AV 101 - Session 4 - Outdoor Audio and Video - Taking the Inside Outside!
Outdoor Audio / Video
Welcome to the fourth installment in our AV 101 series. In this post we are looking to educate you to all of the reasons you want and need outdoor audio and video and why you need equipment built for outside use to guarantee performance and longevity.
As the cooler fall weather finally arrives and we are in the middle of football season, everyone wants to spend time outdoors enjoying the crisp autumn days and cool evenings on a back porch or patio. Whether that be watching your favorite college football teams with family and friends, turning your patio or deck into a custom outdoor movie theater or enjoying a refreshing soak in the hot tub under the stars while listening to your favorite music, a properly equipped and designed outdoor AV system can make all of the difference in the world.
You are probably asking why not just hang a cheap TV under my patio and mount a couple of speakers under the eaves? While that can work, you are handicapping your enjoyment and costing yourself money in the long run.
First off let’s talk about televisions. Sure an outdoor TV is more expensive but, while some people do it, you shouldn’t take an ordinary TV and mount it outside, even if the TV is covered by a patio roof. Wind will still blow in rain and dust. Insects will creep inside and make their homes on the mother board. And if the Southern humidity is rough on you, imagine what it can do to delicate electronics. Plus, a standard TV display isn’t designed to be viewed in the ambient light situations found outside and will look dim and washed out, even if not in direct sunlight. Companies like Sunbrite and Seura’s Storm series of displays are designed for the elements and the viewing environment, and will last longer and look better. Not to mention they can withstand all water and temperatures from -24F to 122F! That means no replacing TV’s every couple of years.
Next lets discuss audio and outdoor speakers. A couple of under eave speakers will make some noise in the background, but that doesn’t do your outdoor space justice. Have you ever been to a hotel or community pool and in order for everyone to hear the music they turn it up so loud that anyone close to the speaker can’t have a normal conversation? I’m sure you have. Outdoor spaces require more than just speakers that can withstand the elements, they require proper design and placement. Directional speakers combined with omni-directional ones can evenly fill any size space. Multiple zones of audio are important for the usage of different areas. Imagine the adults sitting at a patio table in conversation while the kids are rough housing in the pool. The desired sound volume for each of those areas is very different and needs to be planned for. Denon’s HEOS products have the power and flexibility to make that happen and make control as easy as tapping a few buttons on your tablet or phone. Because of the lack of a closed area, outdoor audio also tends to be tinny and lacking in any bass response. Options like partially buried subwoofers can make up for the audio deficiencies inherent in outdoor living areas. James Loudspeaker and Sonance both make models of outdoor audio products that not only sound great but can also enhance the look of any backyard or blend in and never be noticed.