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Should I Get An Outdoor TV or Projector?

Should I Get An Outdoor TV or Projector?

It is not easy to choose between a projector and an outdoor TV. However, we’re here to help, so don’t obsess over it.

Being indoors can get boring: same old view, same old routine. 

COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have eased up globally. We know many people are just eager to grab a breath of fresh air at a safe distance.

If you’re having a small group of friends over, hanging out with family, you can bring indoor entertainment outside!

There are many fantastic movies to watch and games to play together. The question is: what display device is best for you? 

This article explores the options available to you. By the end of the article, you should be able to make that decision.

3 young friends watching together

Display Devices for the Outdoor Experience

Your TV viewing & gaming experience doesn’t have to be limited to the four walls of your home. Outdoor TVs and projectors defeat this limitation.

Advanced technology has provided weatherproof display devices for outdoor usage.

Weatherproofing for TVs can be either outdoor TVs or outdoor TV enclosures. Although these two serve the same purpose, they are slightly different. 

You can either decide to mount a weather-resistant TV or install all your weatherproofed projection equipment outdoors.

Outdoor TV

SunBriteTV SE 43-Inch Weatherproof Outdoor Television
Click image for more info

An outdoor TV (usually called a weatherproof or weather-resistant TV) is an all-in-one weather-resistant TV. It is specifically designed to be installed outside.

Outdoor TV Enclosure

The Anti-Glare Outdoor TV Enclosure with Two Fans
Click image for more info

An outdoor TV enclosure is a weatherproof enclosure that eliminates outdoor viewing problems. 

If you have one installed, you can enclose your regular TV in it without fear of the elements.

Outdoor Projector

An outdoor Projector
Outdoor projectors are weather-resistant projection equipment that you can install outside. 

They are better suited for nighttime outdoor events, for instance: movie nights, because projectors function optimally in low-light areas.

The question on your mind probably is: should I get an outdoor TV or projector? Let’s get right to it.

What are the Pros and Cons of Using a TV Outdoors?

A couple watching movie outdoors

Outdoor TVs have their advantages and disadvantages. First, what matters most in outdoor displays?

The most important factors to consider when buying an outdoor TV include the screen size, lighting of the area, your budget, weatherproofing, and personal preference.

Pros:

  • TVs perform well in areas of high ambient light. If you intend to engage in more daytime viewing, an outdoor TV is the better choice.
  • Outdoor TVs and TV enclosures are designed specifically for outdoor use. Hence, they are resistant to water and adverse weather conditions. Water and electronics are never a good match, so weather conditions are a significant concern for outdoor viewing.
  • Outdoor TVs don’t take up too much space. All you need to do is dedicate a portion of your wall for the installation.
  • Outdoor TVs are more available in the market than outdoor projectors. If you’re going for an outdoor TV enclosure instead, a regular TV is effortless to find. 
  • You can easily achieve a permanent setup with outdoor TVs. They are multifunctional and weatherproof, so you wouldn’t need to dismantle and set them up repeatedly.

Cons:

What are the Pros and Cons of Using a Projector Outdoors?

Outdoor Projector

When it comes to outdoor projectors, we need to consider the same factors too. 

Projectors have certain advantages that TVs cannot compete against. However, they come with a few disadvantages too.

Pros:

  • Projectors offer a much larger display than TVs can. They would be better for medium to large outdoor gatherings. Outdoor projectors also have the advantage of variable size. You can project images of various sizes depending on your throw distance. 
  • Projectors cost less than outdoor TVs. Prices depend on functions and quality, but the average large-size HDTV costs more than most projectors that offer similar specifications. 
  • Outdoor projectors are easy to transport, and projector screens come in collapsible designs. They can be repeatedly set up and stored after use. 

Cons:

  • Large projector images come with the need for long throw distances. If you want a large image from a short distance, we recommend seeking a short-throw projector.
  • Projectors are not very good with ambient lighting. The bright outdoor light may whitewash the image.  Some projectors output enough brightness to defeat ambient light, but they are more expensive. 
  • Completely weather-resistant outdoor projectors are not common, and this puts your setup at risk. It is not advisable to set up a projector permanently outdoors.

Final Recount

We have looked into the pros and cons of each device, and here’s our verdict:

Outdoor TVs have superior image quality, but they are better for small groups because of their size constraints.

Outdoor TVs are a high-budget option; constructing outdoor TV enclosures does not come cheap either. 

Only go for an outdoor TV if your setup is permanent. TVs (especially large-size ones) are not portable and can be damaged in a fall. 

The SunBrite Weatherproof Outdoor 65-Inch TV is a 4K HDR standard TV and an excellent place to start from. 

Projectors are the go-to devices for large audiences. They project variable image sizes, and their range surpasses that of TVs. 

Due to front projection, outdoor projectors are better used at night or in reduced ambient light. However, some projectors are powerful enough to be used in the daytime. 

Outdoor projectors are best for temporary setups. If you’re going camping or having a street party, projectors are easy to set up and pack up.

They don’t have image quality as superb as HDTVs because some brightness is lost in front projection. However, they are a budget-friendly option for temporary outdoor entertainment. 

Check out the BenQ GS2 Wireless Mini Projector. Its water-resistant quality makes it ideal for outdoor projection. 

FAQsFAQ

1. Can Regular TVs be Used Outdoors?

You can use regular TVs outdoors if weatherproof cases or enclosures accompany them. 

Without this protection, the chances of your TV getting damaged are very high.

TV enclosures cost less than specifically designated outdoor TVs. You can hire a nearby artisan to construct one for you.

The only downside to outdoor TV enclosures is that they are also immobile. The setup is bulkier than other options because you have to seal off the enclosure properly.

2. Do you need an outdoor TV for a covered patio? 

There are many risks of leaving your TV outside and unprotected even though it is under a covered patio. 

Rain could damage the electronics; dust could block the vent, bugs could crawl into the TV and fry it. 

We highly recommend that you use an outdoor TV irrespective of where it is placed outside.

Conclusion

We have weighed the pros and cons of outdoor TVs and projectors in terms of size, cost, portability, and image quality. 

The best option depends on what factors matter most to you. 

If you want a temporary setup for camping, we recommend looking at our 5 best projectors for camping. You might find the best device for your needs. 

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