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How to Do Outdoor TVs, Theaters and Speakers

by Cody Tretschok

Should You Bring Your Technology Outdoors?


As I’m writing this, it’s mid-May in Tucson, and the weather is absolutely beautiful! It’s time to start spending more time outdoors, by the pool. But if all your fun electronics - your theater, your big screen TV, your speakers - are indoors, how can you enjoy them outside? Should you consider bringing some of this technology outside as well? At Arizona Sound & Light, we say absolutely yes, you should – read on!

Speaker Options

In-ground subwoofer with satellite speakers

There are many options for enjoying your electronics outdoors. The easiest of which is probably the modern Bluetooth wireless speaker. Although not completely waterproof, many of these are designed to be at least water-resistant, and they generally have a signal range long enough to connect to your indoor system or to your cell phone at a minimum.

Wireless Bluetooth is great, but the sound can be a bit small and localized. If you want higher fidelity, you’re still in luck! Modern outdoor speaker systems have come a long way over the last 10 years or so. In the old days you were limited to a couple of speakers that you hung under the patio. Now, you can move the sound farther out into the yard with completely weatherproof speakers distributed throughout your yard. Some of these are designed to look like rocks and blend into the landscaping. But my favorites are the satellite-subwoofer systems that look like small landscaping lights. You simply “plant” the subwoofer underground, so all you see sticking up is a small pipe with a cap on the top. Then you place two to ten satellite speakers around the listening area, and presto, you have full, top-quality sound that doesn’t compete with the aesthetics of the landscaping. The sound is amazing – you won’t believe your ears, since you really won’t be able to see the speakers!

Display Options

Luxury patio with outdoor TV display

If you want to do more than just listen, there are plenty of ways to watch as well. My favorite is the modern outdoor TV. Unlike traditional televisions, there are many manufacturers who make TVs specifically designed to work outdoors. They are brighter, to overcome the sun’s glare, and they are also weatherproof, so they can hold up to the elements, dust and bugs. Regular TVs simply won’t hold up well outdoors unless they’re 100% protected from the weather. Yes, the outdoor TVs cost a bit more than the indoor variety, but they’re worth it. Watching a show on the patio or by the pool is a fantastic combination of fun experiences!
Another great option is the outdoor theater. There is nothing like watching a movie outdoors, from your inflatable lounge chair, floating on the pool! There are many approaches to this goal - too many to list here – but they all generally involve a portable movie screen and a projector. The key is to provide a cinematic experience with a large image size. I’ve seen everything from a $200 6-foot inflatable movie screen to a $400,000, 12-foot direct-LED screen that rises out of the pool deck! The goal is always the same though – maximizing the fun experience outdoors!


Don’t forget about the lights in your outdoor technology system. There are many different types of outdoor lights that can enhance the look and feel of your outdoor space. Furthermore, being able to control the brightness and/or color of these lights can really enhance the experience. If done properly, they can all be controlled through your automation system, which brings me to the next subject, system automation and control.

Controlling the System

Taking command of your system outdoors is now easier than ever. In more advanced systems, everything is hardwired to your indoor system, using CAT6 and speaker cables. So, you can generally use the same remote control or touch screens that you would have used indoors. Some companies even make wireless remote controls if you want to bring yours outside. But the easiest and often the best remote control is simply your smart phone. A fully integrated home system should allow you to control everything – indoors or outdoors – with a few presses on your phone or tablet!


There is no reason that you have to separate your music listening, TV watching and outdoor fun. With a well-designed outdoor system, you can have the best of both worlds. The quality of modern outdoor systems rivals or even exceeds that of their indoor cousins, so you don’t even have to compromise on audio or video quality! If you have a nice backyard, you owe it to yourself to add some outdoor technology. Arizona Sound & Light has a large variety of options to choose from. Give us a call or email and let us help you maximize your outdoor enjoyment. You won’t regret it!