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12 Tips for Installing TVs Outdoors (and What to Avoid)

Whether you’re just starting to install outdoor displays or consider yourself a pro, know that this offering has its own very specific but easy-to-follow set of rules.

7. Location, location, location. Both lighting and weather conditions can put a damper on an outdoor viewing experience. If possible, pick a spot that is protected from the elements and doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. If the placement isn’t flexible, it’s okay.

Many outdoor TVs are rated for harsh weather conditions and are sealed to protect against moisture and other outdoor conditions. If the screen will receive direct sunlight exposure, make sure the outdoor display is direct-sunlight-readable with a bright, high-temperature panel.

8. Be involved from the beginning. Most people don’t spend enough time planning any installation, let alone one fraught with unpredictable weather issues. Being involved with a project from the beginning will save a lot of time, money, and energy. For instance, you don’t want to come into a project, only to inform the client that new cables need to be run or swapped out.

9. Have the proper power in place. As mentioned, no one wants to run new wiring after the walls are sealed. Don’t just think about the types of cables, but make sure you have the electrical power needed at your installation spot. If not, you’ll need to factor those costs into the planning stage. Hidden and unexpected costs are not pleasant surprises to bring up during the installation process.

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10. Consider control early. If you’re splitting content from a cable box, satellite box, some other indoor source, or all of the above, think about how users will control the outdoor display. And do they need to control more than one TV? Make sure the user has the proper controller to access content, adjust the volume, and even switch sources if needed.

11. What do you want to watch? There are a lot of ways to get content to outdoor TVs these days. If you plan to split a cable or satellite box, make sure that the proper wiring is already in place. If that’s not an option, media players are compact enough to conceal outdoors and several options can even tap into an existing WiFi network, provided a strong, stable signal is available.

Just make sure that the box is weatherproof. All-weather point-to-point wireless transceiver systems are also available, and can offer simple HDMI-in, HDMI-out wireless streaming.

12. Plan on a few delays. Proper planning takes time. However, there’s one thing you can’t plan out: the weather. Because this is an outdoor installation, it can be unpredictable. The environment, additional equipment, budgets and even “the ever fateful scope creep” can all throw a wrench into your timeline. Plan for potential delays and you’ll be a lot happier—and so will your client.

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12.5. Provide the outdoor TV option! Okay, so technically, this is the 13th tip, but it’s an important one. Make sure your clients are aware of the benefits of an outdoor TV and what it can do for their business, whether it’s for entertainment or informational purposes.

Their return on investment from potential advertising & promotion, increased attendance, or improved patron experience can be attractive. It’s possible that they’ve never even thought about it! Having an outdoor display can make for a nicer install, a happier client, and an incremental source of revenue for your company and your client’s.

Contributors: Rachel Cericola; Kevin Burnley, President/Owner, Creative Audio Video and Automation; Arnie Rivera, VP of Solution Delivery & Client Services, Reflect Systems; Larry Benson, Engineer, SunBriteTV; Jonathan Johnson, Director Brand Marketing, SunBriteTV.