Treat Yourself to One of These Editor-Approved Outdoor TVs for Your Backyard

outdoor tv testing
The 7 Best Outdoor TVs for Your Backyard Hunter Fenollol

"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."

4 outdoor tvs on top of cardboard boxes alongside cement wall
We exposed our TV lineup to the elements in our outdoor testing lab to test durability and picture performance across conditions.Hunter Fenollol

As the warm seasons approach, the favorable weather makes you want to spend more time outdoors, which makes now the best time to add an outdoor television to your backyard. Outdoor TVs boast brighter backlighting and more durability than a standard 4K TV, so they can withstand both the sun’s glare and extreme weather conditions.

These sets add more entertainment options to any exterior living space; your family and friends can catch up on their favorite shows and sports while they swim in the pool, grill up some grub on the deck, or lounge around a patio fire pit come rain or shine. And since outdoor TVs are weatherproofed to withstand the elements, you can leave these units outside year-round without damage from exposure to extreme temperatures or snow.

Take a look at quick info on the best outdoor TVs, then scroll down for buying advice and in-depth reviews.

The Best Outdoor TVs You Can Buy Now

What to Consider When Buying an Outdoor TV

Before you purchase an outdoor TV, you’re going to want to look at three core areas: Weather resistance, display brightness, and screen size. Manufacturers provide an operating temperature range as well as an Ingress Protection (IP) rating for their TVs. This durability scale represents the TV’s level of protection against solid particles like dust (scaled from 0-6 and represented by the first digit) and liquids (scaled from 0-9, represented by the second digit).

The lowest IP rating on any of these outdoor TVs is IP54, which means its level 5 dust resistance can withstand gusts without compromising functionality. The level 4 liquid protection signifies that it can survive being surrounded by water jets from all directions. Place a premium on a higher IP rating if your TV won’t be covered by an awning or other roof structure.

outdoor tv testing
Hunter Fenollol

Outdoor TVs come in three varieties: full shade, partial sun, or full sun. Full shade outdoor TVs are designed to be placed under structures with roofs like a gazebo or bar where they won’t be subjected to lots of light or element exposure. This allows them to get away with lower brightness and IP ratings which can save you a few bucks.

If you plan to place your TV under direct sunlight, you’ll want a full sun TV with a high nit count (this is a standard unit for measuring luminance—the higher the number, the brighter the display) to see the screen on sunny days. Anti-glare screens are nice to have but can often raise the price.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that stronger backlighting translates to a better picture quality. Case in point: The Séura Full Sun below provides the best daytime performance of any outdoor TV because its ultra-bright screen is the most visible in direct sunlight while creating an excellent picture. But look at the colors and you’ll see they can appear washed out side-by-side with other models because the blacks aren’t as true and lean more toward grays.

You should also pay attention to the TV’s weight for mounting options, whether or not you’ll need a separate sound system, and power outlet locations for plugging in the TV.

How We Tested

After our test team researched the best-selling weatherproofed outdoor TVs, verified reviews using Fakespot, and talked to product managers about the newest releases, we called in the top models for evaluation. We lined up each outdoor TV along the back wall of our office so they each got the same amount of exposure to sun, rain, and shade throughout the week. We took a look at all of the points we mentioned above, noted picture quality, and took stock of design, features, and overall usability (operating system, remote layout, and content buffering times).

outdoor tv testing
Hunter Fenollol

Each TV was set to either the “Bright Outdoor TV” or comparable “Vivid” visual setting presets, which are the most vibrant across the board and boosts brightness, contrast, and sharpness levels. To grab a baseline of image quality, we synced up the trailers for “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Oppenheimer” across each TV to spot differences in sharpness and colors. Each model stayed out in the sun, shade, night, overcast, and rainy conditions over the course of the week in temperatures that fluctuated between 53 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

outdoor tv testing in progress in the rain
Comparing outdoor TV picture and streaking during a rain shower.Hunter Fenollol

