When nice warm weather beckons you outdoors, it’s hard to leave the TV – especially when there’s a big game on. You could wheel a display outside, or permanently put this next-generation SunBriteTV Signature Series 32-incher on your deck or patio (there’s also a 46-inch version, SB-4760HD). SunBriteTV has been making weatherproof television sets since 2004 (mostly for the commercial market, but home consumers as well), but what makes the new SB-3270HD interesting is that it’s more in line with what’s in your living room than what’s traditionally been made for outdoors. That means a slimmer, brighter LED screen with improved heat management.
The 3270HD has a profile that’s 50-percent slimmer than the previous SunBriteTV model. To achieve this, the company developed a new cooling system that uses heatsinks and four tiny fans at the top to draw heat away from the LED. Tom Dixon, SunBrite’s VP of marketing, told us that with the old LCD design, heat was the biggest problem, requiring big vents and a big box for air circulation, not to mention that LCD panels are solar collectors. Moving to a 450-NIT, high-haze LED panel also allows the TV to be brighter, with improved viewing angles. A matte finish helps cut down on reflectivity. As DT’s A/V editor Caleb Denison points out in his review of the older SB-5560HD, that model suffered from high-energy consumption, which is something SunBriteTV obviously knew it had to fix.
The 3270HD is encased in a powder-coated aluminum that’s stronger, lighter, and more durable; the powder coating protects the TV against corrosion. The TV can withstand freezing temperatures down to minus-24-degrees Fahrenheit, and desert-like heat of up to 130 degrees. It’s also sealed for water tightness, and all the connections are in a memory-foam-sealed compartment that allows cables to exit while keeping moisture out. Ports include two HDMI, VGA, component, S-video, Digital Audio out, Toslink, and RCA. No need to add a sound system, as there’s a built-in speaker with a 20-watt amp.
SunBriteTV gave us an early demo in March, and the weather could not have been more perfect. Before we got to see the the 3270HD, which was set up on an outdoor rooftop desk in New York City, the TV had sat outside overnight – turned on – enduring freezing temperatures, cold wind, rain, snow – as bad as winter gets in this city. Yet, the display functioned normally like any TV would (except that it’s outside). We flipped through channels with the rather cluttered remote without noticing any performance hesitation or notable issues to speak of. We were probably more concerned about staying warm, but, if you ever need to watch TV out in the tundra, this TV is it.
The TV is a typical design, nothing particularly eye-catching. We thought the sealed compartment could have looked a little neater, but SunBriteTV does have a new optional wireless HD transmitter system ($595) that cuts the cords completely, up to 100 feet. Viewing angles were good until we got to the extreme left or right of the screen, but, from our brief time spent with the TV, the image quality was quite bright (although the brightness was probably toned down to match the overcast sky). SunBriteTV used an ordinary floor-stand mount.
A 32-inch screen size isn’t particularly large these days, and it seemed dwarfed by the tall buildings surrounding us; the 46-inch model was not demoed, but SunBrite TV says larger sizes are in the works. The TV comes in black, silver, and white.
Like its predecessors, the 3270HD is not cheap. For the weatherproof protection and outdoor usability, it’ll cost you $1,500; the 46-inch model costs $2,895. We’re talking about a 32-inch TV without any fancy design or smart/networking attributes. But if you are building a nice outdoor area where a TV plays an important role, the weather-resistant attributes of SunBriteTV’s new LED model makes it a prime candidate.
In case you were wondering how much beating can a SunBriteTV take, watch Denison torture one, below.