Introduction: Installing a TV in a Sauna
My brother decided he wanted a sauna in his new house so I convinced him to let me also install a TV and sound system in it to make the heat and humidity a little more bearable :)
In the original house plans there was a large storage closet off the garage where the back wall of the closet actually abutted the back wall of the master bathroom so we built the sauna inside the closet sort of like a room within a room concept where we could still access the exterior and roof of the sauna via the closet door in the garage. We installed the door to the sauna itself inside the bathroom. Here it is before the tile was laid.
I also installed a whole house audio system with a pair of speakers and volume control in every room driven by a central amplifier so I installed an A/B switch in the control panel outside the sauna alongside the whole house audio volume control so you can switch between TV audio and whole house audio.
I bought a Sanyo 19" LCD TV because I really like their picture for the price and also because it had the loudest volume on any other TV in it's class when I turned them all up to full volume at Wal-Mart :) I needed to know which TV had the loudest, most robust internal amplifier because I was going to use it to drive the ceiling speakers in the sauna. After I got chased out of Wal-Mart I measured the TV carefully and left exactly the width of the TV between two vertical studs in the center of the wall and nailed in a cross brace between the studs to act as a hidden shelf for the TV to rest on inside the wall. I then cut and sanded the sauna's cedar planks until I had a nice smooth finish around the edges that completely masked the TV's bezel. This also covered the TV's infrared input so I installed an IR repeater below the TV cutout that relays the remote control signals back to the TV's hidden IR eye.
Pictured is the TV on the "roof" of the sauna that you can access from the closet door in the garage. I took the LCD TV apart and disconnected the TV's internal speakers and tapped into the TV's internal audio amplifier with 4-conductor speaker cable and ran that to the wall-mounted A/B switch. I also hard-wired an IR blaster inside the TV and closed it back up. I installed all the necessary video cables and wrapped all the cables with cable ties so that it made a fairly hefty umbilical cable as it were. I had a piece of plate glass cut to fit the opening of the cutout in the sauna wall and slid that into place and then lowered the TV by the umbilical cable into the hole or slot between the studs. I cut several long shims of varying lengths out of thin wood paneling and slid the first one down behind the TV, then slid a second longer one behind the first one and so on and so forth until the TV was pressed nice and tight against the glass.
Here is a brief cell phone video tour of the sauna. That is Sara Bareilles Live at the Filmore on Palladia. Sorry for the shakiness of the video.