Mounting an Outdoor TV: Everything You Need to Know
Thinking about upgrading your outdoor entertainment area but not sure how to mount a TV outside? There’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. It pays to make a plan, invest in the right equipment, and hire a professional installation team. Here’s how to make sure mounting an outdoor TV is a home improvement slam dunk.
BIG PICTURE: HERE’S HOW TO MOUNT YOUR OUTSIDE TV
Are you looking to create an outdoor entertainment area for your home team? Whether it’s a hot summer evening or a crisp fall afternoon, nothing beats enjoying the game along with food, beverages, and a few of your favorite people.
The centerpiece of any great outdoor entertainment area is a beautifully mounted outdoor TV. There’s a lot more to successful outdoor viewing than just a giant screen. Here’s what the experts know about choosing an outdoor TV and then mounting, connecting, and equipping it to deliver hours of outdoor fun. Read on for your TV mounting playbook.
4 SMART OUTDOOR TV CHOICES
Hold the remote. Let’s start with four smart choices you need to make so you get the most out of your TV and outdoor entertainment area. A bit of planning at this stage will help you avoid costly mistakes and unexpected expenses.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TV
Sure you want the biggest, brightest, loudest TV you can afford, but not all televisions are created equal. Using a regular TV outdoors will immediately void your warranty and will expose your equipment to moisture, rust, and sun damage. You could even create a major fire hazard on your property.
Instead, choose a purpose-made outdoor TV from manufacturers like Séura, SunBriteTV, Samsung, and others. These units feature rugged construction, sun-resistance materials, and sealed components. Look for the ingress protection (IP) rating on these TVs to determine exactly how waterproof each unit is.
Many of these units are designed for full or partial-shade locations. 2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION
Think carefully about where you want to mount your TV. Consider these points:
- Lighting: will the screen be in direct sunlight at any time of day or will the lighting in your entertainment area affect viewing from any angle.
- Power: You will need power to use your outdoor television. Is there a GFCI-rated outdoor outlet within easy reach? If not, how much will it cost to install one?
- Wiring: Proper waterproof wiring is needed to connect your TV to a signal, either via an antenna, an HDMI cable, or a wireless signal from your cable router or dish receiver. It’s worth talking to an expert to figure out if you need to boost your HDMI signal or improve wifi coverage so you can enjoy uninterrupted viewing when it counts.
3. CHOOSE THE RIGHT ACCESSORIES
Consider what else you will need. For example:
- Extra sound: Do you want to bring the game to life with a sound bar or surround sound speakers? Consider how you will power these speakers and connect them to your TV either via in-wall wiring or adequate Bluetooth connectivity.
- Cables: Be sure all the cables you need are rated either for in-wall or outdoor use. You will need to factor in the cost of running these behind drywall or anchoring them to surfaces.
- A TV cabinet: For some outdoor areas, an enclosing cabinet can extend your TV’s life by protecting it from sunlight, moisture, and humidity. It can also add an extra layer of security. Many companies also provide covers for their outdoor televisions in order to protect damages from the elements.
4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT MOUNT
Selecting the right mounting bracket for your TV is critical to protecting a major investment. First, be sure the mount you use is weatherproof and designed for outdoor use to avoid problems with rust or plastic deterioration. Also, be sure the mount is rated for the correct weight and size of your TV.
You will need a mount that works for the surface on which you are installing your TV. Popular options include:
- Pillars, columns, and supports
- Ceilings or beams
You can find purpose-designed mounts for all these surfaces. Choose a full-motion mount wherever possible to allow you to angle or position your screen for optimum viewing and to avoid glare.
It makes no sense to spend big on a premium outdoor TV and then mount it with cheap, inadequate equipment. This is one area it pays to protect your investment. You can talk to an expert before you launch into a DIY installation or hire an expert installer. (Note: Many TV manufacturers will void the warranty if their product is incorrectly installed or the wrong mount is used).
STEP-BY-STEP: HOW TO MOUNT AN OUTDOOR TV
The process for mounting an outdoor TV is fairly straightforward. Knowing the tricks for managing materials and how to avoid or solve common problems can make the difference between a flawless installation and a costly failure. Here’s what to look for if you’re planning to mount your outdoor TV yourself.
1. DRILL HOLES AND INSTALL ANCHORS
Drill holes in the mounting surface. Measure carefully using the mounting plates as a guide. Use materials appropriate for the surface. Stone, concrete, wood, or steel will all need different drilling equipment and mounting anchors. Drilling through stone or brick is a messy, noisy job that requires experience, power drills, and specialized anchors.
If you’re mounting on drywall, be sure you’re mounting into the wood studs. Hanging a heavy TV directly on sheetrock will result in a broken TV and an expensive wall repair job. Drill small pilot holes or use a stud finder to be sure you get it right.
2. MOUNT BRACKET
Attach your mount to the surface using the supplied hardware, screws, or bolts approved by an expert. These will need to support a heavy and expensive TV for years to come. Most systems use heavyweight lag bolts to provide the required load-bearing strength. You will likely need help if you’re mounting equipment from a ceiling or high up on a wall.
3. MANAGE CABLES
Now it’s time to install power and wiring. If you’re “fishing” cables behind drywall, consider working with a professional installer, electrician, or contractor to avoid unsightly and unnecessary holes. An electrician will also ensure your wiring meets local code standards. Be sure to anchor any loose wires to walls or molding.
4. MOUNT TV
This is a two-person job, even if you’re installing a TV at eye level. This is due to the fact that one person simply does not have the wingspan needed to steady the TV while connecting the wires in the back. Make sure to use the hardware supplied with your TV or mount to ensure everything is tight. Check the full reach and pivot of your mount before installation to make sure your TV can move as planned.
MOUNT IT RIGHT WITH MOSELEY ELECTRONICS
An outdoor TV is a major investment. Ensuring that it’s properly and safely installed and connected will protect your TV and enhance your viewing experience. Work with an expert installer like Moseley Electronics to ensure:
- You choose the right outdoor television for your space.
- Your television is located correctly for optimal viewing.
- Your television is securely mounted with the right hardware.
- Power outlets and cables are properly positioned.
- Cables are safely installed behind drywall without unsightly holes.
Moseley Electronics is a full-service electronics company. Our experienced professionals serve residents throughout central Virginia. Click below to learn more about how we can help you with your outdoor TV installation game plan!