The outdoor kitchen industry is on the rise and innovative amenities, including backyard entertainment systems, are increasing in popularity. In fact, according to a 2016 study by the American Home Furnishings Alliance, over 70 percent of U.S. households have outdoor living areas, and most of them would like to enhance those spaces. With some research, planning, and a little creativity, you can combine your favorite summer activities of pool parties and backyard barbecues with your own outdoor home theater.
Hosting friends and family for a barbecue to watch the big game is a great idea for entertaining. But even with the best backyard space, your guests will end up gathered inside in front of your television for the main event, leaving someone stuck outside at the grill hollering for an update on the score. Installing a TV outside will take your outdoor hosting abilities to a new level and allow you to keep the party centered in your backyard.
Outdoor entertainment centers pair perfectly with Brown Jordan Outdoor kitchens as you can combine your love of food with a sports or movie-watching hobby. By combining a luxury outdoor kitchen with an outdoor entertainment center, you are creating an all-encompassing backyard living space.
Read on to learn why an outdoor entertainment center is perfect for hosting guests in your outdoor space, as well as outdoor entertainment center ideas that will help you create the ideal setup for your installations.
In modern homes, a backyard can often be as elaborate as the indoors, sometimes incorporating a full kitchen, extensive seating and dining areas, and, of course, electronic entertainment. That means getting sound and video, normally enjoyed under the protection of a roof, safely outdoors. Here’s what you should consider before installing an outdoor entertainment center in your backyard.
Select an Outdoor-Rated TV
Many people will opt against an outdoor-rated television for their backyard entertainment center in order to save some money. However, if you choose a standard TV, you may end up spending more money in the long run. The warranties for most televisions are voided if they are set up outside. Outdoor-rated TVs are designed with brighter, non-glare LED panels to optimize outside viewing. Outdoor-rated televisions also typically have all-weather resin or powder-coated aluminum exteriors that protect their internal components from the damaging effects of rain, snow, sun, dirt, and insects.
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Location Is Key
One of the main things to consider for installing an outdoor entertainment center is the location that you intend to place your entertainment center. You’ll want to think about whether your chosen location receives too much direct light during common viewing times. If the sun reflects off of the screen, it may be hard to see the picture clearly. Additionally, a primary issue with an outdoor television is exposure to heat, which can be avoided by placing it in a location that doesn’t get direct sunlight. To enhance your watching experience, place your outdoor TV screen facing north, so the that sun is behind it. It’s also smart to install the television high enough that it can be seen from several areas of your yard.
Even though your outdoor entertainment center will be designed to stay outdoors, it’s still a good idea to avoid outside elements as much as possible in order to keep your TV in its best possible condition. Choose a location for your TV that will provide the most protection from the elements, ideally under a covered patio or gazebo. If you have a pool, it’s important to also think about where your entertainment center will be in relation to the water and splash zones. It’s a good idea to place your TV at least 6 feet away from a fireplace or barbecue as well.
Choosing a Cabinet Enclosure
Even if you select an outdoor-rated television for your backyard entertainment center, exposure to outdoor weather conditions 365 days a year is not good for any electronics. Consider installing your TV in an outdoor cabinet to protect it from the outdoor elements and prolong its lifespan. Additionally, placing your TV behind closed cabinet doors will reduce the risk of vandalism and theft.
Wired or Wireless?
The wires for an outdoor entertainment center are not as easy to deal with as your indoor television set where the cables are easily reachable. When you plan for an outdoor entertainment system, you can use a wired or wireless cable installation. A wired system is the most reliable method for connecting your outdoor entertainment center, whereas wireless can be easier to use once it’s installed.
Talk to your cable provider about the wireless cable options they offer. Many cable boxes are small enough to be hidden behind your TV to make for a more sleek, wireless look. Whichever option you choose, make sure to protect any loose wires with outdoor-rated conduit or piping. Normal cables will wear down faster and can crack when they are exposed to outdoor elements.
Pump up the Volume
The best sound from your entertainment center can be amplified throughout your backyard with a sound bar, which can be placed right below your television. Without a sound bar, you may find that your TV is difficult to hear among all the outdoor noise. A sound bar is specifically designed to increase the sound coming from the TV to its fullest. There are also wireless sound bar options available.
In addition to showing sports and movies, an outdoor entertainment system will also allow you to enjoy your favorite music while hosting your guests. The best way to get good sound outdoors is with high-performance wireless speakers. Most of them use bluetooth or Wi-Fi communication to play playlists or radio stations from your phone, tablet, or computer.
Some new speaker models are designed specifically for outdoor use and offer excellent sound quality and weather-proof features. Lots of in ceiling and in-wall speakers intended for home use are weather-resistant and approved by manufacturers for outdoor use on covered decks. If you’re running wires, there are a number of camouflaged speaker options. Rock speakers, which look like garden stones, sit low to the ground and disappear among the shrubbery.
Prepare for Game Day or Movie Night
An outdoor entertainment center is perfect for watching sports coverage during the day and showing a movie at night. Bringing video outside can be more complicated than audio because of the need to feed both audio and video signals along with AC power. Luckily, there are many options for installations that will create a versatile, fun, outdoor entertainment venue in your backyard.
For larger screens and more permanent viewing options, you’ll most likely want to invest in a dedicated, weatherproof outdoor television. Some manufacturers offer televisions up to 80 inches that are designed to keep the elements at bay and temperatures within a normal operating range.
A blue-ray or DVD player may be a good option for showing movies without hooking up a cable box. Streaming video services can also be connected by using a Wi-Fi connection or direct wired hook-up. Whichever content solution you choose, investing in professional installation will ensure the best possible sound and video quality for your backyard entertainment center.
Choose Comfortable Seating
Choosing the right seating to surround your outdoor entertainment center is key for providing optimal comfort for your guests. A large weatherproof sofa is great for accommodating frequent crowds, kids, rain, and the occasional spilled drink. Plush seating is a must-have in any outdoor entertainment space. Make sure you pick weather-resistant materials that will last.
Creating your own outdoor theater and entertainment center can provide hours of fun for your whole family during warm summer evenings. From simple projection theaters to advanced HD outdoor television options, you can customize your backyard entertainment center to provide the best viewing experience for you, your family, and your guests.
Contact us today on 203-626-5625 to find out more about backyard entertainment options and learn about our outdoor kitchen designs.