Why You Need a Garage TV: Arguments Your Spouse Can’t Deny

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If you’re like me, you’re probably looking for a reason to buy a TV for the garage.

You spend a lot of time there.

So why not make it comfortable?

TV mounted above cabinets in garage.

I’ve added cabinets, fans, and tool chests. My wife has been pretty cool about everything I’ve bought, but as soon as I told her I wanted a garage TV, her first question was, “Why?”

Mounting a TV in your garage is more than something to entertain friends or watch football. In fact, there are several reasons why putting a spare TV screen in your garage might be a good idea.

Then we’ll get into some more detail and answer some popular questions.

By the end of this article, you’ll have all the information you need to help get your reluctant spouse on board with a garage TV.

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Why You Need a Garage TV

Just in case one reason doesn’t quite cut it, here are some ways that mounting TVs in garages is a great idea.

This way, you can choose the best one that works for you or will get your loved one’s approval.

  1. Do-It-Yourself Videos and Shows: How often do you pull up YouTube videos on your phone while working in your garage? Most people prefer to follow along with a video instead of reading an instruction manual. It’s easier to see that on a 43″ garage TV than on your smartphone.
  2. Gym Instructor: If you’ve built a garage gym, that’s the perfect reason to add a TV. Even if you don’t want to watch exercise videos, watching your favorite TV show can make your workouts seem faster.
  3. Video Games: Similarly, do your kids constantly take over the living room to play video games? Send them to the garage and take back your living room!
  4. Diagnostic Station: Some diagnostic equipment and software can be plugged directly into the HDMI port on a TV. Even a smaller smart TV can help you read what’s happening while working on your car in the garage.
  5. Party Room: A couple of my friends had a great setup where they turned their garage into their party room. It was a great place to hang out with a kegerator in your garage and a big TV.
  6. Watch the Game: Whether watching the Super Bowl or the Saturday night game of the week, you can fit more people in your garage than your living room. And if you want a drive-in experience, you could even use your garage TV to watch a movie.
  7. Man-Cave or She-Shed: Sometimes, you want a space of your own. Your spouse will probably be thrilled that your decor won’t clutter up the house. The TV can be the focal point when transforming the garage into your private retreat.
  8. The ‘Wow’ Factor: It’s still rare for garages to have televisions. Putting a TV in your garage is a great way to make your garage stand out and look more expensive.

The more you can tie the reason for a garage TV to your family’s needs, the more likely you’ll get the OK to make it happen.


What is the Best TV Size for a Garage?

Choosing the right TV size for your garage space isn’t just about going big or going home. 

It’s about creating a good viewing experience no matter where you’re working. That means considering your garage’s unique dimensions and constraints. 

The best TV size for your garage has three main factors: viewing distance, resolution, and personal preference.

Space is both a luxury and a constraint in most garages, so selecting the right TV size is crucial. 

Garage TVs that are too small might be hard to watch, while a TV that’s too large could overwhelm the space and make viewing uncomfortable. 

The formula to calculate the optimal TV size based on viewing distance and resolution is straightforward yet effective:

TV size (inches) = Viewing distance (feet) × Resolution factor

The resolution factor adjusts for the clarity of the image, accounting for how close you can sit to the TV without noticing pixelation or loss of picture quality:

  • 1080p (Full HD): Resolution factor = 8
  • 4K (Ultra HD): Resolution factor = 4
  • 8K: Resolution factor = 2

For example, if your viewing distance is 10 feet and you opt for a 4K resolution TV, the minimum size would be 10×4 or 40 inches. 

However, these are just guidelines rather than strict rules.

Typically Speaking: 

Small Garages with limited space and a close viewing distance should choose a 24 to 32-inch TV.

Medium Garages with more room and an average viewing distance should choose a 40 to 50-inch TV for a balance of size, price, and comfort.

Large Garages can go big. Choose 55 to 65-inch TVs for an immersive experience.


Is It OK to Put a Smart TV in the Garage?

Speaking of OK…is it OK to put a TV in your garage?

Putting a TV in your garage in all but the most extreme conditions is OK. Most TV manufacturers allow for an operating temperature range between 40º F- 100º F (4º C – 37º C) and recommend a relative humidity level of 80% or less. If your garage gets hotter or colder than that, you should unplug, cover, and store your TV to prevent damage. 

Most garages have little to no insulation, so they get hotter, colder, drier, and more humid than any other part of your home.

Fortunately, most modern televisions are pretty sturdy.

For example, Hisense Android TVs can be safely stored even when temperatures are as low as 5º F and as high as 113º F degrees Fahrenheit.

They’re even rated for relative humidity as high as 80%, so you can safely use TVs outside in most of the country.

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  • DTS Virtual:X: Advanced audio processing that virtualizes height content for immersive sound.
  • Game Mode: Reduces input lag for near-instant response to gaming commands.
  • Sports Mode: Auto-adjusts TV settings to optimize motion and color for sports content.
  • Voice Remote: Use voice commands to open apps, adjust volume, and search shows with Google Assistant.
  • Google TV: Access 700,000+ movies and TV episodes, live TV, and streaming services, organized by interest.
  • Chromecast Built-in: Cast content from your devices to your TV effortlessly.
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Connect soundbars, headphones, or stereo components wirelessly for enhanced audio.


