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 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 have a good performance on the above characteristics; below are our recommendations for 2019.
The best outdoor TV we've tested so far is the LG SM9500. It's a TV that can get very bright to easily fight glare, and can handle the multiple outdoor reflections well. It has a good picture quality and its image doesn't deteriorate when viewed from the side. If you use the proper protection, you can place it on your patio and you'll still enjoy an accurate image even if your arrangement doesn't allow you to sit straight in front. Watching sports or TV shows is a great experience on this TV, as it delivers good motion handling.
Unfortunately, blacks tend to look gray when viewed in a pitch-black environment due to the poor contrast its IPS panel has, and due to its ineffective local dimming. If you're looking for a TV for watching movies in the dark, check out our OLED pick.
Overall, this TV is a great choice for outdoor use, provided you take the right precautions from the elements.
If you usually watch TV in the dark, check out the LG B9, the best OLED outdoor TV for night use. Just like all OLED TVs, it delivers an excellent picture quality. It can switch off individual pixels thanks to its emissive technology, producing perfect uniform blacks. This results in an exceptional movie-watching experience when in the dark. This is also an excellent TV for watching sports or playing video games thanks to its nearly-instantaneous response time and the very low input lag. It's also a more future-proof model as it supports HDMI 2.1, which, however, doesn't currently add much.
Unfortunately, just like all OLED TVs, it has the chance of temporary image retention and even permanent burn-in, but this is unlikely to be an issue for most people that watch normal, varied content.
Overall, this TV delivers outstanding performance in most uses. Unfortunately, it can't get very bright to fight glare. Note that OLEDs, like most TVs, can get damaged from exposure to direct sunlight. Because of this, you have to take precautions to protect the TV and yourself from the risks of using an indoor TV outside.
If you usually watch TV in very bright environments and the LG SM9500's brightness isn't enough, then get the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019, the best outdoor TV for bright settings. This TV doesn't have the LG's wide viewing angles, and you have to sit straight in front to enjoy the most accurate image. On the upside, it's one of the brightest TVs we've tested so far and can easily fight daylight glare. It has a glossy finish that minimizes reflections and allows you to focus on your show.
The picture quality is great and it can deliver an impressive HDR performance which is best enjoyed in the dark. Sports fans will appreciate the crisp motion thanks to the fast response time and gamers will enjoy a responsive gaming experience thanks to the very low input lag. Unfortunately, the viewing angles are poor and the TV isn't the best choice if you have a wide seating arrangement.
If you make sure that you protect it from the elements like you would with any TV in this article, it'll keep you happy.
If you're looking for the largest TV to use outside that performs well both in daylight and at night, then get the Sony XBR85X900F, the best large outdoor TV. It's an 85 inch TV that'll make you feel like you're at an outdoor summer cinema.
Unfortunately, the TV isn't designed for outside use, so you'll have to protect it from the elements, and its large size won't make it simple to move in and out. If you can overcome these difficulties, you'll enjoy a TV with great picture quality, deep blacks, vivid colors, and great motion handling that'll deliver some excellent movie nights. If you prefer watching during the day, this TV can also get very bright and will fight glare to display your favorite daytime TV show well.
Finally, this TV will keep most casual gamers happy thanks to its low input lag, but unfortunately, just like most VA panel TVs, it has poor viewing angles and those seating from the side won't enjoy the same accurate image as those seating straight in front.
If you're looking for a less expensive TV, then check out the LG UM7300. It has wide viewing angles thanks to its IPS panel, and the image remains accurate for those who watch from the side, as is usually the case on a gazebo or a porch. This TV can't fight the glare of a bright sunny day like the LG SM9500. It has a good sports performance, as fast-moving content looks crisp thanks to the very fast response time, and there's very little dirty screen effect to distract you from the action.
Unfortunately, this TV has a low contrast ratio and can't display very deep blacks in very dark environments. On the upside, if you enjoy video games, the TV has a very low input lag, even for competitive gaming with a bunch of friends.
Like all TVs in this article, this one isn't intended for outdoor use, so it's important to have proper protection 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.
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. Made some changes to the text for clarity.