I remember my first home bar in a newly renovated basement in our home in Denver - it was super cool. I had painstakingly collected pallets from all over the city having scoured my fair share of Craigslist ads and with hours of blood, sweat, and a significant amount of cursing, disassembled said pallets which I then used to make the back bar wall, some 20 feet long by 10 feet tall. I'd like to think it was worth it as I got a ton of complements on the space. Ambiance was oozing from that bar...but what it was missing, and what you really need (IMHO), is a tv or projector. I can't tell you why I didn't have one, I didn't think I needed one at the time and AV details just didn't cross my mind...but I did.
Fast-forward to my current bar setup, which isn't in my basement but my garage, and I not only have a tv but a projector and a whole sound system setup. Let me walk you through what I used to step up my AV game.
Lights, Camera, Action
As you've thought about how you want to arrange your home bar or garage bar, in previous posts I've talked about ensuring you have a vision for your space. Part of that vision should include where to place a tv or projector screen - or multiples therein if so desired and your space can accommodate. I have managed to incorporate both a tv which is mounted to the ceiling as well as a projector (also ceiling mounted) which mirrors the feed from the tv. Whether you're standing in my drive, sitting at the bar or lounging on the garage furniture you're able to keep an eye on the action.
Don't want to watch the big game? I don't just use my setup for watching sports in the garage. I often use Amazon Music to tune in to my favorite stations (Foo Fighters for the win) while simultaneously streaming hundreds of photos captured from my many bar events, random pop-up gatherings, or evenings drinking a bourbon with good friends via Amazon Photos. I can sit there and watch that reel for hours...it's incredible how much GREAT living my garage bar has seen.
Below is a list of what I have used in my AV setup:
Television: I have a 43" television which I find works perfect (here)
Ceiling Mount for TV (here)
Projector: Super bright is the way to go - love this unit (here)
Projector Mount (here)
HDMI Splitter (here)
HDMI Cable: Monoprice is a great option (here)
Amazon Fire Stick (here)
Enhancing the AV Experience
Connectivity + Visuals
You may feel like you're set now that you have a tv or projector or both - there's a few things however that you can still do to really ramp up your experience. First, no matter if you're in a garage bar or home bar, your space is probably not optimized for streaming content. Consider upgrading your WiFi network to a Mesh WiFi System. I use a Google Mesh System and I love it - you can get yours here and it covers 4,500 square feet. If you have a larger need or lots of walls/obstructions you can easily add on more "pucks" at a very small cost here.
The other big item hanging out there is speakers. I have about an 800 square foot space and I have six Yamaha in ceiling speakers (THESE ARE AWESOME) which you can find here. I also have them connected up to a Sony receiver (here) and a kick ass subwoofer (here). Cutting out the holes in the ceiling to install them was a breeze and running all the speaker wire (here) if you're in a place like Texas is best reserved for the cooler months of the year. I'd suggest using a laser level like this to help line out your ceiling placement and keep everything square...last thing you want to do is patch a hole and have to repaint.
AV Protection + Performance
Depending on how much you invest in your AV system, you may consider "amping up" your home security system. If your weather gets a bit extreme, protect equipment from the elements with climate control for your garage bar--all DIY so you can create your ultimate home bar. Be sure to check out The Shop for "wow factors" like these lighted keg end tables.