We searched for TVs that were weatherproofed to withstand seasonal changes, subzero temperatures, and wet conditions. We also looked for models across various prices to fit every budget and TVs with high nit ratings for easy visibility in both shaded environments and direct sunlight. If you don’t necessarily need the exact sizes we tested, we’ve included links at the bottom of each review for other sizes of each model so you can choose the size that best fits your outdoor space.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Neptune 55-In. Outdoor TV</p><p></p><p>$2299.00</p>

Peerless-AV’s 55-inch Neptune series is a clear step above the competition in nearly every aspect from design to performance. That’s while ringing in at the more affordable end of the spectrum. Its frame weighs only 38 pounds yet thoughtfully includes easy-to-grip handles for shuffling it around.

The TV’s large IPS panel offers the widest viewing angles and strong picture performance with vibrant colors popping from the sharp 4K screen. In addition to looking great, LG’s webOS smart interface is the fastest and most feature-packed of the bunch—offering the most app variety and cross-subscription functionality. You can download all of your streaming services from HBO Max for the latest movies to NVIDIA GeForce NOW for cloud gaming.

Color performance is taken to the next level with impressive HDR highlights. While its blacks can be a bit much for contrast that ebbs a bit too dark, the saturation is well-balanced for the most part. This results in a vivid picture that is much more film-like. This is especially apparent in shadow highlights like mountain reflections in water, where some details like a snowcap on the top are harder to make out.

With that said, the explosions, blues in the horizon between the sky and ocean, and color gradient filters looked the most vibrant on this TV. It looks best in shaded areas and at night. While it’s only a partial sun model, we found the picture clean enough to make out shapes and faces in direct sunlight, but it looks dimmer than a full sun model with anti-glare coatings and higher nit count.

The Neptune’s “Magic” remote allows for natural inputs like scroll, point, and motion controls to easily navigate through content. Since the Neptune is as thin and light as a regular 4K TV, one person was able to carry it around with ease. It comes with two 8-watt surround sound speakers built-in as well as two slick remote controls (one indoor and one outdoor) for an affordable $2,300.

In terms of the performance-to-price ratio, this Neptune model can’t be beat. Its lower 500 nits of brightness makes it ideal for shaded spaces like a gazebo or bar for partial sun exposure. If you plan to primarily watch TV in direct sunlight during the day, like next to your pool, we recommend you take a look at the much brighter Sylvox model below.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Pool Pro 4K QLED Outdoor TV</p><p></p><p>$2599.00</p>

Shop Now

Pool Pro 4K QLED Outdoor TV


Between its significantly brighter 2000 nit screen and richer QLED colors, the Sylvox Pool Pro is the perfect fit for those that want to watch TV while they tan or swim. Its stronger backlighting easily fights off the sun at its peak, which makes it easy to see small but crucial details. Our tester was impressed by the Pool Pro’s ability to display the yard markers of an onscreen football field despite a barrage of sunlight beating down on the TV from directly overhead. We tested the lightweight 43-inch model which is the smallest in the lineup, however, it was still plenty enough to comfortably view content from across a 16x32-foot pool.

The QLED colors and crisp 4K picture combine to create a lifelike image. As our tester watched a scene taking place in a park, the vivid greens that popped from the grass and reeds accurately matched the real foliage and greenery directly behind the TV. While the Pool Pro is the smallest option we tested, keep in mind that you may want to go with a bigger size in its lineup if you have a large yard. Despite a smattering of preset picture settings, we found only the Dynamic and Vivid color profiles to make a noticeable difference to better fight off glare and extract deep hues without looking oversaturated.

