Everyone has heard of outdoor speakers -- they come shaped like rocks, or even tree stumps -- but have you ever heard of an outdoor TV? California's says it wants to make 2013 "the year of the outdoor TV.",
While the company makes digital signage for sporting events and the like, it has now branched out into consumer devices as well. Its Signature line of TVs ranges from a 32-inch screen to 65-inch and is designed to resist rain, humidity, salt corrosion, and insects. The TVs feature a 30 percent higher brightness than regular TVs as well as microfilters to protect against dust and the smoke and grease from barbecues.
But let's say you don't want to spend $4,300 on a 46-inch TV.
The company says the TVs can be used in anything other than direct sun, for while the sets have bright, antiglare screens and cooling fans, only its high-end Marquee sets can withstand the heat of direct sun. Most LCDs, including the Signature series, can develop dark "hot spots" with extended sun exposure, though the company says these effects aren't permanent on its TVs.
The Signatures feature an ATSC tuner and four inputs including two HDMI ports. In the rear of the TV there's also a small waterproof compartment big enough to house a Roku box or small cable box.
CNET went one-on-one with the 46-inch SB-4660HD ($2,795) and it easily resisted the water from a water pistol, but we were more concerned about damaging the office it was housed in -- not a problem customers will have.