You have the latest flat screen television, electronics, and gaming system, but has your TV stand made the upgrade too? The sleek shape and thin dimensions of modern TVs have changed home theater furniture. To match emerging technologies, entertainment centers have advanced to provide a solution, style, and size to match your needs.
Types of Entertainment Centers
- Consoles are the most prominent choice for housing modern flat-screen TVs. Wider than their TV stand ancestors, they offer more stability and storage for other media components. Even if your TV is mounted on the wall, a console placed beneath helps to ground it and fill in the space. This leaves the top of the console free for display space.
- Entertainment walls are designed to be customized to your storage needs and give the look of built-in cabinetry. Several different components can be mixed and matched, the general arrangement consisting of a stand to support the TV, cabinets with adjustable shelves on either side, and a bridge on top connecting the two cabinets. They offer a place for every piece of equipment and make good use of vertical space.
- The streamlined design of modern TVs means they can become part of the decor more easily than older boxy television sets. The option to mount them to the wall leaves you free to construct the space around it. Flank it with floating shelves, hang framed photos around it - make the television part of the arrangement.
- If you do prefer to keep your TV out of sight, choose a cabinet with doors. Fold or slide the doors into place, and you switch a room's focal point away from the screen.
- Organize your components, create a focal point, AND enjoy the warm ambiance of flames with a fireplace console. Like regular consoles, these units are designed for use with TV on top and shelves for components and storage. The electric heat is efficient, clean, and safe. Turn off the heat option, and enjoy the flame effect year-round.
Features to Look for
Many manufacturers offer different options for the doors on their entertainment furniture. Some have glass doors so that the remote will work without having the doors open or cabinet doors fitted with speaker fabric that allows sound to travel through them.
Look for easy hook-up systems that don't require you to crawl inside your entertainment unit to install a new component. Integrated cord management systems keep cords tidy and out of the way. Integrated surge protectors help to protect your electronics from power surges and voltage spikes.
A quality piece will incorporate safety features. It should be structurally sound so that there is no wobbling; corner blocks ensure stability and levelers will make sure all the doors and drawers line up correctly. If you have small children in the house, get an anti-tip device that will secure the TV to the console or the wall.
Measure all of your components for height, width, and depth before you buy, as well as your room to make sure your entertainment unit will fit! Remember that TVs are sold using a diagonal screen measurement, so you'll need to know the dimensions of the unit itself. You want the width of the console to be wider than the TV itself so overhanging corners don't get bumped.