We study the unconventional photon blockade, recently proposed for a coupled-cavity system, in the presence of input and output quantum fields. Mixing of the input or output channels still allows strong photon antibunching of the output field, but for optimal values of the system parameters that differ substantially from those that maximize antibunching of the intracavity field. This result shows that the specific input-output geometry in a photonic system determines the optimal design in view of a single-photon device operation. We provide a compact analytical formula that allows finding the optimal parameters for each specific system geometry.