Can a Portable Generator Power a TV?

Can a portable generator power a TV?

Yes, you can run a TV on a generator as long as the generator meets minimum Wattage requirements. The average TV requires at least 150 Watts of power.

Generators vary, but you don’t need a bulky factory generator to power things like bulbs, laptops, or a TV set in the house. Instead, a medium-sized portable generator will just be enough.

So, what type of portable generator can comfortably power your TV set while retaining some extra electrical energy for other household devices? and what’s the best generator for TVs?

That’s the focus of our post here.

We’ll discuss the best portable generator for TV, wattage demands, the noise factor, and a helpful safety tip.


Best Portable Generators for TVs

Briggs and Stratton S5500 vs 500 Watt Inverter Generator vs WEN GN400i

Briggs & Stratton S5500 5500W Portable Generator with CO Guard and (4) 120V (1) 120/240V, 30A outlets, Powered by Briggs & Stratton, 030744
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Champion Power Equipment 100554 4375/3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator with Wireless Remote Start, CARB
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WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange & 56310iC Universal Weatherproof Inverter Generator Cover, Large, Grey
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Briggs and Stratton S5500

Briggs & Stratton S5500 5500W Portable Generator with CO Guard and (4) 120V (1) 120/240V, 30A outlets, Powered by Briggs & Stratton, 030744

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The Briggs and Stratton brand is popular for making generators of all power classes from small 2000 watt generators to large, home standby generators over 20,000 watts.

Much smaller at only 84 lbs, this Briggs and Stratton P3000 model is an ideal small generator for TVs.

Power

  • 3,000 Starting watts, 2,600 Running watts

Performance

  • Up to 10 hours of run time at 25% load

Technology

  • 171 cc OHV Engine
  • StatStation LCD Screen features performance statistics and maintenance reminders
  • (4) Household outlets (1) 12 volt, 30 amp locking outlet with RV adaptor DC charging outlet and a USB port

Fuel

  • 1. 5 gallon gasoline fuel tank

Portability

  • Dimensions (inches): 26 x 14 x 21
  • Weight: 84 lbs
  • 6 Inch wheel-kit and luggage style handle included

Noise

  • 58 dB

Safety

  • 1-2 year limited warranty

PROS

Portable- At only 84 lbs this model is the most portable option. The 6 inch wheel kit and luggage style handle helps you to move this generator where you desire

High Performance– Solid 3,000 peak wattage and great 10 hours runtime at 25% load.

Quiet– At only 58 dB.. this is one of the more quiet generator models

CONS

Expensive- The Briggs and Stratton P3000 is not the most affordable option on this list, nor the most expensive

Briggs & Stratton S5500 5500W Portable Generator with CO Guard and (4) 120V (1) 120/240V, 30A outlets, Powered by Briggs & Stratton, 030744

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Champion 3500 Watt Inverter Generator

Champion Power Equipment 100554 4375/3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator with Wireless Remote Start, CARB

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The Champion brand is well known for innovative technology and the Champion 3400 Dual Fuel Inverter generator is no different.

This model is another good option with enough power to charge a TV and can be used as a reliable tv generator. Let’s review the details.

Power

  • 3,400 Starting watts, 3,100 Running watts

Performance

  • Up to 7.5 hours of run time at 25% load

Technology

  • 192 cc Engine
  • Quick touch easy electric start
  • Control Panel-120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean electricity (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
  • Inverter Technology helps prevent power surges
  • Economy mode helps improve fuel efficiency

Fuel

  • Dual fuel: Runs on Gasoline or Propane

Portability

  • Dimensions (inches): 25 x 17 x 18
  • Weight: 96 lbs
  • Wheel-kit and built-in handles included

Noise

  • 59 dB

Safety

  • Inverter Technology prevents power surges
  • 3 year limited warranty+ free lifetime tech support

PROS

Portable- At only 96 lbs this model is the most portable option. The Wheel kit and built-in handle helps you to move this generator where you desire

Quiet– At only 59 dB.. this is one of the more quiet generator models

Solid Safety Features: Built in inverter technology helps prevent power surges,

3 year warranty helps protects financial investment

CONS

Expensive- The Champion 3400 Watt Inverter Generator is the most expensive option on this list

Champion Power Equipment 100554 4375/3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator with Wireless Remote Start, CARB

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WEN GN400i

WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange & 56310iC Universal Weatherproof Inverter Generator Cover, Large, Grey

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The WEN GN400I has more than enough power to safely power a TV and other household appliances also.

