Our New Outdoor TV In The Backyard
Early on in our backyard planning, Finn made it clear that he wanted to add an outdoor TV to our backyard setup. I really had no strong opinions one way or another, and since he was all about it, I said “Why not?!” Both of my brothers have outdoor TVs and they’ve been great for game watches, movie nights, and more. I really want our backyard to be a place where we can come together with friends and family, so we added this line item to our budget.
Finding the Right Outdoor TV
But whoa, did I experience sticker shock! Outdoor TVs are not cheap! Finn started sending me links to televisions he was researching and the prices ranged from $2,000 to more than $10,000. It’s wild. Finn did a ton of research and I soon learned that the price varies based on the screen.
Screens that need to be viewed in full sun are typically more expensive than ones that will be under a covered patio or gazebo and viewed in full shade. Of course, size and brand also play a big role too.
In the end, Finn decided on this 55″ Sealoc Samsung outdoor TV that can be used in full sun. It wasn’t cheap, but it certainly wasn’t on the super high end of the pricing spectrum. I believe he got it for 20% off during a 4th of July sale, so it might be worth looking into over this upcoming Labor Day weekend.
Installing Our New TV
The TV arrived and I’m not gonna lie…the huge heavy box sat in our living room for a good two weeks. We wanted to go in with a gameplan for the install and it was just kinda on the bottom of our priority list for a while.
Eventually, we set aside a Sunday afternoon to get it done during Rory’s naptime. We bought this outdoor mount for the TV and our plan was to get it installed and secure before she woke up.
Figure Out Where to Place It
First, we had to figure out where we wanted to install the TV. Just like hanging art, I wanted to make sure that we didn’t hang it too high, which is one of my biggest pet peeves for both art and televisions. You can read more here! We ended up placing the center 62 inches off the ground, which is a tad higher than I would go indoors. We had to take the deck into consideration, since we might be viewing it from that area too.
Instead of centering it directly on the garage siding, we centered it, based on the deck, just as we did our string lights. That way, the lights, TV, and table are all lined up nicely. We mocked up placement using painter’s tape, just to make sure we really liked it, before moving forward.
Find Your Studs
Next, we had to find the studs behind the area where we wanted to mount the TV. This was actually super easy because in our garage, the studs are right there out in the open! We measured the placement on the inside, and then translated that to the outside of the garage.
In the end, we marked four holes directly into the studs for the TV mount. The mount came with a template so that made it super easy to translate to the siding. Oh, and make sure you have a level handy so you can ensure it’s all straight as you go!
It was then only a matter of using a pilot bit to drill a hole and then we screwed in the mount. The mount comes with all of the hardware you need for this step, so you should be good to go!
Hang The Outdoor TV
At this point, Rory woke up from her nap, so we took a bit of time to play with her! Then, it was time to actually hang the TV.
With the mount secure, we grabbed the TV and placed it directly on the mount. The mount comes with hooks that you add to the back of the television, so it can grab onto the mount and stay in place. We tightened a few screws and boom, our outdoor TV was hung!
However, we still needed to actually get power to it! The good thing about the mount we chose is that it can move. It pulls in and out, tilts up and down, and moves left to right. We pulled the TV out and Finn used a paddle bit to make a hole behind the TV and into the siding, but not in a stud! We then fished the power cable through this hole and plugged it into the garage. Our TV worked!
Our New Outdoor TV
I’m not gonna lie, I built the install up in my head a bit too much. It seemed like it would be really complicated, but it’s just like installing any other TV. Make sure you hit studs and if you can’t, then use extremely heavy-duty anchors. I also thought the power part might be difficult to figure out, but once we got access to electricity in the garage, we were good to go.
Outdoor TV – FAQs
This was our first time buying an outdoor TV, so I had many questions for Finn throughout the process and I learned a lot. Here are some common questions I’ve received since I told you guys we were adding this to the backyard.
How do you protect it from weather?
