Installation Tips & Advice for Weatherproof TV Best Performance
How do I install an outdoor television? SunBriteTV engineers and product specialists offer the following tech insight on successfully installing your SunBriteTV weatherproof HDTV – on the patio, deck, yard, pool-side – to enjoy maximum outdoor entertaining.
How do I get HD content to my SunBriteTV?
“A wired installation is a reliable method to connect any source to a device,” says Larry Benson, SunBriteTV Engineer.
SunBriteTVs are typically utilized in situations where the video source – the cable or satellite box or a player – is located inside a house or other secure weather-safe location near the SunBriteTV.
There’s HDMI and There’s Balun
An HDMI cable can be used to get from the video source to your SunBriteTV outside, but only if the distance to the TV is less than 30’ (feet).
If the distance to your TV is more than 30’ – for example, from your video source to your SunBriteTV on the patio or outside kitchen – then, we recommend using powered baluns.
Um. What’s a balun?
Basically, a balun is a transmitter-receiver device. The “connection” used for a balun is a Cat5/Cat6 network cable. We recommend using a balun as a hard-wire option for setting up your SunBriteTV for 2 reasons:
- The Cat5/Cat6 cable used with the balun can be cut, or customized, for your specific outdoor setting (see images below).
- Many baluns include an IR remote control extender – or repeater – to get IR commands from the video source hand-held remote control, through the balun system back to the video source. This allows smooth channel changes and control of your outdoor TV while you’re outdoors. No going inside the house to change channels to ESPN or find NetFlix “House of Cards” to binge watch.
Reason #2 also saves you a few $$, if the balun includes the IR extender. Here’s a look at how the balun system appears in the weatherproof back compartment of a SunBriteTV:
“Even if the distance to the SunBriteTV on an outdoor patio or deck was less than 30 feet, I’d still use the balun system,” says Benson. “Because you can cut or adjust the Cat5/Cat6 cable to a specific length. It’s a cleaner install.”
More About Cat5/Cat6
The Cat5/Cat6 cable can be custom cut to any length needed for the installation. Cable and terminals are available at most home improvement stores.
Off-the-shelf cables rarely fit custom installation needs. The result … cables either too long or too short. Keep in mind that patios, decks, yards are different sizes, and your backyard – or any venue – is a one-of-a-kind setting, and does not usually match a conveniently pre-measured length cable.
And yet, there are finished, pre-cut Cat5/Cat6 cables available for anyone not comfortable with cutting cables – just make sure you are spot-in with lengths needed. .
“I’ve seen situations get more complicated than they need to be,” claims Benson, who often trouble-shoots and advises customized outdoor TV installations for all types of venues. He adds that a little planning and measuring can save cable-clutter.
Tip: Don’t forget to leave a little extra cable – a service loop – so the TV and its equipment can be cleaned and maintained on-going.
Back to the Balun
SunBriteTV recommends using a balun system with HDbaseT and a single Cat5/Cat6 newtork cable to get HD content to your SunBriteTV.
The receiver portion of the balun and its power supply can usually fit into a SunBriteTV weather-tight rear compartment (seen above). Each SunBriteTV has a slightly different rear compartment size, so check your TV’s compartment dimensions to ensure the balun you purchase fits.
SunBriteTV’s new – and available soon – wireless HD transceiver is another solution to get HD content to your outdoor SunBriteTV. The setup includes a signal broadcaster (Tx) plugged into a video source via HDMI. The receiver is connected to the SunBriteTV. You will need power at both ends.
Your SunBriteTV and a SunBriteTV wireless HD transceiver can be up & running in no time. The SB-HDWT wirelessly transmits video and audio signals from your video device – cable box, satellite box, Blu Ray player, etc. – directly to your SunBriteTV. The wireless HD transceiver has a built-in IR emitter, allowing control from remote-to-device to change channels, skip ahead, pause or stop.
“To hook all this stuff up is easy,” says SunBriteTV Engineer Jonathan Dry – who walks-through the following steps:
“Take the transmitter, Tx, connect the HDMI cable to your source unit. Then plug the power in. The green LED of power should be on. Try to get the Tx up and viewable to the outside where your SunBriteTV is. Now that you have a source of HD content – a DVD, Blu-Ray or cable box – next, you need to connect your SunBriteTV.
Outside, place your wireless receiving unit in line of site of the Tx unit. Line-of-site means a straight line with nothing in the way. We know that in a real application, the Tx will be in the house and the TV can be many feet away. Our units will go through walls and glass but that will limit the distance for a good connection. Best advice is going through a window, or a single wall. You will get close to 90 feet with a small amount of obstruction. If the wall has metal reinforcement, then the distance will be less. It would be best to test the unit much closer so you can see how easy the connection is, then test the units at a farther range.
Connecting the receiving unit: Connect the Rx to your SunBriteTV via the 15 ft HD cable provided. Then plug in the power cord into the power outlet you use for your SunBriteTV. Once you do this, the Tx and Rx will connect. Turn on your SunBriteTV and make sure the input is selected where the wireless unit is plugged in. Then, enjoy High Definition content outdoors.
If you want to control your HD device remotely from your outside unit to your inside unit, you must plug in the IR extender into the Tx unit. Then – this is the hard part – you must find the IR receiver on your DVD, Blu-Ray or cable box to stick the other end of the IR extender to your media player. This may take a bit of testing to get it positioned. Once there, you can control your inside source with your remote outside pointing to the Rx device window, and not have to run back inside to pause the DVD.”
The wireless box allows for full 1080p HD signal to be transmitted 100′ (feet) line of sight.
A final note: SunBriteTV does not recommend placing any of our HDTVs inside an enclosure. Our outdoor televisions are designed to withstand all-weather elements, and can overheat inside an improperly ventilated tight space.”