I Gotta Git Me One o’ These Outdoor TVs

While reading the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens, I stumbled upon a new (to me) trend in outdoor living:

Outdoor Televisions!

Phew!  It’s about time.  I was getting so bored and fidgety just sitting out on my patio with, like, no electronic devices whatsoever, wasting lazy summer evenings in quiet conversation with family or watching the birds and butterflies.

Have a fancy beach place?  I am sure you are sick and tired of staring out into the azure sea, letting the rhythm of the breaking waves rejuvenate your spirit.  Those days are over, my friend, because now you are free to ignore the beauty of God’s creation and tune into The Kardashians on your very own al fresco TV set!

Now that’s living!

Growing weary of the happy splashing and laughter of kids playing outside in the water?  Hey, no problem, that’s nothing an 80-inch LCD screen installed poolside can’t fix:

Your kids will be sedentary and mildly depressed in no time!

I like this next set up a lot:

Hot-tubs are no longer about such things as “romance” or “intimacy” — no, your hot-tub experience is not complete unless you have a giant digital television peeping up at you over the hedge.  Make sure to position it so that it looks like it wants to get inside the tub with you and appears sad that you’re not inviting it in.

Here’s my favorite:

Why watch The Big Game on your embarrassing little 90″ screen in one of the sixty comfortable rooms of your giant white mansion, when you can watch the action on a fifteen foot screen out in the blistering sun in the middle of your featureless grounds?  This TV is a bit steep at $620,000 but they throw in the trained Irish Setter for free to make you appear a bit more humanized and less like the materialistic and vapid creature that you are.

Woo-hoo!  Let’s hear it for Trends in Outdoor Living!

38 thoughts on “I Gotta Git Me One o’ These Outdoor TVs

  1. Wow…you totally forgot the surround sound…it’s no good if the twittering of birds or the rustling of leaves is constantly distracting you from The Game!

  2. Isn’t it sad? It is even worse than going to the dentist’s office and see everyone head down looking at their wonderful phones texting or playing games or whatever they do. Beam me up, Scotty!

    • I know. It just seems wrong, everybody sitting there staring at screens. Even if they’re replacing an activity as pointless as reading People or Woman’s Day….it still just seems wrong.

  3. I know, REALLY!!!!

    Also on the list…… the client that wanted me create a box with grass in it on her patio so she wouldn’t have to walk her dog….She couldn’t understand why the grass would need replacing every week much less all the drain “issues”….

    • Becca, for reals? I wonder if she also asked her interior decorator to build a toilet into her living room so she wouldn’t have to be bothered moving herself to the bathroom?

  4. Mary, this might be funny, unless you ARE a Kardashian, sitting in your hot tub, gettin’ intimate, while watching yourself on TV. Then your feelings might be hurt. If you had them.

    One of our friends/neighbors built one of those ‘outdoor living rooms’ you and I are so fond of…couches, gas fireplace with masonry surround, granite counter with built in kitchenry, the whole nine. They were extremely proud and had a outdoor living room-warming party; they were very forthcoming with the cost: over $100,000 for an indoor great room without walls. I looked at the 65″ TV over the fireplace and said, ‘my God, how much does an outdoor LCD TV cost?’ He said, outdoor TV’s are “too expensive.” That is, apparently, until you go out during a cold snap to watch the indoor TV over your huge roaring outdoor fireplace. Cold + glass + heat = CRACK!

    I can’t say that I felt too badly for him…the only thing dumber than an outdoor TV is an indoor TV, outdoors. Thanks for the laugh!

    • Wait a sec, this guy spent a hundred thou on this spread, then installs an indoor TV? In Washington State? I would think that the thing would be infiltrated with moss or mold before it would crack from the temperature.

      I’m glad you and I are in agreement about these ludicrous outdoor rooms. For the record, I am equally distainful of over-the-top INDOOR rooms as well — the giant kitchens with Professional appliances, the laundry rooms that look like little spas. I can’t handle it.

      • Oh, it DID crack…shattered somewhat percussively, from what I understand. He started up his 50,000 BTU gas fireplace on a subfreezing day, and then turned on the TV with its frozen non-tempered glass panel. Perhaps an indoor TV is cheaper than an outdoor TV, but an indoor TV PLUS a new outdoor TV is really very expensive. Don’t forget: I recently moved out of a home with a Giant Kitchen with Professional Appliances. The laundry was relatively normal though. A small windowless room big enough to fit laundry machines, a utility sink, and stifling suburban anomie. Didn’t matter, we hated the whole place. The last month we lived there we referred to it (and still do) as The Soulless House of Anger. The only thing excessive about the one we are in now is the amount of mud my daughter gets on herself Every Single Day.

        • The Crack Heard ‘Round the World, sounds like.

          Hey, you know a large part of my blog is based on Making Fun of Other People’s Nice Things, so always take it with a pound of salt. I love the name you gave your old house. I just finished reading a horror novel called “The House Next Door” that you might like. It’s about a gorgeous contemporary home in suburban Atlanta, custom-built, that keeps sucking the souls out of its owners, and sometimes, killing them. Good stuff!

        • Mary, my feelings where I yet have them –away from my extremities where I am losing them from self injury and excessive but extremely necessary caberne–are not easily hurt. Make fun of that house–WE DO! We make fun of ourselves for building it, too. Other people in our neighborhood make fun of us also, but mostly because they think we sold it because of financial distress (the monied technological elite are mean, I think because they got made fun of in school and now they are The Boss of Everything). Nobody realizes that it was haunted by Quiet Desperation.

