Spring has sprung in the Mid-South and even though the Memphis area has experienced a bit wetter weather than normal, we’re seeing peeks of summer everywhere. Trees are beginning to bloom, flowers are being planted, and soon enough we’ll be in the swing of summer.
As the temperature rises, it’s likely you’ll find yourself wanting to be outdoors more to enjoy the warm weather. Equipping your outdoor space for entertainment is a big desire for homes in the southern states, as outdoor living spaces are functional for the majority of the year and setting your space up properly can ensure that the entire family finds joy in spending time together outside.
A big trend in recent years is equipping your covered living space with a television, allowing you to simultaneously catch some rays while catching the big game, or latest movie under the stars. Movie nights and sporting events are the perfect occasion to gather with family and friends, and providing the option of outdoor entertainment creates an additional space to gather at your home.
But, without properly prepping your outdoor space for a television, your entertainment options may be cut short. Below are our tips for proper setup of an outdoor television, and how to ensure it compliments the rest of your outdoor space this summer.
To begin, ensuring that you have a proper space set up that will allow your TV to be protected from weather elements are vital. There are many TV options that are rated for outdoor use. These TV’s use protective materials that keep them weatherproof, ensuring they stay cool enough to operate in warm conditions, and protect against wind and rain.
If you choose to use a regular TV in your outdoor space, test the area under different conditions, including heat and rain. If that area is regularly impacted in regular weather patterns, an IP-rated enclosure is recommended to protect and weatherproof the unit.
Image courtesy of SkyVue
As a best practice, the TV should be secured only in a place that is fully covered from elements like sun and rain. Covered patios are the best option in this case. The outdoor TV should be mounted using weather-graded mounts, that won’t bow in strong winds and can be used securely against exterior building materials, like brick and siding.
If ample shade and storage isn’t available, we recommend that TVs are mounted facing the south, to prevent as much sun exposure as possible. If a southern-facing wall is not an option, and ample shade isn’t available, looking at alternatives like rolling carts or portable setups are best. Longterm exposure to the sun can result in warping the casing of the TV and impact the picture quality, and life of the TV, as well as impact visibility during mid-day.
If you are in the planning stages of your entire outdoor area, planning to include extra electrical outlets and cable inputs along the same wall will allow you to have a cleaner look and will allow easier setup. If you’re adding or remodeling an existing area, take time to consider your wiring plan, and consult a professional to ensure that proper electrical precaution is taken in adding outdoor power.
Also, if you have outdoor speakers installed, properly connecting wires to those speakers will allow you to have premium sound, and the same precautions for weatherproofing should be considered. Exposed wires can lead to shorted circuits, fire hazards and can seriously impact the life of your entertainment space.
Before building an outdoor entertainment center, consider what you’ll use the television for. Will you use wireless streaming to view content? A strong wifi connection and a smart TV or third party device is all you’ll need. But if you need to connect cable or satellite, additional coax outlets are necessary and may require you to consult a professional to complete that setup. Other device connections like DVD or Blu-Ray players will need to be stored away from weather elements as well, either by disconnection or by including space in your enclosure to store. It’s important to think through these options before purchasing and type of enclosure, to ensure you plan for ample storage space.
Looking at outdoor seating or lounging is also important – having a beautiful, professional TV setup without seating can prevent you from fully enjoying the space. Do you plan to use the patio space for more than just lounging? Choosing furniture that is easily stackable and moveable will help you create an agile space that can be setup for different occasions.
Having a vision for your outdoor space is important. In order to bring it to life, you need a team experienced in creating hardscapes that provide lasting impact on your outdoor space and complement the exterior of your home. At Mid-South Irrigation, our hardscapes experts will bring your vision to life. From the vision conception to planning and installation, and keeping you up-to-date of progress along the way, our team can work with your budget to create an outdoor entertainment space that you’ll be proud to show off.
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