Can you Use an Indoor TV Outside?

Do you enjoy watching your favourite shows or movies outdoors? Maybe you want to host a backyard barbecue with some entertainment. Or perhaps, you want to relax on your patio with a glass of wine and a good flick. Whatever the reason, you might be tempted to use your indoor TV outside, instead of buying a specialised outdoor TV.

But is this a good idea? What are the risks and challenges of using an indoor TV outside? And how can you protect it from the elements if you decide to do so? In this article, we answer these questions and help you make the best decision for your outdoor viewing needs.

Risks of using an indoor TV outside


Using an indoor TV outside may seem like a simple and cost-effective solution. However,  it comes with some serious risks that you should be aware of. Here are some of the main ones:

Water damage

Indoor TVs are not the best for withstanding moisture, rain, or humidity. Even a small amount of water may cause short circuits, corrosion, or mold inside your TV, which ruins its performance and lifespan. Water damage also voids your warranty, leaving you with no recourse if it breaks down. Some examples of how water damages your indoor TV outside are:

  • Rain or snow may seep into the cracks and openings of your TV, causing electrical failures or rusting.
  • Humidity or condensation also builds up inside it, creating a breeding ground for mold and bacteria.
  • Spills or splashes from drinks, pools, or hoses may wet your TV and cause it to malfunction or short out.

Sun damage

Indoor TVs also do not cope with direct sunlight, heat, or glare. Exposure to these factors cause overheating, fading, cracking, or warping of your TV’s components. Sunlight also makes your screen hard to see. It reduces the picture quality and contrast. In addition, UV rays damage your eyes if you watch your TV for too long in bright conditions. Some examples of how sun affects your indoor TV outside are:

  • Sunlight heats your TV’s internal parts, causing them to expand and contract, which leads to cracks or breaks.
  • Rays from the sun also fade or discolor your TV screen, bezel, or casing. It makes your TV parts look old and worn out.
  • Sunlight also creates glare or reflections on your TV’s screen, making it difficult to see the images or read the subtitles.
  • UV rays harm your eyesight by causing eye strain, headaches, or cataracts. This happens when you watch your TV for too long without proper protection.


Another risk of using an indoor TV outside is that it attracts insects and other pests. Bugs crawl into the vents and crevices of your TV, causing damage or interference. They also nest inside your TV, creating fire hazards or health issues. Some bugs may even bite or sting you if you get too close to them. Some examples of how bugs are harmful to your TV are:

  • Ants invade your TV and chew on the wires or circuit boards, causing shorts or malfunctions.
  • Spiders spin webs inside your TV and block the airflow or ventilation, causing overheating or dust accumulation.
  • Bees or wasps build hives inside your TV. They even sting you if you disturb them or try to remove them.
  • Mosquitoes or flies buzz around your TV and annoy you or distract you from watching your show.



Finally, using an indoor TV outside makes it an easy target for thieves. TVs are valuable items which make them appealing to burglars. If you leave your TV unattended or unsecured outside, you may find it gone the next time you want to use it. Some examples of theft that may occur are;:

  • Thieves cut the wires or cables of your TV and take it away without being noticed.
  • They also break into your home through the window or door where your TV is connected and steal other items as well.
  • Thieves vandalize or damage your TV if they cannot take it away easily.

If you want to avoid these risks and enjoy watching TV outdoors, you should invest in a specialized outdoor TV designed for this purpose. They have features such as waterproofing, anti-glare coating, temperature control, insect repellent, and theft protection.

Best Practices To Follow When Using an Indoor TV Outside


Given these risks, you might be wondering if there is any way to safely use an indoor TV outside. The answer is yes, but only if you take some precautions and follow some guidelines. Here are some tips on how to protect an indoor TV from the elements:

1. Cover your TV

One of the simplest and cheapest ways to protect your indoor TV outside is to cover it when not in use. You may use a waterproof tarp, a plastic bag, or a custom-made cover to shield your TV from rain, dust, and dirt. Make sure the cover fits snugly around your TV. Ensure it has no holes or tears. You should also remove the cover before turning on your TV, as it traps heat and moisture inside. Some benefits of covering your TV are:

  • The coverings protect your TV from water, dust, and dirt, which can cause damage or interference.
  • It also shields your TV from UV rays, which fades or discolors your TV’s screen/casing.
  • The presence of a TV casing deters thieves from stealing your TV. They may not notice it or think it is not worth taking.

2. Use a TV cabinet


Another option is to install an outdoor TV cabinet to house your TV.  A TV cabinet provides more protection and prevents sunlight, water, wind, and bugs from reaching your TV. It also locks your TV in place and prevents theft.

However, a TV cabinet is often more expensive and complicated to install than a cover. You need to find a suitable location for your cabinet. Afterward, drill holes for wiring and ventilation, and ensure that the cabinet is weatherproof and durable. Installing a TV cabinet and covering your TV have similar pros and cons.

3. Place your TV Under a Shade

A third way to protect your indoor TV outside is to place it in a shady spot that avoids direct sunlight and heat. This helps prevent overheating, fading, and glare issues that often affect the TV’s performance and appearance.

You may use trees, umbrellas, awnings, or other structures to create shade for your TV. You should also avoid placing your TV near sources of heat or fire, such as grills, fire pits, or heaters. The plus side of placing your TV in a shady spot includes:

  • Reducing the temperature and brightness of your TV, which can improve its lifespan and quality.
  • Enhancing the visibility and contrast of your TV’s screen, which improves your viewing experience.
  • Also, it saves energy and money on your utility bills. As a result, you may not need to use fans or air conditioners to cool down your TV.



Using an indoor TV outside is possible, but not advisable. The build of indoor tvs are not capable of withstanding the elements as well. Eventually, the TV will suffer from various problems that may result from rain, dust, sun glare, heat, etc.

However, if you still want to use an indoor TV outside, follow the tips we have listed above to protect it as best as possible.