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SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

Need a TV to watch in the sunshine? This is it.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review
(Image: © SunBriteTV)

Our Verdict

The SunBriteTV Pro 2 does what even most outdoor TVs can't, letting you watch TV in full sunshine. We can overlook a few issues for that.

For

  • Solid 4K picture with basic HDR
  • Rugged outdoor design with internal climate control

Against

  • Expensive
  • No built in audio or smart functions
SunBriteTV Pro 2: Specs

Price: $4,999.99
Model number: SB-P2-49-4K
Screen Size: 49 inches
Resolution: 3840 x 2160
HDR: HDR10
Refresh Rate: 60 Hz
Ports: 2 HDMI, 3 USB
Audio: N/A
Smart TV Software: N/A
Size: 45.1 x 26.9 x 4.8 inches
Weight: 84 pounds

The SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV isn't built for the living room, and it's not built like any regular TV you've seen. Made for outdoor use, it's built to withstand harsh temperatures, inclimate weather, and to be viewable even in direct sunlight – a feat even most other outdoor TVs can't match.

We may not love everything about it, such as the lack of smart features and the need for a soundbar, but our SunBriteTV Pro 2 review will help you understand what you want in an outdoor TV and why the Pro 2 delivers what no other TV can.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV review: Price and configurations

The SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV comes in a range of sizes, giving you a number of different screen size options that all carry the same heavy duty protection against the elements.

But they don't come cheap. The 49-inch model we reviewed sells for $4,999, making it considerably more expensive than most premium 65-inch TVs. Larger screen sizes come with even larger price tags.

  • 49-inch SB-P2-49-4K — $4,999
  • 55-inch SB-P2-55-4K — $6,499
  • 65-inch SB-P2-65-4K — $8,599

The good news is that every model in the SunBriteTV Pro 2 lineup offers a similar level of quality, from the ability to withstand heat and cold, sunshine and rain, to the overall picture quality and features available. So any recommendations we have for the 49-inch SB-P2-49-4K apply to the other sizes SunBriteTV sells in the Pro 2 line.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV review: Design

Outdoor TVs are purpose-built devices, where aesthetics are a distant second priority to the functional demands of weatherproofing. That's entirely true for the SunBriteTV Pro 2. The look of the TV is very much like that of an armored car, with a boxy shape and angular metal chassis. But the heavy enclosure serves as literal armor against temperature, weather and more.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

(Image credit: SunBriteTV)

The 49-inch model we reviewed measures 45.1 x 26.9 x 4.8 inches, and is notably bigger and thicker than any indoor equivalent. The whole TV is painted a flat black, and punctuated with stout screws holding everything together. The TV's beefy design is due to a rugged and fully enclosed metal chassis, which is powder coated and sealed to keep out moisture, dust and any other hazards of the outdoors. The chunky design protects from rain, snow, humidity, even salt air and rust.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

(Image credit: SunBriteTV)

It's also extremely heavy, tipping the scales at 84 pounds, well more than most any indoor set at any screen size. As a result, even though this is a smaller TV in some respects, it is certainly one that will require two people to lift and install. If you're not paying for professional installation, you will need to recruit a friend to help handle this hefty and unwieldy TV.

Some of that weight is thanks to a built-in temperature control system that alternately cools or warms the TV's components to reduce internal condensation and prevents any damage from temperature extremes. As a result, the TV can operate from low temperatures of -24° Fahrenheit to a maximum of 122° Fahrenheit, meaning you can keep the TV outside through the blazing heat of summer and the icy chill of winter. The weather proof exterior and self-regulating internal temperatures will keep the TV ticking year-round.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

(Image credit: SunBriteTV)

Additional weatherproofing is evidenced in other features. On the back of the set is a door secured with multiple thumb screws. Opening that door exposes the TV's media bay, an inset panel of ports and connectors.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

(Image credit: SunBriteTV)

On the left hand edge of the set is a weatherproofed collection of control buttons, for power, input menu selection, channel selection and volume. With a single surface covering all of these neatly labeled buttons, you get simple control of the TV without allowing moisture or other hazards to get in.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

(Image credit: SunBriteTV)

Across the front of the TV is an additional layer of tempered glass, shielding the screen from outdoor hazards. When viewing the TV head on, this additional layer isn't obvious, and doesn't impede viewing in any way. However, when viewed from an angle, this additional glass does introduce some partial obstruction and limits viewing angles. More on that in a moment.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

(Image credit: SunBriteTV)

Unlike most TVs, the Pro 2 series is designed exclusively for wall mounting, with SunBriteTV offering a number of weatherproofed mounting options, from fixed mounts to articulated full motion mounting arms. With a standard 400 x 400 millimeter mounting pattern, it will fit most of the best TV mounts, but SunBriteTV's accessories have the added benefit of being designed for the same outdoor use as the TVs.

