Outdoor living spaces are on the rise. In fact, the American Home Furnishings Alliance reported in a 2016 study that more than 70 percent of U.S. households have outdoor living spaces, and consumers representing 71 percent of those households said they want to make those spaces better. Luckily, options abound, and new products have made it easier for people bring the comforts of home outdoors. While seating and cooking spaces are important, an outdoor audio/video system will make your outdoor entertaining complete. For a stand out outdoor space, consumers should consider the following tips for adding electronic entertainment to their yard.
Use Outdoor-Specific Equipment
Manufacturers have created many fine products that can be used on porches, lawns or decks and even in hot tubs. No longer do party hosts need to move a small TV or other A/V equipment from the indoors to outdoors. In fact, doing so is not a good idea, as indoor electronics aren’t designed to handle dust, insects, moisture, sunlight or rain. Newer equipment specifically manufactured for outdoor use is sealed to keep out rain, snow, dirt and bugs. The latest models provide a spectacular viewing or listening experience and can be controlled through tablet or smartphone.
Be Specific About Placement
In outdoor audio/video systems, equipment placement is critical. Speakers should be staggered right and left if being used in stereo (rather than mono), and they should aim away from neighbors’ property. Even though outdoor televisions utilize anti-glare technology, be cognizant of the position of the sun and how it affects viewing the screen. Ideally, the TV should be placed in the outdoor space before the speakers. Be sure to heed warnings on the label about how close the TV can be to fire pits, grills, pools or hot tubs.
Include Quality Speakers
Consumers often don’t realize how many speakers they need for their outdoor audio/video system. A professional can calculate the optimal number needed. There are many choices in outdoor speakers, from tree-mounted versions to natural versions disguised as rocks. Wireless speakers that can be moved around the yard are also available.
Choose Projector and Screen.
If you are seeking theater-style movie entertainment, you’ll have some decisions to make. Projectors can be placed permanently in weatherproof housing or kept as portable models. The screen can be as low-tech as a white sheet. Permanent screens are available that can pop out of or fold into a custom structure. For the most flexibility, choose a portable screen that can be stored in your home. Screens come in many sizes, and one type is even inflatable!
Where’s the Remote?
You can purchase a device that controls all your outdoor audio/video components along with your indoor components from one touch-screen tablet. Another option is to purchase a waterproof remote that works through the walls, since some of your electronics will likely remain indoors.
There are many good reasons to invest in an outdoor entertainment center. By bringing technology outside, people have more versatility in entertaining. No longer must they wait for halftime of the big game to cook and hurriedly eat their meal. Mood music or high-energy dance music is available at the touch of a button. Start planning your outdoor audio/video components, and you’ll be ready for summer parties in no time.