Sylvox shipped the Pool Pro with the Google TV operating system which runs smoothly but can be a bit of a beast to navigate with so many tabs. This provides access to helpful smart features like Google Assistant, Chromecast to share content from your phone to the big screen, and the Google Play app store for downloading software like games and programs beyond basic TV streaming services. However, the option listed is powered by Android. With a healthy amount of ports, you can attach different streaming devices or game systems to the TV. If you want to watch content in direct sunlight most of the time, this is the route to go without breaking the bank. However, it’s not the biggest or brightest. For a larger, more immersive full sun TV then the larger Séura model just below is worth a peek.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Full Sun Series 50-In. Outdoor TV</p><p></p><p>$7999.00</p>

Shop Now

Full Sun Series 50-In. Outdoor TV


Séura’s Full Sun features a large, theater-like matte screen that fights off glare better than any other TV in our testing pool. While the 4K HDR picture looks sharp across all conditions like night, overcast, and rain, its daytime performance is the most visible of any outdoor TV we tested. It’s expensive, but if you plan to place a TV in direct sunlight, you’re simply going to have to shell out the big bucks for it.

In a side-by-side comparison of the other TVs we tested, the Séura Full Sun series gets the brightest, even edging out the 1,500 nit-lit Samsung Terrace (also a full sun model). The matte screen best fights off glare, reflections, and distortion. Even when we moved it inside where windows amplify the sun’s rays, it absorbed nearly all of the light while the other models reflected blotches and window panes.

But the Full Sun’s blacks are not as deep, so they tend to run a bit bright and look more gray. Shows with dark scenes like “Ozark” and “Black Mirror” really bring out this issue. This lower color reproduction is only noticeable side by side with other outdoor TVs, but we’d trade off color accuracy for the ability to use it in direct sunlight any day. Even in direct sunlight, we still made out intricate details like facial hair stubble on an actor’s face and environmental textures in the “Top Gun” trailer that were way too difficult to make out on any of the other models due to glare.

If you’re looking for smart features, don’t expect to find them here. This Séura model is a big dumb TV—and we mean that in the best way possible. It doesn’t require fussing around with a smart OS out of the box; you’ll simply need to plug in a streaming device. We hooked the Séura up to a Firestick 4K Max and were able to control power and volume levels directly from that device’s included remote. While the TV’s included remote gets the job done, it’s incredibly basic for switching between input sources and adjusting image and sound settings.

While we’re talking audio, this is one of the few issues we have with Séura’s TV—it requires a separate sound bar or set of outdoor speakers since it lacks onboard audio output. Factor the cost of that and a streaming device into your purchase before committing. At 104 pounds, the 65-inch option is by far the bulkiest outdoor TV we tested, which can be unwieldy for mounting on weak anchor points or mobile cart setups. The 50-inch screen weighs 60 pounds if you’re looking for a lighter option. The matte screen more than makes up for this, but if you’ll mainly be outside after the sun sets, it’s harder to recommend over the two picks above.

All of this comes at a cost, though—and a pretty steep one at that. If you can spare ten grand to upgrade your outdoor space with a movie theater experience, the Séura Full Sun series is a no-brainer.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>55-In. Partial Sun Outdoor TV</p><p></p><p>$898.00</p>

On the other end of the price spectrum is Element’s $898 outdoor TV, which is by far the most affordable model we tested. You get a sharp 4K display, a snappy Roku interface, and plenty of ports at a fraction of the price of the competition. There are some tradeoffs. It’s quite bulky for a partial sun TV, and the bezels are thick. But this body makes it suitable for all weather while providing a crisp picture that looks fantastic in shaded areas and at night.

As soon as we set the Element up in our testing area, rain clouds rolled in. This dark overcast revealed the TV’s impressive brightness and color levels, which stood neck and neck with the comparable but pricier SunBrite Veranda 3. The Element’s picture is sharp—we noticed each wrinkle, blemish, and stubble on the actors faces in the “Top Gun” trailer just as well as we did on the rest of the TVs.

