Award-Winning Outdoor TV Installations to Warm the Soul

Escape from Old-Man Winter with these sunny backyard entertainment areas.

After battling sub-zero temps and never-ending piles of snow over the past few weeks, looking at these two award-winning backyard spaces makes me yearn for sweet, sweet summertime. Premiere manufacturer of outdoor TVs, SunBriteTV, recently named the impressive outdoor entertainment areas as monthly winners of its Backyard of the Year Contest. Naturally, both areas feature one of SunBrite TV’s weather-hardy flat-panel TVs, and both installations, remarkably, are located in parts of the country that often feel the brunt of winter, but that’s where the similarities stop.

The first, in Lake George, N.Y., centers around a boat dock. Here, the custom electronics (CE) professionals from Ray Audio Video, Queenbury, N.Y., carefully hung a 46-inch SunBriteTV underneath the canopy of the homeowner’s boat slip. The dock, which is fashioned more like a patio, is often where friends and family gather to relax; the addition of the TV adds another element of warm-weather recreation to the space. Using a handheld remote, the owners can activate the TV and choose something to watch, which is usually sporting events, from either DirecTV or Apple TV. To keep the wiring runs as short as possible, Ray Audio Video placed the DirecTV receiver and Apple TV box, as well as a Boss MR1000 marine amplifier, on a shelf outside. “We tucked the shelf in a spot that’s somewhat protected from the elements and installed them in a way that would make it easy for the homeowner to disconnect them and bring them inside when necessary,” says Ray Audio Video vice president Gregory Goetz. A pair of outdoor-rated speakers from Electro-Voice round out the entertainment system.

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The second award-winning outdoor entertainment installation hails from St. Louis, Mo., where the CE pros from Creative Audio and Automation placed a 32-inch SunBrite TV in a pergola next to a backyard swimming pool. Constructed of steel, the pergola was built specifically for the TV, where the set is aimed at the pool’s swim-up bar. Says company president Kevin Brumley, the owners had contacted him to set up an outdoor entertainment system specifically for their daughter’s wedding reception. Now, though, the TV and its companion Polk Atrium 5 speakers (two are mounted to the pergola) and Atlas Sound GST—G Garden speakers (two are buried among the landscape) get almost daily summertime use, as the family uses the SunBrite to watch everything from movies to sporting events. Content from a Dish Network receiver feeds the TV; the owners use a Control4 app on their iPhone to activate the TV and speakers, which are also commonly used without the TV to fill the backyard with music.

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