How do I protect my outside TV

Samsung's outdoor TV The Terrace and the alternatives

Many people will not go on vacation this year, but rather spend the summer holidays at home on the terrace or balcony. Samsung wants to get involved with a new television set: The Terrace, a smart TV for outdoor use. We took a closer look at the concept of The Terrace and explored alternative options for outdoor video fun.

Waterproof and dustproof

The Samsung LCD TV is housed in a housing that is protected against water jets and dust in accordance with IP55 degree of protection. So it should withstand a heavy downpour. The slim remote control is also waterproof, it even withstands strong water jets (IP56), but shouldn't fall into the paddling pool or pool. Unlike many industrial displays with IP protection, the terrace LCD is not particularly thick, but remains pleasantly slim with a thickness of just under six centimeters.

Samsung has given the screen a special anti-reflection treatment that minimizes reflections from the ambient light. Direct sunlight of around 10,000 cd / m2 You will still have to avoid putting them on the display, because the maximum luminance specified by Samsung for The Terrace of 2000 cd / m would be used for the remaining reflections2 not enough - the picture will fade in bright sunlight. An adaptive brightness control should also adapt the picture to the respective ambient light - in the evening the screen no longer has to shine so brightly.

Apart from this, quantum dots in the backlight ensure rich colors on the LC display. For the direct LED backlight, Samsung calls the figure Array 16X, which could mean 120 dimmable zones. Of course, the television also supports the two high-contrast formats HDR10 and HDR10 +, and as usual, no Dolby Vision.

So that you can play outside on the TV screen, Samsung has built in a nimble panel with "Motion Rate 240", which in this case probably means a 120 Hz panel. We do not know whether at least one of the three HDMI signal inputs supports HDMI 2.1. Since only the 8K models of the smart TVs planned for 2020 should have an HDMI 2.1 connection, this configuration is rather unlikely with the new Terrace TV. This is irrelevant for video playback, but the 120 Hz support with Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) or FreeSync would be interesting for gamers who want to connect the upcoming PlayStation to the terrace TV, for example.

Easy connection to the mobile device

With MultiView, the picture from the smartphone can be mirrored on the large screen next to the actual TV picture when watching TV. For example, you can check the news during a film or chat with friends about the film while watching a video. The Tap View function shown at CES is relatively new: it is sufficient to hold the smartphone directly to the TV display (tap) to initiate pairing between the two devices and to mirror the content of the mobile device on the large screen. The devices involved are recognized using NFC, and contact is made using Bluetooth.

Unfortunately, this only works with Samsung's Android smartphones at the moment, other androids are traditionally streamed via cast via Google's home app. The image content from the iPhone can be mirrored using Apple AirPlay 2. Of course, you can also control the Terrace TV by voice, for which you have to use either Samsung’s Bixby or Amazon’s Alexa; Google's Assistant is to be submitted later via firmware update. As usual, Samsung's Tizen OS is used as the operating system for the smart TV.

Just some expensive fun?

The Terrace TV is available in the USA for US $ 5,000 with a 65-inch diagonal (1.65 meters) and as a 75-inch version (1.90 meters) for US $ 6500. In this country, the outdoor television will also be available with a 55 inch diagonal (1.40 meters) from August; in the US it is listed at $ 3500. Samsung has not yet announced prices for Germany, but experience shows that they are around 3500 euros, 5000 euros and 6500 euros. In addition, a waterproof and dustproof soundbar called Terrace HW-LST70T is said to be available for $ 1200 to fill the garden with sound. You can also use it to play music from your mobile device via Bluetooth or WiFi.

So far, so exciting, but there are still a few questions: How can the device be protected from theft if you don't own property that is secured with walls and cameras? How do the neighbors react when you watch movies outside all summer long? Is there a sufficiently protected and stable wall to which the 30 to 50 kilogram umbrella can be attached? And last but not least: is the bright terrace TV really a good offer?

Bright industrial displays instead of Terrace TV

Alternatively, there is a bright outdoor display for digital signage. It usually lacks the smart functions, but they can be quickly retrofitted with a Fire TV Stick, Apple TV or Chromecast Ultra. Samsung itself offers such devices, such as the OM75R, a 75-inch outdoor screen with 4K resolution and direct LED backlight, but without color-enhancing quantum dots.

The OM75R is also waterproof according to IP55 and shines at 4000 cd / m2 even brighter and has a DisplayPort built in in addition to two HDMI inputs. The 60 Hz panel is not quite as fast, but the latency should be very low due to the lack of sophisticated smart functions and image optimization. However, the display only succeeds in reproducing images properly if the signal source is playing back flawless 4K images and no image optimization is necessary. This can turn out to be a problem with "stupid" displays, as was shown in the test of the unsmart 4K TV Evo 50 from Nogis. Samsung's 75-inch industrial display is designed for 24/7 operation, so it can run around the clock without being damaged. At 7800 euros, it is well above the manufacturer's terrace model.

Iiyama has the 3000 cd / m2 bright 75-inch ProLite LH7510USHB-B1 with 4K resolution and IPS panel from around 5800 euros. Although it is also suitable for 24/7 operation, it is neither waterproof nor dustproof. A very similar model is also offered by Philips in its H line with the 75BDL3003H for around 7400 euros. Like Iiyama's ProLite-LCD, the display is intended for weather-protected use in bright shop windows.

LG has very bright displays in its XF series, such as the 75XF3C-B. However, even these displays are not really safe from the adverse weather: the boards in the LCD are temporarily secured during maintenance work, but the display itself must be packed in a waterproof housing for outdoor use. This is not included in the price of 8,000 euros.

In this respect, Samsung's Terrace TV is expensive compared to conventional televisions, but not necessarily overpriced in view of the IP55 configuration.