Your First Steps to Setting up an Outdoor Television
Why set up a TV outdoors?
Folks are around the country have a multitude of reasons for considering an outdoor TV setup. By far the most popular reason for having an outdoor TV is to spend time in the outdoors with the people you love, watching the TV programs you enjoy.
Here’s a quick answer and many of the benefits behind configuring an outdoor TV:
- Enjoying family TV time in the home patio area
- Watching TV sports while barbequing outdoors
- Safely transporting a TV to a sporting tailgate event
- Providing restaurant customers TV entertainment while sitting outdoors
- Many other outdoor commercial applications such as football stadiums, theme parks, hotel resort pools and more
Place Your Outdoor TV
Proper placement of your outdoor television is critical to prevent any unwanted weather impact. When placing a TV outdoors, there are a few general guidelines which we generally advise:
- Roofed outdoor areas are preferred – overhangs, porches etc.
- Wind direction should be considered – to test wind directionality, we generally recommend a simple dip of your finger in a glass of water then holding your finger in your outdoor area to determine which direction the wind approaches your outdoor area from. Gusts of wind have the potential to bring other outdoor items airborne such as pine cones, branches etc. Configuring your TV screen’s face to be positioned parallel to the wind stream can greatly help in minimizing the risk of any airborne objects having impact with your display.
- Ease of use should be considered. How easy would it be to regularly use your outdoor television in the position you are considering setting it up in? Ideal setups should avoid having the move the TV for each use and avoid cable rewiring for each use. The lower the barrier of entry to turn on and enjoy your outdoor TV, the more value you will derive out of your setup.
- Examples of ideal setup areas:
- Arm-mounted in an outdoor porch area
- Flat mounted on the wall within a pool area
- Placed on an outdoor table unit with a stand
- Mounted beneath a restaurant roof overhang
Cover your TV
Utilizing a first class weatherproof TV cover designed specifically to protect an outdoor TV is one of the most effective approaches for keeping your outdoor TV safe from weather.
There are a multitude of variables to consider when selecting an outdoor TV cover:
- Are you going to be using a wall mount?
- There are several different kind of wall mounts available on the market. The three most common mount styles are single arm full motion, dual arm full motion and flat wall tilt. Each of these styles of mounts connect to the rear of your TV. When selecting a TV cover, you want to make certain that the rear of the TV cover has the necessary openings and coverage to fully protect your TV while mounted. Stronghold Accessories TV covers support all three of these most popular TV mount styles.
- Do you plan to use a table stand?
- Most TV stands have arms coming out of the bottom of the TV. If using a stand, you will want to ensure that your cover has the ability to open (and close) in the bottom section of the cover.
- Sized for your TV’s physical dimensions
- When measuring your TV, always measure edge to edge of your TV unit (the very edge of the plastic housing, not just the end of the viewing screen itself). While measuring, also be sure to be measuring in horizontal and vertical lines. Be aware: most TV manufacturers advertise the diagonal size of your TV on the box.
The first measurement you will want to take is the TV width which is simply the horizontal length from one side of the TV to the other as shown in the picture above.
The second measurement you will want to take is the height, which is measured as the bottom of your television's plastic housing to the top (do not include the stand in this height measurement).
The third measurement required is the depth. This will be the thickness of your TV unit, which is the most furthest front part of the TV housing to the furthest back part of the TV as shown in the image above. Most modern LCD, LED, and PLASMA TV's are generally no larger than 5 inches in depth.
- With your TV’s dimensions, you can determine the proper cover fit size:
- First consider the horizontal measurement of your TV. You want a cover that is at least the size of your TV's horizontal measurement plus a little extra room on the sides to allow the cover to be comfortably taken on and off of your TV. Take your TV's horizontal measurement and add two inches (one inch for each side of your TV), this will be the minimum horizontal measurement you will be looking for in a cover.
- Second, take the vertical measurement of your TV and add one inch. This will be the minimum height measurement you need for your outdoor cover.
- Most TV’s share similar depth measurements (~5 inches) which most universal covers are designed to accommodate.
- If you are utilizing an additional sound bar accessory, the length and width of the soundbar’s housing should be added to your TV’s length and if wider than your TV, added to the width.
- When selecting a cover, aim for the cover to be at least a bit larger than your TV. Large covers can fit small TV's but small covers won't fit large TV's. For example, a 55 inch cover can be used for a 50 inch TV.
- TV Cover “gotchas”
- Does the cover provide 360 degree protection? Some covers on the market utilize an elastic strap to wrap the cover around the rear of the television. These covers leave the rear of the TV exposed to the elements which is not ideal. Some other covers do not have a bottom flap, leaving the entire bottom of your TV exposed in such a way that water and humidity can make it’s way up into your unit. Stronghold Accessories TV covers mitigate these challenges, providing full 360 degree protection in the rear and contain a velcro sealable bottom flap to ensure your TV is fully protected.
- Carefully consider the manufacture of your cover: Which company is the manufacture of your TV cover? Do they specialize in outdoor TV covers or are they just another large discount store? Do they stand behind their product and offer a full service warranty?
- Is the cover constructed out of time tested marine-grade weatherproof materials? There are a variety of different materials available for covers on the market today. Here at Stronghold Accessories, we have time-tested our cover materials prior to manufacturing to determine which material would withstand both the scorching hot Florida summers and thunderstorms as well as the frigid Michigan winters.
Setup your Cabling
As with any TV, outdoor televisions also require video and power wiring to the rear of the unit. Keeping the contacts at the end of your cables dry and moisture free at all times is critical to the operation and lifespan of your TV.
Heavy duty HDMI cables should be utilized when possible. Ends of the HDMI cable should be kept out of any direct rain or snow.
Your TV’s power cord and connection should also be kept at all times. Most TV covers will fully cover the power terminal in the rear of your TV unit. Dry power connection protectors are recommended in setups which are exposed to heavy amounts of rain or snow. Extension cords are common and often time used.
Have a Heavy Weather Action Plan
Last but not least, we always suggest you have a heavy weather action plan. If a heavy New York snow storm or Florida hurricane is on the way, as a best practice it is always a wise idea to bring your TV indoors for storage for the duration of the heavy weather.
For wall mounted TV’s, we suggest removing the TV from your wall mount at the rear of the TV (as opposed to removing the entire mount from the wall). This will allow the mount to maintain the integrity of it’s original anchoring to the wall. A properly anchored mount can withstand heavy weather on it’s own in the majority of cases.
Enjoy the Outdoors!
We hope you found this deep dive checklist useful in guiding your family’s outdoor TV journey. If you have any questions at all, please reach out to us freely via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our wide selection of outdoor tv covers directly on our company website located here.
Take care and enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family!