However, color tones tend to lean a bit too warm. This was best shown in fast-panning shots, such as when Maverick rides his motorcycle in the “Top Gun” trailer test. The greenery and grey paved road in the desert melded together with the yellows of the sand. As each model soaked in the rain, we found water streaks sat longer on the screen of the Element, but they rolled right off of the Veranda and other models.

Element’s outdoor TV offers an easy, traditional TV-like setup. You can unscrew the back panel to connect HDMI devices by hand with any tools for easy access to all of the ports, and channels load up quickly. While the Roku remote replaces the physical voice search button with a sleep timer, we mainly used the Roku app for its digital controller, which offers a keyboard, voice controls, and channel shortcuts. We were able to access content in less than four clicks on average, which is helpful when you need to quickly make a switch while hosting.

If you’re not a cinephile and have enough space for the Element, you’ll benefit from its slick operating system, crisp 4K screen, and durable body at half the cost of the Neptune partial sun outdoor TV above.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Terrace 65-In. Full Sun Outdoor TV</p><p></p><p>$7497.99</p>

If you want the clearest picture, then Samsung’s Terrace is pricey but nearly perfect. We’re talking about an excessively sharp 65-inch 4K QLED display and anti-reflective coating in addition to a max brightness of 1,500 nits for optimal viewing even in direct sunlight.

It runs on Samsung’s snappy Tizen OS (which supports both Alexa and Google smart assistants), the remote is sleek, and its image is crisp thanks to automatic 4K AI upscaling to restore lost detail and reduce imperfections.

The Terrace has the best color and saturation balance and the least overall image noise. Facial blemishes (freckles, scars, and loose hairs), environmental details, and highlights pop best on this TV. Its blacks are also the truest of the pool, which ultimately produces the most vibrant colors and best retains details in dark scenes. It has a much more natural-looking saturation that comes through in the accurate blues of the sky and reds of skin tones. You can best see this in the image on the top of this article—while the other TVs look almost yellow, the Terrace on the far right side produces an image that looks most true to life.

But exposed to direct sunlight, its visibility doesn’t fare as well as the Seura despite being a full-sun TV. It looks slightly dimmer and occasionally bounces back a glare as the sun moves across the sky. For the price, it’s expensive and bulky but the class-leading picture more than makes up for it. This is the best-looking TV we tested without any compromise in visual quality. Plus its attractive body and operating system designs feel the closest to a standard TV.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Aurora Full Sun 4K Outdoor TV</p><p></p><p>$3699.99</p>

Shop Now

Aurora Full Sun 4K Outdoor TV


Furrion’s Aurora gives our top pick a run for its money. It’s surprisingly affordable for a full sun TV, uses the same easy-to-use LG webOS interface as the Neptune, and is equipped with external antennas for stronger Wi-Fi coverage. However, its chassis is heavier, since it includes a built-in fan.

You can prop this unit up on tabletop TV stand legs or lean it without being forced to mount it. Its 4K picture looks just as sharp as our top pick and colors are generally accurate.

It has its flaws, though: As Maverick flew over forests in the “Top Gun” trailer, the greens from trees and foliage reflected into the cockpit. Also, reflections can obscure the picture when light hits it from certain angles, even though its brightness is listed at 1000 nits. I noticed this the most when lining up the TVs back inside our office at the end of the day. Sunlight coming through the window panes and ambient overhead lighting would stretch across the blank screen.

Like the Neptune, it comes with LG’s excellent magic remote for multiple ways to input text like motion controls and voice search. But its bigger more durable body makes it a great fit for those living in areas that experience the brunt of a blistering winter or sweltering summer. Ultimately, this Furrion is best for those who want a full sun TV without the bulky size or price tag. It’s great for watching TV anywhere in the yard even in the middle of the day.

