How to Watch TV at a Tailgate

The amount of money in your tailgating budget will determine how you will be able to watch TV at a tailgate.  TV's at a tailgate can be setup from ultra luxurious to budget level, depending on your needs.  In any case, some supplies are mandatory to any tailgate party where you want to set up a TV.

To watch TV at a tailgate, you will need:

  • TV
  • Generator
  • Fuel and oil for generator
  • TV signal source
  • Extension cord
  • Stable place to set the TV
  1.  Determine your source of power.  Without power, you won't be able to watch TV at a tailgate.  If you are lucky, your tailgating spot at the stadium or arena will have a power outlet near you.  Unfortunately, this is not very likely out in the middle of a parking lot.  Your next option is to use a generator.  The generator will require a constant source of fuel and oil (depending on the generator).
  2. Stabilize your TV.  Sure its great to watch TV at a tailgate…until the drunk guy in the spot next to you elbows your TV, knocking it on its side.  You want to have a stable base for your TV.  The easiest thing is to bring along a folding table that can hold the weight of your TV, and make sure all other tailgating grills and accessories are out of reach of the TV stand.
  3. Connect your TV to the generator.  Most generators are loud.  You likely won't want to have the generator very close to the TV.  Use an extension cord to plug the TV into and run the cord around to the opposite side of your car (or as far away as you can get) from where you will be watching TV at the tailgate.
  4. Attach the TV signal source, Part One: Antennae.  Do you just plan on watching DVD's?  If that's the case, simply plug your DVD into the power strip, or extra outlets directly on the generator and attach to the TV.  If you want to watch live games or TV at a tailgate, you will need either an antennae or service.  With an antennae, you simply plug the antennae in to your TV and adjust it until the signal is optimal.  Many TV's come with auto-tuner that will find all available channels available over the air.  A quality antennae will run you in the $20-$50 range, depending on your need for a high definition signal, and no additional power source is needed.
  5. Attach the TV signal source, Part Two: TV Service.  If you want to go big time with watching TV at a tailgate, go to one of the major satellite cable companies for mobile cable service.  With mobile service, you will be able to hook up a satellite dish and receiver, and watch many or all of the channels at your tailgate that you get at home.  Service and equipment costs vary by location.
  6. Enjoy.  Now that you are all set up, kick back in a tailgating chair with a beer or soda and enjoy with family and friends!  The only thing better than going to the game itself, is showing up 6 hours early for the tailgating action!
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