We’ve been asked this question a few times now, mainly from people wanting to know if their now broken TV lasted longer than it should have.
Given that your standard TV is designed and optimised for indoor environments, it’s probably a wonder to some people it lasts at all, but we find that it’s down to a number of factors.
The key factor is if it has any kind of coverage at all, and how good that coverage is. If the TV is tucked up well under eaves, or an awning of some kind, to stop direct rain getting at it, it’s a good start. Typically a TV setup like this has a best case life of 6-12 months outdoors. You see, even protected from rain by an awning or gazebo, condensation is a killer. Over time, the morning condensation starts corroding the internal components and eventually something stops working. It could be something minor like a t-con board, or something major like the main-board – either way it necessitates repair. And with TV’s these days repair costs are nearly always greater than replacement costs: which is another way of saying you will need to buy a new TV.
Sometimes it’s a much shorter cycle. A recent customer told us he had replaced 4 televisions in the space of 7 months, which prompted him to eventually look for our enclosures. He had installed the TVs under cover of a gazebo, away from direct rain and sunlight, but for whatever reason they just were not lasting. As outdoor installation voids the warranty, it became a very expensive exercise for him. We are happy to report, that since installing one of our enclosures, he has had no issues, and should his 5th TV ever break, now that it has been installed inside our enclosure, warranty will not be a problem.
So, what else can bring a TV to an early death?
Excessive heat, direct sunlight, excessive dust/dirt build up and bugs! Bugs can actually do more damage to your TV than you think…
Another customer of ours ended up with a wasp nest in her TV. The theory was that they were attracted to the heat given off by the TV. Eventually the little critters killed the TV by causing a short circuit. To get into the TV, first it had to be fumigated and when the TV was eventually opened up, the serviceman was shocked by the plethora of animals that had made it their home. Needless to say, her TV warranty was void. 🙁
The last thing we will say on this issue, is the matter of safety.
The inside of any TV is running high voltage, even on standby. Moisture or condensation gets inside a regular TV through the vents at the top of the TV. Those vents are designed to let heat escape, and are great in an indoor environment. As soon as you install the TV outside though, you expose the internals, via those vents, to the risk of condensation and moisture accumulation.
Sometimes, the TV dies a quiet death, where one day you go to turn it on and it just doesn’t respond. Other times it can be very dangerous as the power arcs across the water creating a dangerous electrical situation for anyone or anything nearby. Safety is a key reason why you should consider installing your TV in a weather-rated enclosure.