What you will not find is a stand for tabletop use. It also has no built-in speakers, so you’ll need to purchase a weatherproof soundbar or speakers separately.

The biggest difference between the SunBriteTV and other indoor TVs is the lack of smart features. In a world where connected TVs running all sorts of streaming apps have become the norm, the outdoor-ready Pro 2 is a dumb TV that goes where the average TV can't.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV review: Ports

On the back of the set is an enclosed bay of inputs and ports, locked behind a secured door that features moisture resistant gaskets and a special layered gasket slot to feed cables through. The foam rubber gaskets of this slot provide a good seal to keep any dampness out.

The port selection is different than most current TVs, since the outdoor model is designed for a very different setup than the average living room. As such, the TV has plenty of input and output ports, including some you won't find on the latest Samsung or LG models. The bay includes a handy sticker that labels all of the connections, something we wish other manufacturers would adopt for the sake of clarity.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

(Image credit: SunBriteTV)

The set has two HDMI inputs: one an HDMI 2.0 port that can handle 4K picture at 60Hz, and another that uses the older HDMI 1.4 specification. There's a coaxial connector for an antenna, a VGA port for connecting older equipment, and component and composite video inputs. There's also a 3.5 millimeter audio input jack, an optical output for surround-sound systems, along with the more standard output for audio. The audio output offers 20 watts of power for external speakers.

A trio of USB ports are available for powering devices like streaming sticks, or plugging in a flash drive to view photos, music and video files. An IR Repeater port lets you set up an external IR sensor for the remote control, and there's a LAN port that's meant for HDBaseT – a protocol for sharing video and audio over IP, as well as controlling the TV.

Finally, the media bay also has room to accommodate the Roku Streaming Stick Plus or the Chromecast with Google TV, or several of the other products on our list of the best streaming devices. It's a quick and simple way to add smart functions and streaming to the Pro 2, without sacrificing any of the outdoor capabilities.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV review: Performance

The SunBriteTV Pro 2 may not have smart functions or local dimming, but it does offer 4K resolution, a 60Hz refresh rate panel and HDR support. As with most aspects of the outdoor TV, however, you'll need to accept some level of compromise in service of the weather-proof design.

The sunlight viewable display makes things watchable in direct sunshine by ramping up the brightness to four times that of a standard TV, up to 1,000 nits. But when viewed in less bright conditions, the screen may leave some images washed out and oversaturate some colors. Watching a 4K video sample of an outdoor scene, the ramped up brightness of the display made green grass and bushes look unrealistic, blue skies were blown out, and backlighting had a general over-aggressive feel.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 Outdoor TV review

(Image credit: SunBriteTV)

Watching the 4K trailer for the new Mortal Kombat movie showed bright colors and the expected oversaturation, but the 60fps trailer really highlighted the TV's motion handling. As mystical ninjas threw punches and kicks, the action wasn't as buttery-smooth as we expect from premium TVs, but it didn't distract too much.

Sharpness was fairly good, however. Watching the 4K trailer for Godzilla vs. Kong, relatively still scenes showed great detail: We could easily distinguish the hairs of Kong's fur, and shots of live actors were suitably realistic. However, scenes of city-wide destruction and lizard-on-ape violence would often smear a bit, turning the chaos into a muddled mess.

But the biggest issue with the SunBriteTV is caused by the glass layer that protects the display. There is an almost imperceptible gap between the glass and the display behind it, which causes the outer edges of the screen to be cut off slightly. There's also some color shifting at 45 degrees from center, as well as some shadows that creep in at the corners of the display.

The added protective screen layer also adds a significant amount of blur in off angle viewing. Out past 45° the blur is noticeable enough that on-screen text loses sharpness, and out at further distances or angles becomes completely unreadable.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV review: Test results

The biggest thing that the Pro 2 has going for it is brightness, and this is where (if you'll pardon the pun), the set really shines. When we tested the set, it registered a maximum brightness of 814 nits (though the actual momentary peak is likely closer to the 1,000 nits quoted by SunBriteTV when dealing with HDR content). It's that brightness that delivers the central promise of the Pro 2, picture visibility in direct sunlight.

