How to Run a TV on a 12V Battery

Updated February 21, 2017

Alternating current (AC) refers to the flow of electricity that periodically reverses direction. Electrons move forward and backward at the rate of around 50 to 60 cycles per second in AC, while electrons flow in only one direction in Direct Current (DC). Televisions generally plug onto a 110 to 240 volt AC wall outlet, but it is possible to run your 110 volt AC TV on a 12 volt DC car battery. Use a power inverter to help complete this task.

Connect the positive power cable of a 12 volts DC to 110 volts AC power inverter to the positive terminal of a car battery and connect the negative power cable to the negative terminal of a car battery. The power inverter is an electrical device that will convert 12 volts DC to 110 volts AC, making it possible to run a 110 volt AC TV using a 12 volt DC car battery. Most inverters have connecting cables that terminate with a pair of colour-coded crocodile clips, allowing you to clamp them onto the car battery terminals.

Plug your 110 volt AC TV into the 110 volt AC outlet of the power inverter. Power inverters typically have one or two gang electrical sockets located on top or in front of the inverter chassis. These outlets are similar to the wall outlets you have in your house.

Turn on the power inverter to allow electricity to flow from the outlets. Turn on the power switch of your TV set. Some TV sets may take a few seconds to turn on when running on electricity supplied by power inverters.


Check the wattage of your power inverter against the wattage of your TV set. The power inverter must have a higher wattage than the wattage of your TV set. Consult your inverter supplier regarding the right wattage for the appliance that you will use.

Things You'll Need

  • Power inverter (12 volts DC to 110 volts AC)
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About the Author

Raul Avenir has been writing for various websites since 2009, authoring numerous articles concentrated on business and technology. He is a technically inclined businessman experienced in construction and real estate development. Aside from being an accountant, Avenir is also a business consultant. He graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in business administration.