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, 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 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 reviewed more than 60 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 that we've tested so far is the Samsung Q80T. It's a really well-built TV with a sleek and modern style. It delivers impressive overall performance, and it's a great choice for any type of use. It also has excellent out-of-the-box color accuracy, so you won't need to pay extra to get the TV calibrated.
It has remarkable reflection handling, so even glare from direct sunlight isn't distracting, and it has great brightness. It has a VA panel, so it naturally displays deep blacks, and it has a full-array local dimming feature to help further deepen any blacks. Its native contrast isn't as good as other VA panels because it has an 'Ultra Viewing Angle' layer added on the panel, greatly improving the viewing angles. This is ideal for an outdoor TV as you won't notice the lower contrast ratio if you're watching during the day, and you can watch TV in a fairly wide seating arrangement.
Unfortunately, it has some uniformity issues as the edges of the screen are darker. On the upside, Samsung's Tizen interface is easy to use, and the app store has a large selection of apps available to download, so you likely won't need to get an external setup to watch your favorite content. Overall, this is the best outdoor TV that we've tested so far.
The best TV for outdoor use at night is the LG CX. This is a well-built entry-level OLED that's able to individually turn off pixels, resulting in an infinite contrast and perfect black uniformity. That means blacks appear deep and inky when viewed in the dark.
It delivers excellent picture quality that most people should be happy with. It displays a really wide color gamut for HDR content, and it gets decently bright in that mode to bring out highlights. It has great out-of-the-box color accuracy, upscales lower-resolution content without any problems, and it can remove judder from any source, which helps with the appearance of motion. If you have a wide seating arrangement outside, it has very wide viewing angles. It also has outstanding reflection handling, but it doesn't get very bright, so that's why it's suggested to use at night.
Unfortunately, like any OLED TV, 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 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.
If you live in a very sunny environment and want a TV that can handle even the brightest of days, the Vizio P Series Quantum X 2019 is the best outdoor TV for bright settings that we've tested so far. It's one of the brightest we've tested, so it can easily fight glare in the sun and will do a great job at minimizing reflections.
The picture quality is great, and it does an amazing job with HDR content, though this will look better at night. It's great for watching sports thanks to its very fast response time, and its low input lag makes it great for gaming as well. As with all the other TVs on this list, it isn't designed for outdoor use, and you'll want to make sure to take precautions to protect it from the elements if you're going to use it for this purpose.
Unfortunately, the viewing angles aren't as wide as the Samsung Q80T QLED, so it's better suited for setups where you'll be more or less directly in front of the TV, or else the image quality will degrade. That said, if you live in a very sunny climate and want a bright TV that helps fight glare and reflections, this is an outstanding choice.
The best outdoor TV available in large sizes is the Sony XBR85X950H. 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. This TV 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 TVs. 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 so far.
The best outdoor TV in the budget category is the Hisense H8G. It's a simple, inexpensive TV 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 too much light on the TV. 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.
If you prefer a budget TV with even better reflection handling, check out the LG UN7300. It doesn't get as bright as the Hisense H8G, so once again, it's not ideal to place with direct sunlight on it, but it should be fine if you have it in a shaded area. It's a fairly basic entry-level TV, and the unit we tested has an IPS panel, although it seems there are versions sold with a VA panel. Our unit has fairly wide viewing angles and a low contrast ratio. Unfortunately, HDR content doesn't look all that different from SDR content because it doesn't get very bright in that mode, and it can't display a wide color gamut. On the upside, the built-in LG WebOS is easy to use and has a ton of apps you can download.
If you simply want the best outdoor TV and you're on a budget, check out the Hisense. However, if you prefer something with better reflection handling, look into the LG.
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.
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.
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.