          I am going to read that book, it sounds like it could be like reading my own autobiography, except when our house whispered ‘Get out,’ we got out. Plus, I love Atlanta. It seems to be the featured locale of every gardening show that has ever been on TV. It’s the same USDA hardiness zone as here, by the way. Weird.

  5. I’ll confess that I have a television on my porch. It’s a little CRT DVD player given to me by a coworker, and it’s only used when I’m potting or repotting. When you’re literally up to your armpits in fresh peat/sand mix, nothing makes the time go faster while potting Sarracenia rhizomes than a few hours of Babylon 5. It’s kind of appropriate, really.

    That said, my wife and I spend quite a bit of time on Sundays, our one day together, going to estate and moving sales, and I’ve seen this trend over and over. Here in Dallas in particular, the real estate boom was greeted with two open arms by lots of people with more money than brains, and they went crazy with the open living areas in their new McMansions.Integrated grilles and stoves next to industrial margarita makers, with gigantic televisions on pivots so they could watch from any angle. The intent was always that they were going to have loads of outdoor parties and attempt to show off their utter lack of taste to their equally vapid neighbors and business partners, but amazingly the accessories were never used. The grilles are only covered in dust, the margarita machine is empty, the outdoor cupboards sealed shut with mud-dauber wasp nests, and the television finish has been blasted off by a couple of years of Texas sun. Considering that we’re usually there when the owners are having a big moving sale prior to the foreclosure auction, it’s not hard to figure out why the back areas were unused. For the first couple of years, it was abandoned by people so desperate for air conditioning that the outdoor space was only usable by them for about three months out of the year. Then the architect firm or the arts & culture magazine went under, and the owners discovered exactly how disliked they were by their co-workers and neighbors. By then, there’s no point in having outdoor events, because the only person willing to attend is the local coke dealer, and he’s making cheery comments along the line of “if I don’t get paid by Saturday, I’m going to get three big guys to pull the fillings out of your teeth.” Oh, but they’ll sell to the next sucker who looks at that high-tech nightmare and figures “Wow! I could have some serious benders, erm, keggers, erm, business events out here if I buy this place!”

    Me, cynical? You bet. It’s just that I’ve watched this cycle in Dallas for over 25 years. You should see some of the places like this built during the big oil boom of the early Eighties, where it’s cheaper to leave that 38″ CRT television installed into the patio wall in 1985 than it is to demolish the whole wall to remove it. The moment the work crew hears the words “vacuum tube implosion” or “a truly insane amount of lead and cadmium in those old sets”, they disappear, and I don’t know why.

    • Oh yeah, the Dallas Elite. I can totally see JR Ewing as the type of fellow who’d have one of these over the top “outdoor living” ensembles — not that I base all my assumptions about Dallas on the famous TV show, you understand.;-) You painted quite a portrait of the abandoned Tesas McMansion, what with the empty margarita machines and the wasps nests and all. Couldn’t there be an armadillo in there somewhere, sunning itself in the abandoned firepit or something?

        • Well, let’s put it this way. Famed Chicago columnist Mike Royko came to Dallas for the 1984 Republican National Convention, and was very nearly lynched for referring to Dallas as “a shopping mall Shangri-La”. I recognize how much Dallas has gotten past its inferiority complex since then with the fact that I can say that George Romero’s “Dawn of the Dead” is the best documentary about Dallas ever made, and I’ve only lost one job over it.

  6. That last picture made me laugh out loud. Boy howdy that looks like an idyllic family life! No more worrying your neighbors might only suspect you’re independently wealthy (and or extremely in debt!) now they’ll know for sure! Water Damage Everett WA

  7. I think the one by the hot tub is a great Espalier opportunity with its solid structure.

    I too love the mansion’s barren landscape except for the deer pruned juniper.

    • Nice idea, Reed. You could try to coordinate the color of a climbing plant with the colors on your favorite tv show. Purple clematis would make a nice contrast to the yellow characters on The Simpsons.

  8. These are almost as necessary as those sets that are built into bathroom mirrors so you can look at yourself getting ready in the morning and receive those subtle (and not so subtle) messages about just how inadequate you are without the lastest innovations in the array of products meant to restore a younger, more vital you.

    • We can’t escape escape the screens anymore, can we, Les? The youngsters are addicted. Today I looked over at one of my students and he had not one cell phone out, but TWO. His eyes were darting back and forth between them. My mind was blown!

  9. I think this can be topped in certain markets…walls of flames at the edges of those water features, while the water splashes, and eco-sustainably irrigates the carbon/chlorine-sequestering planting below it. TV obsession…..

    • Ooooh-wee! I just HAVE to google “water feature with wall of flame” and check that out. I love to see what people with vast amounts of money spend it on. Hilaaarious!

    • Right. Watching “Jersey Shore” (or whatever terrible shows are on now) on an outdoor television should be a considered another form of environmental pollution!

  10. Ignorance was bliss. Now I’m going to have to totally re-think the design of my garden to work in a gigantic outdoor TV! (Well, since I don’t have cable and only get 3 channels over the air — 2 on bad weather days — maybe I won’t bother.) Thanks for the laugh.

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