|Weatherproof: Weatherproof TVs are designed with the same inputs as standard TVs and can be affixed to standard mounts as well.|
Hotel TVs have been used outdoors with varying degrees of success for years. TVs can be used to enhance an area with extra visual stimulation, but as costly, complicated amenities, they should be taken care of no matter where they are used. Taking care of these devices often starts with placing the right machine in the right place.
“Hoteliers have often made the mistake of using indoor displays in outdoor settings,” said Craig Miller, Sr. area sales manager, flat-panel displays/hospitality for Panasonic. “Many casino pool areas have taken to covering the displays in private cabanas with trash bags, a strategy that will nearly guarantee a failure.”
Miller is also hesitant to recommend using “weatherproof” enclosures to protect TVs outside, as they are prone to lapsing in protection down the line. “The risk of purchasing an indoor display and installing it outside on a weatherproof enclosure isn’t ideal for a number of reasons,” Miller said. “Enclosures can leak and also appear bulky, taking away the aesthetics of a flat-screen display. Also, they need heating and cooling systems that are far less energy-efficient.”
Outdoor TVs are available that have their own fan systems built directly into their chassis, allowing them to control heating and cooling internally. “Outdoor displays also have to be sealed tightly to keep sand and dirt out with the aid of an air filter,” said Gretchen Gilbertson, co-founder and CEO of Seura. “And not just sand and dirt, the filters help keep bugs out as well. Insects will find their way into screens and cracks in indoor fixtures, but can be kept out with filtration systems.”
Miller recommends using TVs with an IP44-level rating for protection against water, steam and dust in outside environments to ensure a long life. “If a fixture is to operate outside, it needs to be able to operate efficiently in harsh environmental conditions, such as heat, humidity and extreme cold,” Miller said.
“[Hotels] want something that will work when they want and provide some longevity,” Gilbertson said. “TVs take up a large percentage of costs, so they shouldn’t become obsolete quickly.”