Outdoor TVs are becoming more and more popular to provide the ultimate outdoor relaxation experience. Most TVs aren't designed to be exposed to the elements, and those 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 them in a protected area away from direct sunlight and any potential rain. It's important when choosing a TV like this to make sure that it has excellent reflection handling and can get bright enough to combat glare.
We've tested more than 100 TVs under the latest test bench, and below are our recommendations for the best outdoor TVs you can buy. You can also check our picks for the best smart TVs, the best 4k TVs, and the best budget TVs.
The Samsung The Terrace is the best outdoor TV we've tested with an LED panel. Unlike most TVs we test, this one is designed for use outdoors, so it has better build quality and more outdoor-specific features. It has an exceptionally sturdy build with the entire frame made of metal, and it has a cover for the inputs to protect it from the elements. It's even rated IP55 to be water-resistant from rain.
As it's made for outdoor use, it's extremely bright and, combined with its outstanding reflection handling, glare shouldn't be an issue even if the sun is facing it. If you want to watch movies at night, its VA panel has a high native contrast ratio for deep blacks, the black uniformity is exceptional, and it has a decent full-array local dimming feature. You won't need to connect any streaming boxes because the Tizen OS is user-friendly, and it has a ton of apps available to download. The TV doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content either.
Unfortunately, it has narrow viewing angles, so it's not a good choice for wide seating arrangements because the image looks inaccurate from the side. It also has some uniformity issues with large areas of solid colors as the edges look darker, but it's not that big of an issue and varies between units. Regardless, this is the best outdoor TV we've tested.
If you don't want something expensive, look into the Samsung QN90A QLED. It's not built for the outdoors like the Samsung The Terrace, so you'll need to place it in a dedicated enclosure, depending on what your setup is like. However, it still gets bright enough to fight glare, and the reflection handling is fantastic. It has fairly wide viewing angles, thanks to Samsung's 'Ultra Viewing Angle' technology, making it a better choice for wide seating areas. Our unit has fantastic out-of-the-box accuracy, so you may not need to get it calibrated, but this can also vary between units. If you also want to use it for gaming, it has HDMI 2.1 inputs, low input lag, and a quick response time.
If you want the best outdoor TV we've tested with an LED panel, The Terrace is a fantastic choice, but if you want to spend less on an indoor TV, look into the QN90A.
The LG C1 OLED is the best outdoor TV for watching shows or movies at night that we've tested. OLEDs use different technologies than LED TVs to display an image, as they lack a backlight and instead have self-lit pixels that turn on and off on their own. There are a few advantages to this as it displays deep and inky blacks with no blooming, but they also don't get as bright as LED TVs, so that's why we suggest using them at night and not during the day.
It delivers stunning picture quality thanks to its near-infinite contrast ratio, and it also has wide viewing angles if you want to use it in a wide seating arrangement. The LG webOS interface is easy-to-use, so you won't have to get any external devices to stream your favorite content. The included Magic Remote also has a point-and-press feature that allows you to navigate through the menu even easier.
Sadly, while HDR content looks excellent, its HDR peak brightness is just okay, and some highlights don't pop the way the creator intended. Also, it doesn't get bright enough to fight glare with the sun directly on it, and the sun can damage the OLED pixels, but it has fantastic reflection handling if you have a few lights around. All in all, it's one of the best outdoor TVs we've tested for use at night.
If you prefer something with better movie performance, especially in HDR, look into the Sony A90J OLED. It doesn't have as many gaming features as the LG C1 OLED, but that isn't an issue if you're going to watch movies outside. It uses a brighter panel, so highlights pop more in HDR, and it also has better gradient handling, meaning you won't see banding in scenes with shades of similar colors. It has excellent out-of-the-box accuracy, and even though this can vary between units, it's rarely an issue for Sony TVs. It has a near-instantaneous response time for smooth motion, but that means that low frame rate content appears to stutter, which could get distracting.
If you want the best outdoor TV for use at night, the LG offers fantastic value and has gaming features. If you want the best pure movie experience, then consider the Sony.
The best outdoor TV for watching sports that we've tested 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, it's not designed for outdoor use, so 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 won'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 for outside in the budget category that we've tested is the Hisense U6G. It delivers great overall performance, competing with higher-end models, and it's an impressive choice if you're going to use it outside during the day or at night. Like most TVs in this recommendation, it's designed for indoor use, and the build quality is decent, so it's best to use an enclosure for it.
Visibility shouldn't be an issue even in the brightest conditions because it has decent reflection handling and easily gets bright enough to combat glare, which is great for a budget TV. If you want to use it at night, it has an excellent native contrast ratio with remarkable black uniformity and a decent full-array local dimming feature that improves the picture quality in dark scenes. It doesn't have any trouble upscaling lower-resolution content, like cable TV or some streaming programs, and you can cast anything you want from your phone.
Unfortunately, it has a VA panel with narrow viewing angles, so the image looks inaccurate if you watch it from the side. Also, its speakers don't produce much bass, so you won't get the best sound experience possible if you don't use a soundbar, but at least they get loud. Overall, this is the best outdoor TV you can get at a low cost.
Dec 08, 2021: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy; added the LG A1, Hisense U7G, and TCL 5 Series/S546 2021 QLED to Notable Mentions.
Oct 12, 2021: Updated text for clarity; added the TCL R745, LG QNED90, Vizio P Series Quantum 2021, and Sony X95J to Notable Mentions.
Aug 16, 2021: Added the Sony A90J as 'HDR Alternative' and replaced the Hisense H8G with the Hisense U6G; added the Sony X85J and LG G1 to Notable Mentions.
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.
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.