By Jamie Corpuz | Posted April 15, 2020

With the warmer months approaching, many homeowners are eager to convert their patios and decks into proper outside entertainment areas. Whether your family is full of movie-lovers, gamers, or sports fanatics, an outdoor screening area is the perfect place to relax and unwind — if you've got the right outdoor technology, that is.

While the idea of a night spent under the stars with one of your favorite TV shows is undeniably appealing, if you don’t do a bit of homework first, you may end up creating safety hazards — and insurance liabilities — in your own backyard.

People commonly want to know whether or not it’s okay to use a typical indoor TV outdoors. The simplest answer is “no” — it is not advisable to use a television intended for indoor use outside. Mother Nature is tough on electronics, and regardless of where you live, there will be extreme weather at some point in the year to contend with. The safest, and most cost-efficient alternative, is purchasing an outdoor TV, such as a SunBriteTV

Indoor TVs are temperature sensitive. Some indoor Samsung TV sets, for instance, can only be stored at 113 degrees Fahrenheit, while most indoor Panasonics shouldn’t be kept in temperatures exceeding 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’ve ever been to a midsummer barbecue in the southwest, you know that these indoor TVs aren’t going to hold up outside under those conditions!
In comparison, a SunbriteTV set made for outdoor use can sit outside in temperatures up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Indoor TVs are sensitive to moisture and exposure to direct sunlight. Outdoor TVs are built to endure outdoor climates and hold up against extreme heat and cold, snow, rain, insects, humidity, and dust. SunbriteTVs are also built for secure and permanent installation, so it will only need to be set up once - unlike an indoor TV, which would have to be carted out for each use, and either put away or covered with a tarp, adding both an expense and a chore.

Insurance Liability
And while durability and aesthetic considerations are obviously important to consumers, safety issues and insurance liabilities are also major considerations. If, for example, an electrical problem were to occur and the indoor TV that you were using outside produced sparks resulting in a house fire, your insurance might not cover damages.

"While every insurance claim is looked at on a case-by-case basis, if electrical damage is caused because indoor electronics were used outside despite manufacturer warnings, it's possible the client might be found negligent and the claim denied. The insurance claims adjuster will investigate and decide what the outcome might be. As insurance agents, we're here to answer questions like this for our customers so we can develop the best insurance plan for you,” explains Rosen Stoynev of Goosehead Insurance in Foothill Ranch, California.

If you look at the manual for any indoor TV, it’s likely that there will be a note somewhere which cautions you against outside use. Having to deal with property damage and recouping losses can be difficult enough; you don’t want to end up in a compromised position because you neglected basic advice.


There are also visibility differences, which make outdoor TVs better suited for outdoor viewing. Ambient lighting tends to be much brighter outside, which means that indoor TVs, which are attenuated for indoor viewing, aren’t going to be bright enough when used outside. Outdoor TVs are built to withstand direct exposure to ultraviolet radiation, and some are even designed to be used in partially shaded areas outside. Sunbrite TVs offer significantly brighter screens (up to three times brighter than your standard indoor TV), less glare, and a sharper image, which makes for a much better outdoor viewing experience.

For audio, the natural choice is an outdoor speaker system like the ones made by Episode Speakers or Triad Garden Array Speakers which are not only equipped to hold up outside, but also deliver optimal sound for outdoor conditions. Thanks to Triad's “Ultra-Wide Dispersion” you'll appreciate even sound coverage, even if relatively few speakers are used. Compare this to an old boombox, or, if we want to be more contemporary, a portable bluetooth speaker that you’ll still need to bring in and out of the house and won’t deliver optimal sound performance.

What’s more — the technology, once exorbitantly expensive, is now more accessible than ever. It’s going to be a great summer for all kinds of outdoor family entertainment, so why not enhance your yard with a weather-ready screen and some open-air designed speakers perfect for the great outdoors? An outdoor TV with a modern speaker system is the way to go for both convenience and safety. Now all you need is the popcorn!


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