By comparison, SunBriteTV models designed for partial sun or shade register much lower brightness. The 2019 SunBriteTV Veranda (346 nits) was significantly lower, being made for use in the shade, and SunBriteTV Signature (695 nits) for partial sunlight viewing.

However, that boosted brightness does result in some color issues that aren't great. A number of colors are oversaturated, including greens, pinks, reds and blues, though the set seems to handle yellow and light blue tones pretty well.

The TV's color gamut was a little lackluster, measuring at 97.4% of the Rec 709 color space, which is a step behind standard sets, like the Samsung Q80T QLED (99.93%). It's even less impressive compared against something like the LG GX OLED (134.42%), but delivering a color gamut in the high 90s isn't bad for a set that, by necessity, has to put picture quality at a lower priority than other concerns.

Compared to other outdoor sets we've reviewed, the Pro 2 is in line with older SunBriteTV models, like the SunBriteTV Veranda (98.61%), though we did see better from the Evervue Cosmos (99.86%).

Color accuracy was similarly impacted, with the Pro 2 scoring a Delta-E rating of 3.2 (closer to 0 is better). Again, that's not so hot compared to the best TVs, like the superb-looking LG GX OLED (1.73), but it's actually slightly ahead of the Samsung Q80T (3.9). Outdoor sets are all over the place when it comes to color accuracy – the SunBriteTV Veranda (2.67) was more accurate, while the Evervue Cosmos (13.1) was seriously off when tested in lab conditions.

But, as with any outdoor TV, these results come with a big caveat – outdoor TVs aren't made for lab conditions. Quite the opposite, in fact, and once you view and outdoor TV in the sunlight, you'll find that any inaccuracy or color issues becomes a minor concern due to the fact that you can actually see the picture on screen and enjoy the show, while sitting out on a patio or even backstroking across your backyard pool. That's something that the most accurate premium OLED or LCD TV simply can't do, because it's built for a drastically different environment.

The one performance number that might not change based on the outdoor setting is lag time. You can definitely hook up a game console to the outdoor set, but with a measured input lag of 43 milliseconds, you'll experience some noticeable delay between gameplay and what's on screen. That's actually a big improvement over the Veranda, which clocked a lag time of 73 milliseconds. It should be fine if you're enjoying slower-paced solo games, but if you want fast-reaction times or online play, that lag is going to be a killer problem. That said, you can enjoy 4K gaming on the SunBriteTV Pro 2, with support for 4K gaming at 60Hz.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV review: Remote control

The remote that comes with the SunBriteTV Pro 2 is made to shrug off the weather as easily as the TV it accompanies. The resulting design looks a bit dated. Number buttons for channel selection, arrows for menu navigation, and roughly a dozen function buttons leave this remote packed with 50 buttons total. It's honestly overwhelming, especially given the fact that the labels on the buttons are not particularly distinctive. And while I often feel that a TV remote would be better served with backlit or at least glowing buttons, that is especially true on an outdoor TV where you are just as likely to watch a movie out in the dark as you are in broad daylight.

One head-scratching detail of the remote is the use of separate buttons to power the TV on and off. I don't know why it does that, I just know it's confusing when you can't turn it off with the same button that turned it on.

Another quirk about the remote is the battery compartment. The battery compartment is also waterproof, which involves keeping it sealed shut with three teeny tiny screws. You will need a tiny screwdriver to get this open, and even then it's a pain to get the battery cover off to then put batteries in.

Though the SunBriteTV Pro 2 is not a smart TV, the set does have its own menu navigation to take you through settings and other options. The menu button pulls up a very simple icon-based navigation screen with specific icons for picture, sounds, time, lock, option, media, info and channels.

SunBriteTV Pro 2 outdoor TV review: Verdict

When you need an outdoor TV – and not just any outdoor set, but one made for viewing in direct sunlight – there aren't many options to choose from. And that's what the SunBriteTV Pro 2 has going for it more than anything else. No other set in the best 4K TVs can do what this TV does. So while the SunBriteTV Pro 2 does have some undeniable quirks, this isn't the sort of TV you buy when seeking premium picture performance. If you need an outdoor TV that offers superb protection against the elements and solid performance even in full sunlight, the SunBriteTV Pro 2 is the TV to get.

That said, it's not our favorite outdoor TV. The Editor's Choice SunBriteTV Veranda is made for use in full shade, such as a covered deck, and it offers better picture quality and even built-in sound. But if you want to kick back in the sun and enjoy a movie or play one of the latest games, there's no better way to play outside than with the SunBriteTV Pro 2.