SunBrite ships slimmer weatherproof outdoor TVs

For people who are really serious about watching TV in the backyard, SunBrite announced two new models today with slimmer profiles, improved cooling and four-figure price tags.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Spring is finally here. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, the flip-flops are flip-flopping, and it's time to get outside and play in the sun after a long winter. Or maybe, hopes SunBrite, to sit outside and watch TV.

The company, manufacturer of expensive TVs designed specifically to withstand the rigors of your beautifully manicured backyard, introduced two new models today. The 32-inch SB-3270HD sells for $1,495 while the 46-inch SB-4760HD costs $2,895, and both are available now.

Yes, traditional indoor-only TVs can cost as little as $250 and $400 in those sizes, but they're not designed to be left in the cold. Or the extreme heat. Or a swarm of locusts.

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A scene from SunBrite's promotional video. Do not try this at home. Sarah Tew/CNET

SunBrite says the new sets can operate in temperatures up to 130 degrees F, music to the ears of Dubai's architects. They're also tested down to -24 degrees. The company's press release mentions a 50% reduction in depth over previous models, although they're still pretty thick compared to indoor LED TVs.

The set's "powder-coated aluminum casings" is responsible for better strength and lightness. And as with all SunBrite TVs, the new models "completely resist rain, humidity, salt corrosion, dust and insects."

We got an early look at the new TVs in February, back when it was still freezing out, on a decidedly insect-free rooftop in New York. Here are some photos from the occasion, with myself and Tom Dixon, VP of Marketing.

Also available now is SunBrite's weatherproof HDMI extender, model SB-HDWT ($595), designed to send up to 1080p video to any SunBrite TV within 150 feet.

I took the opportunity to ask Tom about those cheaper indoor TVs used outside. I've seen them installed outdoors, typically protected under an awning or in a gazebo, more often than any SunBrite, and I mentioned the fact that even if your $250 set dies, you're still very much in the black compared to one of his sets.

He admitted that cheap TVs viewed by some as disposable provide his company's stiffest competition, but cited the dangers of shorts and electrocution from leaving them outdoors, as well as the high-end nature of his audience. If you're in that audience, one of these bear-proof boob tubes (I'm serious; see the video below) might warm your heart.

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About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as "The Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics."

 

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