- Written by Stephen Hornbrook and Chris Heinonen
- Published on 28 January 2013
Design and Setup of the SunBriteTV 5560HD 55" Outdoor All-weather LCD HDTV
The 5560HD is part of the company's Signature line, geared towards consumer applications. They also produce a more robust Pro Series and a direct sunlight readable Marquee Series meant for commercial applications such as football stadiums. The SunBriteTV arrived securely packaged along with a separate mounting kit. As I helped the delivery guy carry the large box from the truck to my garage I noticed the TV's significant mass. There was clearly more to this TV than other modern LED lit LCDs.
The build quality on the SunBriteTV is nothing like ordinary indoor TVs. There is no sexy half-inch bezel with chrome accent; instead the frame is thick and bulky with a depth of 7.3 inches. The screen is sunken in with the bezel overhanging a bit, adding a protective element to face of the LCD panel. The shell of the TV is made out of an outdoor rated ASA high-impact resin. The model I had was a flat black, but it is also available in white and silver. A SunBriteTV logo on the bottom and a status LED in the bottom right corner are the only decorations on the front of the TV. Making up the rear are a couple of handle bars and the input panel. Unlike your normal TV's input panel, the SunBriteTV has its inputs inside a covered panel, facing downward to prevent them from sitting in water. The panel door is surrounded in a gasket that seals when then door is closed and tighten with thumb screws. The only thing else to note on the rear was the row of filtered vents for air flow.
The unit comes with a no-frills remote that I had a few issues with. On the plus side, it is also weather proof, so spilling beverages on it is not a problem. On the downside, the remote was not as responsive as I would have liked. The line of site had to be just right for the TV to respond to a button push. Also the buttons are all the same size and the remote is not backlit, so under poor lighting conditions it is very hard to locate something like the volume controls.
SunBriteTV offers a couple of options for the mounting of its displays. You can either go with a wall mount, hooking it up directly to the side of your house (or perhaps above an outdoor fireplace), or you can go with a stand-alone system they refer to as a deck planter pole. Since this was, unfortunately, not a permanent install, I went with the planter pole. It is a heavy duty (10 lbs) powder-coated aluminum post with a flat plate base. The idea is to bolt the plate into a deck, or use concrete screws into a patio. For my temporary install I had to get a bit more creative and bolted the post to a much wider piece of plywood in order to provide a stable base for the TV.
As I mentioned, this is not a light TV, weighing in at a hefty 109 lbs. It took the strength of me and a friend to mount the TV to the stand. Overall, it was a pretty straightforward setup and only took a couple of hours.
For connecting the TV up to a signal I used a wireless HDMI kit from Belkin. This was a lifesaver as I didn't have to figure out how to run a 30 foot cable from the family room to the backyard without having to keep a window open! The Belkin worked great and had no issues receiving a signal through the outside wall and windows of my house. For Blu-ray testing I hooked up a PS3 directly via HDMI.