With warmer evenings on the way sooner than you may have realized, many people’s thoughts return to improving their outdoor living space, not only in terms of its looks though but in terms of its overall function and entertainment value. And for an increasing number of homeowners that means bringing music, TV, and movies outdoors with them in a big way.

The idea of an outdoor home theatre of sorts is one that has really been catching on over the last several years, especially as the cost of the electronics involved in creating such a space has fallen.

There is more to creating this kind of space than just hooking up a TV and some speakers on your patio; a real, functional outdoor home theatre takes thought, planning and then the assistance in most cases of a tradesman who has both the building and the electronic work that might be needed. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering such a job:

Waterproof and Weatherproof TVs and Enclosures – Understanding the Difference

A TV that is going to be spending much of its life outdoors needs, to a certain extent, to be rather hardy. For the most part a regular ‘indoor’ TV is not suitable for outdoor use and can pose a serious safety hazard. Unless that is you buy it a special outdoor enclosure, an item that is increasingly easy to find but you should still have such an enclosure professionally installed to ensure that it is functioning properly and is stable.

The more expensive alternative is to opt for a weatherproof TV that is rated for outdoor use. The distinct advantage of such a TV over placing a regular one in an enclosure is that the unit itself is designed to compensate for the variations of light and shade in an outdoor setting, adjusting the picture for glare and shadows as they appear.

Wired for Sound

A great sound system is a must as well, but the trick is delivering great sound for the occupants of your outdoor living space without angering the neighbors. Plan on your speakers firing towards the house and then integrate them into the landscape. There are outdoor speakers available that look like rocks and planters and other speakers can be built into the ground for an even more unobtrusive look.

Furnishing for Comfort

The last thing you want your outdoor home theatre to be is stuffy, uncomfortable and over formal. Obviously the seating on offer should be loosely gathered around the TV viewing area but that does not mean a row of chairs. You certainly might want to add a patio table and chairs for formal dining but things like generously sized floor cushions, bean bag chairs, even futon style seating can make the whole space far more comfortable and inviting.

The design possibilities for a residential outdoor theatre are only limited by your budget, the space you have to work with and your imagination. Take a look at some of the images in the gallery below for a little inspiration to get your plan for an outdoor home theatre space started.



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