Samsung is known for providing TVs of all sizes and shapes, and the latest addition to the collection is an outdoor TV: The Terrace is simply made to be used on the terrace.
Outdoor TV is not something new, but they are usually associated with outdoor events, advertising and public information. Outdoor TV for private use is something quite unusual!
Samsung probably envisions that The Terrace will be the perfect upgrade to the outdoor area, in addition to the fancy gas grill and the expensive Jacuzzi.
The screen is available in both 55 “, 65” and 75 “, so here it is possible to go all the way from outdoor TV to outdoor cinema if you want. In this test, we have taken a closer look at the smallest 55” version.
Withstands water splashes and sub-zero temperatures
Samsung already has extensive experience with outdoor TV from the professional industry, and the LCD panel located in The Terrace originates from the professional division. Technically, it is a 4K (3840 x 2160 pixels) LCD screen of the VA type, with direct LED backlight and local dimming, as we know it from Samsung’s more expensive QLED screens for indoor use. However, this variant is specially made to withstand the weather, with extra sealing and rubber gaskets to prevent condensation.
The Terrace is also IP55-certified, which means that the entire construction is extra protected from dust and water. The TV must also be able to withstand use in temperatures from 50 plus degrees and all the way down to 30 minus. Or all the way from the Sahara to Siberia, in other words.
However, the Samsung user manual is careful to emphasize that the TV should be mounted in a suitable place in the shade, sheltered from rain, snow and direct sunlight. It also comes with a waterproof textile cover to hang on when the TV is not to be used for a while.
Samsung The Terrace: Design
The Terrace is actually the first TV we have tested that is made for outdoor use, and the difference is immediately noticeable when we unpack the beast from its heavy and solid case. The 55-inch has a chassis in powder-coated, black metal, and weighs 30 kilos. You immediately get the impression that it is made to withstand a gust of wind or two.
In terms of design, The Terrace is a bit reminiscent of a slightly thicker version of The Frame, with a straight and tight construction that resembles a picture frame. The back is also flat, without a power supply or other lumps sticking out. This allows the TV to be mounted flat against the wall.
The Terrace is also intended for wall mounting. But unlike The Frame, it does not come with any wall mount in the box, nor any feet. However, Samsung offers some suitable wall mounts as an option. Alternatively, you can of course use standard VESA mounts from another supplier. As long as they can take weight and do not rust!
Samsung’s original wall mounts are galvanized to withstand outdoor use, allowing you to angle the TV in the desired direction.
Ease of use and features
When it comes to the actual user experience, we are in familiar terrain: The Terrace uses the same operating system as other Samsung TVs (Tizen), with a fast and clear user interface. The menu bar that pops up at the bottom of the screen provides quick access to settings, apps and any video sources you have connected.
The remote control is confusingly similar to Samsung’s regular One Remote, but when we pick it up, we notice that it is a little heavier and thicker than the standard variant .: Samsung has made sure to make it more weatherproof, with gaskets to keep the moisture out . However, it must manage without solar cell charging, as we find on the very latest models from Samsung. It would have been nice, we think.
The connectivity options are also good, with three HDMI connectors that support the 2.1 standard. The TV also supports 4K/120 fps, so it’s fine to play on the TV with the latest game consoles. Outdoor e-sport is by no means a stupid idea…
How we tested
The whole point of The Terrace is to watch TV outdoors, so we have also tested it in the open air, out on the terrace of yours truly. Conveniently, the test also coincided with the start of the European Football Championship.
As mentioned, the TV is intended for wall mounting, but in our case we had to borrow a so-called studio stand from Samsung to place it directly on the ground. This is only a temporary solution for testing purposes, and not recommended for permanent use. For fixed mounting, we definitely recommend hanging it on a wall, preferably under a roof extension or similar.
During the test period, the test specimen has been exposed to direct sunlight, water splashes, strong winds and rain showers, in addition to a solid amount of pollen. We have also given the screen a go with the garden hose, without any apparent damage by this.
For natural reasons, we have not been able to test the TV in minus degrees at this time of year, but we look forward to checking out the performance in winter as well, on another occasion! In addition to the weather testing, we have of course placed the most emphasis on picture quality, usability and sound, as we do with indoor TVs.
How does it feel?
