Thinking About a Garage TV? Read This First!

Your garage is more than just someplace to get in and out of your car. It’s your castle.

You spend a lot of time there, am I right?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably thought about putting a TV in your garage. You’re probably just looking for the right reason.

TV mounted above cabinets in garage.

The funny thing is, I added cabinets, fans and tool chests and never needed to justify it.

But, as soon as I told my wife I was thinking of putting a TV in the garage, her first question was “why.”

Let’s cover a few reasons why putting a TV in your garage might be a good idea. Then we’ll get into some of the other details that you’ll want to know.

Why Put a TV in Your Garage?

Just in case one reason doesn’t quite cut it, here are seven ways that having a TV in your garage could actually be a great idea.

This way you can choose the best one that woks for you, or the one that 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 to a video instead of reading an instruction manual. It’s a lot easier to see that on a 43″ TV than on your smartphone.
  2. Gym Instructor: If you’ve converted your garage into a home gym, then 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 go faster.
  3. Video Games: Similarly, do your kids constantly take over the living room to play their video games? Send them to the garage and take back your living room!
  4. Diagnostic Station: Some diagnostic equipment and software can plug directly into the HDMI port on a TV. Being on a big screen can help you read what’s going on while you’re 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. With a keg in the corner, a grill outside and a big TV, it was a great place to hang out.
  6. Watch the Game: Whether you’re watching the Super Bowl or the Saturday night game of the week, you can fit may more people in your garage than your living room. And if you want a cool, drive-in experience, you could even use your garage TV to watch a movie.
  7. Man-Cave or She-Shed: Sometimes you just want a space of your own. Your spouse will probably be thrilled that your decor won’t be cluttering up the house. When you transform the garage into your private retreat, the TV can be the focal point.

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

Is It OK to Put a TV in the Garage?

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

It’s OK to put a TV in your garage in all but the most extreme conditions. Most TV manufacturers allow for an operating 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. That’s why 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%, which is why you can safely use TV’s outside in the Florida summers.

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09/27/2021 01:57 pm GMT

What about Dust & Dirt?

Your garage is probably the dirtiest place in your house, even counting your kids’ rooms.

Every time you open the garage door, oil, dust, and other debris swirl around. They get into cracks and crevices of any device that is stored there.

What if all that gunk gets into your garage TV?

It’s actually not as bad as you might think.

Think about the last time you went to your auto mechanic. There’s tons of diagnostic equipment, computers and monitors in the garage, exposed to the elements.

Obviously you should avoid spilling liquids on your TV. Also, extreme environments like a woodworking shop would need a little extra protection.

However, a little dust is OK.

All you need to do is periodically blow the dust out with a can of compressed air and you’ll be fine.

Watching TV in Garage (With Cable)

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

Obviously you have to bring the wire there somehow, but that can be tricky in a concrete garage.

Your cable company 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 to run a separate cable into your garage yourself.

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

To start, decide whether you’re going to run an extension cable along the wall or tap into the cable through your wall.

Either way, you’ll need to buy some coaxial cables and a splitter from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot.

Watching TV in Garage (WiFi)

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

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 to go this route, your biggest challenge will be getting a good WiFi signal to your garage.

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

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

A good 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. It’s not a perfect test, since the amount of data needed to display an HD video on your TV will be more than on your laptop or smartphone. However, it’ll give you a good idea if it’s possible or not.

If you have trouble streaming video on your phone or laptop, then you’ll need to find a way to upgrade your WiFi signal. I talked about my upgrade plan for my garage in my article: “How Can I Get Better WiFi in My Garage.”

Where to Mount the TV

If you want to take the easy route. 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 an industrial stand with casters so you can roll it around. That makes it easy to move the TV to whatever part of the garage you’re working in, 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 by far the most professional looking solution. You can mount the TV flush with your garage cabinets for a really 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’re working.

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09/27/2021 01:57 pm GMT

Getting Power to Your TV

A TV alone needs one outlet at a minimum. When you add in additional equipment like a cable box, DVD player, sound bar, or a video game console, you’re going to need a lot 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 to have 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 at the same time.

You can buy surge protectors just about everywhere. However, I tested some of the more popular garage surge protectors to see which one performed the best. You can see my results in the link above.

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