Updated

The 3 Best Outdoor TVs - Summer 2018
Reviews

199 Televisions Tested
  • Store-bought TVs; no cherry-picked units
  • Retest after major updates
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

Outdoor TVs are becoming more and more popular as a way to keep guests entertained or simply for the ultimate outdoor relaxation. Most TVs aren't designed to be exposed to the elements. There are TVs that have been engineered for the outdoors, but these are typically prohibitively expensive and not very good. The alternative is to buy an indoor TV, and install it in an enclosure designed to protect it from the elements. It is important when choosing such a TV 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 meet the requirements for a good outdoor TV; below are our picks for the top three.

  1. 1. LG SK9500: The best outdoor TV we've tested

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches: test

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    8.0
    Mixed Usage
    What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    7.4
    Movies
    What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    8.2
    TV Shows
    What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    8.1
    Sports
    What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    8.6
    Video Games
    What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    7.4
    HDR Movies
    What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.1
    HDR Gaming
    What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.3
    PC Monitor
    What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 65"

    The LG SK9500 is the best TV for outdoor use that we have reviewed. It has wide viewing angles so you get the best picture even with a wide outdoor seating area. It is bright enough to overcome most glare and has excellent reflection handling. Motion looks smooth and crisp thanks to the fast response time. The TV's built-in speakers are decent, and they get quite loud so you won't necessarily need a more powerful soundbar.

    The SK9500 excels in a bright setting, and dark room performance isn't great, but outdoors, the black uniformity and contrast won't be as noticeable if you are watching TV outside at night. This TV wasn't meant for outdoor installation, so it is important to properly protect it from the elements with a proper enclosure.

    See our review

  2. 2. Vizio P Series Quantum: The best outdoor TV for bright settings

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches: test

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    8.6
    Mixed Usage
    What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    8.6
    Movies
    What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    8.3
    TV Shows
    What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    8.3
    Sports
    What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    9.1
    Video Games
    What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    8.7
    HDR Movies
    What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    8.8
    HDR Gaming
    What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.5
    PC Monitor
    What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    VA
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 65"

    If you watch a lot of TV outdoors in the bright sun and don't have a wide seating area, get the Vizio P Series Quantum instead of the LG SK9500. The P Series Quantum is much brighter, easily able to overcome glare even in a very bright setting. It also has a glossy finish that is able to block most reflections.

    Unfortunately, the Vizio P Series Quantum doesn't have the wide viewing angles of the IPS panels found in our other two picks. This TV is best enjoyed from directly in front. It does offer much better dark room performance, so if you watch TV outdoors late in the evening, you will have a better experience.

    See our review

  3. 3. Sony X720E: The best budget outdoor TV

    Usage Ratings - Version 1.2

    Test Benches: test

    • 1.2: Winter 2018
    • 1.1: Summer 2017
    • 1.0: Winter 2015
    • 0.9: Winter 2014
    • 0.8: Winter 2013
    7.2
    Mixed Usage
    What it is General purpose. The TV will be used for a variety of content and usages. Movies at night, TV shows during the day, video games from time to time, etc.
    Score components:
    6.0
    Movies
    What it is Movies in the dark. The TV will be used for watching movies in a controlled environment, directly in front, in a home theater way. Mostly only high quality content, like Blu-rays, UHD Blu-rays, streaming and a little bit of HDR.
    Score components:
    7.6
    TV Shows
    What it is TV Shows in a bright living room. The TV will be used in to watch TV shows, in a bright room during the day, from multiple viewing positions at different angles. The content watched has an average quality: cable, streaming, SD channels, etc.
    Score components:
    7.4
    Sports
    What it is Sports in a living room. The TV will be used to watch sports during the day, like football or hockey. Usually watched with a group, so from multiple viewing position.
    7.9
    Video Games
    What it is Video games. The TV will be used to play video games, directly in front, in a controlled light environment. Usually fast games, like online FPS, where motion blur and input lag is important.
    5.9
    HDR Movies
    What it is HDR Movies and TV shows. The TV will be used to watch 4k UHD HDR content, with a wide color gamut and a high peak brightness. Either via UHD Blu-rays or HDR streaming.
    Score components:
    7.2
    HDR Gaming
    What it is HDR Gaming. The TV will be used to play HDR video games using consoles that support it or on current generation gaming PCs. Xbox One S, PS4 Pro, GTX 10 series and AMD RX series graphics cards.
    8.2
    PC Monitor
    What it is PC Monitor. The TV will be used as a PC monitor, from 2-3 feet away, either for productivity purposes or gaming. Sharp text is important, as well as a high resolution.
    Score components:
    Type : LED
    Sub-Type
    What it is: Type of display technology used by the TV.
    When it matters: Different technologies have different performance and are suited to different uses
    Good value: IPS maintains good color accuracy at an angle, but has a poor contrast ratio from in front. VA has great picture quality in front, but loses saturation at an angle. OLED maintains good color accuracy at an angle without any of the other issues seen with IPS and VA, as they keep good brightness and contrast at an angle.
    :
    IPS
    Resolution : 4k
    Sizes : 43" 49" 55"

    If our two top picks are out of your price range, the Sony X720E is the best budget outdoor TV we've tested. The X720E isn't as bright and has worse reflection handling than the LG SK9500, so it isn't as well equipped for overcoming glare. It has even wider viewing angles, great for a wide outdoor entertainment area.

    Fast motion scenes look decent on the X720E, and it has good gray uniformity, great for watching sports in the afternoon. It also has excellent low input lag, great for gaming outdoors with a bunch of friends.

    Like the LG SK9500, this TV wasn't intended for outdoor use, so it is important to have a proper enclosure for outdoor use.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • LG SK9000. Good outdoor TV, but the LG SK9500 is a lot brighter. See our review
  • LG SJ9500. Good outdoor TV, but the LG SK9500 is better. See our review
  • Sony X800E. Decent outdoor TV, but the Sony X720E is better and cheaper. See our review

All Reviews

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. 

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