This model has some great features as well as some slight drawbacks to discuss as well.

Power

  • 4,000 Starting watts, 3,500 Running watts

Performance

  • Up to 7 hours of run time at 50% load

Technology

  • 212 cc 4 stroke engine
  • Includes two 120V NEMA 5-20R receptacles, two 5V USB ports, one 120V RV-ready TT-30R receptacle
  • Eco Mode automatically adjusts machines fuel consumption for better fuel efficiency

Fuel

  • 1. 8 gallon gasoline fuel tank

Portability

  • Dimensions (inches): 19.8 x 13.8 x 18.9
  • Weight: 66 lbs

Noise

  • 67 dB

Safety

  • Inverter Technology helps prevent voltage spikes
  • EPA approved
  • CARB Compliant

PROS

Affordable- Least expensive option on this list by a wide margin

Powerful– With 4000 peak watts, this generator provides more power than the other options

Clean Power-Inverter technology allows generator to power sensitive electronics including TVs, computers, phones and tablets without the voltage spikes

CONS

Noisy– At 67 dB, this is more noisy than the other options

WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange & 56310iC Universal Weatherproof Inverter Generator Cover, Large, Grey

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Run a TV on a Generator?

Yes, you can run a TV on a generator as long as the generator meets minimum Wattage requirements. The average TV requires at least 150 Watts of power.

What’s the TV’s Wattage Rating?

Without scrutinizing the manufacturer’s details and understanding how televisions and inverter generators work, it may be challenging to determine whether a particular TV can work with a certain portable generator.

The two devices vary in many ways. In order to know whether the power output of the generator you want to buy can sufficiently support your tv set, you have to be sure how many watts the latter consumes.

Some of the critical factors affecting the wattage rating of a particular TV set include the size of its display screen, whether the TV is LCD, LED, or Plasma.

The energy efficiency of the TV is also critical. Although not true for every single TV set out there, the following hold in most situations:

– Smaller TV screens mean lower wattage;

– LCD and LED TVs consume less power than Plasma TVs;

– Energy Star-marked TV sets take in about 30% less power than non-efficient versions.

The above statements are just basic guidelines. The most surefire way to know the number of watts your TV set needs is to check it from relevant sources. You can easily find this information in the manufacturer’s manual that comes with the TV when you purchase it.

Alternatively, you can look it up online or ask your vendor or retailer.

For most television sets on the market today, the typical wattage calibration will be in the range of 80-350 watts.

Starting vs. Running Watts

For a conventional portable generator, the wattage is often expressed in two ways. There are the starting/surge watts, and there are the running/rated watts.

This is because, for most appliances, the amount of power supply required to kick-start them is often higher than that needed to keep them running. Most of them need that extra energy boost to “wake them up” from a shut-down or off state but less in continuous power consumption to keep them in operation.

That typically applies to devices and sensitive electronics that run a motor.

While your refrigerator and dishwasher need that additional surge of electrical power to start up, the TV set doesn’t.

So all you need to look out for when buying a portable generator is that its wattage output rating exceeds your TV’s. As long as the TV set’s indicated figure is lower than the generator’s running watts, you’re good to go.

Does the Television Share the Power Load?

Because most TV sets aren’t rated too high when it comes to their wattage, it’s possible the generator power yours easily even if you employ a lower power portable generator.

But this will most likely mean that it’s the only appliance you power in your household.

What this means is that you’ll probably have to forgo operating other devices and sensitive electronics like bulbs and laptops if all you depend on is power from this small portable generator.

To avoid overload, you need to check and know the total wattage of all the devices your running generator is connected and supplying power to.

There are various kinds of online wattage calculators you can use to help you estimate your power requirements in the house. Overloading your generator can easily damage it.

