There was a time where the only place you would find a television was in somebody’s front room or perhaps in a bar or pub. Now TVs are being used almost everywhere for all sorts of reasons; from outdoor entertainment to digital advertising and signage.
Normal TV systems have come a long way since the old cathode ray tubes. Most TVs are now either LCD (liquid crystal display) or plasma and are flatter, lighter and cheaper. However, despite this advance in technology the standard LCD or plasma TV are not designed to be used outside.
The advantages of using TVs outside are becoming increasingly relevant. Many bars, pubs and clubs are finding more people socialising outdoors due to smoking bans and an increase in warmer weather. While outdoor digital signage is an extremely cost effective method of marketing and is being implemented almost everywhere – including schools, colleges, hospitals and the retail sector.
However, making use of modern TV systems in outdoor locations is not as straight forward of placing them outside and then powering up. TVs are sensitive electronics so any outdoor TV system, whether it’s for entertainment or outdoor digital signage, needs to be protected.
Protecting outdoor digital signage or exterior TVs is now a growing industry. There tends to be two solutions for protection of exterior TV systems.
The Outdoor TV
There are many manufacturers, including some of the big names that now produce flat screen TVs for outdoor use. These waterproof and weatherproof TVs have become commonplace due to the burgeoning outdoor digital signage market.
The advantages of an outdoor TV system are that they can be erected without the need for a waterproof enclosure or other weatherproof housing. However, there are disadvantages to this method. First, any outdoor screen that is to be left unattended needs to be protected from accidental and deliberate damage which would require some sort of protective housing. The other major disadvantage is the cost of such screens. The average waterproof TV costs many times more than an equivalent indoor model, a price many would-be users find difficult to justify.
The Outdoor LCD TV Enclosure
A far more comprehensive solution is to use a standard TV in an outdoor TV enclosure. These plasma and LCD enclosures not only cost a fraction of the price of a waterproof TV (even when you include the price of the standard screen enclosed) and they also provide protection against vandalism, accidental damage and theft.