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 and avoid putting yourself at risk. Most of the TVs in this article aren't 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 tested more than 70 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 we've tested is the Samsung The Terrace. It's a QLED that's specifically designed for outdoor use, and it's the first outdoor-specific TV we've tested. It's exceptionally well-built, and the entire frame is made of metal. There's a cover where the inputs are to protect them from the elements, and this model is rated to have IP55 water resistance, but this isn't something we test for.
The standout feature is how bright it gets. Simply put, it's the brightest we've tested, and combined with its outstanding reflection handling, you shouldn't have any issues using it outside even with direct sunlight on it. Even if you want to watch TV with it at night, its VA panel has an outstanding contrast ratio, incredible black uniformity, and a decent full-array local dimming feature that provide extremely deep blacks. It upscales lower-resolution content without any problems, and the built-in Tizen OS has a ton of apps you can download.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, so you lose image accuracy when viewing from the side. The built-in speakers get very loud, but you may hear some distortion when playing at its max volume. Also, HDR content looks fantastic thanks to its remarkably high peak brightness and wide color gamut. All in all, if you want to buy a TV dedicated for outdoor use, you can't go wrong with this one.
If you want to save some money and get a TV that isn't made for outside use but costs a lot less, check out the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2020. It's not as well made as the Samsung The Terrace, so you may need to place it away from nature's elements. However, it still gets extremely bright, and the reflection handling is amazing, so glare shouldn't be an issue even with the sun directly facing it. Like the Samsung, this also has a VA panel with an outstanding contrast ratio, remarkable black uniformity, and a great local dimming feature. Sadly, that means it also has narrow viewing angles, and you only get the best image when viewing from directly in front. It displays an extremely wide color gamut for HDR content and makes highlights really pop. Unfortunately, Vizio's SmartCast system is laggy at times, and you can't download any extra apps, but you can cast whatever you like from your phone.
If you want the best outdoor TV made for outdoor use, then get Samsung, but if you want to bring a regular model outside, the Vizio will cost you less.
The best outdoor TV for night time use that we've tested is the LG CX OLED. It's a well-built entry-level OLED that's able to 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 such as 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 for watching sports we've tested is the Samsung Q90/Q90T QLED. It's an exceptionally well-designed model with thin borders on all sides and an elegant center-mounted stand. It handles reflections remarkably well, and it gets more than bright enough to combat glare, so you don't have to worry about visibility even on sunny days. Unlike the Samsung The Terrace, a TV designed specifically for outdoor use, it has Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer that greatly improves viewing angles.
It upscales lower resolution content, such as cable sports, well without causing any upscaling artifacts. It has a fast response time to deliver clear images in fast-moving scenes and a Black Frame Insertion feature to further improve motion clarity. It has a 120Hz refresh rate and can interpolate low frame rate content up to 120fps to make motion appear smoother. It has very low input lag if you want to play some video games, and it has variable refresh rate support to reduce screen tearing. Additionally, it has HDMI 2.1 ports, great for those with a PS5 or Xbox Series X.
If you don't have dedicated speakers for outdoor use, the good news is that the internal speakers get very loud and don't distort much at max volume. However, the frequency response is just okay as there's a lack of low-bass to produce that thumping, rumbling sound. Samsung's Tizen OS is user-friendly, there are tons of apps available, and you can use voice control to search for content. Overall, it's an excellent TV that most people should be happy with.
The Sony XBR85X950H is the best outdoor TV available in an 85 inch size that we've tested. It's available in either 75 inch or 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 model in Sony's 2020 lineup, and it has the performance associated with a high-end TV. It has superb reflection handling, so sunlight 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. It 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 models. Regardless, if you're just going to use it to watch shows or movies outside, this is the best outdoor TV available in a large size that we've tested.
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 great peak brightness in SDR, enough to combat glare. Like any TV, it's not ideal to place direct sunlight on it, but it should perform well in most outdoor environments. 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. All in all, if you're on a budget, this is one of the best outdoor TVs we've tested.
01/04/2021: Minor text and structure changes. No change in recommendations.
11/03/2020: 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.
09/04/2020: Replaced the LG B9 OLED with the CX OLED; replaced the LG UM7300 with the Hisense H8G; added the LG UN7300.
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.
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.