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What type of display for outdoors?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 of 6 OFFLINE   Jim DiJoseph

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Posted March 05 2009 - 02:39 AM

Hey Guys,

Perhaps someone can help me with a recommendation for a friend. We live in South Florida (often hot, humid, and always sunny; rarely cold as well) and he is building a patio bar. Can anyone give us an opinion on the type of display that would work best outdoors? The display would be under an overhang, so we don't foresee any direct sunlight, but obvioulsy the ambient light will be fairly bright. Add to that the physical conditions and we wonder whether we can go with a standard LCD or plasma or if we should seek a more expensive option that is specifically designed for the outdoors (e.g., Outdoor TV Weatherproof LCD Television).

Appreciate any recommendations or opinions you can give. Thanks!

Remember...no matter where you go, there you are.

#2 of 6 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted March 05 2009 - 05:26 AM

1) What size TV are you looking for?

2) I'm amazed that you didn't mention rain (and wildfire smoke) in your climate summary. Posted Image

I think the biggest concern from a hardware standpoint would be humidity. Have no idea what that might do to the guts of a set over time.

The other elements could be easily dealt with by building a weather-proof enclosure where the TV would live whenever it was not in use. Turn it off, close the cabinet doors, hit seams and edges with some bug spray now and then and your friend will probably be all right.

Ambient light will likely wash out an LCD and reflections are apt to cause problems with a plasma, at least at certain times of day, even with the set recessed and under some kind of shade. If you're looking 42" and up, I'd be inclined towards a 3-LED DLP set. The technology will get you the biggest screen for the buck and is bright enough to overcome the ambient light issue, especially if recessed and shaded. OTOH viewing angle might be a problem. Anything smaller than that, I think I'd lean towards LCD. I'd take a slightly washed out look over glare, and LCDs are cheaper, inch-for-inch, so if being out there did shorten the life of the set, I'd be losing less money. Posted Image



#3 of 6 OFFLINE   Leo Kerr

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Posted March 05 2009 - 06:33 AM

I'd bias for plasma, for direct view, for added contrast and "punch," although some of the LCD screens do have plenty of punch.

The smaller the enclosure, probably the easier it is to weather-proof. Your best bet might be a system with a big gasketed door, similar to a refridgerator door. Might want to insulate both the cabinet and the door for condensation reasons -- not sure on that account.


#4 of 6 OFFLINE   Jim DiJoseph

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Posted March 05 2009 - 11:42 AM


Thanks for the suggestions. And yes, how could I forget the monsoon and the smoky seasons. Posted Image

I believe my friend is thinking large (definitely 42" and up), and I hadn't thought of suggesting a DLP. Good avenue to explore. And you and Leo have excellent persepctives with regards to a potential enclosure. Not sure if he considered that.

As for technology, I too told him that we would be facing a glare vs. washed-out scenario aside from the danger from the elements. But my other vantage point (along the same lines you were thinking, Joe) was to go cheap with an LCD in case the display's lifetime is shortened for whatever reason. It'll hurt less. (My other thought was potential theft, of course.)

Thanks for the insight. We'll continue the discussion - and I welcome any other suggestions and/or opinions.

Remember...no matter where you go, there you are.

#5 of 6 OFFLINE   JeremySt



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Posted March 09 2009 - 03:10 AM


#6 of 6 OFFLINE   Bazzle



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Posted March 16 2009 - 12:02 AM

Here in Australia outside plasmas and LCD are available . They can even be hosed (IP68 rating)
They are available due to there being a lot of people who use outdoor entertainment areas.
Normally to be on the sensible side a shade sail or similar is over the top to reduce direct light onto the screen.