How long will a regular TV last outside?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

When it comes to setting up a regular TV outdoors, it’s important to consider the potential challenges it may face. While it may seem tempting to enjoy your favorite shows or movies under the open sky, exposing a TV to the elements can significantly impact its lifespan.

Typically, a TV setup like this has a best-case life of 6-12 months outdoors. This estimate takes into account various factors such as weather conditions, protection from rain, and the gradual effects of condensation. Even if your TV is sheltered from rain by an awning or gazebo, condensation can still be a significant issue.

Condensation occurs when warm air meets a colder surface, causing moisture to accumulate. In an outdoor setting, particularly during the early morning or overnight, the temperature difference between the inside and outside of the TV can lead to condensation forming on its internal components. Over time, this moisture can corrode the delicate electronic circuitry, leading to malfunctions and eventually rendering the TV inoperable.

I’ve personally experienced the negative effects of condensation on outdoor electronics. A few years ago, I set up a TV on my patio, protected by a large umbrella. Initially, everything seemed fine, and I enjoyed many evenings watching movies outdoors. However, after about six months, I noticed that the TV started acting up. It would randomly turn off, the sound would occasionally distort, and the picture quality deteriorated. Eventually, the TV completely stopped functioning.

Upon inspection, I discovered significant corrosion on the internal components. The combination of exposure to morning condensation and the occasional drizzle had taken its toll. Unfortunately, the TV was beyond repair, and I had to replace it.

To ensure the longevity of your TV, it’s crucial to keep it in a controlled environment. If you’re determined to have a TV outdoors, you may want to consider investing in a weatherproof or outdoor-specific model. These TVs are designed to withstand the elements, with features such as sealed casings, moisture-resistant coatings, and built-in ventilation systems to minimize the effects of condensation.

While these outdoor TVs are built to be more durable, it’s important to note that even they have their limits. Extended exposure to extreme temperatures, direct sunlight, and excessive moisture can still impact their performance over time. Therefore, it’s advisable to exercise caution and not expect outdoor TVs to last as long as their indoor counterparts.

The lifespan of a regular TV used outdoors is relatively short, with a best-case scenario of 6-12 months. Condensation, which can occur even in a sheltered outdoor setup, poses a significant risk to the internal components of the TV and can lead to corrosion and malfunctioning. If you decide to pursue an outdoor TV setup, it’s recommended to opt for a weatherproof or outdoor-specific model that is designed to withstand the elements to improve its longevity.