Outdoor media entertainment has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Families and friends enjoy watching favorite TV shows and movies outside during a cookout or a day by the pool. However, you may not be sure which media setup will be best for you: TV or outdoor TV projector.
We have researched these two types of devices to help find you answers and ensure you are getting the ideal outdoor media setup to meet your needs.
What Is the Best Option for Outdoor Screen Time: TV or Projector?
You will need to consider several factors when figuring out which of these options will be the better fit for your viewing situation. There isn’t a one-fits-all answer to this question.
Every area is different, and the viewing environment is one of the largest deciding factors when choosing between a TV or projector setup. Some environments work better with one rather than the other. Here are some things to consider before you begin shopping for your equipment.
- Permanent or temporary – You should consider whether you want a permanent media setup, or if you prefer to have a backup setup that you can pull out for special occasions.
- Environment – There are several environmental factors that can help determine the best outdoor entertainment setup. First, you should consider the size of the viewing area. This will give you an idea of the screen size you will need and whether you will need to consider a separate sound system. It is also important to consider if the area is near water, like a pool or pond, because you will want your setup to be waterproof at best.
- The size of the audience – Knowing the number of people who will be viewing the screen is important. The more people in the area, the larger screen you will need to accommodate them all.
- Light – Ambient light sources can cause a glare on screen setups. Therefore, you will want to consider if the area has a lot of ambient light, and if it does, you will need to consider what you can to reduce glare for a better viewing experience.
- Price – Outdoor entertainment setups are available to suit a wide array of budgets. Before you shop, it’s a good idea to decide how much you’re willing to spend and consider which type of setup will fit your budget.
These are just a few questions that might help you to make the best decision for you, but you might have more based on your situation.
Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor TVs
Outdoor TVs are best for areas that have a substantial amount of ambient light that might mess with a projector. They are also suited for smaller areas. Here are some of the pros and cons of outdoor TVs.
Advantages to Using an Outdoor TV
Outdoor TVs have become more common than many people think. However, many manufacturers have still not started making outdoor TVs. This means that you will find your selection limited compared to TVs designed for use inside the home. This does not mean that considering an outdoor TV is a bad thing because they do have many advantages that make it worthwhile to think about them. Let’s take a look at a few of the advantages of using an outdoor TV instead of a projector.
- Outdoor TVs are easy to set up. Unlike a projector, an outdoor TV has everything you need to use it built into the device. All you have to do is plug and play. However, most outdoor TVs have the capability of hooking up to sound systems if you need louder volume.
- They are designed to be weatherproof. One of the biggest advantages of having an outdoor TV is that manufacturers design them to be able to hold up against the most severe weather conditions. An outdoor TV is designed to withstand cold and heat, and they are often waterproof to survive rain or outside water sources like a pool.
- TVs are designed to be easier to view than most projector screens. Most projector screens are made to be stationary against a flat surface. Therefore, they are harder to move around. However, most outdoor TVs can be put onto a TV mount, which will allow them to be adjusted to different angles with ease. Plus, some TVs have a tilt mechanism already built into them. This will help viewers to see the screen, and it can help you to maneuver the screen to a different angle to avoid stray light sources that could cause glare.
- Outdoor TVs have fewer lighting issues than projectors. One issue that people using projectors have to deal with is ambient light sources in the outdoor viewing area. Projectors use light to reflect images onto the screen, and ambient light sources can cause unclear images. However, TVs do not have the same issues with ambient lighting that outdoor projectors have. Ambient light sources do not cause the same kind of glare on an outdoor TV screen.
When looking at an outdoor TV, you should remember that they are not all made the same. Depending on the quality of the TV you are considering, it may have some, all, or none of the above advantages. Keep this in mind when you are making your final decision because what you consider an advantage might not actually benefit you.
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Disadvantages to Using an Outdoor TV
No design is perfect for every scenario. Manufacturers are constantly trying to change their designs to be better than their competitors’ products. However, every design will have some sort of disadvantage. Here are some of the disadvantages you might find with an outdoor TV design.