Do You Really Need an Inverter Generator for Your Television?

Yes, you definitely do! Many household electronic appliances need inverter generators.

The inverter technology is designed to safeguard the most power-sensitive electronic devices against damage resulting from unexpected electrical surges. It keeps the power clean and steady and is a vital installation in your house.

By keeping the power voltage reaching your crucial electronic devices steady and without huge fluctuations, you avoid the risk of not only destroying them and having to buy new ones but also keeping your house safe.

Huge power surges can even cause fires.

When buying a portable generator for TV, you’ll need one equipped with inverter technology. If not, then you’ll just be inviting disaster.

So to be safe, just don’t buy a non-inverter generator for your television, whether its wattage rating matches the TV or not.

While it may supply power to the TV set, it could also be putting it at a huge risk of permanent damage.

Buying an Inverter generator is how to protect tv when using a generator.

What About the Generator’s Noise Factor?

When buying a portable generator, another critical factor to consider is its noise rating.

While some generators can produce a deafening noise, more so when powering a heavy load, others can be amazingly quiet.

I’m sure you don’t want to have your ears competing for your TV’s volume with the noise from the generator.

If you have a noisy generator running while you’re trying to blast your television’s volume to hear well.

You’ll start worrying about your neighbors getting annoyed by the disturbance coming out of your house, especially if you’re doing so at night.

If you want the absolute most quest generator to run a TV.. view a few solar generator options. That would be best because solar generators produce almost no sound.

How Many Watts Does a TV Use on a Generator?

The average LED/LCD TV needs a generator with at least 150 Watts of power. For very small TVs this can be as low as 80 Watts to as high as 350 Watts for very large TVs.

Also Read: Best Portable Generators [2022]


So, Which is The Best Portable Generator For Powering A TV?

All of the above mentioned generators have more than enough power to run a TV. The best generator for TV for you depends on your preferences, and budget.

Below are the best in each area:

Performance

The best performing generator is the Briggs and Stratton P3000. This generator has a peak wattage of 3,000 and an impressive 10 hours of run time on a 25% load.

Briggs & Stratton S5500 5500W Portable Generator with CO Guard and (4) 120V (1) 120/240V, 30A outlets, Powered by Briggs & Stratton, 030744

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Price

The WEN GN400i is by far the most affordable option on this list. Usually the less expensive generators leave much to be desired in power, but the WEN GN400i is both powerful with 4000 peak watts and affordable.

WEN GN400i RV-Ready 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter Generator, CARB Compliant, Black/orange & 56310iC Universal Weatherproof Inverter Generator Cover, Large, Grey

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Portability

The Briggs and Stratton P3000 is the most portable option on this list. With sleek dimensions, and an 84 lb body, this machine is easier to move around than most other generators.

The included wheel kit and luggage style handles make this a good option for buyers looking for portability.

Briggs & Stratton S5500 5500W Portable Generator with CO Guard and (4) 120V (1) 120/240V, 30A outlets, Powered by Briggs & Stratton, 030744

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Safety

The Champion 3400 is tops in terms of safety.

Built in inverter technology helps provide clean power to sensitive electronic devices and prevent power surges. The 3 year limited warranty included also helps keep your investment safe.

Champion Power Equipment 100554 4375/3500-Watt RV Ready Portable Generator with Wireless Remote Start, CARB

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Noise

The Briggs and Stratton P3000 is the quietest option of the bunch at only 58 dB.

Briggs & Stratton S5500 5500W Portable Generator with CO Guard and (4) 120V (1) 120/240V, 30A outlets, Powered by Briggs & Stratton, 030744

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Can You Power a TV With a Portable Generator?

So, can you run a TV off a generator? Sure.

Each of the models listed above have more than enough power to charge a TV. The real question is which one do you think is best for you?

We believe the best overall generator model is the Briggs and Stratton P3000 due to its portability, low noise level, and high performance. If you’re going for the most affordable option, that would be the WEN GN400i .

To recap, we believe the best portable generators for TVs are the following:

Briggs and Stratton P3000

Champion 3400 Watt Inverter Generator

WEN GN400i

Best Portable Generators [2022]

Last update on 2022-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API