- Written by Stephen Hornbrook and Chris Heinonen
- Published on 28 January 2013
The SunBriteTV 5560HD 55" Outdoor All-weather LCD HDTV In Use
In my mind an outdoor TV has one major perk: sports. Where there is a BBQ, there is often a game of soccer, baseball, or football on TV and what better way to enjoy some grilled meats and a beer than to sit back with friends, catch some rays, breathe in some fresh air, and watch sports? I was able to get the TV setup just in time for one of the early season Oregon Ducks games. Friends came over and we had good food, drinks and even made a fire when temperature started to drop. Everyone agreed: this is the life. Although, I thought it was missing one thing: a hot tub. I think if I ever have a setup where I can relax in a hot tub with a glass of bourbon and watch some football on a SunBriteTV, then I have made it in life.
So how did the SunBriteTV look? BRIGHT. My first impression of this TV was that it pumped out a lot of light, which is ideal for daytime viewing. When the sun was shining directly on the front panel there was some noticeable, and understandable, glare, but as long as a proper location is chosen for the permanent install this shouldn't be much of a problem. The colors had a nice pop to them without being overblown and given the high brightness, perceived contrast was very good. I sampled the various picture modes: custom/standard/dynamic and didn't find there to be as much variance between modes as in most indoor displays. I chose standard and lowered the brightness a tad and left further adjustments to Chris and his meter and software.
Blu-ray playback was good, but not comparable to today's indoor plasma and LCD sets. The SunBriteTV uses a 120Hz panel and in doing so incorporates some degree of frame interpolation to playback at that rate. This becomes immediately prevalent on 24p sources and I have yet to see a version of frame interpolation that doesn't give me the heebie-jeebies, so I was disappointed to find no option in the menu to disable it.
Sound quality from the SunBriteTV's speakers worked well for sports, but definitely lacked on the movie front. If you were serious about sound when watching blockbusters outdoors, I'd recommend a dedicated pair of outdoor speakers, which would also allow for music while entertaining.
Off angle viewing was pretty good for an LCD set. It won't beat out my plasma by any means, but if you have a group of friends watching the game, I highly doubt any of them would complain about the picture quality sitting off to the side. The TV's brightness seems to help with the off angles.
Is this TV really waterproof? To find out, I turned on the SunBriteTV and sprayed it with the hose.
The refraction from the water droplets certainly don't make for a very watchable experience, but if the SunBriteTV catches some Oregon rain, it will merely laugh and keep on working. I wiped the water off along with some dust that had collected outside and it looked like new again.