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Concerns for Garage Televisions

Garages present some unique challenges for electronics you don’t typically encounter in the rest of your home. 

Dust and Dirt Accumulation: Garages attract dust and dirt, blocking your TV’s vents and ports. This blockage can hurt the performance and shorten the life of your TV or computer monitor.

To keep dust under control:

  1. Clean your TV regularly with a soft cloth and use compressed air for those hard-to-reach spots.
  2. Protect your TV further by using a dust cover or placing it in a cabinet when not in use.
  3. Keep your TV away from places where dust gathers, like windows, doors, or vents.

Extreme Temperatures and Humidity: Garages aren’t usually climate-controlled, exposing TVs to harmful temperatures and moisture. Start by checking your TV’s safe operating and storage temperatures. Staying within these limits is key to your TV’s longevity. Use fans, heaters, or dehumidifiers to keep the garage’s climate stable, protecting your TV. In extreme weather, unplugging, covering, and storing your TV somewhere safer to prevent damage is best.

Sunlight and Glare: Sunlight can harm visibility and damage your TV’s screen over time. Place your TV where it won’t catch direct sunlight to avoid glare and screen damage. Use curtains, blinds, or shades to block sunlight and protect your TV. Adjusting the TV’s brightness and contrast settings can improve viewing, as does using an anti-glare screen protector or choosing a TV with a matte finish.

Electrical Safety: Garages may not have the same electrical setup as the rest of your home, which raises the risk of power surges. Use a surge protector or an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to keep your garage TV safe. Make sure your TV is plugged into a grounded outlet with a UL-listed cord to reduce electrical risks. Avoid using extension cords or power strips to prevent fires and power issues. Also, keep your TV away from water and flammable items and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to avoid accidents.


Mounting a TV in the Garage: Overview

If you want to take the easy route to installing it, the simplest way to put a TV in your garage is to set it on a mobile stand.

Depending on the size of the TV, you can use an industrial stand with casters to roll it around. That makes it easy to move the TV to whatever part of the garage you’re working on or out of the way when you need to clean.

The best option is to mount the TV directly to the studs of your garage walls.

This confines the TV to just one part of the garage, but it’s the most professional-looking solution. You can mount the TV flush with your garage cabinets for a seamless look.

If you decide to go this route, look for a mount with an extending arm that swivels and tilts. Then, you can aim the TV in multiple directions, depending on where you work.

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Garage TV Setup: Power

Your garage TV will need one outlet at a minimum. When you add equipment like a cable box, DVD player, sound bar, or video game console, you’ll need many more places to plug in.

You already use your garage outlets for power tools, so how do you add several more outlets without hiring an expensive electrician?

Two words: surge protector.

Even though garage outlets need to be GFCI protected, you still want a good surge protector to avoid damage to your TV. Be sure to buy one with a low clamping voltage and a high joule rating.

Many modern strips also have USB ports, so you can charge other personal devices simultaneously.

You can buy surge protectors just about everywhere. However, I tested some of the most popular garage surge protectors to see which performed best. Check out my results by clicking on the link. 


Garage TV Setup: Cable TV or WiFi?

The biggest challenge you’ll probably have is getting cable TV service to your garage.

You’ll need to wire cable into your garage somehow. However, that can be tricky in a concrete garage.

Your cable company can run an additional wire there…for a fee. But in some cases, they may require you to have a separate cable box for each TV.

A cheaper method would be running a separate cable into your garage yourself.

The only question is how you want to get it there.

First, decide whether to run an extension cable along the wall or tap into the cable through your wall.

Either way, grab some coaxial cables and a splitter from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Or…

An easy way to avoid the hassle of adding more cables is to skip your cable provider entirely.

Many new televisions have built in Roku, Amazon Fire TV, or other streaming services.

I cut the cord over a decade ago, so I didn’t need to run any additional cable for my garage TV. If you choose this route, your biggest challenge will be getting a good WiFi signal to your garage.

The concrete blocks inside your garage walls interfere with radio and WiFi signals. Depending on where your Internet router is in your house, it can be challenging to get a good WiFi signal in your garage.

A poor WiFi signal means choppy, low-resolution video. You want to ensure it’s dialed in before you mount a TV in your garage.

An excellent way to test this is to bring your laptop or smartphone into your garage and see if you can stream video from Netflix or YouTube.

The amount of data needed to display an HD video on your garage TV will be more than on your laptop or smartphone, but this will give you a good idea of whether it’s possible.

If you have trouble streaming video on your phone or laptop, you’ll need to find a way to upgrade your WiFi signal.

I discussed my garage upgrade plan in my article:How Can I Get Better WiFi in My Garage.”

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Tim Wells

Tim Wells, the founder of Garage Transformed, has been featured in dozens of home renovation publications, including BobVila.com, Home Stratosphere, House Digest, Livingetc, and SFGate. Since 2018, he has helped over two million people transform their everyday garages into something they can be proud of. He lives in Central Florida with his wife and bulldog.