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Dedicated outdoor home theaters are an investment. Be sure to use the right equipment, such as all-weather TVs from specialized suppliers like SunBrite or SkyVue. You'll sacrifice some of the newest features such as 3D or internet connectivity for safety and durability, but that's the price we pay for not setting fire to the backyard.
Of course the best solution is to have a custom installer do the wiring and program the equipment. And when working with electrical projects the best solution is often the safest.
Modern flat-panel TVs are lightweight and easy to move around. This gazebo is open to the elements, making even an all-weather unit tricky here. Bringing an indoor-TV outside for special events is an easy fix, if there's an electrical outlet. Adding a DVD player makes movie viewing possible without a cable hookup, and there are more options for streaming content that I'll discuss later this week.
If you like to think of the outdoors as a Zen-like retreat, you really needn't sacrifice the entertainment center. This setting seems pristine and peaceful.
Another view shows a wall-mounted screen in this serene space.
If you're lucky enough to have a patio just off a media room, the simple addition of outdoor speakers will extend the experience. Wall-mounted speakers are an easy and affordable addition. Just be sure to use speaker cable rated for in-wall and outdoor use and seal all wire connections and conduits with silicon from a home improvement store. It's also a good idea to check them frequently and clear away any bird nests or leaves.
Rooms like this seem made for outdoor viewing, and they are. Screens outside have one big limitation: the sun. Make sure yours is located under eves or in the shade for daytime viewing.
Day or night, LED LCD screens offer the sharpest, cleanest picture today, so we can make the most of our time left outside.
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