First, I’ve gotta emphasize that this isn’t a regular TV that we put outside. Instead, it’s a television that is specifically designed for the outdoors. It is fully weatherproofed and can handle heavy rain. Even the remote control is weatherproof. That’s why outdoor TVs are so much more expensive than regular ones. It has the technology to function outside.
Will you cover it when it rains?
The TV can handle the rain, but we ordered a cover to protect it too. (We bought this from the Sealoc website when we got the TV.) We already cover all of our outdoor furniture, so this is just one more step when preparing for a bad storm. However, if it accidentally gets wet from a random rain shower, we won’t sweat it.
Will you bring it inside for the winter?
This was by far the most asked question I received on Instagram. Obviously, we live in a very cold and snowy climate, so I can see why everyone is so curious. I actually asked my brothers (who have had their TVs through multiple winters) this question, and they both said they leave theirs up during the winter. Again, these TVs are meant to withstand harsh conditions so it’s nice to know that they live up to the hype!
However, I chatted with Finn and I think we will plan to bring it inside during the really cold and crummy months, like January and February, because we won’t be outside using it. Our plan is to enjoy our back patio for as long as we can before it’s unbearably cold. It’s really simple to get the TV off the mount, so it wouldn’t be difficult to remove the television and store it inside for a couple of months.
How does the sound work?
The sound works just like any normal TV. It comes from the television itself, and we don’t have any external sound bars or speakers hooked up to it as of yet, although they do sell weatherproof sound bars. Finn may want to figure out how to wire it to our outdoor Sonos speakers, but we’ll see!
What channels do you get?
It’s a smart TV, so it connects to any streaming service via wifi, just like our Frame TVs. We have Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc., all set up on here. We use Xfinity for our cable/internet and they now have an app to watch live TV, so it works just like any TV and we get all of our normal channels.
Isn’t there a glare?
Nope. We opted for the full sun outdoor TV (since we’ll watch this in both full sun and shade) and the picture quality is great!
Why not just go with a projector?
I think a projector is an awesome option and it’s much more budget-friendly! We like the ease of having this all set up for us and we can just turn it on with a remote control, not to mention we want to be able to watch the TV during the day and in the sun, which isn’t ideal with a projector.
What’s the most important thing to keep in mind when buying an outdoor TV?
I had to ask Finn this question, since he did months of research when it came to the buying process. He said you definitely want to consider the brightness in the area where you’re installing it. If you buy an outdoor TV that is for the shade and it’s in the full sun, the brightness quality won’t be very good. Also, opt for a smart TV, so you don’t have to worry about setting up an Apple TV or other cable boxes, that likely won’t be weatherproofed. Oh, and be sure you have a strong wifi signal where you plan to install your outdoor TV.
Are you worried about someone stealing it?
Our fence and garage are both locked, and we have cameras in our backyard and garage. You’d also need the correct hardware to get the TV off of the mount. Security is a priority for us and our family, so we keep the inside and outside of our home secure.
Where do you keep the remote control?
I haven’t found a good spot for it yet! Right now, we just keep it in our kitchen and bring it outside when we turn the TV on.
As you can see from these photos, we have new landscaping underneath the TV! I’ll be sharing more landscaping details, and the names of every plant we have back here, in tomorrow’s blog post. And we are still waiting on the patio chairs for the table. (As you can see from the post, we’re just using folding chairs for now!)
Catch Up On Our Backyard Renovation
- Yardzen Design Plans
- Backyard Renovation Kickoff
- Backyard Renovation Progress (2 Weeks In)
- Our New A/C Units
- Deck Progress
- Painting the Garage Door
- How to Install String Lights
- Backyard To-Do List
- Backyard To-Do List: Progress
- How to Protect Teak Furniture
- Our New Outdoor TV
- Backyard Landscaping Details
- Our Outdoor Furniture
- The Big Backyard Reveal
- Backyard Renovation Lessons We Learned
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.