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Sunbrite SB-4670HD review: In snow, rain, or heat; you can watch the Super Bowl from anywhere on this outdoor TV

Michael Brown | Feb. 3, 2016
This thoroughly weatherized display proved tough enough to survive a rare California hailstorm and tornado warning, too.

I decided to press the issue to see how well the TV would perform, so I set it up on my driveway at about 2:00 in the afternoon, with the screen facing southwest—directly opposite the sun, which was high in the sky. To my surprise, I could still see the screen well enough to watch part of the NFL play-off game between the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos. A non-glare coating helps this effort, but I wouldn’t say it was the greatest TV experience I’ve had. Still, I could at least see what was happening on the field. I gave in after about 30 minutes and moved the TV to a more hospitable location: the eastern side of my house, where the TV was shadowed by the house itself (did I mention I was using a long coax cable?).

The experience here was closer to watching the game indoors. I found the color to be slightly exaggerated, and the black levels were weak compared to most of the indoor sets I’ve seen lately, but the TV had no problems keeping up with the game’s motion. The set also offered very good off-axis viewing, and the fact that it was bright enough to see in broad daylight was an impressive feat in its own right.

Sunbrite outdoor TV
Sunbrite Sunbrite recommends installing the TV under an eave or covered patio to shade the screen from direct sunlight. 

After the sun set, we gathered around a clay chiminea, I logged into my Netflix account from the Joey, and we streamed Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy. Now in the near absence of ambient light, with just the glow of the fireplace, I at first wished I could turn the TV’s brightness down a notch. But my eyes soon adjusted as I was swept up into the story of the demon from hell who’s grown up protect mankind from the forces of darkness.

When I went out to continue testing the TV the following day, I looked up to see to dark and angry-looking clouds gathering in the sky. As the wind kicked up, the temperature dropped, thunder sounded in the distance, and my Vivint home-security control panel started emitting a sound I’d never heard before. I went inside to see what that was about and found it flashing a tornado warning.

I live in a rural area of northern California, and tornados are just about unheard of here. As the thunder got louder and lightning streaked across the sky, we heard a dull roar in the distance coming our way. The tornado never materialized, thank goodness, but a curtain of marble-sized hail moved across the pasture toward the house. It was soon pelting the TV; and by the time the storm had passed, there was enough ice on the ground to look as though it had snowed (an equally rare occurrence in this area). Needless to say, the TV survived the storm without a scratch, and I didn’t find any water inside its cable compartment.

 

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