4 of the Most Important Tips for Outdoor Entertainment
Get the Best Performance from Your Outdoor Audio Video Components
Perhaps you’re ready to upgrade your outdoor living spaces with entertainment technology, just in time for the summer.
In our previous post this month, we discussed how to plan for an outside sound system. But what if you plan on adding other technology to your entertainment setup, like a TV or a projection screen?
How can you ensure the best outdoor entertainment experience throughout your Morris County, New Jersey property?
Below, we share five of the most important tips you should know about.
Tip #1: Use a TV that’s meant for the outdoors.
If you plan on bringing a TV outside for summer entertainment, you might be tempted to feature an indoor TV – especially if you expect to place it in a shaded area.
This, however, isn’t an ideal solution. Outdoor areas are significantly brighter than indoor spaces, and you need a screen that naturally showcases brighter images.
Of course, you also never can entirely rely on nature to ensure your TV remains secure from the elements. Wind-driven rain, for example, can even reach your fully shaded outdoor areas and damage unprotected technology.
The solution: Invest in a dedicated outdoor television that not only is weatherproof and impact-resistant but also produces a naturally brighter image than an indoor TV. That way, you can still have a clear view of the screen, even during daytime hours.
One of our outdoor television partners, SunBriteTV, produces a full-shade outdoor screen that offers 4K Ultra HD resolution with direct LED backlighting. It’s 30 percent brighter than an indoor screen.
SunBriteTV also produces 4K televisions for partial sunlight applications (such as under a partially covered patio or deck) and HDTVs for full-sunlight use. These screens feature anti-glare technology and 700 NIT brightness so that you can watch in any unshaded area of your backyard.
You might be wondering, though, how a TV can be weatherproof. Well, SunBriteTV uses durable aluminum cases that protect interior components from the elements – rain, snow, extreme temperatures, dust, insects, and more – and internal heating and cooling systems that allow for permanent outdoor applications.
Although optional, we always recommend also including a dust cover that can protect your screen and ensure you continually are viewing your content in the best resolution possible.
Tip #2: Build an audio system optimized for coverage, not volume.
We explored this topic in our previous post about outdoor sound systems, but it’s worth mentioning again.
An outdoor speaker system featuring just a few speakers playing music at a high volume will underperform compared to an evenly distributed speaker system playing music at a moderate level.
This is due to natural sound dispersion outdoors. Sound dissipates quicker outside, meaning you need to achieve a uniform sound field with your speaker system. That might mean adding a few more speakers to your setup.
When determining where to place your speakers, make sure that they are providing coverage for all areas of your backyard where people might congregate but aren’t so closely placed together that they are creating hot spots.
We also recommend placing speakers toward your house. Not only will your neighbors approve (since outdoor speakers are directional), but you also will receive better sound coverage without experiencing any dead spots.
Tip #3: Try to keep audio and video source material indoors.
Unlike televisions and speakers, most audio and video source materials (think receivers, cable and satellite boxes, and Blu-ray players) aren’t designed for the outdoors.
Unless you can confidently secure them in a weatherproof outdoor area, the best solution is to keep them indoors and use wiring to connect them to your outside components.
When determining the best wiring to use, make sure you run all of your cabling through a conduit to protect it from the elements, garden tools, and potential rodents.
Of course, there might be instances in which you will need to use long lengths of wiring to connect speakers at the far end of your property to your audio sources. In these cases, it’s essential you use a cable that will optimally distribute sound to your speaker – perhaps one with thick wiring, like a 12- or a 14-gauge.
With the right wiring solution, you can keep your audio and video sources indoors while still enjoying high-end outside entertainment. Your local technology expert always can help you find the proper cabling for your setup.
Tip #4: Control your technology in a way you find convenient to your lifestyle.
There isn’t one set way as to how you must control your outdoor technology.
You can use remote control, for example, that operates on radio frequency instead of infrared to optimize coverage area and to avoid IR interference from sunlight.
You even can use your smartphone or tablet to control your outside audio video devices.
With the help of your local technology installation expert, you can integrate an outdoor entertainment system with your overall home automation solution.
That means you can control every component of your outdoor setup through your existing Savant control system – you can change the channel on your outdoor TV, select music to play through your outside speakers, and turn on landscape lighting directly from your smartphone or tablet.
While there are endless ways you can control your outdoor entertainment system remotely, we always like to remind our clients to live by one rule of thumb:
Keep your non-waterproof devices away from your pool.
If you want to learn more about optimizing your outdoor entertainment, we invite you to view our knowledge center document on the 15 best tips for your setup.
We at Bravo AV also can customize and install an entire outdoor technology system to your preferences. You can reach out to our team today by clicking the button below.