Outdoor TVs Selecting Proper Brightness and Contrast Ratios |
Want To See Yourself On TV! Simple, just take your TV outside and presto you’re a part of the show. Fact #1 - All LCD screens are reflective whether made from plastic or glass. Fact #2 - TVs are generally designed to be watched in a darkened room.
If you have ever tried to watch a LCD TV in a bright room you undoubtedly understand the negative effect the sun or bright lights has on the screen. Now take the TV outside. You’ll notice the effect only worsens. There is just no way a standard consumer indoor TV will be able to compete with bright sunlight, either direct or indirect. In order for a TV to perform well in outdoor conditions there are a few issues that need to be addressed. It’s common knowledge that exposing a TV to rain, snow or liquids of any kind is not good for its health. Moisture is enemy #1 of TVs, guaranteed to send it off to an ugly, premature demise.
“Well then, I’ll just purchase one of those weatherproof outdoor TVs or maybe a TV Enclosure”, you say?
Not so fast, Sparky!
Not all “Outdoor TVs” are created equal.
While all outdoor TVs are rated weatherproof and designed to withstand moisture some are just standard indoor consumer models that have been “value added” to protect against moisture damage. They do not address the other very important issue, reflection. In order for a TV to perform well outside and not appear to be a mirror it must possess enough brightness capability to battle the power of the sun.
“What is TV Brightness?” You may ask. Good question!
Definition: Brightness is a measurement of the light output (luminance) of a TV typically stated in either cd/m2 or nit. They are one and the same, 1 nit = 1 cd/m2. The luminance indicates how much luminous power will be detected by an eye looking at the surface from a particular angle of view. Luminance is thus an indicator of how bright the surface will appear. Pure white has the maximum brightness, and pure black the minimum brightness. If the ambient light is brighter then the LCD TV or monitor the end result will be an almost un-watchable picture.
An average indoor LCD will feature a brightness measurement of 200 to 350 nits. While a 350 nit display may be adequate in a shaded outdoor area it will fail miserably in a brighter or full sun environment. For brighter areas LCD TVs with a minimum rating of 450 and preferred rating of 700 nits will perform much better. If you're planning on a full sunlight display then a 1500+ nit rating will be required. Simply placing a standard consumer TV in an outdoor environment will result in a total waste of money.
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