We report on outdoor A/V nearly every spring. That’s because the trend gets stronger and stronger every year as homeowners increasingly want to spend time outdoors, as evidenced by every consumer electronics magazine under the sun devoting entire issues to the concept. Best practices for outdoor A/V remains largely unchanged with the exception of a few fun trends. Here are 18 tips and tricks, however, for getting your space ready, not to mention creating an out-of-this-house A/V experience.
1. Wireless audio is your new BFF. While we always prefer a hardwired connection for audio quality, wireless home audio systems are great for getting music outside, without a lot of planning or structural wiring.
2. The more outdoor speakers, the better. For those purists who want to get the best sound, we suggest more speakers dispersed throughout your patio or backyard for even coverage aimed toward the home so that you won’t annoy the neighbors.
3. Create fun playlists. Without tunes to liven things up, it’s not really a party at all.
4. Plan for permanent fixtures. It’s important to plan for permanent outdoor electronics. For example, you need to install pool speakers before the concrete is poured, and conduit will need to be run to any permanent outdoor video displays.
5. Look for speakers that blend in. Compact speakers designed with flexible mounting options are increasingly popular because you can place them in trees, bushes or virtually anywhere.
6. Involve us from the beginning and wire for more speakers than you need. You may decide later on that you want more!
7. Allocate the proper space for in-ground subwoofers, which produce great bass outdoors.
8. Invest in a waterproof, rugged iPad cover or remote for outdoor control.
9. Never use indoor gear outdoors. You can’t simply take your TV outside, install it and expect it to hold up to the elements.
10. Run video wiring to several different locations so that you can put video in one or more spots should you decide to add more than one screen in the future.
11. Choose an outdoor display at the largest size so that you can put video in one or more spots should you decide to add more than one screen in the future.
12. For outdoor TVs, make sure to get a mount that includes a lock and key mechanism to prevent theft.
13. Protect your investment with outdoor security. A simple IP camera tied into your control system should do the trick.
14. Light it right to set the mood and add to your home’s safety. We can program the right lighting for various activities, like watching TV outside, a late night dip in the pool or a soak in the hot tub.
15. Add specialty lighting to your pool (such as color-changing LED) before the water is added.
16. Add outdoor wireless access points to boost signal for continuous Wi-Fi coverage outside.
17. Wow your guests with an outdoor movie theater, complete with weatherproof screen and drop down projector. Just remember that the appropriate housing is important.
18. Add other living elements, such as a grill, wood-burning pizza oven or outdoor seating.
Follow these guidelines and we guarantee you’ll begin to enjoy your outdoor spaces more than you ever have. Plus, we’ll do all the heavy lifting. Give us a call or call us to learn more!