Blog by Beebe Cline

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Take the show or game outside with an all-weather TV and a cozy seating area

Summer is waning, but that's no reason to move inside. With the right setup, we can enjoy some of fall's most anticipated pleasures — football — right in our own backyards.

Fall is my favorite season, and for many like me in the Midwest, it's time to take advantage of every precious minute outdoors before the real bone-chilling cold and snow set in. Bundling up and watching a game outside can be great fun and keep the cabin fever at bay for a little bit longer.

You don't even need a dedicated outdoor home theater. Projection screens, inflatable screens and indoor TVs can all be used outside for short periods. So don't let the change of seasons or a chill in the air put a damper on things. Even that early dusk has a bright side: TVs are hard to see in bright sunlight.

More: 8 Ingredients of the Perfect Football-Party Room
Dedicated outdoor home theaters are an investment. Be sure to use the right equipment, such as all-weather TVs from specialized suppliers like SunBrite or SkyVue. You'll sacrifice some of the newest features such as 3D or internet connectivity for safety and durability, but that's the price we pay for not setting fire to the backyard.
While it's not recommended to use an indoor monitor outside, in rare cases and climates some people may take the risk. Be sure to enclose the unit in a weatherproof cabinet and use wiring rated for the elements.
Of course the best solution is to have a custom installer do the wiring and program the equipment. And when working with electrical projects the best solution is often the safest.
Modern flat-panel TVs are lightweight and easy to move around. This gazebo is open to the elements, making even an all-weather unit tricky here. Bringing an indoor-TV outside for special events is an easy fix, if there's an electrical outlet. Adding a DVD player makes movie viewing possible without a cable hookup, and there are more options for streaming content that I'll discuss later this week.
If you like to think of the outdoors as a Zen-like retreat, you really needn't sacrifice the entertainment center. This setting seems pristine and peaceful.
Another view shows a wall-mounted screen in this serene space.
If you're lucky enough to have a patio just off a media room, the simple addition of outdoor speakers will extend the experience. Wall-mounted speakers are an easy and affordable addition. Just be sure to use speaker cable rated for in-wall and outdoor use and seal all wire connections and conduits with silicon from a home improvement store. It's also a good idea to check them frequently and clear away any bird nests or leaves.
Rooms like this seem made for outdoor viewing, and they are. Screens outside have one big limitation: the sun. Make sure yours is located under eves or in the shade for daytime viewing.

Day or night, LED LCD screens offer the sharpest, cleanest picture today, so we can make the most of our time left outside.