Finding the BEST TV for your Garage: GUIDE

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Introduction

I use my garage almost every day – whether it’s the home gym, storage or the gardening tools – for one reason or another I ALWAYS end up in there!

One of the best things I’ve done in there is installing a TV on the garage gym wall!

It might seem daft initially, but having the TV on in the background is AWESOME for catching up on programs and sports while using the gym or working in the garage. It’s nice to have some company when I’m in there!

Here’s what you need to know if you’re thinking of doing the same.

Want a TV for your garage? JUST DO IT!

At a glance…

  • I think LG and TCL offer the best TVs for garage installations due to their low price and sensible size making installation a breeze
  • Budget and size requirements are most important when picking a garage TV
  • Consider what source you will use as this can impact what connections and cabling you need – Netflix? Sky box? Other? 
  • Wall mounting the TV is quite straight forward and keeps the TV out of the way in your workshop or garage gym
  • I’ve not had ANY issues with low temperatures damaging my TV despite SEVERAL winters in a cold British garage gym! 

The BEST TV for your garage is…

In short, I don’t think we need to be TOO picky. The best TV for a garage is one that will fit in the right space, connect to the right media sources (Netflix or Sky etc) and suit our budget.

Here are a couple of really good options to check out:

LG LED Smart TV (32LM637BPLA)

I think the LG 32LM637BPLA is the best TV for garage use. Honestly this one is such a bargain I am tempted to upgrade my trusty old Panasonic!

Check out the latest price for this LG TV on Amazon now.

I like the LG brand after having owned a plasma for just over 10 years and experiencing NO issues. LG make a lot of screens for other manufacturers so I’d be comfortable that the quality would be excellent.

Being a SmartTV it will have a raft of applications available and it includes Alexa support. This can be handy in a gym or garage environment where we’re often doing something else with our hands!

TCL LED Smart TV (32P500K)

I would not normally stray away from a top tier brand for a TV, however this is an exception because:

  1. The price is super competitive, and we can afford to take more of a risk in a garage rather than our living room
  2. >3000 reviews rating this TV around 4.5 stars on Amazon says a lot – someone is doing something right!

Again offering Smart functionality (but no Alexa) means you can access most app-based services. Ports on the rear allow Firesticks or other devices to be connected.

Check out the latest price for this TCL TV on Amazon now.

Personally I would prefer the LG simply for the neater frame but this TV looks like a compelling buy if you like the look of it and enjoy the Android based operating system.

How to pick the best TV for your garage

There are a few key things you should consider before buying a TV for your workshop / home gym / garage / all of the above. Here are a few to think about:

What is your budget?

Regular readers will know that we rarely put price above all else, but when looking at garage TVs it is really important.

Why?

Because it is one of the few instances where ‘good enough’ is absolutely fine. Too ‘good’ would be a waste, achieving little additional benefit for us.

Set a budget and stick to it – once the TV is up you won’t think about any alternatives again!

If you’re working with a tight budget then you can always try the second hand market – eBay, Gumtree / Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace to pick up a bargain albeit with less control over the spec and often a few years old.

Where is it going?

Are you going to wall mount the TV in the garage or put it on a shelf? Do you have power, internet and aerial connections available?

We need to establish all of this first.

Personally I wall mounted my TV in the garage above a power source and, as my garage is integral, I was able to pick up internet via my home wifi. Unfortunately I don’t have aerial feed in there BUT I can accept that compromise as I access mainly on demand services.

Wall mounting is great in a garage situation as it keeps the TV out of harms way and keeps the floor space maximised for other things such as gym equipment, cars, workshops etc.

My wall mounted garage TV: Easily visible across the garage

Remember if you are wall mounting to budget for the fitting kit – I have used the cheap Amazon mounting kits throughout my house and garage and they have been excellent for a number of years now.

Size & weight

Once you know where the TV is going you can work out the size that will fit the space best. Personally I have a modest 32” TV wall mounted on the block wall in my garage and it is absolutely fine.

Although in the world of TVs many think bigger is usually better…!

Screen specification

You can lose yourself for days in OLED vs LED vs Plasma debates.

Plasma makes for a great TV, but is quite rare these days due to the power consumption making them fall out of favour. They are also quite heavy and can suffer from screen burn.

OLED is fantastic for picture quality with particularly impressive blacks, but tends to be most expensive and can suffer from screen burn.

LED picture quality is often less impressive than the other two technologies BUT it’s cheaper, readily available and – when viewed in isolation like it will be in your own home and not next to 100’s of other TV’s in the shop – the picture is still impressive on high quality screens.

So, if money is no object then you can head down the OLED route. 

For the rest of us… I think LED is the best technology due to its cheap price, light weight and wide range of options available. Further, the TV is usually more ‘in the background’ when in a garage so we don’t need the absolute best screen to enjoy that.

