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 and those that have been engineered for the outdoors 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 we suggest placing it in a protected area away from direct sunlight and from any potential rain. 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.
We've tested more than 70 TVs under the latest test bench, 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 also has some uniformity issues that could be distracting, like dirty screen effect in the center, but this can vary between units. All things considered, this is the best outdoor TV that we've tested.
If you want something considerably cheaper, then look into the Samsung QN90A QLED. It's not designed for outdoor use like the Samsung The Terrace, so you need to keep it away from any potential rain, but it has wider viewing angles thanks to Samsung's 'UItra Viewing Angle' technology. Luckily, the QN90A uses Mini LED backlighting, which allows it to get extremely bright, even brighter than the Terrace in real scenes. It has a glossy screen finish that does a fantastic job at handling reflections, but light creates a rainbow-like effect across the screen likely due to the 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer. It has lower native contrast than most VA panel TVs, but it still has a great local dimming feature to produce deep blacks.
If you want the best outdoor TV, you can't go wrong with the Terrace as it's specifically designed for this use, but if you don't want to spend so much money, then check out the QN90A.
The best TV for outside nighttime viewing is the LG C1 OLED. It delivers stunning picture quality that should please most people thanks to its ability to turn off individual pixels, resulting in a near-infinite contrast for perfect blacks. It's well-built, but since it's not specifically designed for outdoor use, it's best to place it in a proper enclosure.
The reason why we recommend this for use at night instead of during the day is because OLEDs don't get extremely bright, and direct sunlight can also damage individual pixels. Still, if you want to use it in a seating environment with a few outdoor lights, it has fantastic reflection handling. As mentioned, blacks look deep and inky, and there's no blooming around bright objects either. If you don't want to connect any extra streaming devices, the built-in webOS is easy-to-use, has a ton of apps available to download, and the Magic Remote offers Google Assistant and Alexa voice-controlled features.
Sadly, OLEDs have the risk of permanent burn-in, which could happen with constant exposure to static elements. However, we only expect this to be an issue if you're going to use it as a PC monitor, and we don't expect there to be any burn-in for those who watch varied content. If that doesn't bother you, then this is the best outdoor TV with an OLED panel.
The best outdoor TV for watching sports is the Samsung QN85A QLED. It's a step down from the Samsung QN90A QLED but it's a better choice for watching sports because it has an IPS-like panel with wider angles, great for wide seating areas. However, like the QN90A, it's not designed for outdoor use, so you have to keep it away from the elements.
It also uses Mini LED backlighting, so it gets extremely bright, and combined with its outstanding reflection handling, glare shouldn't be an issue even in the brightest of environments. Our unit has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated to enjoy it to the fullest, but this can vary between units. It doesn't have issues upscaling lower-resolution content if you want to use a cable box, and if you tend to stream your sports, the built-in Tizen OS has a great selection of apps available through the app store.
Sadly, our unit has some dirty screen effect in the center, which could get distracting during sports, but can also vary between units. Since it has an IPS-like panel, it has a low native contrast ratio, and even though it has a local dimming feature, there's still blooming around bright objects. This shouldn't be an issue for watching sports, so this TV is still one of the best outdoor TVs we've tested.
The best TV outdoor use 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.
Jun 21, 2021: Replaced the LG CX with the newer C1; moved the Samsung QN90A to 'Cheaper Alternative' to Samsung The Terrace, removed the Vizio Quantum X, and added the Samsung QN85A for consistency with other recommendations; updated Notable Mentions.
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.
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.