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 2020.
The best outdoor TV we've tested so far is the LG SM9500. While it isn't designed specifically for outdoor use, it can get very bright, allowing it to easily fight glare and outdoor reflections. It has good picture quality and thanks to its IPS panel, it continues to look good even when viewed from the side, making it great for outdoor use where you may not be sitting directly in front of the TV.
Unfortunately, while the IPS panel helps with viewing angles, it also means this TV has poor contrast ratio, so blacks appear gray when watching in a very dark environment. While the TV does have local dimming, it doesn't work as well as some other models, so while it can help with black levels, it tends to be very aggressive and crushes a lot of highlights. On the bright side, this TV is great for gaming thanks to its very fast response time and low input lag, which is great if you want to have a Super Smash Bros. competition outside.
If you're looking for a TV that you can use outside during the day without needing to sit directly in front of it, this is a great choice; just make sure to take the proper precautions to protect it from the elements, as it isn't necessarily intended for this use.
If you usually watch TV in the dark, check out the LG B9, the best OLED outdoor TV for night use we've tested to date. Just like all OLED TVs, its picture quality is excellent and HDR content pops. It's 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 very similar to its predecessor, the LG C8 OLED, but it's more future-proof as it supports HDMI 2.1, though this doesn't currently add much functionality.
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. On the upside, it has perfect uniform blacks thanks to OLED's ability to switch off individual pixels, which results in an exceptional movie-watching experience when in the dark, making it great for outdoor movie nights.
Overall, this TV delivers outstanding performance in most uses. Unfortunately, it can't get very bright to fight glare from the sun, so it's best for nighttime use. Note that OLEDs, like most TVs, can get damaged from exposure to direct sunlight, so make sure to take precautions to protect the TV and yourself from the risks of using an indoor TV outside.
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 TVs we've tested, so it can easily fight glare in the sun and will do a good 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.
Unfortunately, the viewing angles aren't as wide as the LG SM9500, 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. On the upside, 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, this TV 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. That being said, if you live in a very sunny climate and want a bright TV that will help fight glare and reflections, this is an outstanding choice.
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, 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. 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. It also isn't nearly as bright as some other options on this list, so it may produce some glare on sunny days. 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 either have proper protection for it or to make sure to bring it inside to protect it from the elements. That being said, the combination of wide viewing angles and fast response time makes this a good choice to watch the game outside with a group of friends.
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.
01/09/2020: 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. Made some changes to the text for clarity.