Being able to watch TV out on the terrace undeniably gives a rather liberating feeling. Watching TV is something you often associate with sitting inside a cramped, dark and crowded living room, but now you can enjoy the entertainment outside in the open air!
For many, it brings enough associations to sports bars with outdoor seating, which one has not been able to visit until recently. If you miss company, just invite some friends to visit when the next sporting event kicks off.
Excellent image quality – with canonically strong brightness
When it comes to a TV that (literally) should shine with the sun, it is of course important that it has sufficient brightness. Here is the QLED screen from Samsung at its ace, with a powerful LED-based direct backlight that provides up to 2000 nits, or around 1600 nits continuously – over the entire screen area. It’s almost double the number of indoor TVs, and is also the key to why The Terrace looks as good as it does.
We tested The Terrace during the start of the European Football Championship, and it immediately impressed with a very bright and colorful picture. Here it is definitely no problem to watch TV in broad daylight. The screen also has an excellent anti-reflection filter, which effectively reduces mirror images from the surroundings. This is of course extra nice out on the terrace, which often bathes in sunlight.
Note: For the sake of comfort, it is still desirable to be able to take cover from direct sunlight on the screen, particularly for us who are watching, so that you avoid getting the sun in your eyes.
We found that Samsung’s so-called Intelligent Picture Mode was able to adapt the brightness well to the surroundings and the image content. This setting also provides very vibrant colors: Although The Terrace also comes with more neutral Film and Filmmaker Modes that we know well from the indoor models, we found these to be quite dim in practice, and best suited for evening viewing. During the day, the fullness of the brightness and the colors apply!
Besides sports, we of course also had to check out The Terrace for movie fun in the evening. It provides a convincing picture experience here as well, and the powerful contrast comes in handy when we watch movies and series in HDR format. Bright effects such as flames and sunlight look dazzlingly strong, while the black level is excellent.
The image processing is good, but of course it is not possible to make gold from gray stone. We experienced that the picture occasionally chopped a little during the European Championship broadcasts in HD format. TV2’s broadcasts in 4K/60p, on the other hand, looked sparklingly sharp and smooth.
Compared to the latest Neo QLED screens from Samsung, The Terrace uses a more conventional LED backlight with fewer dimming zones, and this enables us to spot some halo effects on a dark background. But not strikingly much.
On the other hand, we notice that the screen has a relatively narrow viewing angle, which is typical of VA LCD panels. When looking at the screen from the outside, the contrast becomes noticeably paler, while the colors appear washed out. Therefore, as far as possible, you should angle the TV and the seating area so that you can sit directly in front of the screen.
All in all, we have to say we are very pleased with the picture quality from The Terrace, which is fully on par with excellent TVs for indoor use.
The Terrace is equipped with built-in stereo speakers, hidden on the underside of the frame. They give a relatively clear and distinct sound, and can play loud and clean without distorting. On the other hand, there is not much bass to talk about: thus the sound becomes relatively slim and lever to music and sound effects.
The built-in speaker solution is well suited for speech and entertainment programs. That said, we quickly decided to want a slightly more powerful sound for sports and not least movie watching.
Samsung also offers a matching soundbar – The Terrace Soundbar – which will give a real boost to the sound outdoors. It can be mounted on the wall or directly to the TV. The soundbar manages without a separate subwoofer.
Otherwise, it’s worth mentioning that The Terrace also has Bluetooth connectivity, so you can connect wireless speakers, or a pair of wireless headphones, which is nice if you do not want to disturb the neighboring balcony with your selected evening entertainment
With The Terrace, Samsung has made a TV that keeps its promises, and works great for outdoor use. The build quality is solid and trustworthy, and so is the image quality. We were especially impressed by the good brightness, which ensures a colorful and contrasting picture experience, even when the sun is high in the sky.
The sound is also approved, but to put the finishing touches, we recommend supplementing with a separate soundbar. This is especially true if you have a larger outdoor area with a longer seating distance to the screen, but is of course less important if you have a small balcony with neighbors to take into account.
We also think it would have been nice if Samsung included a wall mount, table base or other mounting device in the box, so you could get started quickly with the TV entertainment. The Terrace is also a rather expensive pleasure, but as long as you can give it the right conditions, you get an excellent “all-weather TV” that can create quite unique outdoor experiences – while you sit on the lounge sofa!