Anyone who has ever tried to drag their TV outside at a party to watch the big game or have an impromptu Street Fighter tournament will tell you that it’s fruitless labor on a bright day. Turns out that your fancy gaming TV is not bright enough to contend with the sun. Thankfully, if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on an all-weather outdoor TV, you can just build one yourself on the cheap with some fairly easy-to-find parts.
Matt from DIY Perks decided to build himself a crazy bright outdoor 4K TV for less than $400 using a faulty 4K TV with a bad backlight, a glass top from an old coffee table, a bunch of aluminum, and intensely bright LED panels. The rest of the parts for the build can easily be found online for cheap. So, if you have the patience and know how to use UV reactive glue, you got this.
If that wasn’t enough, the entire thing is watercooled using cheap plumbing bits and water pumps. The TV itself will have a built-in reservoir that should keep temps manageable even on the hottest days. As you can see from the video, the final product is a hulking, bright as hell weatherproof TV that’ll let you play Rocket League on a clear summer day on the lawn or a rainy Sunday on the deck.
The funny thing is we don’t know how bright the new TV is because it was so bright, it blew out their instruments, but the rough estimate was around 2000 nits. For context, the latest phones usually have a peak brightness of 1000 nits to view the screens outside.
The project costs can range from $250-350 depending on if you went with more expensive LED (or brighter) panels and heatsinks. Most of the parts were from recycled materials or broken electronics. Of course, if you want to go fancier, you can order custom glass to match the exact size of the screen. That way you don’t have that thick black border you see on the TV in the video, but again that adds to the overall cost. Until then, instead of tossing old and damaged electronics, you can always find a use for them.