4K vs Full HD

This refers to the screen resolution – or the number of dots that combine to make the image on screen. All else being equal 4k (3840 x 2160 pixels) is better than Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) as there are more dots and therefore more detail is possible.

In reality the quality of what we see on our garage television will depend on a couple of things:

  1. Source – if you have a 4K source you can take full advantage of the screen. If not then the screen may not be used to its full potential. Example 4K sources would be some SkyQ content as well as some top-tier Netflix programs if you have the 4K subscription upgrade enabled.
  2. Screen technology – some TVs will “upscale” content. This means we can feed standard or HD material in and the TV itself will fill in the blanks to make the image appear sharper. This is not as good as a genuine 4K source but does help. The quality of the software upscaling will impact the quality of the image.

As with other areas if money is no object the more expensive 4K option would be objectively “better”, however for a garage TV that is mainly on in the background I have been more than satisfied with an HD TV screen and would rather put the money saved towards something else.

I suspect most would be the same.

Smart vs dumb

Smart TV’s come with a raft of software and apps installed and usually allow others to be added.

Having access to Netflix, Amazon Prime and the various “on demand” services is essential for me, BUT I don’t have a smart TV in the garage…

Instead I use a cheap Amazon Firestick which adds ALL the smart functionality and is easily upgradable when the hardware ends up outdated.

Smart TV operating systems have the nice OEM look, but in reality the Firestick offers more functionality and gets updated often. For example the Channel 4 application on a recently purchased Samsung TV (not in my garage) DOESN’T support streaming live broadcasts, but the Firestick app DOES.

Input and output ports

Now you know where the TV is going, how big it is and whether it is Smart or not the next thing to work out what you want to play on it.

I use a Firestick which allows me to access almost everything I need on the TV as I use it mainly for Netflix and catch up services. I have a spare HDMI port on the side I can plug a laptop in to if streaming something not available on the Firestick.

A neat trick I found is to use a spare USB-A port on the back of the TV to charge the Firestick… This saves me having ANOTHER thing needing plugged in to the mains power!

You may want additional ports for a sound bar, games console, Sky Box or any other device you use regularly – so make sure you have enough ports for your needs.

How to wall mount a TV in the garage

If you are unsure how to mount your TV to your garage wall you should consult an experienced tradesperson in your local area who will be able to advise.

Having wall mounted a few TVs in my house previously I was comfortable to attempt this myself with an extendable swivel mount from Amazon. As my garage has exposed brick walls I used 4x M8 thunderbolts with grey brick rawl plugs to secure the mount.

The only tools required were a pencil for marking the drill sites, a spirit level to ensure the mount was level at all times and a drill with a range of masonry drill bits. A mains powered drill is advised if drilling masonry – or have a few spare batteries on hand if not! The rawl plugs will have instructions on what bore drill bit to use and how deep to drill the pilot hole.

For those with insulated or plastered walls the mounting will be different. Having mounted on a similar wall previously I used a stud finder and similar M8 (possibly M6) bolts.

How to wall mount a TV in your garage: I used a masonry drill bit and a few M8 bolts!

Overall it is not difficult to mount a TV – particularly in a garage where the aesthetic can be a LITTLE less perfect (e.g. I have a hanging wire on mine which I would have hidden if it was in the house – I did make sure it was WHITE instead of BLACK to blend in with the wall, at least!)

Where about in the garage should you mount the screen?

I recommend mounting the TV somewhere it is easily visible from all your workstations.

My garage is used as a gym mainly, but also a workshop. I have the TV mounted at the gym end of my space up above the work bench. This means if I’m at the bench the TV is right there.

This might NOT be good for you if you do a lot of messy things at the workbench that could spurt up and make a mess of the TV (paint, cleaning, spraying) but as most of mine is dismantling or minor electronics it is quite a ‘clean’ bench!

When installing it I used a swivel mount – this means I can pull the TV away from the wall around 30cm – 60cm and swivel the screen to face any direction. The screen is easily visible from ANYWHERE in my regular single garage!

Will a TV be OK in a cold garage?

Most probably yes.

TVs are stored in uninsulated warehouses before being shipped to us consumers. Cars with their multiple screens are parked up or driven in the cold. 

Screens are more robust than you think – there is likely nothing to worry about unless you live in an EXTREME temperature or a high humidity zone. I’ve never had any issues with my TV which has endured several British winters!

If you have the instructions available (I demoted a TV from the house in to the garage so the instructions were long gone unfortunately) then it would be worth checking the manufacturers recommendations and monitoring the conditions accordingly. Personally as my garage TV is relatively low value I am OK to take the risk (another perk of using a budget TV in your garage vs premium).

That said as a matter of good practice I do flick it off at the mains every time I leave the garage.

Conclusion

I would HIGHLY recommend installing a TV in your garage if you spend a load of time in there. I love having mine for company when in the garage gym or just pottering around.

The great news is a TV is easy to install and doesn’t have to be expensive – just make sure you have the right connectivity where you want it (internet and power mainly).

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