Even up to the relatively recent past, bathrooms were places you used for as short a time as possible. They were cold and miserable and the best entertainment you could get was a newspaper. Nothing underlines the bathroom’s transformation into a health-and-wellness centre like the arrival of waterproof TVs. Now your bathroom can do double- or even triple-duty as a spa and/or a gym and you can enjoy the pleasure of TV while you relax or while you work out.
Here are some pointers to help you choose the right waterproof TV.
The first and most important point is to check that it is actually waterproof
Of course all the waterproof TVs we sell here at Poshh are absolutely safe for use in the bathroom, but if you are doing comparison shopping, then make sure that you are undertaking like-for-like comparisons. It can be actively dangerous to put standard TVs in a bathroom (water and electricity really don’t mix). They need to be waterproof ones.
Picture quality is paramount
This is important for standard TVs and even more important for waterproof TVs intended for use in a bathroom for the simple reason that bathrooms get steamy and any waterproof TV you use has to be able to hold its own through that. High quality waterproof TVs, intended for use in bathrooms, will often have heated screens to prevent steaming.
As with all televisions, the basics of picture quality are the maximum resolution, brightness, contrast ratio and display colours. These days, however, there are other elements of picture quality which can make a significant difference to your overall viewing experience.
Response time basically means how long it takes the individual components in your waterproof TV to adapt to changes. The best way to think of it is to think of a TV programme as being made up of a series of individual photographs, which are displayed one after the other. The quicker your TV can move from one photograph to the next, the more seamless the overall effect becomes. Hence, this is definitely a case where smaller numbers are better. If you choose a TV with a low response time, you may well experience issues watching modern productions with high-end special effect and also sports programmes
Aspect ratio and viewing angle are basically two sides of the same coin. Aspect ratio basically tells you how a picture is displayed in terms of width and height, so, for example, an aspect ratio of 16:9 indicates that the picture will be almost twice as long as it is high. These days, quality waterproof TVs tend to have aspect ratios of 16:9 to support high definition (HD) TV. Viewing angle, as its name suggest, gives you an indication of the angles from which you can enjoy your waterproof TV and should be taken into consideration when deciding where to put it.
You also need to think about the right screen size for your situation. Screen size won’t improve picture quality, you’ll be able to determine that from the specifications we’ve just mentioned, but it will make a big difference both to the distance from which you’ll be able to view your screen and to the amount of space your waterproof TV will need plus bigger waterproof TVs need more components and hence are heavier than their lighter counterparts. These days you can buy waterproof TVs which are as small as 17” and as large as 42”. For most bathrooms 17” is probably a bit too small and 19” to 22” would hit the sweet spot between being big enough to see comfortably and still small enough to fit in a normal bathroom. Of course, if you’re lucky enough to have a bigger bathroom, then you may well benefit from having a bigger TV.
Covering these points will ensure that you get a decent, basic, waterproof TV to enhance your bathroom, but, as is so often the case in life, looking more closely at the details can make a lot of difference.
A top-quality antenna
At this point in time, all TVs need an antenna, although in many cases this is incorporated into the body of the TV rather than being external as in the old days. As with mobile phones, it’s practically unheard of these days for antennas to be even mentioned on lists of key features, they’re pretty much taken as given, but actually the quality of the antenna can make a huge difference to the quality of the reception and therefore to the overall performance of the television. In fact, the antenna may be the most under-appreciated feature of modern TVs, possibly because there’s no easy way to measure antenna performance as there is pixel count and such like. That being so the basic rule of thumb is that if you buy from a quality brand, you can expect a high-quality antenna and if you buy from a cheaper brand, you can expect a lower-quality antenna. This is a meaningful difference.
A waterproof remote control
We’re absolutely serious about this. In our opinion, if you have a waterproof TV, you need a waterproof remote. Do you actually want to get up out of your bath and drip over to your TV every time you want to adjust the sound or change the channel? We doubt it, which means you need a remote control and that remote needs to be waterproof for obvious reasons. Even if you manage to keep it out of the bath (most remote controls get at least one dunking at some point), it’s still going to need to work in a steamy atmosphere. In theory you can put an ordinary remote in a waterproof plastic bag to use it in a bathroom but really we’d suggest that you either buy a waterproof TV which comes with its own waterproof remote control (such as the ones we sell here at Poshh) or splash out on a buying a waterproof remote control separately.
In our opinion, this should be taken as a given on any high-quality waterproof TV. You may see it listed as DVB-T but you should definitely see it listed on the specifications. You may find it a challenge to get satellite/cable in your bathroom, so being without freeview can severely curtail your viewing options.
Obviously you’re buying a TV, but having inputs for the likes of AV, VGA, HDMI and/or USB will give you extra options, including, quite simply the option of using your waterproof TV elsewhere at a later date. Even while your waterproof TV is in your bathroom, extra inputs can allow you to incorporate extra functionality, which can be anything from using your TV to display your favourite family photos to watching DVDs or even playing games. If you’re into music, then having audio out will allow you to attach an even better set of speakers to your waterproof TV and turn it into a top-of-the-range DAB radio.
Choosing the right finish
When it comes to waterproof TVs for the bathroom, the three standard finishes are black, white and mirrored. Since there’s a bit more to this choice than there might appear to be from this brief list, we’d like to cover the matter in a bit more detail. With black or white finishes (or basically any finish rather than mirrored), your TV will basically stand out from your wall and look just like a TV. The basic idea behind mirrored finishes is that the TV blends in more with the overall appearance of your bathroom and looks more like a mirror than an electrical appliance, at least to a casual glance. Depending on your bathroom design, this may be a useful selling point, but we want to be sure you understand what this really means in practice before you get too carried away with the idea of basically disguising your waterproof TV as a mirror. A mirrored finish may blend in better with some styles of bathroom design, but a waterproof TV with a mirrored finish is highly unlikely to be a suitable replacement for a standard mirror, nor is it likely to be taken for one at anything more than a casual glance. Even when the TV is switched off, you will still see that it is a TV. When the TV is switched on, however, the mirrored coating can interfere with the picture, which means that if you have set your heart on a waterproof TV with a mirrored finish, you really need to make sure you get a quality model from a reputable supplier, otherwise, you could be left very disappointed with the resulting picture quality. You also need to be very careful about where you site mirrored waterproof TVs since the mirrored finish, by definition, is very reflective and this can also interfere with your picture quality. For the record, mirrored waterproof TVs can work very well in bathrooms and can bring a level of elegance which is beyond anything any other finish can (currently) match, we just want to be clear that this elegance does come at a price and also that other waterproof TVs can actually be integrated stylishly into bathrooms so that they look good when they are switched off as well as performing effectively when they are switched on.