- Outdoor TVs do not always have the highest quality audio options. Outdoor TVs have built-in speakers, which means that you are not required to set up any other speakers. However, built-in TV speakers are not always great. If you’re not satisfied with their sound quality, you still might have to invest in external speakers.
- Overall, outdoor TVs can cost more than projector setups. Compared to projector setups, outdoor TVs can cost more due to their technology and design. Most outdoor TVs are expensive, which means that you might have to spend more than you had planned if you want to make sure to buy a high-quality outdoor TV.
- Outdoor TVs do not have large screens like a projector. Outdoor TVs do come in different sizes, but they are not at large as a traditional outdoor movie projector screen. Their size could limit the viewing area where people will be able to see the screen with ease.
- Outdoor TVs are not the best option for larger gatherings. Outdoor TVs are designed for smaller get-togethers, like parties around a grill or pool. Their screens are not ideal for viewing in a large, open area.
Everything You Need to Know About Outdoor Projectors
Outdoor projectors can be used for different types of media. Just like with outdoor TVs, it is important to know the advantages and disadvantages of projectors to be able to make an informed decision.
Advantages to Using an Outdoor Projector
It is important to understand the advantages that outdoor projectors provide, and the following benefits should be carefully considered when choosing between an outdoor TV and an outdoor projector.
- Outdoor projectors are easy to set up once you have done it a few times. Although an outdoor projector might take some getting used to, once you have set up your projector a few times, the setup process becomes easier to accomplish. It might take a couple of tries to get the routine down, but once you do, it will go faster.
- Outdoor projector setups can cost less than purchasing an outdoor TV. Many people wrongly believe that an outdoor TV will cost less than a proper projector setup. This is not always the case. You will have to buy other components, like speakers and a screen, but this can still cost less than some outdoor TVs.
- Outdoor projectors have larger screens for projecting outside in bigger areas. One major advantage to having an outdoor projector is that its screen will be larger than that of a traditional outdoor TV. Many people enjoy this setup because it gives them more options to expand their viewing area outside. The average outdoor TV screen can range from 32” to 64”. However, projector screens can reach up to 150”.
- You can accommodate more viewers with a projector setup than with an outdoor TV. Compared to an outdoor TV, an outdoor projector setup is better when you have a larger audience. Projectors’ screens are larger than outdoor TVs, which means that more people can enjoy the movie without an obstructed view.
Enjoy Your Time Outside With These Outdoor Daytime Projector Tips
Disadvantages to Using an Outdoor Projector
Even though outdoor projectors can be cheaper, there are some disadvantages that you will need to take into consideration before making your final purchasing decision. Below are the three most important ones.
- There is no weatherproof outdoor projector. Unlike outdoor TVs, there is no such thing as a weatherproof projector. One reason is that projectors have issues with rain and wind. These weather conditions can distort the image before it hits the projector screen. Plus, the device itself is not weatherproof. This means that you will have to take the projector inside when it is not being used to make sure that weather conditions don’t harm it.
- Lighting can be a huge issue with outdoor projectors. Most projectors reflect light off of the projector screen, which is what allows the image to be viewed. However, if there is any type of ambient light in the area, it can cause the image quality to degrade drastically.
- Projector setups are temporary and have to be constantly redone. Most outdoor TVs are weatherproof, but since projectors are not, you will have to take the projector inside after viewing and back outside when you want to use it again. This means that you will need to set it up and take it down every time you use it. Even with a simple setup, this can be time-consuming, and if there are any sudden weather issues, the projector could be damaged if not moved inside fast enough.
Insights and Takeaways
Choosing between an outdoor TV and an outdoor projector can be difficult. Each device can work well in different situations. It all depends on what you are looking for. If you have a large area with few ambient light sources, you might consider an outdoor projector. However, if you have a small area that has a lot of ambient light sources, then your best bet will be an outdoor TV.
It’s wise to make a list of important considerations before you start looking at this device. After all, what is important to you might not be important to someone else. Step back and look at everything as a whole: environment, lighting, pricing, and space. This will help you to make the right decision for your space and purposes.