DIY Super-Bright Outdoor TV With Watercooling

Watching TV or playing a console game is usually not an outdoor activity, helped by the fact that you can’t see anything on your average TV in direct sunlight. However, with some basic fabrication skills, [Matt] from [DIY Perks] demonstrates how to upgrade an LCD TV to be viewable in the brightest conditions by upgrading its backlight, and adding a simple water-cooling system in the process. Full build video after the break.

An LCD panel doesn’t produce any light but acts as a filter for the backlight behind it, which is just a widely spaced array of white LEDs. The core of the build is upgrading the backlight, so [Matt] picked up a large 4K TV with a partially faulty backlight for a very affordable price. The new backlight consists of a set of high-brightness LED panels, screwed to a sheet of aluminum. The LEDs generate a lot of heat, so [Matt] cools the back of the aluminum sheet with a budget-friendly water cooling system built from a car radiator, small water pump, and some clear plastic tubing. Everything is housed in an industrial-looking enclosure made from aluminum sheet, aluminum extrusions, and an acrylic back panel. To protect the LCD panel, it’s glued to a sheet of tempered glass from an old coffee table.

The final product performs very well, even in direct sunlight, and is also weatherproof. [DIY Perks] is known for projects that work as well as they look, like his triple-screen luggable PC or massive bellow-cooled PC.

19 thoughts on “DIY Super-Bright Outdoor TV With Watercooling

    1. I was thinking the same.

      If you put a 45 degre mirror on the back and fresnel lens on the top. You should get enough light. And maybe some solar panels to use it autark.

      The second concept isn’t optimal if you stand between the screen and the sun. You get a big dark spot in shape of your siluette.

      1. Do you mean like a camera obcura, these portable box type things? Hmm with the big fresnel lens instead of this little glas lens. It could work, to catch as much light as possible. How do you filter the heat?

        if you take this a step further, it could something like the one laptop per child project. Or something like these Bottle lightbulbs with bleach and water.

  1. I had a 32 inch which had the LED-power board go out. Separate tuner-video board. The board had tiny labels with volts and other legends with quite a few pins. Turns out it only needed 12volts at 1amp to do everything to the display but that backlight is where all the power goes.

    It should be possible to have a little hand crank generator and the helostat backlight and run TV anywhere there’s signal. How about a campfire lit TV with a thermoelectric generator for that measly 12V. TV that is non-polluting not including the contents.

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