<p><a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><p>Veranda 3 Series 55-In. Outdoor TV</p><p></p><p>$1998.95</p>

Shop Now

Veranda 3 Series 55-In. Outdoor TV


Small but mighty, SunBrite’s budget partial sun outdoor TV is packed with display technology like local zone dimming, Dolby Vision support, and Quantum Dot colors on a bright 4K screen at 120 Hz. All of these features enhanced whatever content we threw at the Veranda, from Netflix’s Ozark to NBA games. Watching the Heat and Celtics go head-to-head, we didn’t notice any motion blur thanks to the TV’s high refresh rate. This speed also makes it the best outdoor TV for gamers since it offers the fastest image for competitive play.

While the TV delivers a rich, colorful picture, it doesn’t fare as well as any of the other models in direct sunlight. It was hard to see when the sun peaks in the middle of the afternoon. To its credit it is a partial sun TV, yet still reproduced noticeable details like a cinematic film grain in movies such as Star Wars Rogue One during daytime testing.

Since the TV is under 50 pounds, you can easily take it out of its primary shaded area at night to enjoy it in even more spaces. While you may not want to keep it out in the open during the day, it’ll survive a rain storm since its ports and remote are all weatherproofed.

We like that it runs on Google’s Android TV OS, as this opens the door for tons of smart features. These include things like Chromecast sharing, Google Assistant, and the Google Play store. You can stream media directly from the device or straight from your phone.

Three different testers had no problems pulling up YouTube videos. The only downside is that while the speakers built into the system are adequate if you live in a quiet neighborhood, you’ll probably want to invest in a separate sound system if you’re near a busy street.

Test Editor Hunter Fenollol answers questions about Outdoor TVs

PM: What is the difference between an indoor TV and an outdoor TV?

HF: When people see the higher prices for outdoor TVs, they often wonder if they really need to buy this specialty model instead of simply placing a cheaper standard 4K TV outside. The short answer is: Yes, you absolutely do.

Outdoor TVs are more expensive but are built to withstand extreme conditions, so you don’t have to worry about covering them up or taking them inside. Plus they come with anti-glare coatings and strong backlighting with higher peak brightness levels. This helps their image look its best even while fighting off the sun.

You’ll save hundreds of dollars buying a regular 4K TV and sticking it in an outdoor cover or enclosure, but it won’t be bright enough to see in direct sunlight and likely won’t withstand the weather for very long. If rain or snow makes its way through these protective layers you’ll have to buy a new TV, and risk potential electrical issues.

PM: Which outdoor TV type is best for me; full shade, partial sun, or full sun?

HF: This decision comes down to the layout of your exterior living space. If you know that you’ll place your TV under a shaded structure like a bar or gazebo, then go with a full shade model (usually 500 nits and below), which is often the most affordable variant. Areas that are indirectly exposed to sunlight like under an umbrella, overhang, or pergola are best for partial sun models which have higher brightness levels (between 600 and 1,000 nits).

But if you know you want to shift your TV around your yard during the day in areas where the sun hits it directly, like by the side of a pool or on a patio then you should look at full sun models. These offer the highest brightness levels (1,000 nits or higher) and anti-glare screens.

PM: What accessories should I buy for my outdoor TV?

HF: If you don’t like the smart operating system that comes installed on your outdoor TV (or if it is lacking one entirely), then you’ll need a streaming device like a Roku or Amazon Fire TV to access streaming apps such as Netflix or Hulu. These sticks open the door for computer functionality like playing the latest video games or browsing the web on the big screen. But in order to make the most out of these smart capabilities you’ll want a strong, lag-free Wi-Fi connection.

If your TV is placed just outside your home, say on a deck or patio, your existing Wi-Fi network should be sufficient. But if you’re experiencing buffering or heading to a further section of the yard like a bar or pool, you may want to invest in a Wi-Fi extender.

This is an affordable gadget that repeats the internet signal to extend network range coverage and improve performance. If you happen to have a mesh Wi-Fi system you can simply add another node for more speedy and balanced coverage for several devices. Lastly you may want to see if the TV supports mounting VESA standards. This varies by size and weight.

You Might Also Like