Ensuring outdoor TV visibility

This is part two in a series on outdoor TVs. Visit here for part one: Hotels see increased guest interest in outdoor TVs.

Beyond damage, outdoor TVs have to be seen. Julian Miller, GM of the Eventi Hotel in New York, said his outdoor ‘Big Screen’ jumbotron draws crowds of nearly 1,000 guests in its outdoor plaza, and all of them expect to see the screen.

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“From a hotel perspective, we are constantly making sure our guests are happy,” Miller said. “Our large screen is easily viewed by so many guests and locals; however, we do have additional TVs at The Vine for added options and the ability to change programming if requested.”

Building a TV that can be seen easily outdoors is no small undertaking. Typical indoor displays have a screen luminance of around 400 “nits” (a unit of brightness measurement). According to Dan Smith, senior director of sales at LG Electronics USA, luminance of more than 800 nits is required for outdoor usage, and somewhere between 1,500 and 2,500 nits is ideal for viewing in direct sunlight.

“If seeking a low-cost alternative, products which fall within the 800 nit range and are not exposed to direct sunlight are less expensive,” Smith said. “Also, if the option exists to install a panel where it will not be exposed to direct sunlight, then this can reduce the cost of product selection.”

Because the industry for outdoor TVs is so new, Michael Sloan, president of SkyVue, recommends conducting research before your purchase to make sure your hotel gets the real deal.

“There are some companies out there that are retrofitting indoor TVs for outdoor use, and that doesn’t work,” Sloan said. “Right now there are only a few companies offering a real outdoor TV.”