There’s no way you can watch a regular TV in the garden, even at night. The cables would be a lethal trip hazard, the screen would sit uncertainly on a wobbly table on the lawn until it inevitably toppled and the reflections on the glass screen would just be too much.
But as the summer brings warm evenings and makes staying indoors less enjoyable, watching TV al fresco seems increasingly tempting. The good news is, you can watch live sports in your garden pretty successfully. Here’s how…
The right projector
First, you need the right kind of TV and the best for this situation is a projector. It won’t tumble like a screen, cabling is straightforward, and you’ll need less of it because the projector can be much closer to the house. Plus, for the screen, all you need is a wall.
And the size of the image may only be limited by the size of that wall.
A projector like the BenQ TK800 can project a very high-resolution image on to a wall of up to around 300 inches, which is enormous! What’s more, the fact that it’s a 4K projector capable of HDR (High Dynamic Range) means the image is detailed, colourful and natural-looking.
The TK800 is very, very bright. Where many projectors require as dark an environment as possible, this one is easily viewable in a room with the lights on or outdoors as it begins to get dark, thanks to the 3000 lumens (many projectors only manage 1000 lumens).
A streaming TV box
If you plug in a TV streaming box like the Apple TV 4K or Amazon Fire TV, both of them tiny gadgets which can fit almost anywhere, you can stream 4K content such as movies and TV shows.
But even regular TV looks fantastic on the BenQ and broadcast sport looks tremendous (especially in 4k) - and where better to watch the big game than lounging in the garden?
And if the projector isn’t perfectly aligned with the wall, you don’t have to watch a distorted picture, the TK800 has something called automatic vertical keystone correction which can adjust the image and shift the lens to correct any distortion.
And that’s not all.
The BenQ TK800 has a powerful speaker that sounds good, and can make enough noise for the whole garden to hear. But you can also connect a Bluetooth speaker wirelessly to the Apple or Amazon box to beef up the sound even more. And since the TK800 has dedicated sound settings for football or other sports, adding the bass and volume a Bluetooth speaker can deliver can really make a big difference – you connect the Bluetooth speaker to the Apple or Amazon box.
You can also set up two Bluetooth speakers as a stereo pair and place them each side of the screen for an even more impressive solution.
And at the end of the evening when your guests have gone home and you fancy watching something else on your own but are worried about disturbing the neighbours, you can plug headphones into the projector, or connect Bluetooth headphones to the Apple or Amazon box and watch late into the night, confident that you’re not making a racket.
Now all you need to decide is what snacks you’re going to provide.