Outdoor AV_HomeSpring is finally here, which means it’s time to bring the plants back outside, move the furniture back to the patio, and most importantly it’s time to break out (or buy) outdoor AV equipment.  Before you start installing your recent purchase, you need to ensure you chose the right product(s) for your needs.  Whether you’re a home owner who loves watching baseball on your deck, or a business owner who wants commercial displays running outside for entertainment or to display information, this checklist is relevant to you.

Below is a list of can’t-miss features that you should be looking for in an outdoor TV/display and speakers for your home or business:

Aluminum or Steel Body Construction

Untitled2You’ll want to make sure the materials used to build your TV or speaker are of the highest quality. The device will need to operate in a wide range of temperature extremes, be subjected to rust and corrosion. When putting a device near a heat source, aluminum will hold up much better than plastic, which is typically used in consumer TVs. You will also want to make sure that your device has all of the audio capability and A/V inputs so that full functionality is available.



Weather Tolerance

A device with an Ingress Protection (IP) rating of 65 or above will be sealed and protected from dust and water spray from any angle. When looking for an outdoor TV or speaker for your home, don’t settle for less than IP 65. For commercial purposes, I recommend finding an outdoor display that has an IP68 rating.  A device with a rating of IP68 is a completely sealed unit that has been tested to stand up to the effects of moisture in the environment, be it humidity or torrential downpours.

NEMA, the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, sets industry standards for electrical equipment that will be exposed to the elements. Before buying an outdoor TV, find the NEMA rating and look for a NEMA 6 rating, at minimum. NEMA 6 is widely accepted as the industry standard for outdoor TVs, and offers protection against dirt, ice formation and temporary submersion in water.

Weather Resistant

Waterproof vs. Water Resistant

Waterproof and water resistant mean two very different things, and it’s important to understand and know the difference. A device that is waterproof means that it’s impervious to water and can even operate while submerged, whereas a device that is water resistant is able to resist water intrusion to some degree – but cannot be submerged. There are a lot of acronyms and marketing terms being used to describe water ingress protection, so be aware of what they mean and ask questions if you are unsure. Don’t forget to make sure that the remote is also waterproof. Keep in mind that a waterproof device can be power washed, which you will undoubtedly be doing at least a few times a year.

Anti-Reflective, Impact-Resistant Safety Glass

Impact ResistantI can’t think of anything worse than having a beautiful HD TV mounted elegantly in a backyard or restaurant patio and not being able to actually see the screen because of sun glare. Choosing a TV or display with an anti-reflective, impact-resistant cover glass will help prevent that dreaded sun glare. Impact-resistant cover glass will not shatter and spray glass everywhere if an errant baseball or flying debris happen to make contact with the front of the TV.

Low Maintenance

When considering buying a TV for your backyard or outside restaurant bar, check reviews and manuals to ensure that a particular unit will not require much maintenance down the road. Units that are completely sealed and ventless don’t require external vents, filters, or exhaust fans, which can get costly as the need to replace them persists. Small details such as rounded corners on the TV frame will allow water and dust to roll off the unit. You don’t want your TV going down right before a huge game. Keeping maintenance to a minimum allows you & your family, or your customers & employees to enjoy more time outside without the stress.

Outdoor AV

There are many options on the market, and knowing what to look for can help you towards achieving the ultimate outdoor entertainment area.  Lucky for you, there’s an outdoor AV webinar coming up so make sure to register for this FREE webinar on March 24th to discover a new meaning to outdoor entertaining this season.  From waterproof and weather-resistant mounts and TVs, to wireless solutions, learn all there is to consider when choosing outdoor electronics.