availability fluctuate a lot at the beginning of the year. Most manufacturers have started releasing replacements for their TV lines since the beginning of the year. Usually, these TVs tend to launch at very high prices and it is unlikely that these newer models will become reasonable choices until the latter half of the year, thus keeping the 2018 models in our recommendations for a few more months.
The best TV for outdoor use we’ve tested so far is the LG SK9500. It can get very bright to fight outdoor ambient glare and has excellent reflection handling that can minimize the distraction of the many outdoor lights. The SK9500 has a good picture quality with wide viewing angles and can accommodate a wide seating arrangement, which is common when watching TV outside. It has a fast response time, so motion looks crisp and a low input lag that should please gamers.
Unfortunately, if you watch TV on the patio during a very dark night, you might notice that blacks tend to look gray due to the IPS panel that fails to produce a high native contrast ratio.
Overall, the LG is a great TV for watching outdoors during those warm summer nights. Don’t forget, however, that just like all TVs in this article, it is important to protect it from the elements as it is not designed for outdoor use.
If you want an OLED TV that you will be taking out on the porch on the good summer nights, then get the LG C8. Just like all of our picks, the C8 can get damaged by nature's elements. The OLEDs, however, can also be damaged by direct sunlight even when off, so you should only take it out after sunset.
This TV has perfect blacks that look great. It can get bright enough and can handle the reflections of the porch's night lights well. The viewing angles are very good and allow the picture to stay accurate when you watch the TV from the side, which usually happens when outside.
The C8 has excellent motion handling with fast response time and a very small blur trail, so it is a great option for watching the big summer games with your friends. And if you like video games, this TV has a low input lag to keep you happy.
If you plan to have most of your outdoor TV watching during the daytime and you find that the brightness of the LG SK9500 is not enough, then check out the Vizio P Series Quantum. The P Series Quantum does not have the wide viewing angles found on the LG, so you should be seated directly in front to enjoy the best picture quality.
On the other hand, the PQ65-F1 can get much brighter and will fight daylight glare better than the LG. Vizio has equipped the TV with a glossy finish that does a good job in minimizing the distraction from reflections, so you don’t have to worry too much about it. Overall this TV offers a great picture quality and a great HDR experience which you will enjoy most in the dark of the night. Just like all TVs in the article, this one has to be protected from the elements.
If you are looking for the largest TV to use outside that performs well both in daylight and at night, then get the Sony XBR85X900F. It is an 85'' TV that will give you the feeling of an outdoor summer cinema.
Unfortunately, the TV is not designed for outside use, so you will have to protect it from the elements, and its large size will not make it easy to move in and out. If you overcome these obstacles, you will enjoy a TV with great picture quality, deep blacks, vivid colors, and great motion handling that will allow you to enjoy some excellent movie nights. The Sony X900F can also get very bright and can overcome glare to display your favorite daytime TV show.
Finally, this TV has a great low input lag that will keep most casual gamers happy, but unfortunately, it has poor viewing angles so those of you seated on the side will not have the best possible picture quality.
If our top picks are out of your price range, the Sony X720E is the best budget outdoor TV we've tested. This TV isn't as bright and has worse reflection handling than the LG SK9500, so it isn't as well-equipped for overcoming glare. It has even wider viewing angles, which is great for a wide outdoor entertainment area.
Fast motion scenes look decent on this TV, and it has good gray uniformity, great for watching sports in the afternoon. It also has excellent low input lag, which is great for gaming outdoors with a bunch of friends.
Like the LG SK9500, this TV wasn't intended for outdoor use, so it is important to have a proper enclosure for it.
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.